Does God love all kinds of music because He invented it all?

God loves all kinds of music because he invented it all--fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does! If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship.

--Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life, Zondervan, 2002, p. 65

In my opinion, the truthfulness of these claims that Warren makes are some of the most fundamental points of dispute in the worship music wars.

Yes, God loves all kinds of music because He invented it all.
17% (1 vote)
No, God does not love all kinds of music even though He invented it all.
0% (0 votes)
No, God does not love all kinds of music, and He did not invent it all.
67% (4 votes)
Other. Please specify in a comment below.
17% (1 vote)
Total votes: 6
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There are 142 Comments

RajeshG's picture

I believe that it is wrong for Christians to provide examples of demonic instrumental music for people to listen to and discuss musicologically. In disobedience to God, Christians who want to hear examples of what such music sounds like can use Google to find recordings of various types of occult drumming music.

I will continue to ignore all such demands that I provide such examples of demonic instrumental music or other ungodly instrumental music.

RajeshG's picture

In my hurry to post something before going to church this evening, I posted the text of an article that actually does not show my view about percussion. My apologies for my carelessness.

In an article that is also from 2013 that I should have posted a link to  ("Learning from a Biblical Chronology of Early Music: Part II"; this post is long so I am only quoting here the directly relevant material) and does speak about the godly use of percussion, I wrote the following:

Comparing These Passages with Other Early References to Music

Some later passages both confirm this conclusion and go beyond it.

After God destroyed Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea, Miriam and all the women used timbrels to extol God in dance and song:

Exo 15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel (Heb. תֹּף) in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels (Heb. תֹּף)and with dances.  21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

These Israelite women used the same instrument (“timbrel” [Heb. תֹּף]) that the ungodly used back in the time of Job (Job 21:12). More importantly, these women used the timbrel in a sacred setting!

Other relatively early references show God’s people using in sacred settings all the instruments mentioned in earlier references to the music of the wicked:

1Sa 10:5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret (Heb. תֹּף), and a pipe, and a harp [Heb. כִּנּוֹר], before them; and they shall prophesy:

Psa 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel (Heb. תֹּף) and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs [Heb. עוּגָב].

Whereas First Samuel 10:5 attests that specially consecrated people of God used these instruments in his service, Psalm 150:4 attests to the propriety of all of God’s people doing so.

This analysis of music in the early history of God’s peoples conclusively shows that God’s people used the same instruments as the wicked did, including serving and worshiping Him with those instruments. What’s more, He commanded them to use those very instruments in their serving and worshiping Him (e.g., Ps. 150:4)!

In this post (as well as in others), I explicitly have talked about my awareness of both the godly use of percussion instruments and the divine commands to do so.

RajeshG's picture

For some time now, I have been very busy with other obligations that have not allowed me to have much time to do careful research into certain claims made earlier in this thread about Ode to Joy and certain other pieces of music. Although I still have not had much time, I am in the process of checking and evaluating the claims made for factual accuracy, etc.

Concerning the matter of associations, Scott Aniol has written a helpful article: "On Associations." Although I have not yet had time to carefully evaluate everything that he says in the article, it may provide some help for those who are interested in learning more about issues concerning associations.

When I have had enough time to research thoroughly, I will respond further to the earlier claims, D.V.
 

RajeshG's picture

Earlier in this thread, the following claim was made:
 

The hymn "Ode To Joy" is originally from Beethoven, and the original lyrics are Schiller's "An die Freude(link is external)," a pantheistic hymn to the pagan gods of Europe. 

Having researched this claim, I have not found specific evidence so far to substantiate this claim.

As part of my research, I consulted with a native speaker of German who is a believer and asked her if any pagan gods of Europe are named in the lyrics of "An die Freude." She confirmed to me that the lyrics do not have any mention by name of any "pagan gods of Europe."

I have also consulted with a faculty member in the Fine Arts department of a leading Christian university about this claim. He teaches music history classes at the university.

Here is his assessment of the claim:
 

That would be too simplistic a statement. To be sure the poem is not Christian. The poem seems mostly to emphasize the universal brotherhood of humanity. There are references to Greek mythology but only in a symbolic sense in my opinion. Schiller had no faith in Greek gods. Beethoven himself was often compared to Orpheus, the Greek god of music, but again only in a symbolic sense. No one had faith in these gods.

 

Bert Perry's picture

OK, let's apply your source's logic to rock & roll.  Many devotees of that genre would point out, rightly, that classical and pagan references in rock & roll are meaningless for the exact same reason; that "nobody believes that."  Hence we would infer that even apart from the fact that guilt by association is a logical fallacy, all of the guilt by association arguments Rajesh makes are moot by the logic of his own source.

If we should desire to leave the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority" behind, however, the references in the song are pretty clear.  Elysium refers to a pagan paradise after death from Greek mythology, and it has strong parallels in Norse/Teutonic mythology when labeled as "Valhalla" . The song is addressed to the "daughter of Elysium", the "beautiful spark of Divinity", clearly references the occult practice of magic as coming from her, draws a picture in the second stanza of men winning her (sexual) love, draws a picture of all creation drinking from Nature's breasts (clear reference to various nature deities like Gaia), and more.  All in all, it would make a great set of lyrics for a song by "Kiss" or "Iron Maiden". 

You may quibble "oh, but it doesn't reference these deities by name", and to that, I respond, it's poetry, not prose.  The great poets tend to make allusions instead of stating things directly--those that state things directly all the time write what is called "doggerel."  

Ball is back in your court, Rajesh.  Looks like someone at your prestigious set of sources needs to bone up on how to interpret poetry and references to pagan religion.  I'd suggest starting with Bulfinch's mythology, as generations of high school students, including myself a few years back, have done.

One final note is that, contrary to your sources, there was and is an active neopagan trend.  Back in Schiller's time, it was the Freemasons (among others), a fact attested to by the setting of the light opera "The Magic Flute."   Today, there are lively assocations of neopagans all over, a fact with which I became very familiar while living in and around Boulder.  They even got some fairly favorable press in the campus paper.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

I do not know what you are talking about when you speak about "classical and pagan references in rock & roll" so I have nothing further to say about that.

Because you say that certain things are "pretty clear" in poetic references, that makes it so? Hardly.

You have expressed your opinions. I have provided an authoritative source who has voiced his opinions. Those who care to pursue this matter further must make their own judgments.

More importantly, you have already shown yourself more than once to be someone who has intellectually misrepresented (whether intentionally or not is something that only you and God know for sure) materials that you read that you claim clearly say something when the authors (including me) plainly did not say any such things.

I will continue to research this matter further, as time allows.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

One final note is that, contrary to your sources, there was and is an active neopagan trend.  Back in Schiller's time, it was the Freemasons (among others), a fact attested to by the setting of the light opera "The Magic Flute."   Today, there are lively assocations of neopagans all over, a fact with which I became very familiar while living in and around Boulder.  They even got some fairly favorable press in the campus paper.

My searches so far about neopaganism seem to indicate that Schiller died before neopaganism began, at least according to the following sources.
 

Neo-Paganism is a new religious movement that began in the United States in the 1960s, with literary roots going back to mid-19th century Europe, as attempts to revive what their founders thought were the best aspects of ancient pagan ways, blended with modern humanistic and pluralistic ideals, while con­sciously striving to eliminate certain elements of traditional West­ern mono­theism, including dualistic thinking and sexual puritanism. 

Neopaganism refers to those religions created since 1960 or so which have attempted to blend what their founders perceived as the best aspects of different types of Paleo-paganism with modern 'Aquarian Age' ideals, while consciously striving to eliminate as much as possible of the traditional Western monotheism and dualism.

The term "neo-pagan" was coined in the 19th century in reference to Renaissance and Romanticist Hellenophile classical revivalism.[α] By the mid-1930s "Neopagan" was being applied to new religious movements like Jakob Wilhelm Hauer's German Faith Movement and Jan Stachniuk's Polish Zadruga, usually by outsiders and often pejoratively.[31]

If Bert Perry's statements are correct, one wonders why all of these sources provide faulty information that erroneously indicates to us that neopaganism refers to movements that originated at a later time than Schiller's death in 1805.

Bert Perry's picture

Rajesh, neopaganism can be described as a movement (your definition), or it can be described as a synthesis of syncretism in Roman Catholicism, remanent paganism spread around Europe, and the outgrowth of freemasonry, all of which certainly did exist in Europe (and the United States) at the time.  That's why I pointed out The Magic Flute as an example of the thinking at the time.  You'll also see the same kind of thing in art (that's why wiki points to Renaissance revivalism), opera, and the like. In Florence, the degree of pagan behavior was such that for a time, the city's very name became synonymous with the pagan habit of the eromenos.

So nice quibble, but the fact is that modern paganism did exist around the time of Schiller, and was moreover tremendously influential at the time. 

Now, did you look up "Elysium", "Valhalla", and "nature deities" to determine that the other things that I've told you are, ahem, entirely true?   You could have discovered this simply by doing what I have high confidence you were taught in school--pull out the encyclopaedia and look. 

Now, since we know that those classical, pagan references are real, true, and were influential in the lives of at least a subset of the hearers at the time (and now), and moreover include the occult/magic, you might revisit whether this is acceptable.

Or, you might discard guilt by association fallacies.  Your choice.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, neopaganism can be described as a movement (your definition), or it can be described as a synthesis of syncretism in Roman Catholicism, remanent paganism spread around Europe, and the outgrowth of freemasonry, all of which certainly did exist in Europe (and the United States) at the time.  That's why I pointed out The Magic Flute as an example of the thinking at the time.  You'll also see the same kind of thing in art (that's why wiki points to Renaissance revivalism), opera, and the like. In Florence, the degree of pagan behavior was such that for a time, the city's very name became synonymous with the pagan habit of the eromenos.

So nice quibble, but the fact is that modern paganism did exist around the time of Schiller, and was moreover tremendously influential at the time. 

Now, did you look up "Elysium", "Valhalla", and "nature deities" to determine that the other things that I've told you are, ahem, entirely true?   You could have discovered this simply by doing what I have high confidence you were taught in school--pull out the encyclopaedia and look. 

Now, since we know that those classical, pagan references are real, true, and were influential in the lives of at least a subset of the hearers at the time (and now), and moreover include the occult/magic, you might revisit whether this is acceptable.

Or, you might discard guilt by association fallacies.  Your choice.

I did not offer any definition of my own--I quoted 3 sources, including interestingly enough a source with the url "neo-paganism.org" and merely used the terminology provided by that source, "Neo-Paganism is a new religious movement that began in the United States in the 1960s . . .[bold added to the original]."

Furthermore, I did look up Elysium, and it does not prove anything about what you claim about a hymn "to the pagan gods of Europe." I do not need to look up the other terms because they are irrelevant because they are not mentioned in An die Freude.

As for allusions in poetry, they are not the same thing as direct address to "the pagan gods of Europe" and at least one person who is well-versed in music history says that they are nothing but symbolic in nature.

As for your repeated statements about my using GBA fallacies, honest readers of what I have posted in this thread and elsewhere can easily see for themselves what is true and what is not about what you claim. 

RajeshG's picture

My true belief about Rock 'n' Roll--and there have been a lot of phrases attributed to me over the years--is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic. ... A lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums. If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you'll see that is true. I believe that kind of music is driving people from Christ. It is contagious

Provided that the information from this source is authentic, we see that rock musician Little Richard said that he believed that rock music was "demonic." He also said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums."

Notice that he did not qualify his statements by saying that he only believed that his own rock music was demonic.

Notice also that this rock musician who said that he had studied "music in rhythms" directly connected rock music and voodoo via his statement about "a lot of the beats in music today."

Even more noteworthy is his statement about what he believed this kind of music was doing--"driving people from Christ"!

 

Mark_Smith's picture

I hesitate to comment on this thread, but I will.

The Little Richard quote. I need proof that Little Richard said this before I believe for a second that he did. It makes no sense that a guy like him would describe "rock music" as "driving people from Christ." I am dubious. 

I did a brief internet search and see no corroborating info to confirm Little Richard said this. So I consider it pure fantasy and made up "support."

RajeshG's picture

Jim wrote:

Define "Rock music"

You can Google it, and find one or more sources that will provide a definition for you, if you so desire.

The Bible does not teach that God's people are under any obligation to study the unfruitful works of darkness and define them for themselves.

They are instead taught to refer to such things by the terms that the evil people who have originated, popularized, and used them refer to them.

Based on what the Bible teaches, I am not going to engage in any musicological discussions of any type with you or anyone else.

RajeshG's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

I hesitate to comment on this thread, but I will.

The Little Richard quote. I need proof that Little Richard said this before I believe for a second that he did. It makes no sense that a guy like him would describe "rock music" as "driving people from Christ." I am dubious. 

I did a brief internet search and see no corroborating info to confirm Little Richard said this. So I consider it pure fantasy and made up "support."

I qualified what I said in my original post, in case you missed it.

There are other sites that cite some parts of the same quote and provide bibliographic information, but they do not cite that last part of this quote in them so I do not have corroborating information for that last part (or the other parts that are not cited in the other sites). Here is one such site:

http://www.inplainsite.org/html/voices_of_rock.html

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

My true belief about Rock 'n' Roll--and there have been a lot of phrases attributed to me over the years--is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic. ... A lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums. If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you'll see that is true. I believe that kind of music is driving people from Christ. It is contagious

Provided that the information from this source is authentic, we see that rock musician Little Richard said that he believed that rock music was "demonic." He also said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums."

Notice that he did not qualify his statements by saying that he only believed that his own rock music was demonic.

Notice also that this rock musician who said that he had studied "music in rhythms" directly connected rock music and voodoo via his statement about "a lot of the beats in music today."

Even more noteworthy is his statement about what he believed this kind of music was doing--"driving people from Christ"!

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

The question them becomes whether he is using guilt by association in a fallacious way or a faulty reasoning or a legitimate way. The Bible can use guilt by association in a legitimate way since the Bible authors were inspired and had the Holy Spirit guiding them into making associations that truly connected two things together. We can't claim the same level of inspired authority for the declarations of Little Richard. He may be correct that the connection means the music is demonic, but he also may be wrong that the connection means the music is demonic. Rock music has uses other than voodoo ones, so the connection alone is not proof of the guilt.

If a connection alone is proof of guilt, then I could say motorcycles are guilty of being demonic. After all, motorcycles are associated with demonic biker groups such as Hells Angels and Sons of Satan and the Warlocks. Motorcycles have other uses than with demonic biker gangs, so the connection alone is not proof of the guilt of being demonic.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

My true belief about Rock 'n' Roll--and there have been a lot of phrases attributed to me over the years--is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic. ... A lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums. If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you'll see that is true. I believe that kind of music is driving people from Christ. It is contagious

Provided that the information from this source is authentic, we see that rock musician Little Richard said that he believed that rock music was "demonic." He also said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums."

Notice that he did not qualify his statements by saying that he only believed that his own rock music was demonic.

Notice also that this rock musician who said that he had studied "music in rhythms" directly connected rock music and voodoo via his statement about "a lot of the beats in music today."

Even more noteworthy is his statement about what he believed this kind of music was doing--"driving people from Christ"!

 

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

 

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

How is that NOT associating rock music with voodoo? Being the "source" is QUITE a strong association, is it not?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

 

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

 

How is that NOT associating rock music with voodoo? Being the "source" is QUITE a strong association, is it not?

 

The American Heritage Dictionary (1969) explains in a usage note what "associate" means, as follows:

"Associate implies a relationship of persons having common aims, interests, or the like, or a relationship of things that are similar, complementary, or have connection in one's thoughts."

In my thinking, there is a vital difference between source and association. Taking something that is evil directly from a source and using it in other contexts, that is not association--it is sameness. Association would be the case if things were similar, complementary, etc., but not the same.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

 

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

 

How is that NOT associating rock music with voodoo? Being the "source" is QUITE a strong association, is it not?

 

 

 

The American Heritage Dictionary (1969) explains in a usage note what "associate" means, as follows:

"Associate implies a relationship of persons having common aims, interests, or the like, or a relationship of things that are similar, complementary, or have connection in one's thoughts."

In my thinking, there is a vital difference between source and association. Taking something that is evil directly from a source and using it in other contexts, that is not association--it is sameness. Association would be the case if things were similar, complementary, etc., but not the same.

So do you think that Little Richard is making an authoritative claim that "a lot of the beats in music today" did not exist before voodoo, but had their first expression in this world during a voodoo session? Is that what you think Little Richard is claiming?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

 

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

 

How is that NOT associating rock music with voodoo? Being the "source" is QUITE a strong association, is it not?

 

 

 

The American Heritage Dictionary (1969) explains in a usage note what "associate" means, as follows:

"Associate implies a relationship of persons having common aims, interests, or the like, or a relationship of things that are similar, complementary, or have connection in one's thoughts."

In my thinking, there is a vital difference between source and association. Taking something that is evil directly from a source and using it in other contexts, that is not association--it is sameness. Association would be the case if things were similar, complementary, etc., but not the same.

 

So do you think that Little Richard is making an authoritative claim that "a lot of the beats in music today" did not exist before voodoo, but had their first expression in this world during a voodoo session? Is that what you think Little Richard is claiming?

I think that he is making a valid and very concerning statement that "a lot of beats in music today" are voodoo music.

Concerning things of the occult, whether they existed before the occult or not is not something that God ever directs His people to determine. Put differently, God never authorizes us to go sample, study, examine, investigate, etc. all things of the occult to determine what things were originated by the occultists themselves and what things were not so that we can then freely use in worship what things were not originated by the occultists.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

The way I see it, Little Richard is using a form of guilt by association. Isn't he? He's associating rock music with voodoo.

 

As I see it, no, he is not using a form of GBA. He said that "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo." He did not say that they were like or similar to voodoo--he said that they are taken from voodoo. He is therefore saying that voodoo is the source of a lot of the beats in music today.

 

How is that NOT associating rock music with voodoo? Being the "source" is QUITE a strong association, is it not?

 

 

 

The American Heritage Dictionary (1969) explains in a usage note what "associate" means, as follows:

"Associate implies a relationship of persons having common aims, interests, or the like, or a relationship of things that are similar, complementary, or have connection in one's thoughts."

In my thinking, there is a vital difference between source and association. Taking something that is evil directly from a source and using it in other contexts, that is not association--it is sameness. Association would be the case if things were similar, complementary, etc., but not the same.

 

So do you think that Little Richard is making an authoritative claim that "a lot of the beats in music today" did not exist before voodoo, but had their first expression in this world during a voodoo session? Is that what you think Little Richard is claiming?

 

I think that he is making a valid and very concerning statement that "a lot of beats in music today" are voodoo music.

But you were claiming previously he was making a comment about the source of the beats, and that's why this wasn't a guilt by association statement. Now, you are backtracking and basically saying he was just making a valid guilt by association statement.

Quote:
Concerning things of the occult, whether they existed before the occult or not is not something that God ever directs His people to determine. Put differently, God never authorizes us to go sample, study, examine, investigate, etc. all things of the occult to determine what things were originated by the occultists themselves and what things were not so that we can then freely use in worship what things were not originated by the occultists. 
 Suppose I used Little Richard's statement to claim that all drums are occultic. He said "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums." It's the drums that are the source of the beats. According to your position as you just stated it, we are not to determine if drums existed before the occult or not, so shouldn't we be staying away from drums in worship?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

I think that he is making a valid and very concerning statement that "a lot of beats in music today" are voodoo music.

But you were claiming previously he was making a comment about the source of the beats, and that's why this wasn't a guilt by association statement. Now, you are backtracking and basically saying he was just making a valid guilt by association statement.

No, I am not. To take beats that were and are voodoo beats from their source (voodoo) and use that music elsewhere is not guilt by association. It is a statement of fact that shows that the same beats are used in both voodoo music and rock music.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

Concerning things of the occult, whether they existed before the occult or not is not something that God ever directs His people to determine. Put differently, God never authorizes us to go sample, study, examine, investigate, etc. all things of the occult to determine what things were originated by the occultists themselves and what things were not so that we can then freely use in worship what things were not originated by the occultists. 

 Suppose I used Little Richard's statement to claim that all drums are occultic. He said "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums." It's the drums that are the source of the beats. According to your position as you just stated it, we are not to determine if drums existed before the occult or not, so shouldn't we be staying away from drums in worship?

Then you would be making a faulty claim that not even Little Richard made. Going from "a lot" to "all" is not supported by what he said. Also, in context, we know that he was not talking about all music of today that uses percussion, including for example marching band music, etc.

Furthermore, and much more importantly, God commanded the use of certain percussion instruments in at least certain ways in at least certain aspects of divine worship so any statements that say that all percussion is unacceptable are patently false, regardless of what Little Richard or anyone else has said or will ever say.

Moreover, Scripture reveals passages where God's people ministered music to Him in divine worship that was acceptable to Him that included the use of certain percussion instruments so we have additional inerrant and infallible revelation that it is false to say that all percussion is unacceptable for use in worship. Based on what we have in Scripture and what we learn from other sources about the sinful activities of many occultists from many parts of the world, we are to hold that some types of percussion are acceptable to God and many others are not acceptable to Him for use in worship.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

Quote:
Concerning things of the occult, whether they existed before the occult or not is not something that God ever directs His people to determine. Put differently, God never authorizes us to go sample, study, examine, investigate, etc. all things of the occult to determine what things were originated by the occultists themselves and what things were not so that we can then freely use in worship what things were not originated by the occultists. 

 Suppose I used Little Richard's statement to claim that all drums are occultic. He said "a lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums." It's the drums that are the source of the beats. According to your position as you just stated it, we are not to determine if drums existed before the occult or not, so shouldn't we be staying away from drums in worship?

Also, no, it is not "the drums that are the source of the beats" in the sense that the drums play the beats themselves. Unrighteous humans engaged in occult activities played those drums to produce those beats.

Other humans can take other drums and play them in different ways that do not produce music that either is the voodoo music that the occultists played on their drums or is like the voodoo music that the occultists played on their drums.

Ron Bean's picture

"To prove my point, let us turn to the third chapter of the Book of Little Richard (it comes right after the Book of Gene Simmons) and hear the infallible words of authority."

I had the opportunity, back in the day, to meet and interact with Little Richard in Rock and Roll Revival concerts we were promoting. "Flamboyant" would be a mild adjective to describe his public image but privately I found him to be polite and engaging. His career was built on extremes in everything from his dress and mannerisms to his music. In addition he loved making provocative statements for the sole purpose of watching the reactions they brought. I remember the time he even professed his conversion to Christ and return to his childhood religious roots. 

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

Bert Perry's picture

There a bunch of things worth noting here.  First of all, what are the key parts of rock & roll with regards to percussion?  I've listened to African rhythms, and I've listened to rock & roll, and they are very different.  Very little of rock & roll percussion resembles what you'll hear in Africa, for the simple reason that slave owners knew that drums could be for music, religion, entertainment, or to signal a slave rebellion.  Hence they didn't allow their slaves to use African rhythms for fear of waking up with a knife or bullet in their chest.

Hence rock & roll rhythms are really borrowed European rhythms, not African.  So we might say that rock & roll percussion, along with that used in hymns, is borrowed Druidism or recycled Nordic paganism, but it's really not African at all.

(and of course, if you hear "voodoo music", think of it as an African-American would--"OK, this clown is accusing me of recycling chicken sacrifice and dolls with pins in them in my music....."  Don't continue the thought experiment too far if you don't want to be putting a lot of Anglo-Saxon verbiage through your mind)

We then ought to consider what we really mean by "voodoo".  Are we talking about the G'be religion (and which one?), its adaptations in Haiti with inclusions of (again, European) Catholicism and even Fremasonry (again, this implicates hymns, too), or its further adaptation in the New Orleans region?  Are we really to say that African-American artists elsewhere--Arkansas, Missouri, and Chicago are a world away from New Orleans, culturally speaking--were that influenced by what went on in NO, Haiti, or even Ghana?

Also worth remembering is that if we want to say that certain rhythms are "off limits" because of association with whoever, that is a guilt by association fallacy.  Period.  We might as well suggest that back in the 1st century, some well-meaning proto-Rajesh might have pointed out that all the good recipes for pork derived from pagan worship practices and "waving the thigh", and therefore, contrary to Paul, Christians ought not enjoy that which was sold in the market because you really couldn't eat it without connecting yourself to those occult practices.  In the same way, someone in the 1st century could well have, and with far more truth than does Rajesh, pointed to the pagan origins of the musical rhythms used for early hymns, songs, and spiritual songs in Greek.

In other words, due to Romans 3:23, we can connect anything to some sinful or occult practice, so if we allow ourselves to use guilt by association fallacies, it's going to be awfully quiet in church.  Even if we limit the practice to "only when a rock & roll artist says something stupid", it's going to be awfully quiet.  Little Richard made a living pressing boundaries, so we shouldn't just assume that what he said is actually true.  A great portion of fool statements made by artists are simple marketing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Debra Devi is an active rock musician who is a published author of a book about the blues, The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu. She is also the author of an article on the HuffPost website that she wrote in 2012 and updated in 2017:

Possessed: Voodoo’s Origins and Influence from the Blues to Britney

Because Bert Perry has made many statements that seem to have been made to set himself forth as someone who is knowledgeable about rock music and voodoo, I urge all who are interested in this subject to carefully read this article to see whether what Bert Perry has said is right or not.

Here is how the article begins:
 

Blissed-out, ecstatic union with our divine selves — we seek it at raves and rock concerts, and in the desert with the Burning Man. I try to get there when I’m jamming with my band — but I didn’t realize until I wrote The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu how much this longing relates to West African spirituality, and the Voodoo concept of possession.

Vodou (the proper Kreyol/Creole spelling of Voodoo) is a neo-African religion that evolved in the New World from the 6000-year-old West African religion Vodun. This was the religion of many slaves brought from West Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean.

Vodun was brutally repressed by slave-owners, yet its powerful beats, ethics and aesthetics endured. We owe our concepts of cool, soul and rock and roll to it.

The roots of rock are in a West African word for dance — rak. As Michael Ventura wrote in his important essay on rock music, “Hear that Long Snake Moan”:

The Voodoo rite of possession by the god became the standard of American performance in rock’n’roll. Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Jim Morrison, Johnny Rotten, Prince — they let themselves be possessed not by any god they could name but by the spirit they felt in the music. Their behavior in this possession was something Western society had never before tolerated.

Vodou possession is not the hokey demon-possession of zombie movies; it’s a state of union with the divine achieved through drumming, dancing and singing.

If you choose to read this article, keep in mind that this article was not written by a rock musician who evidences the desire in an article to be "provocative," etc.

Rather, she is a published author whose understanding and knowledge of the subject has been judged by at least the HuffPost to be such that they deemed her qualified and knowledgeable to write this article.

Note especially how strongly she connects rock music to voodoo and compare that with the statements that Bert Perry has made.

Bert Perry's picture

Now Rajesh, Debra Devi is indeed an active rock musician, and then you comment on the link "keep in mind this article was not written by a rock musician who evidences the desire...."

Which is it?  It cannot be both.  For my part, having seen the article, I think it's pretty clear that not only is Ms. Devi a rock & roll musician by her own admission (of what quality I don't know, but we'll take her at her word), but the clear implication of the article is that she's trying to be provocative.  At least I would hope that most readers would make the connection that "American culture is essentially voodoo" to be a provocative thesis!

And really, the article is a rehash of the same tired allegations you recommended when Mr. Brennan parroted them, the same ultimate source that has the exact same false claims.  

Do you ever bother to look at what your primary and secondary sources actually are, Rajesh?  You should really give it a try.  You've posted a few links to the same old nonsense without apparently cluing in that your original source is the same.

And even if your sources were correct, you're still recycling the "guilt by association" fallacy.  (plus a bunch of personal attacks/ad hominem fallacies to boot)  It means precisely nothing about what is, or is not, acceptable music for Christians to use.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

RajeshG wrote:

Vodou possession is not the hokey demon-possession of zombie movies; it’s a state of union with the divine achieved through drumming, dancing and singing.

Rajesh, I'm curious what the "state of union with the divine" means to her.

I don't attend raves or rock concerts, but I attend many music concerts, and I listen to a lot of music at home.  When you get the right music, done well, whether classical, cultural, sacred, or other, and the performance is "hitting all the right notes" so to speak, one can achieve a sort of "musical high" where everything just "feels right."  It's an amazing feeling.  For me, it can easily happen after the high point in some music (like after the Hallelujah chorus, or at the end of the Amen chorus of Handel's Messiah).  Many people chase this feeling, because they want to live in that "mountaintop" moment.  I suspect that those seeking something beyond this mundane life confuse that feeling with "being at one with the divine," or whatever.  They reject God, but they want this state of ecstasy to be permanent.  I can assure you that it doesn't take rock music or "voodoo music" to create that feeling.

The difference between Christians and non-Christians is that we can recognize this feeling for what it is -- a feeling.  We don't (or shouldn't) live our lives by feelings, no matter how great they might be at the time.  Our union with Christ and to a lesser extent, our union with fellow believers is not one of feeling, and we won't get this ecstatic feeling often from worship or living the Christian life.  In a few cases, sometimes when we are struck by something in a sermon or what we are reading in the Word, or again, a well-done sacred musical piece, we can momentarily experience a similar feeling, but I would never trust that feeling to indicate that in that moment, I'm at perfect union with God.

I won't claim that no musician of any stripe out there is achieving some sort of communication with demonic powers.  I don't dabble in the occult, but I suspect that if people really want to sell themselves to Satan, he makes a way for many of them to do so.  However, I strongly doubt that any particular type of music creates a special conduit.  Any time we try to let height of feeling be our guide, rather than letting the Holy Spirit and wisdom lead us, we will be unwisely opening ourselves up to deception, and the principalities and powers that we are at war with can take advantage of that.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

dcbii wrote:

Rajesh, I'm curious what the "state of union with the divine" means to her.

I don't attend raves or rock concerts, but I attend many music concerts, and I listen to a lot of music at home. . . .

I won't claim that no musician of any stripe out there is achieving some sort of communication with demonic powers.  I don't dabble in the occult, but I suspect that if people really want to sell themselves to Satan, he makes a way for many of them to do so.  However, I strongly doubt that any particular type of music creates a special conduit.  Any time we try to let height of feeling be our guide, rather than letting the Holy Spirit and wisdom lead us, we will be unwisely opening ourselves up to deception, and the principalities and powers that we are at war with can take advantage of that.

Dave, I do not know what it means to her. You are probably right that it has something to do with some ecstatic experience, but if you have not read her full article, maybe you would find some more info by reading it? 

I had to Google "rave" because I had no idea what that was.

I find it puzzling that you "strongly doubt that any particular type of music creates a special conduit." Why do you strongly doubt that? Is there some objective basis for your strong doubt?

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Now Rajesh, Debra Devi is indeed an active rock musician, and then you comment on the link "keep in mind this article was not written by a rock musician who evidences the desire...."

Which is it?  It cannot be both.  For my part, having seen the article, I think it's pretty clear that not only is Ms. Devi a rock & roll musician by her own admission (of what quality I don't know, but we'll take her at her word), but the clear implication of the article is that she's trying to be provocative.  At least I would hope that most readers would make the connection that "American culture is essentially voodoo" to be a provocative thesis!

And really, the article is a rehash of the same tired allegations you recommended when Mr. Brennan parroted them, the same ultimate source that has the exact same false claims.  

Do you ever bother to look at what your primary and secondary sources actually are, Rajesh?  You should really give it a try.  You've posted a few links to the same old nonsense without apparently cluing in that your original source is the same.

And even if your sources were correct, you're still recycling the "guilt by association" fallacy.  (plus a bunch of personal attacks/ad hominem fallacies to boot)  It means precisely nothing about what is, or is not, acceptable music for Christians to use.

I read her article several times and have read the entire article by Mickey Ventura that she and Tom Brennan both used as their source. Your merely asserting that it makes false claims does not prove anything.

Argument by assertion is fallacious. Prove that your claims are true. Saying that you have listened to some music, etc. is not proof of anything.

Making multiple ad hominem remarks ("clown," "stupid," "fool statements") about the views and statements of various people in your preceding comments is also fallacious and does not prove anything.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

RajeshG wrote:

Dave, I do not know what it means to her. You are probably right that it has something to do with some ecstatic experience, but if you have not read her full article, maybe you would find some more info by reading it? 

I had to Google "rave" because I had no idea what that was.

I find it puzzling that you "strongly doubt that any particular type of music creates a special conduit." Why do you strongly doubt that? Is there some objective basis for your strong doubt?

Rajesh, I haven't read her full article, but I might if I get some time, just to see what she is saying.

I'm only familiar with the concept of "raves" on a very surface-level as well.  I was just using/referencing the language she herself used in the quote you referenced above.

On my strong doubts that a particular music type can of itself create a special conduit to demonic powers, you've already made it clear that you're not interested in music arguments that are at all musicological in nature, so I'll just boil down my thinking as follows:

1. There are thousands of cultures, nearly all (or maybe all) of which have developed at some point in their history pagan, idolatrous worship rituals, that often included some type of worship of spirits, and these cultures often use many different types of music.  Sometimes the only obvious similarities in the music are the types of musical instruments that can be developed by a primitive culture, which often include types of percussion.  (But of course, we know from scripture that percussion itself is even commanded in worship of God, so percussion is not itself the problem.)

2. Ecstatic experiences, including yielding of the self to just experiencing feeling (rather than using thought and contemplation) can be produced in many ways, not only with different types of music, but even in many ways without music at all.

3. Most importantly, we know from scripture that what defiles a man comes from within -- the heart.  Any special conduit to demonic influence will be initiated by the yielding of oneself, including just "feeling the moment" as attempted worship, rather than worshiping as God intended us to.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't avoid temptation, or that things around us in the world can't influence us in the wrong way, but the heart is what makes the determination to deny God and open itself to evil influences (Romans 1), not things we see or hear.

I'm certain that some artists believe it's their music, or a special type of music, that helps them achieve their "spiritual oneness" with whatever.  I believe they think so because they have no understanding that their "heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."  In other words, they are looking for an explanation and think they have found one.  Just because they believe it to be true doesn't make it so.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

dcbii wrote:

On my strong doubts that a particular music type can of itself create a special conduit to demonic powers, you've already made it clear that you're not interested in music arguments that are at all musicological in nature, so I'll just boil down my thinking as follows:

1. There are thousands of cultures, nearly all (or maybe all) of which have developed at some point in their history pagan, idolatrous worship rituals, that often included some type of worship of spirits, and these cultures often use many different types of music.  Sometimes the only obvious similarities in the music are the types of musical instruments that can be developed by a primitive culture, which often include types of percussion.  (But of course, we know from scripture that percussion itself is even commanded in worship of God, so percussion is not itself the problem.)

Hmm. This makes me think that you think for some reason that the music of all or most occultists should have been and should be the same for it to be demonic? If so, I do not think that there is any reason why that would need to be the case.

dcbii wrote:

2. Ecstatic experiences, including yielding of the self to just experiencing feeling (rather than using thought and contemplation) can be produced in many ways, not only with different types of music, but even in many ways without music at all.

True.

dcbii wrote:

3. Most importantly, we know from scripture that what defiles a man comes from within -- the heart.  Any special conduit to demonic influence will be initiated by the yielding of oneself, including just "feeling the moment" as attempted worship, rather than worshiping as God intended us to.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't avoid temptation, or that things around us in the world can't influence us in the wrong way, but the heart is what makes the determination to deny God and open itself to evil influences (Romans 1), not things we see or hear.

I disagree strongly with this understanding of the passages where Jesus spoke about that matter. He was not teaching that there is not anything from outside that enters a person in any way that defiles him.

Rather, He specified that those things that are taken in orally (all meats; i.e. foods) do not defile because they do not enter the heart of man:
 

Matthew 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

Mark 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 **Because** it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

Visual and auditory inputs do not go into the belly, and they do not go out with the bodily wastes.

Things that do enter the heart of man through what they see and what they hear, like pornographic images and ungodly music, can and do defile the hearts of men.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

RajeshG wrote:

Hmm. This makes me think that you think for some reason that the music of all or most occultists should have been and should be the same for it to be demonic? If so, I do not think that there is any reason why that would need to be the case.

No, I wouldn't say that they have to be exactly the same, but either way, if it's true that music on it's own could open a special conduit to demonic powers, we still must be able to identify it in some way, AND show that it can do what you are saying it can do.  I'm saying that if it were played in a vacuum, nothing would happen.  The music itself has no power.  It's our depraved heart that will twist music (and many other things) in ways that are in defiance of God and his commands.

Quote:

I disagree strongly with this understanding of the passages where Jesus spoke about that matter. He was not teaching that there is not anything from outside that enters a person in any way that defiles him.

Rather, He specified that those things that are taken in orally (all meats; i.e. foods) do not defile because they do not enter the heart of man...

You'll notice I didn't compare music with food.  The other part that Jesus stated about what defiles a man coming from his heart is true on its own, even if he had left out the part about food.  If it were true that something would need to come in from the outside, then we would all be sinless if we could avoid any outside influence, because it would actually work to help cleanse our hearts.  However, we know that that won't fix the problem.

Again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't avoid things that we can see encourage the depravity that is already there.  However, I still don't see that something entering our eyes and ears has special powers to open a conduit to demonic powers.  It's our heart that does the opening, even if we are allowing/using/twisting something from the outside to help us with that.  If our hearts were pure, nothing that came in could defile them.  Jesus saw a lot of the worst of humanity, and yet despite what he saw and heard, he remained undefiled.  What came in had no power to defile him.  It can help defile us only because of the interaction with our already depraved hearts.

Quote:

Things that do enter the heart of man through what they see and what they hear, like pornographic images and ungodly music, can and do defile the hearts of men.

Think about what you are saying about pornography for a moment.  What makes it defiling?  Is it nakedness?  Genesis would indicate otherwise.  Is it the reproductive act?  Again, it's clear that that is pure in God's eyes when used as he intended.  It is the depraved, fallen heart of man that has twisted what God made, both in the making and consumption of such material.  And yes, we should absolutely avoid it.

When it comes to music, you quickly toss off the concept of ungodly music, but for that to mean something, it must be well-defined (and of course, it would help if the Bible had identified such).  You want to talk about lyrics?  You want to talk about avoiding music that we can see takes our heart in the wrong direction from God (like the example I mentioned a while back about a friend of mine avoiding music that sounds too much like RC worship)?  Then I think you are on firmer ground.  I avoid a number of types of music based on the two criteria I just mentioned.  However, I still don't believe that it's the music itself that is the issue.

You want to tell me that the music itself can be ungodly?  You're going to have to demonstrate and prove that.  I've yet to see that happen from anyone.  Simply stating that "there is ungodly music" but then also saying "we can't study it, we must just avoid it" is a cop-out.  So is quoting someone who makes a claim about it.  It's not helpful, because if we can't identify what makes something ungodly, we won't know how to recognize it or what to avoid.

That's why I believe that even if music could be intrinsically evil (and I doubt it, due to lack of evidence), it's ultimately not particularly helpful to me.  I need to avoid anything (even good music) that would take my heart away from God, and I certainly avoid songs with ungodly lyrics, since the meaning of those is clear.  Whether the music itself is an issue is a distant 3rd place in my consideration, not least because we do not have an objective, usable standard to help us with that.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you.  You and I will continue to disagree on this because you haven't convinced me either.  I was just laying out my thinking behind doubting that music has special powers to open us up to evil.  Please feel free to object or have the last word.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

dcbii wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Hmm. This makes me think that you think for some reason that the music of all or most occultists should have been and should be the same for it to be demonic? If so, I do not think that there is any reason why that would need to be the case.

 

 

No, I wouldn't say that they have to be exactly the same, but either way, if it's true that music on it's own could open a special conduit to demonic powers, we still must be able to identify it in some way, AND show that it can do what you are saying it can do.  I'm saying that if it were played in a vacuum, nothing would happen.  The music itself has no power.  It's our depraved heart that will twist music (and many other things) in ways that are in defiance of God and his commands.

This viewpoint presumes that humans have the abilities to understand and analyze the activities and products of supernatural evil beings who are incomparably "greater in power and might" (2 Pet. 2:11) than any humans and have vast amounts of knowledge that has never been known by any mere humans and never will be.

Do you really think that you or any other human can understand how Satan transported Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple or showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time or how Pharaoh's magicians did all the miracles that they did? If you cannot understand such things, what makes you think that you can understand the true realities of how occultists do their evil activities or what the real qualities and properties are of their evil products?

In any case, God forbids His people from seeking any such knowledge that they even could begin to comprehend. Moreover, in His perfect wisdom, He has put all occultists, their activities, and their products categorically off-limits to His people. Those who hold that occult music is an exception to divine prohibitions on things of the occult have the burden of proving from Scripture why that is true.

RajeshG's picture

dcbii wrote:

 

Quote:

 

I disagree strongly with this understanding of the passages where Jesus spoke about that matter. He was not teaching that there is not anything from outside that enters a person in any way that defiles him.

Rather, He specified that those things that are taken in orally (all meats; i.e. foods) do not defile because they do not enter the heart of man...

 

 

You'll notice I didn't compare music with food.  The other part that Jesus stated about what defiles a man coming from his heart is true on its own, even if he had left out the part about food.  If it were true that something would need to come in from the outside, then we would all be sinless if we could avoid any outside influence, because it would actually work to help cleanse our hearts.  However, we know that that won't fix the problem.

Again, I'm not saying that we shouldn't avoid things that we can see encourage the depravity that is already there.  However, I still don't see that something entering our eyes and ears has special powers to open a conduit to demonic powers.  It's our heart that does the opening, even if we are allowing/using/twisting something from the outside to help us with that.  If our hearts were pure, nothing that came in could defile them.  Jesus saw a lot of the worst of humanity, and yet despite what he saw and heard, he remained undefiled.  What came in had no power to defile him.  It can help defile us only because of the interaction with our already depraved hearts.

Satan was able to deceive an unfallen human being who did not have a depraved heart (Eve) so that she transgressed against God.

He and his demons have supernatural access to our hearts and bodies in ways that we are unable to know or understand. Music of the occult is not ordinary manmade music and must be rejected categorically. 

RajeshG's picture

dcbii wrote:

 

Quote:

 

Things that do enter the heart of man through what they see and what they hear, like pornographic images and ungodly music, can and do defile the hearts of men.

 

 

When it comes to music, you quickly toss off the concept of ungodly music, but for that to mean something, it must be well-defined (and of course, it would help if the Bible had identified such). . . . 

You want to tell me that the music itself can be ungodly?  You're going to have to demonstrate and prove that.  I've yet to see that happen from anyone.  Simply stating that "there is ungodly music" but then also saying "we can't study it, we must just avoid it" is a cop-out.  So is quoting someone who makes a claim about it.  It's not helpful, because if we can't identify what makes something ungodly, we won't know how to recognize it or what to avoid.

That's why I believe that even if music could be intrinsically evil (and I doubt it, due to lack of evidence), it's ultimately not particularly helpful to me. . . .  Whether the music itself is an issue is a distant 3rd place in my consideration, not least because we do not have an objective, usable standard to help us with that.

The only objective, usable standard that God has provided and will ever provide is the perfect one of demanding categorically that humans are not to have anything to do with the occult and with occultists, their activities, and their products. When occultists testify to the evil nature of their musical activities, Christians do not have any biblical basis to reject such testimonies.

You would do well to study carefully that Christ rebuked people in the church in Thyatira for their involvement in the occult and provided only a summary phrase ("the depths of Satan" [Rev. 2:24]) to characterize and condemn their occult activities. He did not define that phrase. He did not provide detailed explanations and examples of it. He did not explain how and why it was demonic.

What He did was perfect and refutes any notions that consecrated believers must do otherwise concerning anything of the occult.

Moreover, heeding divine prohibitions to not have anything to do with things of the occult is not a "cop-out"; it is believing obedience to an infinite omniscient God who has warned us repeatedly not to have anything to do with the occult.

Based on what you have said in your comments, I wonder if you might be the one person who answered affirmatively the question in my poll in the OP. (I'm not asking you to reveal whether you are or not.)

Anyway, I appreciate your taking time to offer some substantive interaction and would welcome more such interaction! 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I think this interaction has run its course, but I can tell you I didn't respond to the poll.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

One of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers, Clement of Alexandria testified to his belief that there was both ungodly music and godly music in his day:

For temperate harmonies 1414 are to be admitted; but we are to banish as far as possible from our robust mind those liquid harmonies, which, through pernicious arts in the modulations of tones, train to effeminacy and scurrility. But grave and modest strains say farewell to the turbulence of drunkenness. 1415 Chromatic harmonies are therefore to be abandoned to immodest revels, and to florid and meretricious music.

This passage also shows that ancient believers as early as the late 2nd century/early 3rd century AD understood the concept of different harmonies in music.

RajeshG's picture

In the OP, I presented how Rick Warren makes the claim that God invented all kinds of music. This claim is not supported by Scripture, which never teaches any such notion.

Moreover, Warren's subsequent assertion (that is based on that faulty claim) that all kinds of music can be used in worship is refuted in the following way by Scripture itself by what 1 Cor. 10:23 reveals:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

For the purpose of discussion, suppose that "all things" in this verse includes all kinds of music so that it would be stating that all kinds of music are lawful for me (this is not true, but suppose that it were).

Based on what else the verse says, the verse would then also be teaching that all kinds of music are not expedient and all kinds of music edify not.

Because we would know that not all kinds of music edify, we would know with certainty that not all kinds of music can be used in corporate worship because God commands that all things be done for edification:

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Based on what 1 Cor. 10:23 and 14:26 teach, we know with certainty that Warren's claim that asserts that all kinds of music can be offered to God in spirit and truth and thereby be an act of worship is false.
 

"If it is offered to God in spirit and truth, it is an act of worship."  

Because of what 1 Cor. 10:23 and 14:26 teach, it is not true that all kinds of music can be offered to God in truth, that is, according to what God has revealed as true in His word of truth.

Any assertion that all kinds of music can be used acceptably to God in corporate worship is false.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Also worth remembering is that if we want to say that certain rhythms are "off limits" because of association with whoever, that is a guilt by association fallacy.  Period.  We might as well suggest that back in the 1st century, some well-meaning proto-Rajesh might have pointed out that all the good recipes for pork derived from pagan worship practices and "waving the thigh", and therefore, contrary to Paul, Christians ought not enjoy that which was sold in the market because you really couldn't eat it without connecting yourself to those occult practices.  In the same way, someone in the 1st century could well have, and with far more truth than does Rajesh, pointed to the pagan origins of the musical rhythms used for early hymns, songs, and spiritual songs in Greek.

These remarks are faulty assertions because they reflect the mishandling of Scripture about meats offered to idols and the misapplication of that Scripture to issues about worship music.

The passages about meat offered to idols do not teach that after they had been offered in idolatrous worship, those same meats could then have been righteously offered to God in true worship.

Rather, those meats that were used in idolatrous worship could still be used in a proper setting and a proper way as food because such alternative use of all foods for that purpose had already been divinely authorized and commended.

By complete contrast, no such claims of prior divine authorization and commendation can be made legitimately about various kinds of music that have been used in idolatrous worship because God has never authorized or commended the use of all kinds of music in true worship.

For a Christian to claim that passages about meat offered to idols apply to issues about worship music, he must prove from Scripture that God has revealed that like all the meats that were offered to idols, all kinds of music were and are also (1) created directly by God (cf. for meats: Gen. 1:20-25), (2) declared by God to be good (cf. for meats: Gen. 1:21, 25, 31), (3) authorized by God for use by all humans (cf. for meats: Gen. 9:3), and (4) commended by God for use by believers (cf. 1 Tim. 4:3-6).

RajeshG's picture

Quote:

In the same way, someone in the 1st century could well have, and with far more truth than does Rajesh, pointed to the pagan origins of the musical rhythms used for early hymns, songs, and spiritual songs in Greek.

This statement is a good example of a persistent practice used on SI by certain people who are supporters of Christian use of rock music--make assertions and not provide any evidence for the validity and truthfulness of those assertions.

When statements such as these assertions are made without providing any proof of or argumentation for their truthfulness, such assertions become merely examples of fallacious argument by assertion.

Where is the objective evidence of "the pagan origins of the musical rhythms used for early hymns, songs, and spiritual songs in Greek"?

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