We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20

1 Corinthians 10:18-20 provides vital instruction that every believer must heed:

1 Corinthians 10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

To eat in a worship context of what has been sacrificed on an altar to an idol is to be a partaker of the altar. To do so is also to have fellowship with demons!

Such fellowship with demons is not contingent upon a person's having to offer the sacrifices himself. Anyone who eats of such sacrifices comes into fellowship with demons.

The passage also does not provide any basis to say or to hold that this only happens sometimes--in a worship context, anyone who eats what has been sacrificed to an idol has fellowship with demons. God does not want any humans to have fellowship with demons!

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Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I'm just curious. Wouldn't the people living in the land of Canaan have been idolaters who ate things sacrificed to their idols? If your view of demonic influence is accurate, wouldn't the 12 spies sent into the land have seen a bunch of naked, wildly out of control people living in Canaan? Wouldn't the Israelites easily be able to subdue these out of control people?

 

Argument from silence. Are you claiming that what is recorded is an exhaustive record of everything that they saw? No one was able to subdue one demoniac who was wildly out-of-control so think of what thousands of such people could do when they are directed by demons to accomplish their purposes.

Sometimes I have a really hard time following your logic. You tell me that I am arguing from silence, and then you tell me that I should imagine thousands of out-of-control demoniacs raising families and building large fortified cities. After all, the Scriptures don't record for us everything that happened, How is your own position NOT an argument from silence? You can make up practically anything and say that the Scriptures don't tell us everything the spies saw.

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Kevin Miller wrote:

 

There are plenty of incidents in Israel's history in which the nations surrounding them are idolatrous nations, but those nations are able to raise up armies and be organized and NOT be described as wildly out of control.

 

When it suits his purposes, Satan and his demons are able to empower people whom they are controlling such that those people organize themselves very effectively to engage in armed conflict (Rev. 16:14).

So at that point, when Satan is controlling them so that they organize into effective fighting units, they wouldn't look any different from an army that wasn't controlled by Satan, would they? Would there be any outward indications that there was a difference between the godly army and the ungodly army? Make sure you have Scriptural references for these differences, so I know you are not arguing from silence.

 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

How come the first chapters of Daniel do not describe the Israelite youth, apart from Daniel and his three friends, as being wild and out of control. Those other youth all ate the food offered to idols.

 

Argument from silence. There is no explicit mention of things being offered to idols in that account. They may have been, but the text does not say that they were.

Why would Daniel and his friends have refused to eat the meat if it was not meat that had been offered to idols? That fact may not be explicitly mentioned in the text, but I think it is definitely inferred from the text.

 

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Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Consider the Egyptians themselves. Surely they ate the food offered to their idols. How could they even keep the Israelites in bondage if demonic influence causes people to behave wildly out of control?

 

 

Demonically empowered and controlled people are not necessarily wildly out-of-control at all times.

From the way you have previously described it, the condition of demonic influence due to idol-meat-eating seemed inescapable. Does the condition itself come and go, or does Satan directly control the person so that they act normally at certain times?

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Kevin Miller wrote:

 

As you know, I have challenged your idea that "fellowship with demons" results in some inescapable, wildly out-of-control, possibly possessed state. If it were true, such a state would be found consistently in every idolatrous nation that Israel had contact with. We just don't see it.

 

 

You are wrongly suggesting that I have argued that demonic influence of any kind and in any context necessarily and always causes people to behave wildly out-of-control.

No I wasn't arguing that. We were talking about demon control in regards to idol-meat-eating. You the brought up demoniacs and other instances in which demons influenced people, so I thought YOU were the one saying that demon control from idol-meat-eating causes people to act wildly and out of control. 

 

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King Saul was afflicted by a demon that came and went, but Saul still carried out most of his normal activities. Satan entered Judas, but we do not see that Judas became a raving maniac who was wildly out-of-control.

Satan filled Ananias’ heart, but nothing is said about Ananias being in a wild, uncontrolled state.

Were any of these instances caused by idol-meat-eating? If not, then I'm not sure how they apply to our discussion of the GCI and what is produced by people who are influenced by demons in idol-meat-eating situations.

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When it suits their purposes, the devil and his demons can and do make people behave wildly out-of-control.
So it also seems that when it suits their purposes, demons can make people look and act righteous. Wolves in sheep's clothes, so to speak.

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It is indisputable that the idolaters who ate the sacrifices in the GCI were in fellowship with demons and partnering with them. To defile God's people as much as possible, the demons corrupted them in all their activities on that occasion.

If your claim is that their being under demonic influence and in partnership with demons was not responsible for any of their ungodly behavior on that occasion, prove your case.

You are the one making the claim that demonic influence was responsible for their behavior, so you have to make the case. So far you haven't been convincing to me. Even in this post, you've acknowledged that demons don't always make people act wild.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

So at that point, when Satan is controlling them so that they organize into effective fighting units, they wouldn't look any different from an army that wasn't controlled by Satan, would they? Would there be any outward indications that there was a difference between the godly army and the ungodly army? Make sure you have Scriptural references for these differences, so I know you are not arguing from silence.

Scripture does not provide any information to answer your questions so further discussion about any specifics is pointless. The point of my bringing up that passage is that Scripture explicitly states that demons can and will directly control vast hordes of people who will arrange themselves in whatever ways the demons and the people think are needed so that they can be what they believe would be "effective fighting units."

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

From the way you have previously described it, the condition of demonic influence due to idol-meat-eating seemed inescapable. Does the condition itself come and go, or does Satan directly control the person so that they act normally at certain times?

You keep asking for all kinds of specifics about things that the Bible does not provide information about. Whatever God has revealed is what we must base our understanding upon. God has revealed details about the GCI, but He has not revealed such information about any other supposed religious feast of God's people that was defiled by idolatry. Apparently, you think that somehow I must be able to answer whatever questions you want to ask in spite of the Scripture not providing such information. A lot of these questions are pointless to discuss further because God has not revealed to us the information that we need to answer them.

Kevin Miller wrote:

You are the one making the claim that demonic influence was responsible for their behavior, so you have to make the case. So far you haven't been convincing to me. Even in this post, you've acknowledged that demons don't always make people act wild.

Strictly speaking, I do not have to make any case to convince you. My responsibility before God is to set forth as best as I can what I understand Scripture presents. Whether people are convinced or not is not my responsibility.

I have not made any acknowledgement in this post or any other post that demons do not make people act wild when the people are engaged in idolatrous playing in a religious feast after having consumed things that have been offered to an idol. If you have any biblical data to support such an understanding that they do not, you should bring forth that data.

More broadly, for there to be a truly profitable discussion that is focused on actually advancing the understanding of Scripture, providing legitimate explanations for one's own views about what God has actually revealed is the most helpful approach.

RajeshG's picture

To properly consider Level 2 applications (to people before our time who lived after the writing of First Corinthians), we must account for the following Scriptural information about harlots:

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

This revelation teaches us that it was a well-established and well-known reality (at least by the time of Isaiah) that there were harlots who were ungodly skilled musicians.

Additional revelation about harlots shows us that consorting with religious harlots in worship was an ungodly practice that God explicitly has directed our attention to:

Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.

This statement by Hosea attests to the reality of temple or cultic prostitutes with whom ungodly people were worshiping in his time, as reflected in many modern versions of Scripture:

NAU Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.

NET Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery. For the men consort with harlots, they sacrifice with temple prostitutes. It is true: "A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!"

NKJ Hosea 4:14 "I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, Nor your brides when they commit adultery; For the men themselves go apart with harlots, And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot. Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

CSB Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they act promiscuously or your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, for the men themselves go off with prostitutes and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes. People without discernment are doomed.

ESV Hosea 4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the whore, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go aside with prostitutes and sacrifice with cult prostitutes, and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.

NIV Hosea 4:14 "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes-- a people without understanding will come to ruin!

NLT Hosea 4:14 But why should I punish them for their prostitution and adultery? For your men are doing the same thing, sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes. O foolish people! You refuse to understand, so you will be destroyed.

In fact, reliable information apparently justifies modern Bible translators' rendering earlier biblical revelation so that it speaks of the existence of temple prostitutes all the way back in the time of Judah:

NAU Genesis 38:22 So he returned to Judah, and said, "I did not find her; and furthermore, the men of the place said, 'There has been no temple prostitute here.'"

NET Genesis 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, "I couldn't find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, 'There has been no cult prostitute here.'"

NKJ Genesis 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, "I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place."

CSB Genesis 38:22 So the Adullamite returned to Judah, saying, "I couldn't find her, and furthermore, the men of the place said, 'There has been no cult prostitute here.'"

ESV Genesis 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, "I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, 'No cult prostitute has been here.'"

NIV Genesis 38:22 So he went back to Judah and said, "I didn't find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, 'There hasn't been any shrine prostitute here.'"

NLT Genesis 38:22 So Hirah returned to Judah and told him, "I couldn't find her anywhere, and the men of the village claim they've never had a shrine prostitute there."

Based on this biblical data, we have good basis to understand that temple/cultic/shrine prostitutes who were skilled musicians had been a well-attested reality in biblical times long before Paul wrote his warnings to the Corinthians about consorting with harlots:

1 Corinthians 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

Making proper level 2 applications for the Corinthians requires careful consideration of the role of musical temple prostitutes in the idolatrous temple feasts in Corinth.
 

RajeshG's picture

Paul commanded the Corinthian believers to flee both fornication and idolatry:

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. . . . 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Concerning idolatrous feasts in temples that were rife with fornication with temple prostitutes, Paul would never have sanctioned any contact by the Corinthians with any such activities. Having consumed in a worship context things that had been offered to an idol, the temple prostitutes and the others present at such feasts would have been in fellowship with demons and partnering with them as they feasted perversely and idolatrously.

Any music in such debauched feasts would have been music played and sung by unbelievers who were demonically influenced prostitutes and others who produced the music at these feasts. Whatever dancing took place in these feasts would have been the perversely sensual dancing of unbelieving people in a demonically controlled atmosphere filled with the music of unbelieving people playing and singing music under strong demonic influence.

Any Corinthian who would have tried to appeal to Paul about any contact with such wicked feasts would have been sternly rebuked by Paul and told to flee those feasts. Any Corinthians who would have said that they would not participate in the feasts but only go to such feasts to learn about the music of the idolaters so that they could use that music in the church at Corinth to reach idolaters would have been strongly condemned by Paul.

We can be absolutely certain that the apostle Paul would never have allowed Christians to use in the church any music that would have been borrowed from idolatrous temple feasts filled with the sensual music of unbelieving temple prostitutes and others who played music, sang, and danced under strong demonic influence while people fornicated freely in worship of their idols.
 

RajeshG's picture

God has unchangingly prohibited His people from having anything to do with the wicked works of those who have contact with supernatural evil. For His nation Israel, God demanded,

Deuteronomy 12:29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

For the Church, God demands that His people flee from fornication (1 Cor. 6:18) and idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14). He demands that we have nothing in common with the wicked works of darkness:

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Paul specifically pointed the Corinthians back to the wickedness of the GCI in his commanding the Corinthian believers not to be idolaters:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

From the explicit record of the GCI, we know that the idolatrous playing in the GCI included ungodly music, dancing, and people being shamefully and wildly out-of-control after they had partnered with demons by consuming in a worship context what had been offered to the idol.

God's demands for His people have not changed in our day. God still commands His people not have anything to do with the unfruitful works of darkness.

Many rock musicians have testified of demonic influence upon them in their music and of the demonic character of their music (these testimonies can be accessed by searching on the Internet and by doing research in printed materials directly produced by rock musicians themselves and by others who have written about rock music). They have testified that they created and popularized their music to promote rebellion and that their music is sensual to the core and intentionally so.

Based on these explicit testimonies and on what Scripture teaches us in Exodus 32, 1 Corinthians 10, and many other passages, dedicated believers in our day must completely reject all rock music and all music based on, derived from, or influenced by it.

God has not commanded Christians to analyze musicologically the music of ungodly musicians who have explicitly testified repeatedly that they have created their music for the purposes of advancing wickedness--He commands that we reject it completely!

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

You keep asking for all kinds of specifics about things that the Bible does not provide information about. Whatever God has revealed is what we must base our understanding upon. God has revealed details about the GCI, but He has not revealed such information about any other supposed religious feast of God's people that was defiled by idolatry. Apparently, you think that somehow I must be able to answer whatever questions you want to ask in spite of the Scripture not providing such information. A lot of these questions are pointless to discuss further because God has not revealed to us the information that we need to answer them.

Here is what I see consistently happening in this thread. You make a statement of a principle that you believe is clearly taught in Scripture. I ask you specifics about the Scripture because I don't see the clarity of what you are trying to present. I see other options present in regards to interpretation. We then go back and forth about the interpretation, with you basically insisting that YOUR interpretation is really the only valid one. I then ask you even deeper specific questions.  At that point, you then admit that the Bible doesn't provide all the information I am asking for. \

A few pages later, you present the exact same claims as if the Scripture is clearly teaching something, even though you just admitted the Bible doesn't provide information needed to actually support your interpretation. 

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More broadly, for there to be a truly profitable discussion that is focused on actually advancing the understanding of Scripture, providing legitimate explanations for one's own views about what God has actually revealed is the most helpful approach.

My thoughts exactly. I wish you actually abided by this statement instead of just giving it lip service. I see so very many instances where you take your own interpretation of what you have "inferred" from vastly disparate passages, and then you claim you are presenting "what God has actually revealed." What you are really doing is presenting your opinion. It's fine to have an opinion, but when you present definitive statements about things a passage does not clearly state, then you are going beyond "what God has actually revealed."

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

To properly consider Level 2 applications (to people before our time who lived after the writing of First Corinthians), we must account for the following Scriptural information about harlots:

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

This revelation teaches us that it was a well-established and well-known reality (at least by the time of Isaiah) that there were harlots who were ungodly skilled musicians.

I was wondering if we would get back to the harlot discussion. From what I remember when we discussed this verse previously, I told you that I considered the harlot to be having a specific "style of presentation" as she produced her music. The Bible describes the music itself as a sweet melody, but when that sweet melody is presented in a sensuous manner, then God would be displeased. Do you believe there was some characteristic of the music itself that gave the music itself the "meaning" of harlotry? I don't see as how the "meaning" of music gets that specific. I know that music can affect one's emotions, but is there some particular style of  music that makes one think 'harlotry"? Would the style be in the tone of voice or some other vocal quality? Perhaps I can ask it this way - If you and I were to sing the exact same song with the exact same instrumentation, we would not have identical performances because we have different mannerisms and different vocal qualities. Would we each be giving the song a different "style" as you understand the word "style" to be used in our discussion of music?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Paul commanded the Corinthian believers to flee both fornication and idolatry:

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. . . . 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Concerning idolatrous feasts in temples that were rife with fornication with temple prostitutes, Paul would never have sanctioned any contact by the Corinthians with any such activities. Having consumed in a worship context things that had been offered to an idol, the temple prostitutes and the others present at such feasts would have been in fellowship with demons and partnering with them as they feasted perversely and idolatrously.

Any music in such debauched feasts would have been music played and sung by unbelievers who were demonically influenced prostitutes and others who produced the music at these feasts. Whatever dancing took place in these feasts would have been the perversely sensual dancing of unbelieving people in a demonically controlled atmosphere filled with the music of unbelieving people playing and singing music under strong demonic influence.

Any Corinthian who would have tried to appeal to Paul about any contact with such wicked feasts would have been sternly rebuked by Paul and told to flee those feasts. Any Corinthians who would have said that they would not participate in the feasts but only go to such feasts to learn about the music of the idolaters so that they could use that music in the church at Corinth to reach idolaters would have been strongly condemned by Paul.

We can be absolutely certain that the apostle Paul would never have allowed Christians to use in the church any music that would have been borrowed from idolatrous temple feasts filled with the sensual music of unbelieving temple prostitutes and others who played music, sang, and danced under strong demonic influence while people fornicated freely in worship of their idols.
 

I can totally agree that idolatry and fornication are sinful. They are indications that a person is unwilling to be controlled by the instructions of God and are people who practice such things are thus "out of control." However, you made a statement a few posts back that a profitable discussion would be one in which we present our views of "what the Bible actually reveals." Your post here contains a whole passel of speculation about what is going on at the temple feasts, but the passage isn't actually revealing all the stuff you mentioned. I'm sure there were some false deities who were worshipped in the way you mentioned, but the passage itself does not give us indication of which deities were being worshipped at the feasts the Corinthian church members were going to. The verses just don't give us that information, so your speculation about "perversely sensual dancing" in a "demonically controlled atmosphere filled with the music of unbelieving people playing and singing music" is just speculation.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

To properly consider Level 2 applications (to people before our time who lived after the writing of First Corinthians), we must account for the following Scriptural information about harlots:

Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

This revelation teaches us that it was a well-established and well-known reality (at least by the time of Isaiah) that there were harlots who were ungodly skilled musicians.

 

I was wondering if we would get back to the harlot discussion. From what I remember when we discussed this verse previously, I told you that I considered the harlot to be having a specific "style of presentation" as she produced her music. The Bible describes the music itself as a sweet melody, but when that sweet melody is presented in a sensuous manner, then God would be displeased. Do you believe there was some characteristic of the music itself that gave the music itself the "meaning" of harlotry? I don't see as how the "meaning" of music gets that specific. I know that music can affect one's emotions, but is there some particular style of  music that makes one think 'harlotry"? Would the style be in the tone of voice or some other vocal quality? Perhaps I can ask it this way - If you and I were to sing the exact same song with the exact same instrumentation, we would not have identical performances because we have different mannerisms and different vocal qualities. Would we each be giving the song a different "style" as you understand the word "style" to be used in our discussion of music?

I do not have anything further to say about these things. You want specific information that the Bible does not talk about. If you have proof from the Bible that music itself cannot be sensual, provide it. 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Paul commanded the Corinthian believers to flee both fornication and idolatry:

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. . . . 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Concerning idolatrous feasts in temples that were rife with fornication with temple prostitutes, Paul would never have sanctioned any contact by the Corinthians with any such activities. Having consumed in a worship context things that had been offered to an idol, the temple prostitutes and the others present at such feasts would have been in fellowship with demons and partnering with them as they feasted perversely and idolatrously.

Any music in such debauched feasts would have been music played and sung by unbelievers who were demonically influenced prostitutes and others who produced the music at these feasts. Whatever dancing took place in these feasts would have been the perversely sensual dancing of unbelieving people in a demonically controlled atmosphere filled with the music of unbelieving people playing and singing music under strong demonic influence.

Any Corinthian who would have tried to appeal to Paul about any contact with such wicked feasts would have been sternly rebuked by Paul and told to flee those feasts. Any Corinthians who would have said that they would not participate in the feasts but only go to such feasts to learn about the music of the idolaters so that they could use that music in the church at Corinth to reach idolaters would have been strongly condemned by Paul.

We can be absolutely certain that the apostle Paul would never have allowed Christians to use in the church any music that would have been borrowed from idolatrous temple feasts filled with the sensual music of unbelieving temple prostitutes and others who played music, sang, and danced under strong demonic influence while people fornicated freely in worship of their idols.
 

 

I can totally agree that idolatry and fornication are sinful. They are indications that a person is unwilling to be controlled by the instructions of God and are people who practice such things are thus "out of control." However, you made a statement a few posts back that a profitable discussion would be one in which we present our views of "what the Bible actually reveals." Your post here contains a whole passel of speculation about what is going on at the temple feasts, but the passage isn't actually revealing all the stuff you mentioned. I'm sure there were some false deities who were worshipped in the way you mentioned, but the passage itself does not give us indication of which deities were being worshipped at the feasts the Corinthian church members were going to. The verses just don't give us that information, so your speculation about "perversely sensual dancing" in a "demonically controlled atmosphere filled with the music of unbelieving people playing and singing music" is just speculation.

You are setting forth a view of people being "out of control" that does not have any Bible to support it.

Your asserting that my presentation of what took place in the feasts in Corinth is just speculation is false. The unbelievers in these idolatrous feasts in pagan temples who consumed what was offered to the idols partnered with demons and were under demonic control. Apparently, to you partnering with demons has no significance even for how unbelieving idolaters will behave in a worship context.

As I have explained earlier, that view is refuted by the Bible itself when it reveals that the devil will direct the Antichrist not just to change the object of worship but also to stop the use of worship forms that are godly and replace them with worship forms that are ungodly.

If you think that demonically influenced unbelievers in idolatrous feasts involving offering sacrifices to idols and eating those sacrifices in a worship context are yet going to play music, sing, and dance in God-honoring ways while people are fornicating freely, you hold an unbiblical view. 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

You keep asking for all kinds of specifics about things that the Bible does not provide information about. Whatever God has revealed is what we must base our understanding upon. God has revealed details about the GCI, but He has not revealed such information about any other supposed religious feast of God's people that was defiled by idolatry. Apparently, you think that somehow I must be able to answer whatever questions you want to ask in spite of the Scripture not providing such information. A lot of these questions are pointless to discuss further because God has not revealed to us the information that we need to answer them.

 

Here is what I see consistently happening in this thread. You make a statement of a principle that you believe is clearly taught in Scripture. I ask you specifics about the Scripture because I don't see the clarity of what you are trying to present. I see other options present in regards to interpretation. We then go back and forth about the interpretation, with you basically insisting that YOUR interpretation is really the only valid one. I then ask you even deeper specific questions.  At that point, you then admit that the Bible doesn't provide all the information I am asking for.

So what? Because the Bible doesn't provide all the information that you are asking for does not prove that the view that you are setting forth is the correct one and that my view is incorrect. 

If you do not provide biblical data that convinces me that your view is right, I am going to keep saying what I believe is right.

Kevin Miller wrote:

A few pages later, you present the exact same claims as if the Scripture is clearly teaching something, even though you just admitted the Bible doesn't provide information needed to actually support your interpretation. 

This is totally false. I did not admit any such thing. Just because the Bible does not provide the kind of information that you want does not mean that the Bible does not provide the evidence to support my interpretation.

All that it means is that you want the kind of specific information (about how demonic influence works in all its details, how music works specifically, etc.) that God does not provide anywhere in the Bible. When that information is not provided to you, you assert that demonic influence or music cannot be of that nature without any Bible to support your assertions that demonic influence, music, etc. cannot work in that way.

Bert Perry's picture

Notice here that Rajesh is really just re-badging the work of Frank Garlock, using guilt by association fallacies to push a particular view of music.  If we want guilt by association, I don't have to work with fake idolaters like Gene Simmons of KISS.  I can point to real idolaters like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which sings music approved by Frank Garlock and, I would assume, Rajesh.  Ahem. 

You want to get rid of all music with negative, idolatrous associations, be my guest, but it'll be awful quiet in church when you get done.  Never mind the basic fact that when we proscribe rock & roll--and I would presume (as Garlock does) jazz, blues, and the like--many people are going to clue in to exactly whose music is being talked about, as all of these are derived from black Gospel and spirituals.  And, ahem, all of which lend themselves far more to the celebrations written of in Psalms 149 and 150 than a lot of music from the "fundagelical complex", in my opinion.  

Let's be blunt about the matter here; Scripture says absolutely nothing about instrumentation (besides prescribing percussive, wind, and string instruments), nothing about acceptable melodies and harmonies, nothing about acceptable rhythms.  What it tells us is that we should praise God by singing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, and some of those use percussive instruments and are danceable. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

I do not have anything further to say about these things. You want specific information that the Bible does not talk about. If you have proof from the Bible that music itself cannot be sensual, provide it. 

You haven't shown how the music itself, apart from the performance style of the harlot, is sensual. You claim that it is and then refuse to talk about specifics of how it could be. Then you tell me I have to disprove the statement that you haven't proven. I was simply asking you to elaborate on your definition of "style." If you don't want to continue the discussion, then you should stop making claims about things which the Bible does not talk about,. If you keep making the claims, then I'm going to keep asking for explanations of the claims.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Here is what I see consistently happening in this thread. You make a statement of a principle that you believe is clearly taught in Scripture. I ask you specifics about the Scripture because I don't see the clarity of what you are trying to present. I see other options present in regards to interpretation. We then go back and forth about the interpretation, with you basically insisting that YOUR interpretation is really the only valid one. I then ask you even deeper specific questions.  At that point, you then admit that the Bible doesn't provide all the information I am asking for.

 

 

So what? Because the Bible doesn't provide all the information that you are asking for does not prove that the view that you are setting forth is the correct one and that my view is incorrect.

 If you do not provide biblical data that convinces me that your view is right, I am going to keep saying what I believe is right.

But the view I am setting forth is simply that there are more options than what you are presenting, due to the fact that the Scripture does not give all the information needed to support your particular view. This is why I ask specific questions. I want to get to the underlying factors behind your viewpoint. Notice the part I bolded in the quoted text. "I see other options present in regards to interpretation." When you make a definitive assertion, I try to figure out where you are getting the information to make that definitive assertion. If the passage doesn't have the information, then your definitive assertion cannot be quite as definitive as what you wish it to be. I understand you are still going to believe your particular views in spite of any other interpretations that anyone else might point out as being possible. As I said, we go back and forth "with you basically insisting that YOUR interpretation is really the only valid one."

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

I do not have anything further to say about these things. You want specific information that the Bible does not talk about. If you have proof from the Bible that music itself cannot be sensual, provide it. 

 

You haven't shown how the music itself, apart from the performance style of the harlot, is sensual. You claim that it is and then refuse to talk about specifics of how it could be. Then you tell me I have to disprove the statement that you haven't proven. I was simply asking you to elaborate on your definition of "style." If you don't want to continue the discussion, then you should stop making claims about things which the Bible does not talk about,. If you keep making the claims, then I'm going to keep asking for explanations of the claims.

It's not necessary to show "how the music itself, apart from the performance style of the harlot, is sensual" because a harlot, by definition, is one who engages in immoral sexual activities. In keeping with the nature of her activities, she will do what she can to maximize her sensual appeal so as to put herself in the best position either to allure as many customers as possible or to satisfy her customers maximally or both. Because that is true, she will choose to play music that is itself sensual so that it will most benefit her in her activities.

Those who say that she will not or cannot because it is impossible for instrumental music itself to be sensual have to prove their views.

Rob Fall's picture

Do I correctly understand your position to be all instrumental music is sensual>

RajeshG wrote:

SNIP

 

Those who say that she will not or cannot because it is impossible for instrumental music itself to be sensual have to prove their views.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

RajeshG's picture

Rob Fall wrote:

Do I correctly understand your position to be all instrumental music is sensual>

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

SNIP

 

Those who say that she will not or cannot because it is impossible for instrumental music itself to be sensual have to prove their views.

 

 

No, I do not hold that view at all.

Jay's picture

I'm not sure how the kind of music prostitutes use has to do with anything related to church worship but I have to admit that I am morbidly fascinated at just how weird this thread has gotten.

Every time I thought I had seen it all in a music debate or on SI, it gets weirder.

Last I checked, men weren't really concerned about the kind of music brothels use, but maybe someone knows different?  IDK.

"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

Bert Perry's picture

Since the pagan temples were open millenia before Edison, and the brothels attached to them were also open millenia before Edison, exactly how are we going to establish with any degree of certainty what characteristics apply to such music?  Even the invention of sheet music came a thousand years or so after all those prostitutes/pagan priests were dead and turned to dust, and you don't even have extant instruments that would tell you characteristics of the instruments they used, whether it was resonant, dissonant, or whatever.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

God commanded His people categorically that they were not to have anything to do with any aspect of how the idolatrous Canaanites served their gods:

Deuteronomy 12:29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

God did not say that this prohibition of not even inquiring about how these nations served their gods did not apply to the instrumental musical forms used by these idolaters in their idolatry. There is zero basis in the Bible for legitimately asserting that the Israelites had any authorization to have anything to do with the instrumental musical worship forms of the idolatrous Canaanites that God had commanded them to destroy.

The instrumental musical worship forms of the idolatrous Canaanites were not an exception to this prohibition. It would have been totally illegitimate and flagrant disobedience for any Israelites to borrow any musical worship forms from these idolatrous Canaanites.

In fact, God commanded the Israelites not to even try to learn anything about how these idolaters served their gods; therefore, the Israelites were commanded not to even try to learn anything about the musical forms that these wicked people used to worship their idols.

Anyone who holds that borrowing musical worship forms from these wicked idolaters was legitimate for the Israelites to do must prove directly from the Bible why that was true and why doing so was an exception to this categorical prohibition.

Bert Perry's picture

Notice that we are then to abhor not just the music, but also the foods and clothing of the idolaters.  We then would need to--judging by the diets of idolaters past and present, eschew fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and grains in the same way we would need to eschew the woolen, linen, cotton, leather, and synthetic clothing of idolaters.

You want to do guilt by association, Ramesh, game on, but it'll be a little bit hungry and chilly, I think.  And quiet, as I've demonstrated idolaters that perform music in the BJU mold.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Anyone who holds that borrowing musical worship forms from these wicked idolaters was legitimate for the Israelites to do must prove directly from the Bible why that was true and why doing so was an exception to this categorical prohibition.

Rajesh, what is a "music worship form"?

RajeshG's picture

GregH wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Anyone who holds that borrowing musical worship forms from these wicked idolaters was legitimate for the Israelites to do must prove directly from the Bible why that was true and why doing so was an exception to this categorical prohibition.

 

 

Rajesh, what is a "music worship form"?

The Bible does not use specific terms of this sort to characterize instrumental music. In the context of my comment that you are asking about, you could substitute "style" or "genre" or something of such sort to denote more or less the same thing.

Of far greater importance is the undeniable truth that God prohibited the Israelites even from inquiring about any facet of how these Canaanite idolaters served their gods, which certainly included the instrumental musical forms/styles/genres that they used to do so.

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Anyone who holds that borrowing musical worship forms from these wicked idolaters was legitimate for the Israelites to do must prove directly from the Bible why that was true and why doing so was an exception to this categorical prohibition.

 

 

Rajesh, what is a "music worship form"?

 

 

The Bible does not use specific terms of this sort to characterize instrumental music. In the context of my comment that you are asking about, you could substitute "style" or "genre" or something of such sort to denote more or less the same thing.

Of far greater importance is the undeniable truth that God prohibited the Israelites even from inquiring about any facet of how these Canaanite idolaters served their gods, which certainly included the instrumental musical forms/styles/genres that they used to do so.

Thank you for the answer. The way you used the term is foreign to musicologists because to them, "form" refers to song structure. In fact, I only see people I see use the word "form" in the way you do are music conservatives like yourself.  I note that you want to remain a bit squishy on the definition of the word you have (mis)appropriated and based on your agenda here, I can understand why. But definitions are important and you should define the ones you are using before making your sweeping "undeniable" dogmatic statements as you have done here.

If you are going to say that Israel was not allowed to use the styles of the Egyptians/Canaanites, perhaps you could explain why they were allowed to use the theory/scales of those people. Why would that be different? Or perhaps you want to believe that they came up with their own music theory or scales.

And then while you are at it, perhaps you can explain why we today are allowed to use the scales and theory developed over the past few thousand years starting with the pagan ancient Greeks. As you know there are infinite scale possibilities, all of which come with their own theory system. I note that on your website, you attempt to teach some rudimentary music theory. Why should I not be appalled that you misappropriated it from the pagan Greeks?

RajeshG's picture

GregH wrote:

Thank you for the answer. The way you used the term is foreign to musicologists because to them, "form" refers to song structure. In fact, I only see people I see use the word "form" in the way you do are music conservatives like yourself.  

Whether your claims here about how the term "musical form" is to be used would stand up to critical scrutiny is not something that I have much time to devote to at this time. I did find the following which states that "musical form" is regularly used in two senses, one of which is "to denote a standard type, or genre":

"Musical form, the structure of a musical composition. The term is regularly used in two senses: to denote a standard type, or genre, and to denote the procedures in a specific work. The nomenclature for the various musical formal types may be determined by the medium of performance, the technique of composition, or by function."

From: https://www.britannica.com/art/musical-form

Apparently, "musical form" is regularly used to denote something similar to "genre."

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

It's not necessary to show "how the music itself, apart from the performance style of the harlot, is sensual" because a harlot, by definition, is one who engages in immoral sexual activities. In keeping with the nature of her activities, she will do what she can to maximize her sensual appeal so as to put herself in the best position either to allure as many customers as possible or to satisfy her customers maximally or both. Because that is true, she will choose to play music that is itself sensual so that it will most benefit her in her activities.

Those who say that she will not or cannot because it is impossible for instrumental music itself to be sensual have to prove their views.

But what if i don't understand HOW music itself could be sensual? I can't prove it is possible or impossible if I don't know HOW it could be. Suppose you were telling me that some music is "tasty." I would ask you to tell me HOW it is tasty. If you answered that I have to prove it is impossible for it to be tasty, I would think you are just trying to tap dance around the question. You would need to be the one telling me HOW it is tasty, if you were to make that claim.

The defintion of "sensual" is "relating to or involving gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure." The harlots performance can certainly be done in a sensual way. As you said, she is maximizing her sensual appeal, but then you said she uses music to benefit her.. So HOW does instrumental music itself maximize sensual appeal? Are there some characteristics of the music itself that cause this to happen?

Bert Perry's picture

Here's Biblehub on the matter.  Note carefully that while the terms discussed DO discuss the lusts of the flesh and excess in material things, they do NOT suggest that music falls into this category.  

I would submit that the onus is on Rajesh, if he truly believes that music can be "sensual" in the way the New Testament uses the word (or Old Testament, really), the onus is on him to demonstrate that.  And in that light, assuming that (a) there was music at the golden calf incident, that (b) it differed from Godly music in some ways, and (c) those differences can be inferred by guilt by association comparisons with modern music amounts to three gigantic leaps in logic that simply cannot be sustained.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

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