FBFI "Why we are still here"

Jim

You dance well. You know what I mean...

Not really

Mark_Smith wrote:

You dance well. You know what I mean...

Not really

  • If it's a compliment, thank you very much
  • If it's not, I am offended

Jim

Membership. I used that word in the broad general meaning of "people who post here". You took it to mean "pay to be a member". Nice dance away from the point that, compared to years ago, SI is a ghost town.

Mark

Jim broke his neck about 20 years back.  He walks usually with crutches.

Bert Perry wrote:

Bert Perry wrote:

Jim broke his neck about 20 years back.  He walks usually with crutches.

Dance is a "figurative term" for "moves around the topic of discussion to write about what he wants to rather than what he was asked about."

As for walking with crutches, how on earth would I know that and use it as an insult? I have never met the man, or ANYONE at Sharper Iron. Why would I insult him?

Mark, again

 What Andrew is trying to point out to you is that hymnody has changed quite a bit over the centuries.  Real rough draft, but you've got the Gregorian chants of the middle ages, along with popular songs of that day (see Carl Orff, Carmina Burana, also Canterbury Tales hints at this) that sometimes (but not generally) hinted on spiritual topics.  Until the Reformation, laity were prohibited from singing in church, believe it or not.  Then you've got the Reformation hymns of the Lutherans (some of my favorites) paralleled by the Geneva Psalter of the Reformed, then the early age of hymns in the 17th and 18th centuries going into the Wesleyan hymns and those of Watts, then revival songs of the mid-19th century, Victorian hymns (e.g. In the Garden), then 20th century hymns that tend to be in the revivalist bent, but with simplified harmonies.  Long and short of it is that your hymnal has tons of different genre, and your pastor probably has a preference of a subset of one of these.

(writing as a tenor, the best stuff for singing is really from the 16th & 17th centuries, in my not humble enough opinion)

Each major innovation in music incited its own "worship wars" in the way that we've seen with southern Gospel in the 20th century, rap, rock & roll, and CCM.  A lot of the arguments are even about the same, and IMO many derive from the fact that time gets rid of the mediocre tunes.  For example, the Wesley brothers are said to have written thousands of hymns, but even a Wesleyan/Methodist hymnal today has only a couple dozen of them at most.  What would we say today if we saw some of the worst?  Probably about the same thing we do with CCM, IMO.

Also similar through time is the fact that God appears to have used all these styles to bring a lot of people to Him, so even if I don't like, say, Michael W. Smith's "Breathe", God may use that.  

Modern songs I like?  "Cornerstone", "Revelation Song", and such come to mind.  Now the trick, though, with your argument is that if we're going to argue that something is "loosened" or degraded, we have to have criteria on which that evaluation is made.  Perhaps it is incumbent upon you to provide evidence that, say, use of the 12 bar blues in music in church is wrong (again, no guilt by association or personal attacks, please), or that drums are wrong (Psalm 150: 5), or music with a beat is wrong (again, Psalm 150), etc..

To put it gently, I'm not going to be holding my breath waiting for a Biblical, rhetorically sound argument along those lines.  Scripture simply doesn't go there.

It's way off topic but ...

Mark_Smith wrote:

Membership. I used that word in the broad general meaning of "people who post here". You took it to mean "pay to be a member". Nice dance away from the point that, compared to years ago, SI is a ghost town.

It's way off topic and I doubt "provable" but if really interested PM Aaron

I'm not offended

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Jim broke his neck about 20 years back.  He walks usually with crutches.

 

 

Dance is a "figurative term" for "moves around the topic of discussion to write about what he wants to rather than what he was asked about."

As for walking with crutches, how on earth would I know that and use it as an insult? I have never met the man, or ANYONE at Sharper Iron. Why would I insult him?

Almost 30 years ago ... when I was 38

Bert

I never said the Blues Riff was bad. Never. I never said a beat was inherently sinful. All I wrote was what I perceived to be what the writers of the "congruence" articles meant by "congruent". 

I will ask why you want to being the Blues Riff into the church.

I will say, if you stand up on the platform looking like everyone at the CMA awards, or acting like a worldly musician, you have a problem in the church. You see, rather than impacting culture with the new life in Christ, too many are bringing in the culture to the church because that is what they are comfortable with.

I also think it is a grave error to confuse "worship" with "music", and that is what almost the entire evangelical community does. Now, many won't admit it, but it is. Most evangelical church services, especially the ones at the "successful" churches, are 30-45 minutes music. Maybe more. Then the pastor comes out in skinny jeans, and gives a talk on "5 Ways to a Better You". That whole thing is what I have a problem with.

Look, if a church wants to sing some Getty Songs, fine. But the evangelical church is WAY PAST Getty. My main concern is Hillsong, Elevation Church, Bethel Worship, Kari Jobe.

You bring up "Revelation Song". Man, WAKE UP. That is pure Charismatic music. From Christ for the Nations. Maybe you are ok with it. I wasted 15 years with the Charismatics. I wish to God that I could have the time back. But I can't. There is NOTHING that the Charismatic church does that we should be emulating or using.  

Ghost town?

We would concede that SI is a limited number of people, but we might wonder what the relative interaction among those people might be.  Obviously as a non-FBFI member, I can't judge FBFI on that score.  What I can say, though, is that on this forum, we have visits from everyone from KJVO advocates to some evangelical feminists, which just might be a broader spectrum than FBFI enjoys.  

While I don't believe in diversity for its own sake, diverse views can, of course, be a great way of checking our assumptions.  It's the first step towards being able to argue the opposing point coherently and avoid straw men.

The Piano

I've heard that the introduction of the piano to accompany and eventually replace the organ was resisted because the piano was the musical instrument associated with bars and brothels. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Mark_Smith wrote:

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Andrew K wrote:

 

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

To me, the entire issue with "convergents" is about 2 things. First, if you want to loosen your music standards from traditional worship, and you start from the BJU/Maranatha/etc position, you will start singing Getty and Sovereign Grace songs. Maybe you will stop there. Maybe not.

 

 

Take out your church's hymnal sometime and look at the dates of composition on a handful of the pietistic, revival songs. Most of those songs were considered a "loosening" of the traditional worship standards long before the Gettys. In many cases deservedly so, might I add.

 

 

Can you do me a favor? Can you list 5 songs that you love to use in worship at church right now? 

Would it suffice if I provided you with my hymnal? ;) 

https://www.opc.org/hymn.html?list_type=alpha

Hillsong

Mark_Smith wrote:

at church? If you don't Bert or Ron, why not?

Mark...how I wish Hillsong was as taboo as you think it might be.  I think that ship has sailed, too....

Why not Hillsong?

Well, a little bit off topic, I guess, but as I've noted elsewhere, I believe that music in the church exists to communicate the Word of God to the people of God in lyric form and prepare them to meet with Him.  So reasons to exclude music would be that it's flat out un-Biblical (especially contra-Biblical), that it's not in decent lyric/poetic form, or that the music chosen simply doesn't work with the lyrics.  In congregational singing, it ought to be singable by an individual of ordinary singing ability so the tune, and the Biblical message, can be put into hearts and minds.

So if and when Hillsong's music violates these principles, or other Biblical principles, then we'd want to shy away from it.  I don't know Hillsong well enough to comment, though.  I would tend to exclude "Breathe", though, simply because it says nothing distinctly Biblical about God.  Among other things, it's a waste of time.

Put more broadly, the demise of a fundamental standard for music (or any other topic) does not mean that there is no standard.  It can mean, optimistically, that there's a possibility we're adopting a Biblical standard where one was not being used before.

On selecting worship music

 

My church makes use of both traditional music and contemporary music in our services.  Our music pastor has a list of criteria when selecting songs that we will use.  (No, it's not "Does it have a good beat and is it really popular?")   I couldn't list all of his criteria offhand, but I know it includes these things (not verbatim):

  • Is the song doctrinally sound?  Does it convey Biblical truth?  Is there doctrinal error in it?
  • Is it vague about to whom the song refers?  Is it about, or addressed to, the triune God of the Bible?  (Or could it be referring to some generic, unnamed "deity"?)
  • Is it a "Jesus is my boyfriend" song?  (NOT gonna happen at my church.....) 

Not all CCM passes his test, by any means.  But then, not all traditional hymnody does either.

Proof!

This thread has proven Mark Ward's comments in his Frontline article. This is why fundamentalism hasn't produced a large body of more relevant work. We're busy with "other" things.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Exactly Tyler

1 Corinthians 15:1-3, FAV (Fundamentalist Authorized Version)

1 Cor 15
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all [NOTE: meaning first in importance] that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that music with an offbeat is satanic, and that you should wear suit and tie to church, and that Jesus turned the water into grape juice, and ...[list greatly abbreviated for sake of time]..., and that we must separate from those who believe otherwise on any of these issues.

That's why I have zero interest in what is generally considered to be fundamentalism. ZERO.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

You bring up "Revelation Song

You bring up "Revelation Song". Man, WAKE UP. That is pure Charismatic music. From Christ for the Nations. Maybe you are ok with it. I wasted 15 years with the Charismatics. I wish to God that I could have the time back. But I can't. There is NOTHING that the Charismatic church does that we should be emulating or using.  

So would you recommend that Christians should stop singing "Like a River Glorious" and "Take my Life and Let it Be" because it was written by someone immersed too deeply in Keswick theology? I think not.   The "guilt-by-association fallacy should not be a criteria of what songs we or we should not sing.  The lyrics of the Revelation Song are biblical. That should be enough.  Or else I'd have to let go of my love of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" because of some of my differences I have with Martin Luther's theology or even his anti-Jewish rants where he advocates burning down their synagogues, their houses, and confiscating their property.   By the way, I first heard the Revelation song used by a Black Baptist Gospel Choir, and so my associations were not even on the radar that it came from a Charismatic group like Christ for the Nations.    

 

I don't sing the songs you

I don't sing the songs you posted BECAUSE they are expressing Keswick theology. No one can limit their hymns to only those with agreeable theology. There is nothing left.
This is the part about the anti-CCM (I don't use it or listen to it for other reasons) folks that I never get. Don't they realize that their hymnal has the same errors?

Mark

Have no fear. I'm not offended! Smile

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Just out of curiosity

The Mark Ward who helped write the forward/preface; is that Mark Ward Sr. or his son, Mark Ward, Jr.?  Both have doctoral degrees, so I'm not sure which Ward is which. Nevermind, it was specified at the bottom of the page.

As for 'influential' FBFI members - I would imagine that if you cross reference the list of FBFI members with the leadership of BJU or DBTS, you'd seen a lot of the same names.  The FBFI promoted itself heavily while I was a student at NBBC/NIU, but obviously that isn't happening anymore.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Did I See Greg Long Hit A Line Drive Over The Right Field Wall

Wow Greg now that's what I call a strong positive logical statement in addition to all the ones Bert already made. We went from the FBFI to music. No one commented about my statement but that's alright.  

Being the outsider on SI there is certain people who certainly do more than their fair share of home runs with Bert leading the pack on most occasions.  Mark sneaks a few in their once in a while.  Jim's a utility player who plays almost any position and is a consistent hitter.  

Now back to the FBFI. A magazine subscription is all it is.  This group who are members or subscribers in my opinion are the close to the far right of Fundementalism.  They consider themselves the vanguard of truth and every one else a step below or convergents.  So if the above is true who would want to join them.  As previously said you can always get a copy of their magazine.  

As Jim said only the well run Bible schools and institutions are going to survive. Maranatha being one sounds like and possibly faith filling a niche left by the demise of others.  I don't know how that West Virginia Bible College is fairing but my guess is good due to it's history and uniqueness.  Oh well take care all. 

Why the blues

Mark asked a great question about why I'd want to bring a blues riff into the church; the simple answer is that the blues are simply a secularized phrasing of black Gospel music, which is the music which communicated God's word to God's people through slavery, Jim Crow, poverty....when you talk with a black pastor, even one with some "issues", you will likely be amazed at how much Scripture they have memorized and ready to use.  It's almost like muscle memory, really.  Put simply, the blues WORKS in communicating God's Word to God's people.  Can I have an Amen? 

Plus, if we think that our black brothers and sisters don't notice when our rules for music are effectively "music of white protestants prior to Elvis is OK, everything else not so much", we're kidding ourselves.  Along with divesting ourselves of guilt by association arguments and other genetic fallacies, bringing other peoples' music into our churches is a way of saying that we are open for business, and not just among the fishbelly white.

To be blunt, one of the major problems I've got with most CCM is that they don't use the blues enough, but rather water it down a la Muzak.  

Quote

Nevertheless, the “Convergence” issue was understandably troubling to Mark’s generation of fundamentalists. Similarly, this issue could be troubling to my generation. Already, I have received an appeal to cancel any plans to allow Mark to edit an issue of FrontLine and even to shut down his regular column. But Mark’s response to “Convergence” was exemplary. It was biblical. Rather than join those in his generation who took to the Internet in umbrage to declare (in essence), “They have no right to say these things about us!,” he called me and asked for clarity. 

Sigh...

When you publish a magazine - an entire issue - about the compromising 'convergents' in our midst, you have moved beyond private discussion and into the 'marketplace of ideas', even if it is behind a paywall or is subscription only.  It's not only normal for that debate to happen, it should be expected.  

We talk about being Bereans in our willingness to search the Scriptures, but when someone raises a contrary opinion or questions what we are told, we're just supposed to accept whatever is said without questioning it?  Particularly when so many of us explicitly stated on SharperIron that we didn't know who they were aiming at or what this was all about?

I've probably been the biggest FBFI critic on this website, and I know that FBFI members have been offended by what I've said. It's not because Aaron went looking for someone to 'throw bombs', and it's not because I particularly enjoy it.  It's because this is a place for discussion/debate, and if the FBFI puts something out there that is that controversial, then they should have expected controversy.

I have said this in the past, and I'll say it again - if people like myself (as the resident FBFI bomb-thrower) truly didn't care about the FBFI, we wouldn't repeatedly talk about them.  We'd just ignore the FBFI to death, as Greg Long noted.  Some of us still care enough to push the FBFI for what we see as a better direction.  That doesn't mean that we're outraged or 'out to get you'.  It just means that we disagree, and that's good and healthy.  

And in my opinion, shutting Mark Ward Jr. out of future involvement is sending exactly the wrong message to the people that the FBFI is supposedly very concerned about retaining (the 'young' members).

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

I don't get it Jay

Jay wrote:

And in my opinion, shutting Mark Ward Jr. out of future involvement is sending exactly the wrong message to the people that the FBFI is supposedly very concerned about retaining (the 'young' members).

When Mark is the coordinater of this issue, writes a monthly column for the magazine, and is heavily involved with the FBFI in many ways that aren't noticed in the public eye, how, exactly, is that shutting Mark out? Or any of the other young voices writing in this issue?

I think you are simply believing your own narrative, which is not reality.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Another Sigh

I could be believing my own narrative, I suppose.

Or I could actually be referring to what Dr. Vaughn said in his opening remarks:

Already, I have received an appeal to cancel any plans to allow Mark to edit an issue of FrontLine and even to shut down his regular column.

I report, you decide.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

And the response

disproves your narrative. Of course there are differences of opinion. Check this or any thread here, if you aren't sure!

What counts are actions. The leadership in the FBFI value what Mark brings to the table. That's why he's there. He's not being shut out.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Last sigh

Don,

I'm really not sure what you're getting at.  

Dr. Ward is involved Frontline.  Someone (and I don't care who) responded privately to Dr. Vaughn and suggested that Ward be blocked from writing his usual column and cancel any plans to include him in editing the magazine as a result of what he wrote. Given what I know of the FBFI and it's members, I'm fairly sure that it isn't a one-off. That situation is ludicrous.

I agree with you that Ward's not currently being shut out.  My point is someone going directly to the FBFI president to ask (demand?) that Ward should no longer be permitted to participate in the Frontline process as a result of his article (or whatever) is a problem.  It suggests, as several people have done over multiple years at SharperIron, that the FBFI is nothing more than an echo chamber for the already convinced. That, combined with the responses of many here, give massive clues as to why the FBFI membership has largely collapsed, if someone is willing to pay attention to that problem.

Please don't waste our time by having Dr. Vaughn tell us about how much he values the perspective of other young fundamentalists and then have these ridiculous back-channel discussions to block them from airing that perspective in your communications when we/they say things you don't like.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

?s for Don

I am not trying to bash the FBFI. 

  • Can a 5 pt Calvinist be a FBFI member? (I presume yes because I think Riley is one)
  • Could a 5 pt Calvinist FBFI member be published in your mag?

Thanks

 

If Riley is one

then your question is answered, he wrote an article in this issue and he has been published there before. I have featured him at least twice on P&D that I can recall off the top of my head. I only wish he wrote more, I'd love to have him regularly. 

For the record, I'd describe myself as a one-point Calvinist (at best). But I value the work of good brethren like Mike Riley and am glad to promote their work.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jay , keep up the sighs

they make you sound ridiculous. So now we have "back channel" conversations! Ooh, sounds conspiratorial. How sinister!

the reality is that it is a free country AND that Dr Vaughn mentioned it to show that on the contrary, Mark is well respected and much appreciated.

but carry on with your conspiracy theories and by all means keep on sighing. Seems like a reasoned theological response

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

On the response to Mark Ward

Jay brings out something very important here; the demand that Mark Ward be removed as an FBFI writer, and for that matter what appears to be the deletion of Mark's comments about how FBFI and its allies are becoming ghettoized, really means a lot here.  Correction and apology; I was looking in the wrong place.  The comments on FBFI becoming ghettoized are still on the link from the other thread.  My apologies for this mistake!

If you tell me, for example, that "likely convergents" like myself are violating the first fundamental (inerrancy of Scripture) because I'm not against putting a blues beat into music in the church (and would in fact recommend more of it), I will listen to your argument and respond to it. If there are errors of basic informal logic, you will hear about that, possibly ad nauseum.  I will evaluate your claims of fact, your syllogisms, and respond to them as best I know Biblically.

Notice; that is not what happened here.  It's time for something like that to start--or else Mark's warning about "Front Line" being a wishful thought will seem positively optimistic in retrospect.   Sometimes reality--like an overdrawn bank account--hurts, but denying that reality doubles down on the consequences. 

Done sighing

I think that Don and I are at an impasse, so I will be moving on from that point. 

I also wanted to reiterate the warning in Bert's previous post:

​"Sometimes reality--like an overdrawn bank account--hurts, but denying that reality doubles down on the consequences."

I've been hoping that reality will settle in, but had concluded that it wasn't going to.  Now that there's a special issue of Frontline for some of our younger Fundamentalists to speak and say things that ought to be said, I'm much more hopeful.  I'm actually interested in subscribing again, for starters.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

On Christians singing the "blues":

 

Bert Perry wrote:

...one of the major problems I've got with most CCM is that they don't use the blues enough... 

Who here hasn't sung this refrain?:

"At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!"

Mark Ward, staking out a traditional-music only position in his FrontLine  article [ http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2017/04/18/why-im-still-here/ ] said, "“Give ’em Watts.”  O.K. as most everybody reading this probably knows, the refrain above is from Isaac Watts' beloved hymn, At the Cross.  The problem is that its last line simply isn't true.

Christians, are you honestly "happy all the day!"?  I'm not.  Problems, pressures, distractions beyond my (apparent) control can get to me, wear on me, discourage me.  Yes, at the bottom of it all, I know God is in control.  Knowing that doesn't eliminate the perceptions, the pain, the hurts that accompany problems though.   Watts' refrain simply doesn't reflect reality.

Or who here didn't sing this as a kid?:

"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)"

Once again, there is an inherent dishonesty to the lyrics.

Christians will face trials: (James 1:2-4 ESV), (1 Peter 5:10 ESV), (2 Cor. 4:8-9 ESV).  Even Jesus faced despair: in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-42 ESV), and on the Cross (Matt. 27:46 ESV). 

--------------------------------------------

Personally, I think that many CCM songs better face reality in this regard than many older hymns. 

Take these lyrics:

"I’m so confused
I know I heard You loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of Your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know You’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know You think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all Your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that You’re God
And I am not..."

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hillaryscott/thywill.html 

There's a raw honesty in those lyrics that "And now I am happy all the day!"  just doesn't fathom.

Or take these lyrics:

"I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/castingcrowns/praiseyouinthisstorm.html 

I've actually heard this song sung as a solo in an IFB church funeral, where it was well received (and greatly appreciated) by the mourners.

Or take these lyrics:

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/laurastory/blessings.html 

There's an authenticity in them that doesn't involve putting on a smiley-face false front.

--------------------------------------------

My point is that singing the "blues" may be exactly what Christians should be doing more often, instead of attempting to superficially gloss over our trials.

Larry Nelson wrote:

Larry Nelson wrote:

 

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

...one of the major problems I've got with most CCM is that they don't use the blues enough... 

 

 

Who here hasn't sung this refrain?:

"At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!"

Mark Ward, staking out a traditional-music only position in his FrontLine  article [ http://www.proclaimanddefend.org/2017/04/18/why-im-still-here/ ] said, "“Give ’em Watts.”  O.K. as most everybody reading this probably knows, the refrain above is from Isaac Watts' beloved hymn, At the Cross.  The problem is that its last line simply isn't true.

Christians, are you honestly "happy all the day!"?  I'm not.  Problems, pressures, distractions beyond my (apparent) control can get to me, wear on me, discourage me.  Yes, at the bottom of it all, I know God is in control.  Knowing that doesn't eliminate the perceptions, the pain, the hurts that accompany problems though.   Watts' refrain simply doesn't reflect reality.

Or who here didn't sing this as a kid?:

"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)"

Once again, there is an inherent dishonesty to the lyrics.

Christians will face trials: (James 1:2-4 ESV), (1 Peter 5:10 ESV), (2 Cor. 4:8-9 ESV).  Even Jesus faced despair: in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-42 ESV), and on the Cross (Matt. 27:46 ESV). 

--------------------------------------------

Personally, I think that many CCM songs better face reality in this regard than many older hymns. 

Take these lyrics:

"I’m so confused
I know I heard You loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of Your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know You’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know You think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all Your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that You’re God
And I am not..."

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hillaryscott/thywill.html 

There's a raw honesty in those lyrics that "And now I am happy all the day!"  just doesn't fathom.

Or take these lyrics:

"I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/castingcrowns/praiseyouinthisstorm.html 

I've actually heard this song sung as a solo in an IFB church funeral, where it was well received (and greatly appreciated) by the mourners.

Or take these lyrics:

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise"

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/laurastory/blessings.html 

There's an authenticity in them that doesn't involve putting on a smiley-face false front.

--------------------------------------------

My point is that singing the "blues" may be exactly what Christians should be doing more often, instead of attempting to superficially gloss over our trials.

Fully agree, Larry. But in Watts' defense, I don't believe that refrain is original to him; pretty sure it was added to transform his hymn into a peppy and rollicking "gospel song," which is where those refrains come from. Hymns traditionally didn't have repeated choruses like those.

A quibble....

First, agreed that Watts is not responsible for "Happy all the day"--I think it was borrowed from the Awana Cubbies song, which uses similar verbiage.  (j/k)  

But my quibble is simply that we ought to differentiate between "the blues" as meaning music with some sad themes, and blues as in using the stylistic and instrumental characteristic of black gospel and delta blues.  My take is that church music ought to have the former when appropriate, and the latter more often.  

Somehow . . .

It is a rule. Somehow, through some bizarre combination of circumstances, a discussion about Baptist fundamentalism will always turn to music. Smile  

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

That, or rhymes with that

Well, it can turn to music--say the blues--or it can go to something that rhymes with "blues".  No?

Seriously, there is something interesting and good that happened here.  Usually when music is discussed, there are a lot more challenges like Mark's "why would you want to bring a blues riff into the church", and sometimes others have been cagey about answering that.  This time, the challenges were made a smaller portion of the time, and the responses have been direct and emphatic, citing lyrics and all.

Unless (as could be the case) it's just a case of one side being seen as shouting down the other (I at least try to avoid that), the discussion may be moving to something more substantive than the usual "guilt by association" arguments and the like.

Music Alcohol and Dress

Tyler you forgot the other two.  Might as well throw them in.  You know the answer Tyler when you ask the bad guy what he did with the money and he tells you wine women and song.  Similar  thing when you talk about Fundementalism ie wine, women's skirt length,  and song.  Wow have you guys diverted from the thread but I do agree with Bert on the music.  

Ironic

TylerR wrote:

It is a rule. Somehow, through some bizarre combination of circumstances, a discussion about Baptist fundamentalism will always turn to music. Smile  

Hmm...Ironically, Tyler, you were the first person on this thread to mention music:

"There was only singing - and it was all CCM, and it was shallow. It sounded like low-rent pop from the lesser radio stations with a Jesus gloss."

The tune/refrain of "At the

The tune/refrain of "At the Cross" was written by Ralph E. Hudson. 

 

Isaac Watts wrote "Alas and Did My Savior Bleed." Martyrdom is a far better tune than Hudson.

AndyE

I didn't say I was exempt . . . Sad

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

In defense of ...

AndyE wrote:

 

TylerR wrote:

 

It is a rule. Somehow, through some bizarre combination of circumstances, a discussion about Baptist fundamentalism will always turn to music. Smile  

 

Hmm...Ironically, Tyler, you were the first person on this thread to mention music:

 

"There was only singing - and it was all CCM, and it was shallow. It sounded like low-rent pop from the lesser radio stations with a Jesus gloss."

In defense of there are parallel / overlapping threads - the other one here

http://sharperiron.org/filings/041817/33138

He perhaps conflated / confused the two

 

Conflation

Jim,

Yes, you're right. My fault!  

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Under the circumstances

 

TylerR wrote:

It is a rule. Somehow, through some bizarre combination of circumstances, a discussion about Baptist fundamentalism will always turn to music. Smile  

Mark Ward's article identified "Traditional Worship" as one of four sine qua nons  of fundamentalism.  Once that gauntlet was thrown down, some were bound to take it up. 

 

Fundamentalism should be distinct from worship styles

I've been watching and reading these kinds of discussions for more than ten years now, I think, and I am still absolutely convinced that raising the style of music in worship to a 'fundamental of the faith' or as a prerequisite for 'fundamentalists' is a catastrophic mistake with massive, massive ramifications.  

I've really surprised that so many of my fundamentalist brethren don't see that as a problem and see it as a good thing.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Almost with Jay here

I would rephrase his comment from 10:52 am today as "given the current state of arguments for traditionalist music in church services, I would see any attempt to make it a 'fundamental of the faith' as a catastrophic mistake."

The difference I'm drawing; I want to leave the door open to someone demonstrating to me from Scripture that indeed things like drums and a blues beat ought not find a place in church services.  That said, I've seen precious little in terms of arguments that can't be described as mere "guilt by association." 

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