Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Reuben’

This is not meant to condemn or judge any type of music, but to get to the heart of Christian music and its purpose.

I believe that God anoints who He wills regardless of their spiritual walk. Before King David was anointed king of Israel God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as king. (1Sam. 10:1) Saul was an unspiritual man who became very spiritual only when the Spirit of the LORD came upon him. Saul prophesied without ever really being called as a prophet. This shows us that someone can receive a gift from the Holy Spirit without really being spiritual. (1 Sam 10: 6-12)

Years ago four young men from Liverpool, England were anointed to play music and write songs that forever changed popular music. I believe that God anointed them, but left it up to them how they would use that anointing. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Beatles used their anointing to glorify God instead of themselves? We would probably be singing very different songs in churches today.

Steve Camp, writing in his “107 Theses, A Call For Reformation In The Contemporary Christian Music Industry:” said,  “Those of us who are privileged to represent our Lord Jesus in the arts should be galvanized by mission, not by ambition; by mandate, not by accolades; by love for the Master, not by the allurements of this world.”

I too, have been saved from the depravity of my heart, and without the grace of God through His son, the Lord Jesus, I was desperately wicked and eternally condemned. Early in my own musical journey I used to write songs that represented only the wickedness in me and the world. My motives were corrupt and my actions were far from being godly. My thirst for popularity made my heart prideful, judgmental and callused. But the Lord, out of His infinite grace and love, broke me down by His Spirit to bring true repentance in my own life. And it’s that life of repentance, which drives me to speak with conviction on this issue.

I believe that music is a powerful tool from the God that He intended to be used for worship, praise, encouragement, edification, admonishing, and exhorting God’s people to holiness. But I fear that compromise has invaded Christian music through years of skewed doctrine and secular living.

I recognize that there are many godly men and women who love the Lord that work to glorify God with their talent. But the crux of the matter is that the overall nature of “Christian Music” has dramatically shifted. The Apostle Paul warns… “It takes only a little leaven to leaven the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6) When sin is tolerated it ultimately permeates and corrupts the entire Church like a cancer. What is pure today will inevitably be polluted tomorrow if we do not “purge out the old leaven…” (v.7)

In the past several years there has been a subtle (and not so subtle) drifting away from Christ-centered music to “Christian-crossover” music. Sadly this has resulted in various visible manifestations of spiritual problems where many may unknowingly find themselves on a slippery slope sliding away from the Church, the Scriptures, and ultimately, the Savior.

During the “Jesus Movement” in the 1970’s Christian music unashamedly declared Jesus Christ as Lord. But as Christian Music grew in popularity, several generic titles began filtering out the name of God in songs to the point that it’s now hard to distinguish between Christian and secular songs.

This Biblical illiteracy has diminished the Christian culture into unintelligible chatter that is accepted as spiritual truth. We have gone from ‘dying to self’, to ‘serving self’. The object of Christian music is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem; the goal is no longer holiness, but our happiness; and the source of our faith is no longer the Scriptures, but our experience. I believe modern Christian music played a large part in producing a generation of people that “feel” their God, but do not “know” their God.

When Martin Luther stood at Wittenberg’s Door in the year 1517, he called for reformation of the Roman Church. Now, almost five centuries later, it is time to sound the alarm in our generation-this time, to call the Christian Musician back to the supremacy, sufficiency and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

A genuine revival is surely needed today, but that would be almost impossible given the current environment of the Church. Why? Because true revival is marked by repentance; and true repentance demands that Christian lives’ be consistent with Biblical truth that brings glory to God. These are serious times brothers and sisters, and it calls for real answers. This is not a time for proclaiming a diluted message to a dying world. It is a time to be girded with the belt of truth, standing firm in the gospel of peace, raising high our shield of faith, guarded with the helmet of salvation, to wield the sword of the Spirit with a surgeon’s precision, and praying always with all perseverance for all the saints in the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

There is no greater song to proclaim  to a sin sick world than the saving grace of Jesus Christ, yet many Christian musicians feel content to sing about the chaff of this world. Many Christian musicians have been lead to believe that they should not use their talents to proclaim the gospel in secular venues because this would only offend some of their audience. Even though the purpose of Christian music was never meant to evangelize the lost; what an opportunity we have to share our faith with those who may never step inside of a church building! We shouldn’t negotiate the time and place to share the gospel (2 Tim 4:1-2) no matter what kind of capital is at stake–and that really is the issue here. We are to be in the world but not of it. And this is our greatest challenge. We are called to be salt and light in the world and be faithful witnesses of God’s mercy, love, and grace to the lost and dying. (Matthew 5:13-16) Yes, we should cultivate personal relationships with unbelievers, love our neighbor and our enemy; but let’s be careful not to be a friend of the world and thus make ourselves an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

I believe it is time for us fall on our faces before our Holy God, repent of our sin and return to our First Love! With lives enveloped in His grace, let us provoke one another to love and good works. With undivided hearts may we leave the ‘prodigal pigpen’ of the world and return to the safety of the Father’s love. Let us commit to prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord’s will with a broken, contrite and obedient heart. Let us be students of His Word being filled daily with His Spirit. Let us come away from an industry that has all but abandoned Christ; and by God’s grace, show the world (and the Church) what it really means to be… a ministry. Doing His work; His way; according to His Word; by His Holy Spirit.

It is time to be pounding on Wittenberg’s Door again! I pray that we come together to make history- to make Christian Music…truly Christian again.

What Scripture says:

  • We must purpose to keep personal relationships more important than business deals; family more valuable than ministry; and faith more precious than money. The struggle is maintaining an eternal perspective in these situations. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:1-5; 1 Peter 3:7-11; Romans 12:1-2)
  • All our works, both musical and written, must produce a high view of God with our chief aim being to glorify God. (Psalm 29:1-2; Jeremiah 9:23-24)
  • We must refuse to make money a prerequisite for ministry. (Matthew 10:8; 1 Timothy 6:5)
  • We must not fail to glorify God publicly. And not just with our lips, but also in our private lives. (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9)
  • God cannot be glorified where sin openly entertained. (Psalm 5:4)
  • We fail to glorify God when we strut our accomplishments on a stage thinking our own hand has provided for us and our own hand has promoted us. (Job 41:34; Daniel 4:28-37; James 4:6)
  • We must glorify God rather than praise the messenger through awards and accolades.  (Isaiah 42:8; Psalm 115:1)
  • We must strive to please God rather than to please men. (Galatians 10: 1-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
  • We fail to glorify God when we speak and sing of the things of the world, but fail to proclaim the Gospel. (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8;)
  • Take a step of faith. Come away from the current music industry model and begin to build an authentic Christian Music Ministry again. (Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38)

An important message in closing

One of my blog followers reminded me the other day that my worth does not reside in my relationship status or how many twitter followers I may or may not have. No amount of friends or fans or how many books I may or may not sell will be factored into my worth. My worth has been sealed, secured and already delivered.

The fact is that without Christ I have no future. Whatever satisfaction may be found in gloating and arrogant pride ceases to serve a purpose when I leave this life. What have I left behind? What is my worth now? Gratefully, since my worth has been securely fastened in the arms of Christ, my relationship with him, at my death, only grows stronger.

If you know the Lord, then stop valuing yourself with outward things and understand that no matter what happens in the end, if the creator of heaven and earth has valued you. Well, that speaks for itself.

Keith Green was a man known for his uncompromising Christian stance. He gave his life to Jesus in 1975 and was “sold out” for the Lord right from the very start. Keith’s energy and passion for reaching people through music and ministry was unprecedented, and lives around the world are still being changed through his ministry. On July 28, 1982, at the age of 28, Keith and two of his young children were killed in a small plane crash. Although Keith had a very well-known ministry he considered himself first and foremost a servant of Jesus. He often said that when he died, he only wanted to be remembered as having been worthy to bear the name “Christian”.

Run to the Battle by Steve Camp

True Believers byPhil Keaggy

 

“Let’s just agree to disagree,” is a phrase I loathe. Maybe because I feel like it’s a cop-out and I’d rather calmly discuss the facts until we find out the truth.  And I feel like respectfully disagreeing is a more logical thing to do.

I like to be right. So do you. I mean who really enjoys being wrong? In a world with so many of us believing we are right we are bound to have disagreements. (This is especially true for people of faith) Imagine how many church splits could be avoided by simply learning how to respectfully disagree.

I have been involved in online discussions in the past where debating is usually respectful. But occasionally, someone will enter the discussion that lacks respect for those with opposing views. They use broad generalizations to personally attack those they consider to be their opponents, sometimes accusing them of being a fool or delusional. Over the years I’ve grown to be suspicious of too-neatly constructed arguments from debaters who have no desire to edify the church but only to build up themselves with an air of self-importance that accompanies pronouncements on how wrong the church is.

I believe we can disagree with someone while making them feel respected at the same time by practicing these simple rules:

Honor all people

We know the Bible says to honor all people. (1Peter 2:17) Just like love, it’s easier to honor those who honor us. But God has called us to love and honor even those who don’t deserve it. If we disrespect and make fun of people we disagree with, then we are not being honorable. I don’t know about you, but sarcasm seems to be my choice weapon when I get in a heated argument. I can do it in a funny way so it doesn’t seem that bad, but I’ve realized it can be really hurtful and disrespectful so I’m trying to limit my level of sarcasm.

Don’t just hear; Listen!

Remember the children’s game that involved one person whispering a story in someone’s ear and the others repeated what they heard until the last person repeated out loud what was said? When the last person repeated what they heard, most found out that they had missed very important parts of the story or misunderstood what was said. Everyone who took turns storytelling and listening would soon learn that they all had to improve their ability to listen. We should listen with the sole purpose of listening instead of just waiting for our turn to talk. It sounds simple but it’s very effective.

Don’t make it personal.

If you get upset, it can help to remember that you’re mad at the idea or concept, not the person. Avoid putting down the other person’s ideas and beliefs with broad generalizations. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone’s tirade or put-downs, you know how valuable using respectful language can be. So instead of saying, “Christians today are so stupid!” Instead try: “I don’t agree with what some Christians teach, and here’s why.” Resist the temptation to use sarcasm, or make derogatory comments and you’ll have a much better chance of getting your point across.

Stay calm or walk away.

Of course, it’s a huge challenge to stay calm and rational when you feel angry or passionate about something. If the person you’re talking to gets insulting, you may need to politely end the conversation before it gets too heated. (Even if the other person should know better)

Respect goes beyond difficult conversations, of course. Being helpful and considerate toward everyone in our everyday lives helps all of us establish a foundation for those times when we might disagree. Recognize that you’re not the only one interested in truth. This means giving the other person the benefit of the doubt regarding their pursuit of truth. Don’t automatically assume that, because they disagree with you or your theological views, that they are spiritually or intellectually inferior to you. John Wesley once said, “Never assume anyone sins because he disagrees with you.” Remember it’s OK to disagree. Conflict is not a bad thing; it’s just how you go about resolving it.

I’m sorry that I haven’t posted anything for a while. There have been many changes in my life lately that demanded my attention.

We are nearly finished with several remodeling projects in our home that had been needed for some time now. Three contractors and several weeks later our home has been transformed and nearly ready to put on the market.

Yes, we have decided to sell our home so we can try to relocate to another state. (Someplace where there’s no winter)

Another change that has happened recently is that my band Accidental Proffit has officially disbanded. So I’ve been concentrating more on solo gigs. You can still listen and download music that I recorded with Accidental Proffit at my new website HERE.

Another reason that I haven’t been posting lately is because I’ve been busy working on the final editing of my science fiction novel, ‘Experimenting With Humans’. I hope to have the final draft finished and ready for publishing by month’s end. Below is an excerpt from the novel. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Experimenting With Humans (Excerpt) by Jonah Reuben

“Hey buddy! You gettin’ on or what?”

The bus driver’s booming voice made Jacob jerk as if he were shaken from a deep sleep. That same sense of fear came over him again too. Partly due to the fact that the last thing he remembered was hanging up the phone with Charles.

“Uh, yeah, yeah, sure.” Jacob said as he regained his composure just enough to climb the steps of the number 9 bus that he rode every day to work. Although he owned a classic ’69 Camero convertible, he preferred taking the number 9 to work to avoid the hassle with traffic and parking, but mostly because he was forever paranoid that something bad would happen to his precious car. In fact, Jacob rarely took it out of the garage where he made sure it was kept safely tucked away under a cheese cloth lined tarp.

It was a beautiful machine-custom painted two toned candy apple red with a white engine hood, chrome mag wheels, with a custom made grill. He also had the motor mounts fabricated special so he could have a 327 Corvette engine dropped inside. “0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds!” He would brag to anyone who cared to listen. In reality, he only drove it above 75mph one time. And that was only to impress some girl he dated for a while. Lately he only pulled it out of the garage once every couple months or so to wash and wax it on Sunday afternoons when he knew his neighbors were watching.

Jacob made his way to his seat on the bus and stared out the window trying to remember what had transpired in the last hour and a half since he spoke to Charles. As he continued to stare out the window the normal familiar scenes of the 20 minute ride to work suddenly began to change. Buildings on the way began to take on different shapes; as if he was experiencing some drug induced hallucination. He watched in amazement as bank buildings were transformed into high rise hotels and newspaper stands turned into restaurants.

People walking on the street were being transformed as well. Shabbily dressed old men miraculously changed into well groomed gentlemen, black people change into white, white people became oriental. Suddenly he discovered to his amazement that he could also hear the thoughts of the people walking the streets. People’s worries became vocal to him! Some were low cries and moans while others were angry shouts and yet there were some that were melodious songs of joy. Jacob knew that he must either still be dreaming or he was experiencing a total nervous breakdown. He chose to believe the safer of the two and began to repeat quietly to himself, “I’m going to wake up, I’m going to wake up, I’m going to…”

“Hey buddy, you gettin’ on or what?”

“Uh…Yeah, yeah, sure.” Jacob sheepishly replied. “Deja’vu.” He thought to himself, and took a seat near the back of the bus. As the bus drove closer to his stop, Jacob pushed the bell strip above his window to signal the driver.

“See ya tonight buddy.” said the driver and waved to Jacob in the mirror.

“Yeah, see ya. Thanks”

“Where the hell have you been?! It’s been three hours!” Charles yelled as Jacob walked through the door of the video store. Jacob could tell by the way he was looking at him that there was something bothering him more than being left alone to fend for himself in a store full of customers. He was noticeably worried.

“Look Charles,” Jacob began, “I said I was sorry about being late and I promise I’ll try harder to be on time. There’s nothing more I can say. Anyways, I was only a couple hours late. “No one comes in most of the time until after 11:00.”

“Jacob what time do you have?” Charles asked.

Jacob looked down at his watch shocked to realize that it was 2:00 in the afternoon!  Unwilling to admit that he had lost five hours of time Jacob frantically searched the store for another clock… The one above the front counter!…2 o’clock!  The one hanging above the game boy display!…2 o’clock! Jacob’s face grew pale. Then he felt his legs grew numb. He felt an intense throbbing in his head and a high pitched buzzing sound. And then everything went black.

“Jacob…Jacob.”

The voice was soothing, not dissimilar from his mother’s when she was waking him from a nap when he was young. But then without opening his eyes, he noticed the voice changing. It was a man’s voice-still soothing, but different. The name he was addressing to him began to change as well.

“Jacob…Yakob…Yaakov…Yaakov, wake up.”

“Wha…Who…Where am I?” Jacob raised himself quickly from the satin covered bed he found himself in. The man standing by his bedside looked strangely familiar, like someone he knew years ago but couldn’t quite remember his name or when they’d first met. Like seeing your first grade teacher on the street years after you’ve graduated high school.

“Relax, Yaakov, you’re safe for now.” The man reassured him. “You had quite a bad spell, but it appears that you’ll be alright.”

Jacob’s eyes began to adjust to the room and the tall figure began to come into focus. “Who are you, and what am I doing here? …And how did I get here in the first place?”

“Oh, Yaakov, Yaakov, you haven’t changed a bit!” the old man said with a chuckle. “Always with the questions with you!”

“Well yeah, I’ve got a couple thousand questions right now! Like for starters, why do you keep calling me Yaakov? My name is Jacob.”

“That’s the name that your father gave you, but you have always been Yaakov to me.”

Jacob stared intently at the old man, trying hard to remember where he had met him before. He was sure that it must have been when he was younger, maybe in Hebrew School. One of his instructors maybe.

“Do I know you?  Have we met before? You said that you knew my father.  What’s his name and where does he work?”

The man looked at Jacob sternly as if he had just said something terrible to offend him.  “Yaakov, you know full well that your father, may his memory be blessed, passed soon after you were born!”

“Then we have met before!” Jacob said, and it was then that he finally began to notice the brightness of the room, as if someone had just turned on a bright light. It was more than brightness. The room was almost flooded with white. The walls, the floor, even the bed and linens were a remarkably bright white!  As well as the old man’s clothes, and even his hair!

“Who are you…really?” Jacob asked almost afraid to know the answer.

“It’s been a long time Yaakov, but I was still hoping that you would still recognize me.”

“I’m sorry, Jacob began, “You look familiar, but I can’t seem to remember where we met.”

Jacob looked intently at the old man hoping that something in his face would trigger a memory. He studied how he stood; completely erect, without as much as a hint of a slouch. His hair was like a long flowing white crown and his silver beard added a distinguishing quality to his appearance. Jacob noted that he appeared to have a confidence about him that he couldn’t explain but envied. Everything about him was perfect. And his eyes! When he looked in his eyes he saw only compassion and a sense that whoever he was, he meant no harm to him and truly wanted to help him.

“I’m so sorry,” Jacob told the old man in his most sincere voice that he could muster, “I really don’t remember who you are, or what your name is. Please tell me who you are, and how you know me…and my father. How long ago did you know my father? When did you know me?”

For a few moments the old man said nothing. Then he looked lovingly into Jacob’s eyes and said, “Yaakov, my precious Yaakov, I have known your entire family since before you were born. Do you still not know who I am?  I am…”

“1…2…3… Clear!!!

Jacob felt a sharp pressure hit his chest. He gasped for breath as if he’d been held underwater and then suddenly pulled out.

“Okay people we got him back! Let’s get to work!”

 

CD Release Concert!

Only four more days until the release of our latest CD, Living In Babylon!

So if you’re in the Omaha area Saturday, April 28th stop in at Cafe 110 to celebrate the release of our latest CD, ‘Living In Babylon’ with special guest, Kyle Knapp. Admission is a $2.00 donation to benefit the Open Door Mission. We also ask that you bring non-perishable items to be donated to the Sienna/Francis House.

Owner Allan Zeeck recently closed his Benson Grind restaurant but you can be sure that he will continue the same family friendly atmosphere and great food that you’ve come to love. So come out and enjoy some great music and delicious food, while helping out some very important ministries to our community.  Cafe 110 is located at 1299 Farnam St. Suite 110 Omaha, NE.

If you’re unable to attend the concert you can download the MP3 version at:

https://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_558766

 

 

 

 

  My band, Accidental Proffit is releasing our latest CD,    Living In Babylon April 28, 2012.

You can listen to sample tracks at https://www.reverbnation.com/jonahreubenmusic 

You can reserve your copy by filling out our CD Request form at http://www.accidentalproffit.com/Our_Music.html

This album was born out of the desire to see revival come to God’s people. I appreciate everyone who supported us on this project and pray that God will use it to further His kingdom and glorify His name.

Below is a promo video I made to better describe the ministry of Jonah & Accidental Proffit.

Join us at The Coffee Bistro Thursday, Dec. 29th, 2011

 

We hope to see you at The Coffee Bistro in Fremont, Ne. Thursday, Dec. 29th. We’ll be playing songs from the upcoming CD project, “Living In Babylon” as well as some old favorites. Be sure to sample some of the Coffee Bistro’s great beverages and sandwiches while you’re there. Music begins at 7:30 PM

Tonight I’ll be getting the last tracks recorded for the new CD, “Living In Babylon” with the help of some of my talented friends. The song “You Don’t Know Jack” was written with the help of my long time friend and lyricist Tom White. It was recorded with my band mates Paul Koski on lead guitar, Gordon Kruse on bass, and Thomas Hubers on percussion. Below is a rough mix that you can listen to by clicking on the title. Let me know what you think.

You Don’t Know Jack

 

My Music

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Music & Videos
Tags: , , , , ,

Click HERE to listen to my music on Reverbnation

Jonah Reuben
Singer / Songwriter, Preacher, Blogger

For more than 30 years Jonah Reuben has been playing his unique style of Christian music through different venues and organizations. Jonah’s raspy vocals are hard to ignore as he brings his message of uncompromising devotion to God to his audience. He believes that Christian music should be more about ministry than entertaining.

Besides recording and producing music Jonah is also an accomplished writer and has posted several articles online dealing with various subjects such as Christian Living, Church Revival, and being an advocate for the homeless community.

Jonah’s greatest desire is to have the opportunity to bring his message of spiritual renewal and revival to the Church. He believes that God wants a strong, rock-like Church so powerful that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

Jonah is a unique minister of the Gospel who uses contemporary style music, scripture, and life experiences to exhort and build up the Body of Christ. He is available to minister at your church, youth group or special event.