The Name of Jesus

May 23, 2006

Evangelist Keith Fordham will be nominated next month for 1st Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a result, Marty Duren at the SBC Outpost has linked to a Christian Index interview with Fordham from last year.

In many ways Fordham seems to cling to the strategies of the past. There is quite a debate going on at the SBC Outpost concerning problems with some of his comments about evangelists and revivals. Here is another comment from him that also seems to suggest he does not completely understand the current realities in churches:

I see that in some churches the people are offering the sacrifice of praise in their worship, but yet they fail to obey God. The Bible says that God prefers obedience to sacrifice. Songs are being sung that never even mention the name of Jesus, yet they are being sung with tears flowing down the faces of the worshippers. Any worship that does not lift up the name of Christ and bring folks to Christ is missing its purpose.

The devil can even use our worship to sidetrack a Christian from true worship, for true worship includes the obedience of witnessing for Christ.
Does a song really have to mention the name of Jesus in order to be acceptable for worship? If so all of the Psalms are out. Why are the words of the songs more important than the impact it has on people. If people are being brought to tearful repentance before God then does it matter if the song has the name of Jesus in it? (And, by the way, “Christ” is a title, not a name.)

Fordham is right that obedience is more important to God than sacrifice, but he seems to have his example backwards. He is focusing on the nature of the sacrifice and not the obedience of the heart. If a song draws people to God then we should praise God for it, not condemn it because we do not like how it was written.