John Vaughn (FBFI President/CEO): "one thing is clear: this video ends the fiction that 'Northland has not changed.'”

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Jay's picture

Scott Aniol wrote:

Ephesians 4:29.

Your turn.

Scott -

Waiting for you to demonstrate how you get from:

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:17-21)

to this:

So the highest value in terms of Christianity and culture is not preserving the indigenous culture of every people group, whether American culture or Indonesian culture. The highest value is preserving, or in some cases introducing, cultural forms that best express biblical values. Sometimes those forms will reflect the surrounding culture; many times they will not. -A Distinctly Christian Culture

As easily and simply as possible, please, for those of us who aren't musicians.  

"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

Dan McGhee's picture

Brent Marshall wrote:
OK, Dan, let's work with that. Two questions: 1. How would you complete this sentence: "Scripture clearly and forcefully says that the substance and content must be ...."? I am thinking of the primary attributes of right substance/content. What do you think they are? 2. How is substance or content a different matter than musical style?

I'm not going to have a philosophical discussion with you concerning this subject. No offense, but I've done that in the past, even in the very early days of Sharper Iron and found it to be wasted time. I'm sorry, but I just don't have the time for that. 

However, I will discuss the specific passages of Scripture that speak directly to the matter of musical style/genres that God prescribes for His people.

I'm waiting for you to list one that you believe speaks to this matter. Scott just listed one that he believes speaks to this issue specifically, and I've listed one as well that equally speaks to it.

Having a philosophical argument regarding musical style is like having a philosophical argument over whether Bible Colleges ought to exist or not. At the end of the day, nobody's opinion is changed, and even when you try to go to the Word of God to support your position, it still comes back to God's silence regarding that subject. Which, of course means, that its a matter of personal preference based on one's convictions - and this ought to cause us to give great liberty to our brothers and sisters who see the matter differently.  

Mike Harding's picture

Dan,

 

I think musical style comes under general categories such as beauty, loveliness, and melody.  Even the OT psalms would specify particular melodies to accompany the singing of the OT songs.  There are many references regarding those qualities in the context of worship. Even Moses identified the musical sound in the idol-worshipping camp as something antithetical to the worship of Yahweh and more compatible with the Apis bull-god of Egypt. I think it is safe to say that the musical style which accompanies our worship should be beautiful as God defines beauty, loveliness, holy, and melodic.  One has to be a discerning student of music and of culture to determine how music communicates and what it means.  Scott has written well on that subject.  If I follow your logic, potentially any style of music would or could be used in worship.  I know you and Julie well enough that you would never flesh out that principle to the extreme.  I appreciate that quality about you.  Though there is some subjectivity in application, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Pastor Mike Harding

JD Miller's picture

Scott, I am thankful that someone finally provided scripture on this subject.  The verse you posted said "let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth."

I have not heard anyone on this post arguing for corrupt lyrics. 

Even though I disagree with your application of this verse, it is refreshing to see a seminary professor that at least tries to give scripture rather than telling those with honest questions that they must have missed something in their ministry preparation or telling them they are out of bounds rather than actually clarifying what he meant.

I must admit that I am frustrated by this thread.  I really really prefer the traditional hymns over the CCM, and I would love to have clear scripture to support why my preferences are better than others, but I have not been given that information.  I have come asking to be taught, but instead have been mocked for not getting it.  That has been the most heartbreaking of all.  (BTW, I still do not understand why the Great Commandment means that CCM is wrong- whatever it is that I am misunderstanding or misapplying on that thought, I would love to have explained)

Scott, thank you for at least attempting to give me something from scripture.

Brent Marshall's picture

Dan, I am disappointed to see you dismissing my questions seeking brief, simple explanations of your own points. I thought that we had the opportunity for some profitable discourse here, but you are pretty much nixing that.

The problem is that one cannot determine what Scriptures deal with the situation at hand without determining the nature of the issues at hand. If you cut off discussion of these broader questions, then a discussion of specific passages in the artificially narrow way that you specify is likely to be unproductive—as your initial exchange with Scott appears to be.

As a specific example, I wonder whether your distinction between style and content is built on some notion that style has no meaning and thus does not affect what is communicated. In contrast, I would argue generally that the manner in which something is communicated is part of the communication and thus affects the message that is communicated. If we disagree at this basic level, then we are not ready to talk about the Scriptures that you propose.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Dan McGhee's picture

Mike Harding wrote:

Dan,

 

I think musical style comes under general categories such as beauty, loveliness, and melody.  Even the OT psalms would specify particular melodies to accompany the singing of the OT songs.  There are many references regarding those qualities in the context of worship. Even Moses identified the musical sound in the idol-worshipping camp as something antithetical to the worship of Yahweh and more compatible with the Apis bull-god of Egypt. I think it is safe to say that the musical style which accompanies our worship should be beautiful as God defines beauty, loveliness, holy, and melodic.  One has to be a discerning student of music and of culture to determine how music communicates and what it means.  Scott has written well on that subject.  If I follow your logic, potentially any style of music would or could be used in worship.  I know you and Julie well enough that you would never flesh out that principle to the extreme.  I appreciate that quality about you.  Though there is some subjectivity in application, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

 

Thanks for the kind words, brother. I hope you know Julie and I love and appreciate you and your family greatly. 

Regarding your thoughts, you and I know that it is the lack of specificity in God's Word regarding the definitions of words like "beauty, loveliness, holy, and melodic" especially as it concerns the subject of music. I've read much of what has been written in recent years regarding it. Of course there are certain styles we wouldn't use in our church, but I think much of that has to do with my own, our Elder's own, and even our church families' own particular tastes in music. We are constantly trying to balance that with the reality of a growing church that is also becoming more ethnically diverse each year.

I don't know what it means to "throw the baby out with the bath water" means in this area. Really, I just don't. From your perspective, has Northland done this? I ask, because from my perspective, they haven't. But I know you love the Lord and you love the Gospel, and I hope you know the same about me. 

So, here's a specific for you, that may indicate to you that my bath water long ago wished its baby was still there Smile This is Shaii Linne explaining the reasoning behind one of his newest songs entitled "False Teachers." Below that is a link to Justin Taylor's blog where he has actually embedded the song so that you can hear it. I'm posting this because I'm telling you that I like it. I appreciate his boldness, the honestly in the lyrics, the truthfulness of content, and yes, I even like the "style/genre" of it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by-JDhaUBGk&feature=player_embedded

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/04/07/fale-teacher/

Greg Linscott's picture

To me, it seems that trying to resolve the music issue in threads like this is an exercise in futility. It's not that the issues aren't important, but even if a few are convinced here, countless others will remain unconvinced, and it won't answer the matter at hand. I understand that matter to be: is there room to work alongside those with whom we strongly disagree on this issue?

For example: could Dan McGhee have Bauder in to preach in a conference? Could Scott Aniol send his kids to a week of camp where Jay was the activity director?  Could Brenda's church have a missionary in whose kids listened to "Go Fish"? That kind of a thing.

 

Practically speaking, that is the question that will not be going away for any of us in the foreseeable future.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Michael Riley's picture

Greg,

It seems to me that the overly simple answer to your question is this: it depends on the 1) the degree of the difference and 2) the nature of the cooperation. Your examples illustrate this, I think, particularly the last two. If a missionary comes and speaks at my church, his views on music are less relevant than if I am sending my kids to the camp he is running (depending, of course, on what you mean by activity director; perhaps Jay is just running game time in this example).

TylerR's picture

Editor

Greg - this is a very good question. I agree with Michael that it entirely depends on the nature of the cooperation. The short answer is "yes," there can be cooperation. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Greg Linscott's picture

I would agree, MPR. But again, those things will continue to be there. You might have a missionary speak- but would his views on music one way or another be a factor in taking him on for support? Would it be different if you were a new pastor surveying the missionaries your church had committed to to support long before you came in? That kind of a thing.

I, for one, see the music issue as important, but I would not handle a disagreement over it, say, with a supported missionary, the same way I would if he changed his views on baptism. The same would be true for someone seeking to join our church.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Dan McGhee's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:

To me, it seems that trying to resolve the music issue in threads like this is an exercise in futility. It's not that the issues aren't important, but even if a few are convinced here, countless others will remain unconvinced, and it won't answer the matter at hand. I understand that matter to be: is there room to work alongside those with whom we strongly disagree on this issue?

For example: could Dan McGhee have Bauder in to preach in a conference? Could Scott Aniol send his kids to a week of camp where Jay was the activity director?  Could Brenda's church have a missionary in whose kids listened to "Go Fish"? That kind of a thing.

 

Practically speaking, that is the question that will not be going away for any of us in the foreseeable future.

Greg, you have summed up the crux of the issue quite well, IMO. And let me answer your question from my perspective - absolutely YES I would have Kevin Bauder speak at my church. I would love to have Sam Horn as well. I would love to have Mike Harding. I would invite a great number of men to speak at my church. I would gladly speak at any conference with them. But, I believe this issue of music is a matter of preference among brothers. I care much more deeply about their understanding of the Gospel than I do whether or not they will listen to Shai Linne. But, the issue is that I don't think the other side sees this subject the same way, and would therefore, be forced to decline this type of invitation from me.  

Joel Tetreau's picture

Come on Riley - Greg finally brings some well-timed love into the room and you squash it like an egg. I'm with Greg - we can come together even though some of us are singing Hymns, some of us are singing a praise song, some of us are counting on the 1 and 3 - others on the 2 and the 4.

Let me remind you all of the great lyrics from a great Hymn - "We are one in the Spirit.....hmnnnnnnnnnnnnn - We are one in the Spirit....hmmmmmmmmm"

so there................

sending out warmth and love from the tender cacti of AZ.

Straight Ahead

jt

"Greg and Riley - I'm saving a place for the two of you here at the koinonia camp fire we have here at SI - yep one of you will sit on my right side - the other on the left. I know you are overwhelmed. It's OK.

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Greg Linscott's picture

But, the issue is that I don't think the other side sees this issue the same way, and would therefore, be forced to decline this type of invitation from me.

Well, Dan, I haven't invited you yet, but I would still take the music issue as important. But for one relevant example, I think, I am having Phil Johnson in to speak in September (the day after he speaks to the men of the Minnesota Baptist Association), whose church, at least, does not line up neatly with us in practice on this issue.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Joel Tetreau's picture

OK - you two could learn much from Dan

This is a loving guy - you two have about a minute to get this or I'm dumping both of you and Dan will be my fireside fellowship buddy!

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Greg Linscott's picture

I'm sorry. I'm separating from you for a very practical reason... because you have teenage boys. :o

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Michael Riley's picture

Joel,

Come on, man: I spoke at your church just two weekends ago, and your never offered me a lawn chair! That said, there were marshmallows for toasting, so we were good there.

In all seriousness, my position is that music matters because ordinate affection, loving God rightly, matters. So I can't view it as a ministry non-issue. How high a priority is it in cooperative ministry? Once again, it depends on a host of factors. But music is in the mix of relevant factors, not because of a certain view of music, but because of a certain understanding of what it is like to love God.

An aside: next month, I'm scheduled to teach a graduate hermeneutics course at Northland. So, while I am as Bauderian as anyone on this forum, I don't see this issue as one that forces me to issue immediate and irrevocable anathemas.

Dan McGhee's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:

But, the issue is that I don't think the other side sees this issue the same way, and would therefore, be forced to decline this type of invitation from me.

Well, Dan, I haven't invited you yet, but I would still take the music issue as important. But for one relevant example, I think, I am having Phil Johnson in to speak in September (the day after he speaks to the men of the Minnesota Baptist Association), whose church, at least, does not line up neatly with us in practice on this issue.

 

Greg, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying... I, too, think "the music issue" is important. VERY IMPORTANT. But, I must stand where Scripture is clear concerning the subject and that always involves the content/lyrical message of the music. I will fight about that. Why? Because Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19 speak specifically to content. But, it is in the area of style/genre where I believe we need to give grace to fellow believers. 

BTW, I obviously have no problem at all with you having Phil Johnson in to speak at your church. IMO, he has proved himself to be a champion for truth and has shown a willingness to battle over fundamentals of the faith. It seems to me, based on your invite of him, that we would agree regarding the matter of musical preferences/practices regarding styles/genres not being a matter of separation or needing to limit cooperation among brothers. Honestly, I find this to be incredibly ENCOURAGING and REFRESHING. 

Seriously guys, if we could just choose to stand on this matter where Scripture is clear - not going farther than Scripture goes, but being sure to go as far as it does go - we could unite some now separated groups that have far more in common than they do differences. Greg, it sounds to me that you are willing to do this.

 

Jay's picture

You said that you don't think forms (by which I took you to mean musical forms apart from the words) are neutral.  I asked how you judge musical forms (apart from the words) as appropriate for church or not.  You responded with a list that applies primarily to the words only.  Can you help me understand your principles better?

Well, I'm not really sure I can. 

When believers meet for corporate worship, they come as the primary participants that are coming to give praise to God (not to be entertained, as our seeker-sensitive acquaintances would argue).  Preaching is also a major part of that.  So anything that threatens their ability to do so (their unity - see Ephesians 2-4) becomes a major issue and possibly even a 'threat' to that which should be the goal.  That ties in nicely with why the NT seems to be emphatic about threats to the church unity and how to deal with them (the separation arguments).  I think you and I agree on that.

So if the music itself (not the lyrics, which we've discussed already) are too hard to follow, too loud, too fast, are not intelligible, or something like that, then it becomes an issue that hinders the worship and glory of God - something HE doesn't take lightly either.  

Of course, that shoe has to fit on the other foot as well - if I'm the one consistently standing up and demanding traditional music to the point that it disrupts the unity of the church or hinders worship - then we need to either expel the unbeliever (in the most dire cases - I can't imagine that this would be all that common), separate amiably (as in Acts 15:39), or learn to work together in harmony (pun intended) despite our differences.

Hope that is helpful to you.  I know it's not dealing with music (as in the noise), but it's the best I could come up with.  

Greg Linscott wrote:
To me, it seems that trying to resolve the music issue in threads like this is an exercise in futility. It's not that the issues aren't important, but even if a few are convinced here, countless others will remain unconvinced, and it won't answer the matter at hand. I understand that matter to be: is there room to work alongside those with whom we strongly disagree on this issue?

For example: could Dan McGhee have Bauder in to preach in a conference? Could Scott Aniol send his kids to a week of camp where Jay was the activity director?  Could Brenda's church have a missionary in whose kids listened to "Go Fish"? That kind of a thing.

Practically speaking, that is the question that will not be going away for any of us in the foreseeable future.

Greg,

Good post.  REALLY good post.  I think there is - but only if they're willing to work with me in return, which is the frustrating thing.

I was thinking about this thread yesterday, and I have to admit that I've reached the point where:

1. I'm never going to make some people change their minds.  I knew that going into it, though Smile

2. I'm flat out unwilling to serve as a "Fundamentalist Emperor" that tells people what is and isn't acceptable (which is why I cited 1 Cor. 10 and Romans 14 in a different thread).  I have a real problem with that kind of behavior, but I understand the longing to have someone just tell me what is and isn't acceptable. (Ties in to works-salvation, doesn't it?  Maybe we're all Catholics at heart?)  That role belongs to the Bible and the Holy Spirit, not any man...certainly not me.  

3. I'm tired of debating it.  Yes, I know - doesn't seem like that was possible, huh? 

If anyone here has thought about their standards and underlying foundational precepts, I think I've achieved my goal, but I really just want to step away for a little while, take a deep breath, and relax.  So I'm going to do that.

Besides - this thread is really supposed to be about Northland anyway. Smile

"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

Jim's picture

What if (kind of like Genesis 11:9). God struck every Christian and ...

  • Everyone could sing like Jim Peet (basically tone deaf and I cannot sing well ... I can sing loud but you don't want to hear it)
  • Everyone could play the piano or clarinet (I took lessons for about 2 years ... ) like Jim Peet (I play the clarinet like I play pool)

So in my new Stephen King "Under the Dome" kind of world .. no one has any musical talent. 

Kind of science fiction so let's simply it a bit

Consider a small country church. The pastor does not have any musical talent. There is one old lady who thinks she can play the organ but she is really heavy on the pedal.

Can those people worship? 

 

Mike Harding's picture

Dan,

 

I have presented lengthy documents on the specificity you desire in "Music That Glorifies God" (32 pages), "The Beauty of God" and "Toward Biblical Music Standards" . Last fall I presented a dozen messages on the subject. I can't present them here.  On account of the fact that our computers at church don't allow UTUBE, I was unable to listen to your examples.  I will take your word for it.

 

Aside from the fact that rap/hip-hop has very little melodic quality, is predominantly rhythmic as opposed to melodic and harmonic, has very poor poetical quality (when compared to OT and NT poetry), and is clearly associated with the most negative aspects of urban culture, I would not desire to encourage our congregation in that style of music knowing that nearly all of the secular music in that genre is profoundly evil.  Of course, I am not suggesting at all that your examples are evil in their lyrical content.  The medium in my judgment is not worthy of the message and is practically impossible for corporate worship.  I am not questioning the motives of the artists nor their personal commitment to the gospel.  I am questioning the wisdom of using such a medium for the gospel.  We are to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel and we are to adorn the gospel.

 

Greg,

 

As usual you ask the most difficult questions.  My answer thus far is that I have withheld ecclesiastical common cause with those who egregiously violate what I believe to be biblical principles of music and worship.  Yes it is a judgment call.  This is difficult for me. Even in this current discussion I have been either youth pastor and/or pastor of Scott Aniol, Mike Riley, and Dan McGhee--all very fine men and good pastors/teachers.  Theologically, we are all very close to the same page.  At the very least I can say that there are areas of disagreement here between Christian brothers that would limit my ecclesiastical participation.  A fundamental seminary president has said that music is not necessarily a separation issue per se.  I understand fully where he is coming from and may I add that he takes a conservative position on worship music for his seminary.  For me, however, it can be a separation issue and has been.  Perhaps as Riley said it is a matter of degree.

Pastor Mike Harding

Jay's picture

Yes, they can. Smile

Now I tread in dangerous territory - they can worship with kazoos instead, if they have no organ Smile

"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

Greg Linscott's picture

I'm not saying it isn't ever a factor. I'm just observing that it there is room for cooperation on various levels. Mike H: let's say your church supports a missionary with Baptist Mid-Missions. He agrees with you on music. However, his fellow BMM field council member (whom you don't support directly ) does not. In some small way, at least, you share fellowship and cooperation with someone who differs with you on this- or, to use your term, you share "ecclesiastical common cause."

I certainly would have no problem, say, avoiding sending my kids to a week of camp and selecting another if I knew that Chris Tomlin-style P&W would dominate the week's chapel services. I don't necessarily think that means I would have to stop supporting a missionary the church overseeing the camp music that week was the sending church for- or, to make it more uncomfortable, I wouldn't encourage the missionary our church sent out to reject the funds they sent to support his efforts.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Dan McGhee's picture

Mike Harding wrote:

  The medium in my judgment is not worthy of the message and is practically impossible for corporate worship.  I am not questioning the motives of the artists nor their personal commitment to the gospel.  I am questioning the wisdom of using such a medium for the gospel.  We are to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel and we are to adorn the gospel.

 

Mike, the underlined portion of your statement reveals the actual core, yes, even the VERY HEART of the debate in this area. As you've stated, your issue is with the "medium" used to communicate the message. I would agree with you that in most contexts this would be a difficult medium to use for corporate worship music, but I can't say that it would be sinful in every context. I don't even think that Shai would argue that this medium ought to be the only form used in a worship context. But, as an introduction to a sermon series regarding false teachers? Well, I can see it used that way in a given context. For the believer to be edified/encouraged/trained in discernment while in his car driving to work? For sure I can see it used there.

But the larger question involves definitions of words like beauty, loveliness, holiness, etc., and this is where I contend that we will never find agreement specifically as it applies to various styles/genres of music. Why? Because God's Word has not given us those specifics. So my plea to you is simply this: stop making this a matter of separation from good brothers.

Since you can't do this now, please go listen to the links I added to that post. Shai Linne cares about the Gospel, and not only is he willing to separate over it, he is willing to call out those who preach a false one. He does it, through a medium, that I believe beautifully, creatively, and powerfully adorns his message of calling out false teachers.

Love you, brother.

Michael Riley's picture

Dan,

Hypothetical: suppose there was a preacher whose doctrine was sound, but whose manner of preaching was that of a stand-up comic. Or, perhaps, that of the stereotypical hollering evangelist. I suspect that we'd agree that, in both cases, the manner of delivery of the text either subtly or deeply undermines what is being said. Of course, the degree of this will vary, given the passage/topic being addressed, etc.

Would you intentionally avoid that kind of preaching, either as a guest in your pulpit, or at conference you might promote? And on what grounds?

Greg Linscott's picture

MPR makes a good comparison, I think. I would object to the preaching styles in question and would not promote the event, but again, I wouldn't encourage the missionary our church sent out to reject the funds that church sent to support his efforts.

Limited fellowship does not mean cutting off all fellowship.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

JD Miller's picture

These last several posts have been very helpful to me because that is essentially where the rubber meets the road on this issue for me.  I have stated that I am not willing to make music a separation issue, yet in practice to an extent I have because I would much rather send my kids to a camp with traditional music (all other things being equal).  Does that make me a hypocrite or just practical?  I believe it is just being practical.  At the same time, I am not willing to separate from a brother who made a different choice about where to send his kids if music is the only issue.  That is why I think it is good to let us know what is happening at Northland so we can make decisions accordingly, I just am not convinced it is as big of an issue as some people think.

Michael, I think you have a very good point in your last post as well, but it also brings to mind Philippians 1:16-18.

Don Johnson's picture

I have long argued that we use the term "separation" too much. We should separate from false teachers (not necessarily as easy as it sounds). We should "note that man, and have no company with him" when someone is disobedient, but treat him as a brother -- limited fellowship.

Perhaps a fine distinction, but one that I think is important.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Dan McGhee's picture

Michael Riley wrote:

Dan,

Hypothetical: suppose there was a preacher whose doctrine was sound, but whose manner of preaching was that of a stand-up comic. Or, perhaps, that of the stereotypical hollering evangelist. I suspect that we'd agree that, in both cases, the manner of delivery of the text either subtly or deeply undermines what is being said. Of course, the degree of this will vary, given the passage/topic being addressed, etc.

Would you intentionally avoid that kind of preaching, either as a guest in your pulpit, or at conference you might promote? And on what grounds?

 

Mike,

These are great questions and I'm glad that you asked them. Now, let me give it my best answer. First, I've heard preaching all my life that would fit into either category Smile Sometimes I have found even the two extremes you cited to be beneficial. But, again, this depends upon the context as well. And, doesn't so much of one's "style" of preaching depend upon one's own personality, experiences, and training? Southerners tend to preach differently than those from the North East. Those in small rural towns will preach with a different style than someone preaching consistently in the heart of Detroit. 

If a man believes and preaches the Gospel, I could find his ministry to be beneficial to myself and people in my church, even if his particular style isn't necessarily my preferred method of delivery. In fact, some may find his style to be especially helpful to them, and maybe, even more helpful than my own style/method at times. You see, I think people appreciate variety of style and approach in delivery as long as the substance and content is solid and sound.  

Now, having said that, here is where I think the crux of the difference comes into play as we use your analogy of styles (methods of delivery) in preaching with musical styles/genres.

Keeping with your analogy, the problem I have had over the years is NOT with those who say, "You know, I really don't prefer a hollering southerner to preach in my pulpit to our people, so I'm not going invite that guy to my church to preach." My issue is with groups like the FBF and many others who have said, "You know, I don't prefer a hollering southerner preaching in my church, and furthermore, I think hollering is sinful and wrong in the pulpit. It doesn't meet God's standards of beauty and loveliness, and furthermore, it doesn't adorn the Gospel of Christ." So, what do they do? Well, they get in a cloistered room and write RESOLUTION #13 against "the sinful practice of hollering southern preachers." Not content to leave it a matter of preference, these men go on the offensive and make it a matter of right vs. wrong, and in so doing, have caused an unnecessary spirit of divisiveness within the body of Christ. 

SamH's picture

but what if the matter truly is a matter of conviction (conscience) and not preference? Going beyond Riley's example, and using your own words, is it legitimate to credit Vaughn, FBFI, et.al.'s motives as actually only being a preference, when they seem to project that they are driven by conviction?

SamH

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