Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ten Year Blogaversary

I was checking through old blog posts the other day, reminding myself of the things I've thought about over the years and I was quite surprised to find that I started the blog 10 years ago. Wow. They weren't kidding about how time flies! Here is my very first post.

It looks like my major interest has been marriage. I've pondered the definition of marriage, the role of a wife, how to find spouses for sons and daughters, how to love a husband and the meanings of submission, obedience and authority. Marriage is a topic that flows directly from God and is a like window into the mind of God. God created marriage specifically. Without His ordination of it, marriage would not exist. And since the Father arranged a marriage for His Son, we have a view of how marriage comes about, who the parties are, and how those parties should relate to each other. Without God's revelation on this subject, we would be clueless and each of us would be free to form and act upon our own opinions. However, since God did speak, we are now obligated to seek God's thoughts after Him, and to make no statements about marriage that contradict what He has said or done concerning it. It has been a challenge studying each place that marriage is mentioned in the Scripture, comparing and contrasting, and attempting to find the truth about a subject that is foundational to daily life. I don't claim to have all the answers yet, but my understanding is wider and deeper than when I started my search, and I am grateful for that. I know God better by knowing marriage better.

I've written a bit about politics. These are mixed with my posts on economics and public policy. How we live our lives should be a direct reflection of what we believe about God and what we believe God requires of man. This includes how we govern (or if we govern), how we conduct business, the way we work, even the way we love. There is no topic that is outside the domain of the rule of Christ and His Law. I was mostly a political conservative when I started, then I moved into what I would classify as the libertarian camp. It was a short stay then in the minarchist's company before I embraced what I would call anarcho-capitalism. I am really a theonomist. I believe that we should all obey the Law of God, and that we should all enforce it within our own families and spheres, without an institutional government.

Childbirth, particularly unhindered, unassisted, natural childbirth is a passion of mine. As women, we ought to be welcoming to having God open our wombs and we ought to be deliberate in our choices about where and how to birth our children. Our bodies are specifically designed by God to give birth. We should seek to understand that design to the extent necessary for extending the years we are fertile and birthing healthy children to the glory of God. We ignore or resist the design at our own peril, discomfort, and danger.

Along with childbirth/childbearing, I have covered the topic of breastfeeding, a uniquely womanly art. Like childbirth, seeking to pursue God's intent in feeding our children from the nourishing abundance of our breasts is, as I see it, a duty and a privilege. The babies deserve the best, and the benefits to both mother and infant touch on our hormones, our overall health, our relationships, our longevity, our economic status and our responsibilities to God and man. Isn't that overwhelming and amazing? All of that from boobs and milk.

I have covered feminism, vaccines, child training, home education, taxation, law, theology, worship, circumcision, and the war on drugs. All of these things are interesting to me. Most of them have a direct impact on myself and on my family. While I don't disparage those who have no care about such things, I seem to feel compelled to seek the truth and to incorporated it into every single subject. It wouldn't be an over-statement to say that I can't even go to the bathroom without wondering what the Bible has to say about it. It might be an obsession, but I hope it is a profitable one. 

Writing this blog is a great way for me to interact with my own thoughts, and to communicate them, or at least corral them, in case I need to share them with others. Much of what you see here, though they may appear as unmovable opinions, are a work in progress. I don't expect to “arrive” during my short life here on Earth. But do like knowing I'm further from the start line, that I took what was given me and exercised it, massaged it, used it and passed it on.

Perhaps some day my children will compile all of my ramblings and say, “See, she really was crazy.” Although they may also say, “At least she was right about that one thing.” Won't that be precious? I think so.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dreams of Our Daughters

At some point before our daughter was married, my husband was speaking with the father of a man who could have been a potential suitor. My husband was explaining to the father that our daughter had been prepared for marriage and that she was looking forward to becoming a wife and a mother. Then, as if the father had not heard a thing that was said he responded with, "That's all fine, but what are her dreams?"

Huh? What are her dreams? Did you just hear what my husband said? She wants to be a wife. She is looking forward to fulfilling the role for which she was created. Only women can be wives. Only women can be mothers. It is the most important thing she will ever do. She will impact the lives of countless thousands by becoming a wife.

I am somewhat confused as to why men would find it an attractive trait in a potential wife that she wants to be something other than a wife.

Perhaps I have been jaded by the lies I've been told by both the world AND the church. Actually, I KNOW I'm jaded by it. I am not going to pass along those lies to my daughters. It is depressing to think that they may embrace such lies after they leave my home, but they certainly won't hear them from me. And I will actively work to prepare them to resist untruth.

So you can imagine how refreshed I was to read this post at Chalcedon by Jenni Zimmerman. I hope you will click on the link and see what she has to say about their oldest daughter.

Like EVERY author I have read in my life, I don't agree with absolutely everything Jenni says. I don't even agree with everything I've ever written. So I will just say up front, in case anyone is wondering, I do not agree with this statement that she makes, and don't believe the Bible teaches or supports this view of wives:
 She is chief counselor to her husband, knowing the word of God alongside him, giving godly counsel when needed.
Raising daughters is difficult. I appreciate what the Zimmermans are doing with their daughters and I stand with them, encouraging them to stay the course. Perhaps it won't be long until their oldest daughter is married and putting all of her good training to use. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

As A Jewel Of Gold in a Swine's Snout..

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.  Proverbs 11:22
Noah Webster described discretion like this:
1. Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones' own conduct.
2. Liberty or power of acting without other control than one's own judgment; as the management of affairs was left to the discretion of the prince; he is left to his own discretion.
The primary audience I have in mind when writing here is one of women, Christian women, like myself. Wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters. And this topic, I think, applies more particularly to women. That is not to say that all men are discreet, only that many women are indiscreet. It seems to be accepted as inevitable, with little or nothing being taught within Christian circles about how women should learn to practice discretion.
The aged women likewise...that they may teach the young be discreet. Titus 2:3-5

 This is especially noticeable to me when I read fiction written a long time ago. Even fiction written by women. I offer the works of Jane Austen as an example. More on that later.

One of the ways I have been a witness (and a participant) in indiscretion is in the seemingly insatiable way that women want to know everything that is happening in the lives of every person they know. If the woman is a mother, this desire is often accompanied by a sense of entitlement to know every detail. Family members, church attendees, friends, even distant acquaintances, no one is excluded or protected from the constant acquiring and collecting of data. And to what end?

Obviously, the first use that comes to mind is gossip. Once she has the information, what else would she do with it except share it? After all, nothing hides indiscretion better than making it universal and therefore, normal. But even if she has the incredible self-control necessary to keep the information to herself, the tidbits themselves are up to no good within her mind. She is judging, comparing, formulating advice, imagining conversations, misunderstanding relationships, destroying reputations and wishing ill of others, all within the confines of her own brain box.

While it is fairly common to hear admonitions against gossip from the pulpit or in books and articles directed at Christian women, it is rare, VERY rare to hear anyone speak against wanting to know things in the first place. I can only think of one instance, and think it was in a radio broadcast by Elisabeth Elliot. I am just now coming to understand the peace that comes from not knowing things.  

I have my husband to thank for bringing this understanding to me in a very practical way. The Bible speaks of discretion, and in a non-personal, intellectual way, I probably believed I knew the meaning of discretion. It wasn't until we arranged a marriage for our daughter that I learned from experiencing it how discretion feels, how it works, what it entails, and what a blessing it is. How did he do this? Simply by not telling me things. He would speak with the father of our now-son-in-law, and my husband did not offer to let me know the things of which they spoke. He wasn't purposely keeping it from me, it wasn't that I asked and he refused to tell me. He just didn't think most of what they discussed was important or relevant to me. And he was right. (As usual.) I am not a naggy sort of person, and I trust my husband, so if he didn't offer up information, I didn't ask.

It wasn't until the whole thing (the arranged marriage) was done that I realized how blessed I was to have been out of the loop for most of the conversation. Now I can see that I would have been fretting over nothing, worried about mole hills, concerned for disaster, when actually everything was smooth sailing. I was spared much heart ache and nonsense that I might have created for myself. After we told the story to others, I was surprised to find that much of the shock people had was not so much that we arranged a marriage, but that I, the mother, was not intimately involved in the details. Other mothers could not even imagine letting their husbands handle such a thing, and even if they let them, they would want to be consulted at every step and be told every word spoken on the subject.  Why? Because they, like the old me, have no understanding of discretion. They are, unfortunately, like bejeweled swine. 

Our family has been hurt by indiscretion. You have probably been hurt by it. People say things they shouldn't say because others want to hear things they shouldn't hear. After the hearing, the information gets distorted like a typical game of Telephone. Woe is everyone if the information gets re-shared.

My challenge to you, Christian woman, is this: Try not to know. Try not to desire to know. Reject hearing about things, even when the information is offered without your asking. Don't ask people about their relationships. Don't ask for or listen to people talking about OTHER PEOPLE'S relationships! Are the ladies next to you discussing the courtship of so-and-so with what's-her-name? Move to a different seat so you can't hear. If someone begins a statement with, "Don't tell anyone about this because the whole family doesn't know yet...."  RUN! Did you hear me? RUN! This is not for you to know.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, we come into the knowledge of something that either does not concern us, or only concerns us in a very peripheral way. When that happens, resist the urge to dwell on it. Or to make judgments. Your first impressions may be wrong, or the entire situation may change so much over time that your revelations to others on the matter will result in hurt that never needed to occur. Here I am going to return to my previous mention of Jane Austen. I am sorry if you are not familiar with her books or with the movies based upon them. Maybe this blog post will inspire you to take a look.

 In "Pride and Prejudice" the main character is the second oldest of 5 sisters. Her name is Elizabeth Bennett. During the course of the story, Elizabeth becomes privy to information about two other characters who eventually become the husbands of two of her sisters. As I watched this being portrayed in a movie, I felt very strongly that Elizabeth should go share this information. I felt is so strongly, that I nearly wanted to jump out of my chair and shout it at the older sister, Jane. In my mind, Jane would have been comforted to know that her suitor loved her, but was dissuaded from marrying her because of the undue influence of his rich friend. Why wouldn't Elizabeth immediately tell Jane about this?

Elizabeth, does share her information about the other young man with her sister, Jane, but only because Jane is known for her kind heart and her discretion, and Elizabeth needs the advice of her sister with how to deal with this potentially explosive information which could ruin the reputation of the young man, as well as that of a young lady who was formerly involved in a scandal with him. Jane advises her to let the information die with them.

The women in "Pride and Prejudice" tend to fall into two, very distinct categories. Those who are discrete, and those who are not. Only Elizabeth seems to fall into neither category. This is fiction, so it is easy to force women into boxes, but in real life, none of us are fully one or the other. The indiscreet women are portrayed as having bad character (Lydia, Kitty, Mrs. Bennett, Lady Lucas), while discreet women are generally portrayed as being good. These distinctions do not exist, or barely exist today. Most of us would be hard pressed to identify an act of indiscretion, and we are all so thoroughly immersed in our own indiscreet and loquacious ways, that we wouldn't dare point a finger at another woman. One woman even tries to make lack of discretion into a virtue.

So Elizabeth shares her secret knowledge of  Mr. Wickham, but doesn't reveal what she knows of Jane's would-be-suitor, Mr. Bingley. In the end, things work out. Jane is married by Mr. Bingley, never having been hurt by the information known by Elizabeth. Mr. Wickham's bad character is revealed on its own, without any assistance from Elizabeth, protecting the reputation of the more-or-less innocent third party. Mr. Wickham marries Elizabeth's youngest sister, Lydia.

What is striking to me is that during the 19th century, it was obvious to everyone that women have a problem with discretion and that discretion was considered a virtue. Today, if we don't immediately tweet something we heard or saw, or we wait one day before making a facebook post about something, we are considered to be highly restrained. What also struck me as interesting about the 19th century, was that it was not considered necessarily inappropriate for a man to rebuke a woman for public bad behavior. If a man tried that today, he would probably get sued and the woman would remain offended until the day she died.

I recently (within the past 3 years) had a man rebuke me for interrupting him in a conversation. The rebuke was strong. I fully deserved it, but it was quite the blow because I am so used to being allowed to run all over people. I had unconsciously come to believe that civilized men don't attempt to restrict the behavior of women. We just do as we please and expect our husbands to cover for us. Or intercede for us. My husband was right there when this happened, and said nothing. He knew I deserved it, too. I had to use all the power of my logical brain to force down my feelings that the man was trying to offend me. He intended no offense at all. It was just a statement of fact that he had let me finish my thought and he was entitled to the same courtesy. It was terribly embarrassing for me, not just because the poor man had to call me out, but also because I was not saying anything at all worth saying. I was adding NOTHING to the conversation. I just wanted to talk. I just insisted on having my say on the matter and more. It was shamefully indiscreet. My husband is such a patient man to even take me out in public.

It is much too late to try to cut this short, so I will just leave this here. I  hope you were edified. Writing this has been a good and much needed reminder for me.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Marriage God's Way - All of the Posts

I'm just going to link to all of the posts I've written based on Scott LaPierre's book Marriage God's Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships.

BFF... or Not

Marriage God's Way - a Book Review, part one

Marriage God's Way - a Book Review, part two

Marriage God's Way - a Book Review, part three

I don't plan to write any more about this book, but I'm not going to promise that I won't.

Breastfeeding is NOT Immodest

I saw this very interesting story and thought it would go well with my post here.

In my previous post, I tried to make the case that Christians ought to own the idea that openly breastfeeding human children is normal. I know that several of the links in that story are broken now, but the point still stands and there are still some good images remaining.

In this link you will see some photos that I would call precious. Mothers, cherishing their limited time of nourishing their children at their breasts. Don't look if you are too squeamish and are still judging God for His audacious design, that design where He actually caused human milk, food for infants, to be manufactured within breasts. Further, He designed for the milk to be removed from the breast and made available to babies by means of suckling. Scandalous, I know.

Here is the link again, in case you missed it above: Victorian-era Deguerreotypes of Women Breastfeeding

After posting the above, I came across this in the Daily Mail

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Marriage God's Way - A Book Review, part three

Here is my third installment in my review of the book Marriage God's Way: A Biblical Recipe for Healthy, Joyful, Christ-Centered Relationships by Scott LaPierre. You can read part one here and part two here, which you should probably do before proceeding with this to give yourself some context.

My title for this part of the review is “Who Speaks For God?” which flows from this statement I made in Part One:
In several places, the author asserts that God speaks to us through other people, such as people in our small group Bible studies, our pastors and to husbands through their wives. I know of no biblical support for this principle. In fact, I can think of several places in the Bible where we are warned against this and where we are informed that the only authority through which God speaks is His Word.
So the question I am asking is, does God really speak to us through other people, and, in particular, does He speak to husbands through their wives? Should men be seeking the will of God in the words of their wives? Is that reliable? Is that wise? Or does it fly in the face of what the Bible actually teaches about authority, leadership, and revelation?

On page 124 of the book, Pastor LaPierre begins a section entitled “Submission Does Not Mean That Husbands Do Not Listen To Their Wives.” In the following paragraphs he gives his opinion that “God can use His Holy Spirit to speak to husbands through their wives.” I have no doubt that God can do this, but there is no evidence that God actually does this, and there are no examples or commands in Scripture for a man to listen to his wife unless God, Himself, separately confirmed the prophecy or, the case of Abraham and Sara,  in which God specifically told a man to do the bidding of his wife. In addition, the whole idea contradicts the principle of the man as the leader and head of his home.

Because the author is unable to provide any Scripture to support his assertion that a husband should listen to (obey?) his wife, he gives, instead, examples from his own life where his wife's advice turned out to be correct. Can you see why this is problematic? We cannot test whether something is the voice of God based on whether it turns out well. Our assessment of whether the outcome is “good” may not be the same as God's will. God may want us to go through hard times or to suffer. Outcomes are a terrible way to determine God's will or whether God has spoken.

Even unbelievers, who do not have the Holy Spirit, can give good advice. A wife is no different. Some of her advice may be good, other times, it may be bad. The simple fact that she is a wife does not mean her husband should value her advice and there is no reason at all to assume that God is speaking through her. Why would God speak to her when he could speak directly to the head, by means of His Word? God's Word is the ONLY test for authority. Before the Reformation, there were false teachers saying  the Pope or the Church could speak for God. That was a doctrine of demons, as we know the Bible itself is the only authority and is sufficient for all our faith and life. A wife NEVER enters into the revelatory chain from God to man.

The author gives, as an example from Scripture, the story of the wife of Pilate telling her husband that she was warned in a dream that Pilate should have nothing to do with Jesus (pgs. 124-125). LaPierre claims that her dream was from God, even though the Bible does not say this. It could have been based on her feelings that Jesus was simply not guilty of any crime. Being correct does not make her a prophet. During the times of Jeremiah, there were other prophets advising the king, claiming that God was speaking through them. Was there a way for the king to have known that Jeremiah was the true prophet? Yes. By the written Word of God. Jeremiah was proclaiming the Law of God to the king, and exposing the violations and punishments that God was sending. The false prophets were speaking pleasant words without regard to the Word. The Word is always the test of whether a “word” is from God.

God could speak to a husband through the grocery store clerk or through the dog. But He doesn't. God has chosen to speak to us through His Word. The Holy Spirit guides us to understand and apply the Word, but the Holy Spirit does not give special revelation, outside of the Word of God, to wives or any other advisers. To make such a claim is unbiblical. It goes against the entire counsel of God and the history of the Church's understanding of how God speaks to His people.

If your wife gives good counsel, great! That does NOT equate her words with the words of God. Some wives give rotten counsel and no husband is required to seek his wife's advice, just because she is his wife.

In the book, Pastor LaPierre shares that his wife wanted him to take the job (his current pastoring job in Washington) and it has turned out to be a good move. He claims this proves it was from God. What if a man takes counsel from his wife and it turns out to be horrible? Does that prove men should never listen to their wives? Of course not. I once told my husband to turn at the wrong place. Does that prove something? Does the outcome determine whether the choice was or was not based upon the voice of God? It is from God if it comes from and agrees with his Word. PERIOD. That is the only test for whether it comes from God.

God's Word has authority and must be obeyed. The words of wives do not carry such authority, regardless of whether they are “confirmed” by the Senior Pastor (see pg. 125), or any other person. It would seem, from Pastor LaPierre's own comments about the move to Washington, that even he is  not settled about whether it was his choice or hers.

On page 125 he says the following: 
I would like to share about a time I believe God really used Katie to direct me, and it's when I was an associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Lemoore, California. Although it was a wonderful season of life for me, Katie found it difficult because she thought God had gifted me to shepherd my own church. The senior pastor shared Katie's thoughts, so she had confirmation from him as well....

Looking back, Katie's encouragement is one of the only (emphasis added) reasons I was able to make the move.... I invite you to recognize that it was trusting that God was using Katie that allowed me to become the senior pastor of Woodland Christian Church.

From his description, she is the one leading here, she is the one guiding and directing him to move to Washington. He didn't want to go. He didn't feel that God was leading him away from a good thing. Instead of just telling him, the leader of the family to move, God instead spoke to his subordinate, his wife, and to another man, the senior pastor. But a few pages later, he back tracks a bit on this by trying to say that his wife expressed her opinion, but he made the decision for himself; that he was leading, and she was following. Here is what he wrote on page 129:
Though Katie encouraged me to take the position, she could see I was very hesitant. I remember her clearly saying, “If this moves ends up being a mistake and we went there because of me, I couldn't live with that. The only way I can feel good about this decision is if you (emphasis in original) make  it. I respect your leadership, and I believe God will direct you. Whatever you decide, I will support you.

Very noble on her part, to let him know that she wants to move, that the senior pastor agrees with her, even though she KNOWS her husband doesn't want to do it, but if he actually takes her advice, she doesn't want to be responsible for the outcome. She respects his leadership? Really? She knows he was not leading them to move to Washington, that his leadership is keeping them in California. She does not respect his leadership. She is leading from the rear. Pastor LaPierre has said in previous pages that one of the only reasons he made the move was because of her encouragement. He cites no other reasons at all. So she gets what she alone wanted, but she announces in advance that if it doesn't work, she is not to be blamed. This is what LaPierre calls "putting your husband in a position to lead." Apparently it means telling him what you want him to do, then saying, "But it's your decision, and if you blow it, I'm not responsible." This is disturbing. Deeply disturbing. To advance this type of behavior in a book aimed at wives is beyond irresponsible.

The closest the author comes to a proof text for his assertion that husbands should listen to their wives and that God speaks to husbands through their wives is the reference on page 124 to Genesis 2:18 which says:  
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Did God intend for this meet help to communicate God's will to the man? What if Eve had said to Adam, “I know you like working in the garden here, but I really feel that your full potential would be better reached outside of this garden.”? Does anyone believe that God would choose the woman over the man as the recipient of His instructions? Wouldn't it make more sense for God to tell Adam directly if he wanted him to exercise dominion in another location? It sounds ridiculous to me to consider such a thing.

And then, making sure we understand that God DOESN'T intend to work around the husband and give secret instructions or wisdom to the wife, God says this to the man after he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, (emphasis added) and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for they sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Gen 3:17
God directly rebuked Adam for listening to and following the desires of his wife. Why didn't God just say, “Because you ate of the tree...”? The pattern we see being established in Genesis is God leading a family through the husband. There is no time in history, since the Garden of Eden, where God has changed this pattern of dealing directly with men, rather than using wives as a conduit. In the New Testament, Paul explains that the head of every man is Christ and the head of every woman is the man, confirming the order established by God in the beginning. (1 Cor. 11: 3) To suggest, endorse, imply, or teach that God sometimes speaks to the wife instead is to turn this entire order upside down.

To suggest to wives that God speaks through them is unbiblical. It opposes the very design of God for marriage, where the husband is the head, the Christ type, and the wife is under him, the Church type. I'm not saying, nor does the Bible say that a man is forbidden from seeking the opinion or counsel of a wife. But the Bible does not command it, and her advice to him is no more the "voice of God" than any other advice. He can give her opinions whatever weight and value that he believes is appropriate. And if he chooses to never consult her, he does not sin.

How did churchianity change the role of a wife from that of a help, meet for her husband, to one of trusted adviser and prophet of God? It frightens me to see how feminism has infiltrated the elect.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Worship in Song

At the risk of sounding like I am ranting, I have to express my deep disgust at what passes for worship songs today. All worship must be directed at God, the LORD of all, the creator and ruler of the universe. From the Call to Worship until the Benediction, all that is said and done is to be a proclamation of God's glory, His greatness, His mighty works and His gospel. There is no room for acknowledgement and praise of our own good works. God isn't interested in our protestations of our love for Him or promises to praise and worship Him.

Let's have a short grammar lesson. Do you remember learning the parts of a sentence? If so, you know that the subject tells us who is acting in the sentence. The says it like this:
The subject of a sentence is the noun, pronoun or noun phrase that precedes and governs the main verb
So, if you are singing a song during the service of worship that includes the word "I", you are most likely singing a song about the works of man. You and/or your fellow worshipers are the subjects of those songs. You are telling God about yourself, as if He doesn't know. What is even worse is that you may very well be telling God lies, which is an abomination. Do we want our worship to be an abomination to God?

Let me give some examples.
Here I am to worshipHere I am to bow downHere I am to say that You're my GodYou're altogether lovelyAltogether worthyAltogether wonderful to me
If you are saying right now, "This is from Hillsong. No one should be singing songs from Hillsong in church." I will agree with you. If your congregation never sings this song, more power to you. Unfortunately, it does happen in others, such as the one where I worship. So let's analyze what is wrong with it.

This is the chorus and is repeated several times. It is basically a personal statement about what a particular person is doing/feeling right then. Let's pretended that the person is named John, and instead of saying "I", we will just substitute John's name and have the congregation sing it like that. Ready?
John is here to worship
John is here to bow down
John is here to say that you're his God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to John
 Does that seem appropriate for worship? Gathering as a congregation to tell God how John is holy and committed to God? If you don't think God wants you to sing to Him about John, what makes you think that God wants John to sing to God about John? Or, more exactly, that God wants you to sing to God about you?

There are other problems with this song. God is God. Or, as He might say, "I am that I am." It doesn't matter to Him, or anyone else if we say our God. That sort of leaves it open that someone else might have another god. But there is only one God. We don't make Him God, we don't make Him Lord of our lives. He IS all of those things by His own existence. God is also lovely, worthy and wonderful. Full stop. This is true. Full stop. To add that God is all of those things "to me" is to say that His character is somehow dependent upon my belief or upon me recognizing or allowing those things to be true. That's like saying gravity is powerful "to me." No. Gravity is powerful. I don't have anything to do with it. There is no need to mention John, or me, in a worship song.

Another problem with this song is that it turns the congregation into a gathering of individuals, each worshiping in his or her own little emotional wonderland. It doesn't recognize the communal nature of of the Church or the unity of that particular congregation. It is coming together on the Lord's day to worship communally, not as a bunch of individuals. The feelings of one particular person might not be representative of the whole, so singing about our feelings, or our individual actions or motives is not appropriate for congregational worship.

These types of worship errors are not only found in what we might call modern worship songs. They are common in many of the gospel songs written after 1850, which are commonly called hymns in many churches. Here is another example, written in 1892:
I'm pressing on the upward way,
New heights I'm gaining ev'ry day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
"Lord plant my feet on higher ground."
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith on heaven's table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
How does that song speak of the glory or the works of God? Who is the subject of that song? Again, what if we substitute the name of John for the I's in that song? How ridiculous would it be for us to sing it in worship? "John's pressing on the upward way, new heights he's gaining every day;"  Pretty stupid, huh?

Now let's look at an example of a true hymn, one written by Martin Luther:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
and armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal.

This song tells the story of the gospel and continuing powerful work of God in the lives of His church. It is about God's power and what HE does.

Here is another from around 1800:
O worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
 Both of these songs are sung from the perspective of the whole church, not one individual, and they focus on God, His character, His attributes and His works.

Another type of song that is common to the congregation where I worship is a focus on the misery of life and how great it will be to die. Perhaps those songs are comforting to an old or terminally ill person on death's door. But to young, healthy believers, those songs are depressing and don't represent what the Bible teaches about life and its abundance. Christ didn't save us just so we could sit around and wait to die. There is kingdom work to be done here and now. Christians should embrace the gift of life and rejoice in it. Songs like this don't belong in the worship of God:

Oft times the day seems long
Our trials hard to bear;
We're tempted to complain,
To murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear,
To catch his bride away;
All tears forever over
In God's eternal day.
 This goes for songs that have bad doctrine and untruth in them, as well. If the song talks about us having harps in heaven or how God is going to take us by the hand and lead us around the promised land (which is not ever mentioned in Scripture)  it should be eschewed in public worship.

I'm not saying that these songs have no place in the life of a believer. Fanny Crosby's song My Savior First of All is uplifting and not totally doctrinally bereft. But it is about her hopes for heaven, God is not the subject, and it fails as a worships song.

Worship should be participatory for all of the congregation. That is why it should include reciting creeds, responsive readings from Scripture and singing. The Word is proclaimed to the entire congregation and we all enter the worship gates together. Every element of worship should be directed at God or be God's words to His people. There is no place for directing our focus inward and towards ourselves. Every word spoken or sung must be true.