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McCalep calls praising God weapon of spiritual warfare

RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)–While “Praising the Hell Out of Yourself” is a catchy title for a book, George McCalep wants people to know its roots are in the Bible.

“We want the word to get out that there’s victory in the praise. Praise has been given to us as a weapon in spiritual warfare,” McCalep, pastor of Greenforest Community Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga., told participants in the opening service of Black Church Leadership Week, July 31-Aug. 4 at Ridgecrest (N.C.), a LifeWay Conference Center.

“Praising the Hell Out of Yourself is based on the theological truth that Christ indeed died for the pardon of sin, but the presence of sin is still with us,” McCalep said, citing Psalm 149:6-9. In part, those verses state: “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, … This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the Lord.”

He said the phrase that became the title of his book published by Orman Press came to him as he was preaching.

“I really had not even thought of this and it came right out of the sky into my heart,” McCalep said. “I began developing it from there. The phrase caught on in the church.”

In addition to the book, McCalep has written a drama and the text to a song by the same title. The drama, included in the book’s appendix, was presented by Greenforest’s drama ministry at Ridgecrest.

Emphasizing the importance of praising God, the pastor in the drama tells his congregation, “If you think, you can thank. If you can thank, you can praise. If you can praise, you can worship. If you can’t praise, there is something wrong with your worship.”

In the book, McCalep described “two times to praise and worship God — when you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it. When you don’t feel like it, that’s a type of sacrifice.”

To understand the concept behind the book, he said people must first understand “the very presence of Satan in our lives. Satan is real and he is the prince of the world. … Satan and praise are incompatible. They cannot exist together in the same space.”

Citing the importance of corporate praise in church, McCalep wrote, “When praise enters the church, all the evil spirits will be uncomfortable and will eventually exit. … Praise is the Achilles heel of Satan.”

He warned that Satan’s presence has led to a loss of praising God in many churches.

“The security locks on the doors of the church have been broken and the enemy has come in and stolen our precious, powerful strong gift of praise,” McCalep wrote in the book.

Throughout the book, he cites Bible verses to back up the points he makes and includes questions for interactive study.

“Praise is an individual thing,” McCalep wrote. “It doesn’t matter whether your praise of God appears as a fiery holy dance, the silent shedding of tears and raising of hands, the thunderous shout of ‘Hallelujah,’ or the humble bowing of the knee. God will receive them all.”

More than 1,400 people attended Black Church Leadership Week sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention in cooperation with the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, Woman’s Missionary Union and Annuity Board.

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  • Linda Lawson