German states ban singing & another Protestant singer admits to being an atheist

The Hymnal of the Continuing Church of God Consists Mainly of Psalms and Biblical Passages Set to Music


The government of Germany has banned singing:

Germany clamps down on SINGING over coronavirus fears: Choirs are silenced and hymns banned at church services after warnings that it spreads infectious droplets

27 May 2020

German authorities are warning against singing and several states have banned it from church services over fears it spreads the coronavirus.

The ‘increased production of potentially infectious droplets’ involved in singing means that choirs are facing a longer shutdown even as shops and restaurants re-open, the government says.

Lothar Wieler, the head of Germany‘s RKI diseases institute, says the droplets can ‘fly particularly far’ when singing.

In one case, at least 40 people were infected at a church service in Frankfurt where the congregation had been singing and not wearing masks.   …

In recommendations for the resumption of church services, the federal government stated that singing should be avoided ‘because of the increased production of potentially infectious droplets, which can be spread over greater distances’.

Several states have heeded the advice and banned singing from services.

The Bible teaches that Christians should sing. For example, the Apostle Paul noted:

26 Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Anyway, as a scientist, I believe that some modifications could be made to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection from singing, but it appears that some German states do not wish to provide options, so they have banned singing. Banning singing is certainly a change to the world as we have known it (watch also COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI?).

As far as singing goes, having attended both Roman Catholic and Protestant church services while growing up, one of the things I noticed that was different about the true Church of God was the type of hymns that were sung.

While Catholics and Protestants tended to sing songs that had religious messages, the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) mainly sung hymns which were extracted from the Psalms in the Bible. Most of those of us in groups with ties to the old WCG still do.

And while we have been criticized for that (see Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing?), the fact is that the practice of the Churches of God appear to be the same as those of the earliest professors of Christ.

The Book of James teaches:

13 Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (James 5:13).

The noted historian K.S. Latourette observed:

From a very early date, perhaps from the beginning, Christians employed in their services the psalms found in the Jewish Scriptures, the Christian Old Testament. Since the first Christians were predominantly Greek-speaking, these psalms were in a Greek translation. We hear of at least one form of service in which, after the reading from the Old Testament, the “hymns of David” were sung…Until the end of the fourth century, in the services of the Catholic Church only the Old Testament Psalms and the hymns or canticles from the New Testament were sung…Gradually there were prepared versical paraphrases (Latourette K.S. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500. Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1975, pp. 206,207).

Because of fears of gnostic influence, Christians did not add outside poetic phrases or non-biblical lyrics until well after the second century (Ibid).

Another singing item was in the news:

Jonathan Steingard, Christian singer, reveals he no longer believes in God

May 27, 2020

Jonathan Steingard, frontman for the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, has gone public with some personal news.

“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life – I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” he wrote in his statement. “The last few words of that sentence were hard to write. I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically – but it wouldn’t be as true.”

To his surprise, Steingard said, he found that his unbelief was shared by others who also had grown up in church, but who — like him — feared “losing everything if they’re open about it.” Steingard said he felt like the timing was right to share given that his band is currently sidelined because of the pandemic.

It is illogical not to believe in God. Jonathan Steingard and many of his associates should read and/or watch the following:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?

Obviously Jonathan Steingard was not really a Christian. He acted like he was some type of Protestant, but has now renounced that faith. For more on Protestantism, check out the free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism.

Last year, a Protestant singer named Marty Sampson associated with the Hillsong church also said he had just lost his religion. He was praised by atheists.

His announcement comes after a well-known Protestant dating-marriage author, Joshua Harris, renounced his beliefs, announced he was getting divorced, and offered apologies to the LGBTQ crowd.

Neither of these men had the biblical faith. And now, both have also moved away from Protestantism.

Here is some information related to Joshua Harris:

A former pastor who stunned the evangelical movement last month by announcing he was “falling away” from Christianity and recanting his teachings on sexuality marched in the Vancouver Pride Parade over the weekend. … on July 26, Harris posted on Instagram that he had undergone “a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus.”

“The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away,” he added. “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”

In the same post, he specifically apologized for his previous opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

“To the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣” 08/08/19

The Bible not only strongly condemns that LGBTQ agenda, and states that those who remain part of it will not be in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), it also says it is wrong to approve people being part of such sexually immoral lifestyles (Romans 1:18-32). This was also clearly taught by second century Christian leaders such as Polycarp of Smyrna and Melito of Sardis. Apparently Joshua Harris now considers biblical morality and early Christianity a form of bigotry. He needs to be asking God, not the LGBTQ crowd, for forgiveness.

Here is some information related to Marty Sampson:

‘I’m Genuinely Losing My Faith’: Hillsong Worship Leader Rejects Christian Beliefs

August 13, 2019

Marty Sampson, a worship music writer, singer, and active member of Hillsong has publicly denounced his faith on social media.

His announcement comes just weeks after well-known Christian author Joshua Harris announced his departure from Christianity, both sharing their news over Instagram.

The following is a transcript of the post from Relevant Magazine:

Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.

This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.

I am not in any more. I want genuine truth. Not the “I just believe it” kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion. …

All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t.

Let’s deal with several issues related to him and what he brought up.

First of all, I have warned about Hillsong and its ecumenical-interfaith agenda. Essentially according to it all religions are about the same. So, it is no great surprise that in the mind of people like Marty Sampson, his perception is that his type of Christianity was just another of the world’s religions.

Before going further, let me mention that the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon related to Hillsong its ContinuingCOG channel:


Musical instruments were mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Music is present all over in the 21st century. How does music affect the mind and body? Is it okay to listen to music? Should lyrics matter? Are there biblical principles to consider related to music? Can Christians listen to secular music? Is harp music always good? Is “Contemporary Christian Music” biblically appropriate? Has money overly influenced the “Christian music industry”? What is the Pentecostal ‘latter rain’? What about songs about heaven? Do groups like Hillsong promote the gospel of the kingdom or a false gospel message? Has there been an ongoing attempt to promote an ecumenical message in what has been called “gospel” or “Christian” music? How can you tell a real Christian from a false one? What type of songs did early Christians sing? Did the old Worldwide Church of God fall because of its 1974 hymnal? Are psalms and songs in “The Bible Hymnal” of the Continuing Church of God consistent with the practices of original Christians? Dr. Thiel addresses these and more!

Here is a link to the sermon: Music, Hillsong, and the False Gospel.

Now, let’s deal with his other points.

Do ministers fail?


And this was prophesied:

2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:2)

34 “Wail, shepherds, and cry!
Roll about in the ashes,
You leaders of the flock!
For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled;
You shall fall like a precious vessel.  (Jeremiah 25:34)

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:1-4)

Jesus, Himself, condemned the religious leaders of His day as “Hypocrites” (Matthew 15:7, 23:13-15), so having false pastors now should not be a surprise.

The Apostle Paul also warned about them:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If he would have practiced the true biblical faith, Marty Sampson should have understood that.

To his other point, how many miracles happen?

As many as God feels are needed for His plan–and sometimes what we consider to be miracles are rare (cf. 1 Samuel 3:1).

In addition to miraculous healings, the Bible shows God also sometimes intervenes with prophetic dreams (Numbers 12:6; watch also Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule)–which were prophesied for the last days (Acts 2:17-18, watch 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit). And we in the Continuing Church of God do talk about them (for details see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? and Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).

Now as to his point about contradictions, no, the original biblical text had no contradictions–but various translations do. Yet, much in the Bible does contradict what passes for ‘Christianity’ in the 21st century. Sadly, Marty Sampson seems to have been influenced by theologians that do not accept the original Christian faith.

Let’s take another look at something Marty Sampson wrote:

How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.

Actually, that is NOT His plan, but a distortion that many Protestants, starting with Martin Luther and John Calvin had. The biblical “God is love” (1 John 4:8-16) and unlike the Protestant deity:

20 Our God is the God of salvation (Psalms 68:20).

As to his claim no one talks about it, the reality is that this summer, we have put out eight sermons as well as promoting the reading of a new book that deals with the errors in misunderstanding God’s plan, for those not called to be true Christian believers in this age:

Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.

As far as genuine truth goes, sadly Marty Sampson and Joshua Harris have not understood it. Jesus said:

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-14a).

7… the word of truth, (2 Corinthians 6:7)

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; (Ephesians 1:13)

5 the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, (Colossians 1:5)

So, whatever God says is the truth.

The Bible also teaches:

18 it is impossible for God to lie, (Hebrews 6:18).

2 God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2)

As far as science goes, to claim modern science is the source of genuine truth is provably wrong.

The Bible also teaches:

4 … Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

The Bible also warns about false science:

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.  (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

Yes, many falsely cling to what is falsely called science.

And that is the opinion of many in the scientific community:

June 1, 2015

Those who think science is the measure of all truth might want to check the data first.

Here’s a quote for you: “A lot of what is published [in scientific journals] is incorrect.” Care to guess where those words appeared? Not on a website that questions the “consensus of experts on climate change.” Nor do they appear in a publication associated with intelligent design or other critiques of Neo-Darwinism.

They appeared in the April 11, 2015, issue of the Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal.

The writer, Richard Horton, was quoting a participant at a recent symposium on the “reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research.” Specifically, the symposium discussed one of the “most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.”

And he’s referring to scientific research—the research that not only purports to tell us how the world works, but, increasingly, how people should order their lives and societies.

As Horton told Lancet readers, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

He continues, “In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.”

We recently saw an example of this in a story about a much-publicized study purporting to show that voters were likely to change their minds about same-sex marriage if they were visited by gay pollsters who shared their stories with them.

Researchers seeking to reproduce the findings found discrepancies in the data and asked the original researcher for the original data. The researcher was unable to produce the original data. This led the lead researcher to request that the study be withdrawn. Even supporters of same-sex marriage acknowledged that the study and the conclusions drawn from it were fraudulent.

The actual percentage is probably more than half. A lot more than half.

Similarly, the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, wrote in 2009:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Don’t put your trust in unreliable humans:

8 It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.  (Psalm 118:8-9)

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3)

Yet, people seem to value views of others over the God of the Bible.

Partially because of the ecumenical agenda, it is no great surprise that in the mind of people like Jonathan Steingard and Marty Sampson consider their faith to have been false. Related to some of that, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


In the Summer of 2019, two well known Protestants announced that they had lost their religion. One, Joshua Harris, who was known for his books on dating and marriage, also announced he was getting a divorce and then he endorsed homosexual marriage and other aspects of the LGBTQ agenda. The other, Martin Sampson, who was known for his writings and connections to the Hillsong church, laid out his criticisms of his Protestant faith–he said he wanted genuine truth? Is science or the word of God the source of truth? Were either of these Protestant men “true Christians”? Have they overlooked various proofs? Were there scriptures that they overlooked? If you wish to be a true and faithful Christian, are there instructions in God’s word that if you follow you will never stumble or lose the true religion? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermonette: Losing Religion (and HOW NOT TO!).

Not believing in God is loving and practicing a lie (cf. Revelation 22:15).

As far as people like Jonathan Steingard, Marty Sampson, and Joshua Harris go, they never were practicing the original Christian faith, so whatever religion they lost, it was like one in the world.

Perhaps, in time, if they are disappointed with science, immorality, etc. they will look for the true faith. A religion that Jesus referred to as the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46).

A religion that no one should ever want to lose.

And a religion that does encourage proper singing.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. Several related sermon are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; and How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism? These sermons also cover materials not in the book.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator?and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing? This biblical article on music is in response to an advertisement critical of WCG’s 1974 The Bible Hymnal. It also address early church practices here.
What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ? This overview answers that and explains what the Church of God basically stands for. In the appendices provides information about certain complaints and as well as an overview about many COG-related groups.
COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The Bible Hymnal via Amazon. This is the paperback edition of the hymnal used by the Continuing Church of God. It consists of all the songs that were part of the 1974 edition of ‘The Bible Hymnal’ used by the old Worldwide Church of God, plus ten other hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum. The songs in this book are essentially the Psalms and other passages in the Bible set to music. To access it free online, click: The Bible Hymnal. Amazon sells a hard copy of The Bible Hymnal for $8.99. We also have the Kiswahili version on Amazon: Nakala ya Nyimbo za Biblia.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.

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