Monday, December 18

Purity- Or Slightly, The Lack of It!

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Of the many poisons faced by the praise and worship leader, this surely is one of the most difficult to deal with, and one with the most far reaching and destructive results!    Perhaps the reason for this is the fact that purity in your life is a very private and personal matter, and consequently one which is not dealt with publicly until it has become a huge monster!  One only has to witness the spectacular fall from grace of many Christian musicians and pastors to realize that purity is a core issue for every leader in the church, and especially the worship leader, who has such a public existence.

The bottom line is, you can cover it for a long time, but be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23)!  It is the little foxes which destroy the vine (Song of Songs 2:15) and very often it’s the small sins and the hidden sins that creep into your life, destroying your purity before the Lord and ruining your ministry ultimately.

In this discussion I will centre on the issues of purity which I as a worship leader and touring Christian musician, struggle with on a regular basis.  I want to be very open and honest, but the impurity poisons are the ones that are always there, lurking in the background; Ones that we should be wary of thinking we have conquered!

Sexual Sin

I will be lying, and probably not a man, if I said that I did not struggle with this area of life.  I’ve been married for 25 years, and have never committed adultery, yet I openly and honestly declare that the temptations are constantly out there, especially in the concentrated environment of the worship team.

When you work so hard together, devote evenings to practice, turn up early for church services, stand so close to members of the opposite sex, you have to constantly be on guard lest the relationship develop that is unhealthy, ungodly and a potential poisonous for your ministry.  Music is a very emotional environment, and so guys and girls together with lots of emotion can spell temptation very quickly!

This is especially true for those of us who travel and minister.  I find it always a great idea to travel in a team.  The great part about travelling with someone like Bill Newman is that this reduces any attack on your purity in the sexual area, because you are in close proximity to a holy team member on a daily basis.

That being said, there are fresh, subtle and powerful attacks on our sexual purity in this new millennium.  We need to guard our hearts and minds, and present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2) more than ever before.

The Internet, and in particular porn sites, are one of the greatest attacks on the moral purity of Christian men that we have ever seen.  The thing about these is that, unlike previous efforts at adultery, our purity can be attacked behind closed doors, where no one can see and where our public persona does not take any hits.  The poison of impurity has never been so easy for worship leaders to obtain, and there is a much reduced risk compared to leaving home or a hotel to find a girlfriend or a prostitute!  (Please excuse me being so open, but someone needs to hear this, I’m sure)

I have also seen, more commonly than one would want to imagine, the worship leader having an inappropriate relationship with someone on the worship team.  This may not always be quite sexual, but it has varying degrees leading up to the inappropriate relationship.

As worship leaders we need to be on our guard against sexual impurity, even starting at what seems to be the most innocent level, with flirtatious glances, speech, touch and hugs.  Long hours rehearsing together, staying back later after rehearsal and saying suggestive things to one another is where this poison often begins its work and it must be avoided at all costs.

Imaging that you have had a fight with your wife, you turn up for rehearsal and there is this great looking girl, starry eyed, looking at you and saying how wonderful you are, how talented you are and what a great guy you are.  See how easy it is to stray?

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