And Can It Be . . . Another Post on Music?

Tags: 

More like this, please

Nice to see an article about music in the church not throwing bombs.  Of course, the answer to #2, the $64000 question of "what does it mean that a genre is appropriate to the lyrics?", could blow that one up, but all in all, well done.  The one thing that I'd love to see as well is a simple statement "if the purpose of music in the church is to...., then we would conclude that"--and then we would see those four principles.

(my submission; music in the church exists to communicate the Word of God to the People of God in lyric form and prepare them to meet with God.....feel free to add/modify/subtract/etc..)

I agree with:

I agree with:

Lyrics that are doctrinally correct.   

A song easily sung by a congregation. 

A song the congregation likes and likes to sing. 

But, mainly, it has to be a song I like :-).  I don’t know how to explain that to others, I just know it when I hear it.

I think the 2008 Baptist Hymnal does a pretty good job with its hymns. 

https://www.amazon.com/Baptist-Hymnal/dp/B001U7RI4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&q...

David R. Brumbelow

Liking the song....

Not to pick a fight with David, but it strikes me that from time to time, the music we hear or sing in the church ought to confront us--just like a sermon.  In other words, effective, good music in the church may not always be what we "like".  No?

My point about the

My point about the congregation must like a song. 

If they don’t like it, it will not be used. 

The thousands of hymns written in the 1800s and 1900s that you never heard of.  They were the ones people simply did not like.  When it comes to a song, people like you or you die. 

David R. Brumbelow

Singability

I was recently asked to define singability and the discussion was beneficial.

Example #1: I attend a concert and sing along with the band. (I chose the Beatles) Does that mean "Hey Jude" is singable?  We agreed not.

Example #2: A song has either challenging words of phrases in the stanzas and/or irregular rhythms that make it difficult for the average person to keep up or know when to come in. The chorus, however, can be sung enthusiastically.  No to this.

Example #3: The musicians (or song leader and/or choir) love it and the people love the song as well but the people are somehwat passive while the team/choir does their thing. Nope.

Example #4: A song that can be memorized and sung by an individual or family without musical instruments or a worship team/song leader. Winner!

I grew up in a church where hymnbooks were at a premium and we were encouraged to memorize and be able to sing without a hymnal. (Is anyone else slightly amused that people "need" a hymnbook to sing Amazing Grace?) Historically hymnody had a restricted number of tunes and meters and interchangeable words.

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

David, I know you were being

David, I know you were being a little facetious, but the whole "it has to be a song I like" is what kills churches due to worship wars. The problem with the "it has to be a song I like" perspective is that if you have 100 people at a church, there are 100 different opinions about which songs are "good" (meaning songs they like). At some point every single person has to give up some of their own personal preferences and sing songs they don't like, but they know are good for the body.

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Heh

I come to the garden alone  . . . while the dew is still on the roses . . .

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

Greg Long,

Greg Long,

You’re right I was joking a little.  There are old hymns I like, and old hymns I don’t like.  Same with more contemporary hymns / songs / choruses.  But I don’t know enough about music to fully explain why. 

If everyone else likes a song and I don’t, I just have hunker to take it! 

It does kind of amaze me that the song that really gets ahold of me, does nothing for the next guy; and vice versa.  But then, I guess we’re all agreed on Amazing Grace.  Somewhere I heard Amazing Grace wasn’t popular for years after it was written. 

Also, I realize each new generation is eventually going to be in charge of their music, whether we like it or not.  Good for them; except when I disagree! 

While it still needs to be doctrinally sound, I kind of think God may enjoy a wide range of music styles. 

David R. Brumbelow

Midpoint?

David could be being a little bit facetious, or I could simply grant him the point that, psychologically speaking at least, a song that is not liked is going to fade from use.  

The flip side is that Greg Long is entirely correct that if the criteria is what we like, and that psychological basis is not effectively restrained by theological truth, we will end up fighting over music.  That's why the starting point--a statement about the Biblical purpose of music in the church--is so important.  If it's just fun time, we might as well listen to the Beatles or AC/DC.

A good place to start to get a good "feel" for how the Spirit led God's People in this regard would be the various Psalms....along the lines of the old "how to detect counterfeit money" argument, let's take a look at the real thing.  

changing the order

I like Tim's approach but would change the order

1. The lyrics should be theologically accurate - no one is coming to the Garden while the dew.....

2. The genre of music should be appropriate to the lyrics - there are a number of old songs with new tunes. Some of the tunes are easily sung (#3), but a number of the new tunes have additional lyrics, most often in the form of a bridge or a chorus. One of them (not remembering the name right now), has a new chorus that changes the song from a stately hymn to a praise and worship song. I love the new tune and would use it, but without the added chorus. Hillsong has written a great new tune to "My Hope is Built..." but the added chorus doesn't fit with the song, so would use the tune minus the new chorus (and not make a big deal about it coming from Hillsong).

3. The music should be singable by a congregation - in agreement with Ron Bean's examples above.

4. The lyrics should be understandable to the congregation - I still want to "raise mine Ebenezer" in "Come Thou Fount," but not opposed to changing lyrics in a few songs for clarity.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

An Example

JohnBrian wrote:

2. The genre of music should be appropriate to the lyrics - there are a number of old songs with new tunes. Some of the tunes are easily sung (#3), but a number of the new tunes have additional lyrics, most often in the form of a bridge or a chorus.

In my opinion, one of the best examples of this is the version of "Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed" by Sovereign Grace.  Easy for a congregation and much better than the "and now I am happy all the day" version (though the chorus of that was an add-on to the original as well).  Here's a link:  https://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/track/alas-and-did-my-savior-bleed-2

cross generational

RickyHorton wrote:
In my opinion, one of the best examples of this is the version of "Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed" by Sovereign Grace.  Easy for a congregation and much better than the "and now I am happy all the day" version (though the chorus of that was an add-on to the original as well).  Here's a link:  https://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/track/alas-and-did-my-savior-bleed-2

I had not heard this tune before and you are right it is an excellent example. New tunes allow great songs to be cross-generational.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube

Song Popular In Churches With Millineals

My Light House by the Rend Collective which would be described as Contemporary Christian Music.  The songs by this group are popular.  To me they are more based on a bluegrass type music.  

A former MLB player last name Kingery has a family singing group that does gospel bluegrass type music in the Minnesota area.  He tours with his family at many GARB churches other Baptist and Bible Churches in the Minnesota area.

Jim do you know him.  He is my third cousin.  I recently emailed his wife and determined this and I'm dead on.   We both have the same multiple times great grandfather Thomas Kingery a Soldier of the Revolutionary war.  

genre doesn't fit ...

Tune doesn't fit the lyrics ... how far are you going to press that one, especially with the use of 'bridges' in more modern adaptations of older hymns? Is this not being highly and significantly subjective? I do find the four principles very helpful in generating meaningful direction and discussion for healthy cross-generational worship. But, these same principles may sound different in different cultural settings, yes?!

Understood in the violation, maybe

Agreed fully that it's hard to figure out that a tune does or does not fit, but one example that comes to mind of a place where it's not as hard to figure out is a little CD my kids had of Bible verses to music.  While generally pretty helpful, I could not help groaning at a bouncy, cheerful little tune with the lyrics "Lying lips are abomination to the Lord."  Maybe we start with some basics--imprecatory songs should not have cheerful, danceable tunes or something like that--and see if we start to grow to understand musical genre a bit better over time?

This is really good

I'd quibble with the order a little first, as others have, and go like this:

  1. The lyrics should be theologically accurate

  2. The lyrics should be understandable to the congregation

  3. The music should be singable by a congregation

  4. The genre of music should be appropriate to the lyrics

The only thing I might not be agreement with is that 4th point about the genre, and I think that's because it has the potential to be a backdoor for the same kinds of cultural music standards that people have used in the past.  Hopefully DBTS will discuss that point in another post.

[begin rant]

I've had some 'worship teams' that wanted to sing "My Lighthouse"so many times that I think I have developed a spiritual allergy to it, so this is a little bit of a rant...

That song is a terrible song.  There's no substantial or explicitly Christian content (the "my God will protect us" lyric could be sung by anyone!), and most of the time is spent talking about how God will take care of us.  It is catchy, though, and I know some people will be encouraged by it, but that's one lighthouse I'd personally like to see shut down. I also think that it's a perfect example of so much CCM that is worthless and empty.

[/endrant]

"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

Here's one for you!

I'd rather hear a donkey bray at midnight in a tin barn than hear bluegrass music!

 

If a group showed up at my church, I'd leave the service. Absolutely no interest in it.

Even if...

Mark_Smith wrote:

I'd rather hear a donkey bray at midnight in a tin barn than hear bluegrass music!

 

If a group showed up at my church, I'd leave the service. Absolutely no interest in it.

What if you were called to reach out in Appalachia, or (perhaps more likely) among hipster urbanites with logger beards and flannel shirts?  :^)

Personally, my take is that if I'm going to serve Christ, that will probably mean that I will have to suffer through music I don't personally like from time to time.  For me, that's most medleys in any genre (let's work on our attention span instead of changing the subject every 14 bars, OK?), anything where the composer appears to have forgotten about the de/crescendo (always uniform medium loud), and anything where the composer appears to think that adding more instruments playing the same notes makes it more musical.  It would be a vast improvement (IMO) to have more bluegrass, black gospel, ancient hymns (prior to 1700), and even decent rap & heavy metal.  

But that said, until we can demonstrate that a particular song (or perhaps genre) is sinful, sometimes I've just got to swallow my pride and make it through somehow....

No Bluegrass?

For me, I could go the rest of my life without hearing "special music" because I'd rather sing than be sung to.

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

Baylor Prof Doing A Whole Project on Black Gospel Music

I heard a interview of a Prof from Baylor who is out collecting and documenting all the Black Gospel Music sung at churches.  He is a white Prof but grew up in the late 50s and early 60s in the military. The Prof's father was the in the Air Force.  

He said the military was integrated so when he was catching a free lunch at his African American friends house all he heard was black Gospel Music. Historically this Music was sung to help the African Americans who were suffering through slavery and Jim Crow    

The guy had recordings from a black men's quartet from Salisbury MD area from the 50s.  He was able to interview two of the original members. 

So Mark if you don't like blue grass that's a personal not biblical position.  Also the Gospel Music sung in black churches was very much done to help them cope with their sufferings and to call out to their Lord for help.  Just like Jacob wrestled with the Lord these fine believers did the same through their Music  This was the whole basis for the Gospel Music in their churches. I wish I could remember the Profs name. It was quite an interesting interview.  

By the way Mark some Baptists must like bluegrass.  The Kingery's schedule is full of Baptist Churches in the Minnesota area.  As Bert said it depends where you are and who you are with. As I said before the Rend Collective is very big in Millennial Christian circles.  

Of course I'd only expect my blood to be real good and it surely appears they are.  By the way Mr Kingery lasted 10 years in the MLB and I believe he made his biggest mark with the Rockies.  He has lots of blonde kids to just like my family. 

Jay My Wife Has The Same Complaint

Jay you must have company because my wife and some of my kids have the same opinion.  We used to go to a large Willow Creek type church and my wife and a couple of my kids later made fun of the CCM music so it's obviously not an isolated opinion.  You probably have plenty of company. 

PS.  As white believers we should be very careful what we say to our African American Brothers and Sisters about their gospel music.  No boloney about beat and drums and being sinful.  They would interpret that as being racist and I would agree 100% with them. So no boloney in their presence in regards to their music.  When the black slaves would suffer.  It is said they stuck their head in a bucket of water and cried out to their Lord for help and relief.  They did this so their masters and keepers would not hear them.  Remember they did not have the freedom to speak freely or loudly because if they did they got tied to a post and whipped. 

Music is a "soul" stimulator ....or soother..

Biblically we see music used to quiet the soul as David played for Saul ..or to stimulate the soul to worship or meditate of the attributes of God..with the final goal to stir the "emotion"  yea there is that word that terrifies we fundamentalists...now emotion van go in any direction and music can take it in any direction so we must be aware of "association" with ungodly themes and melodies...at the same time musical "styles" are a matter of culture and up bringing..I remember growing up in WVa and hearing what I call "mountain Gospel" some would call bluegrass..but at times a man or woman would stand and sing without musical accompaniment..with a nasal thwang that many here would not like but it was very effective with that culture.

In essence I see the role of music in corporate worship as setting the atmosphere or "plowing" the soul for the planting of seed..I see it as a "tenderizer"  for a heart hardened by a week in the world..We are told not to be "drunk with wine" but to be filled with the spirit ...singing to yourselves, making melody in your heart ...with thanksgiving...Why did God use "intoxication" as a allegory ?   because it is a secular way man soothes the soul..or attempts to..for me music breaks up the hard ground that grieves the spirit and frees that spirit..sooooo...yes it really is intended to be an "emotional" experience...doctrinal correct,in order and without secular association of evil.

I see music as a plastic pipe into the soul of man.. with the capability to carry pure water or sewage into or out of the heart of man..for music to pass the test it must pass three tests :  first the message has to be sound doctrine, it does not have to be "deep" doctrine..some doctrinal truths are very simple but very powerful..Holy,Holy Holy has moved me to adoration at a level that has left me broken ..also putting a three part sermon to music makes bad preaching and music..  Second , it must be free of evil association I really cany worship to "rap"  style ...regardless of the words..I just cant get past the image. Of course this is the subjective issue that usually causes the divide..ie: southern Gospel is "beer joint" music to many....and "classical" music is considered "high church" or represents the classical style developed in and by European elites that defined the arrogance and self righteousness of that time..so there I have managed to offend all. Third  as mentioned here it has to connect with the listener ... singing words that were written with the vocabulary of your great great grandmother may fit some requirement of our "conservative" style..but will not "connect" with most people under 45..

I recently went through a church change from a very conservative fellowship... I must say that the music I prefer is not sung in many growing churches here..after my wife and I visited my son in Fl at their Mega church  I had to ask my son "do you like this type of music" ?  He said he grew to like it..so after a couple of visits I started watching the congregation,,,and yes most were singing with great gusto...some with raised hands..and my grandsons loved to go to that church anty time the doors are opened..I went back and watched my congregation singing the old classical hymns . Very few men or children were singing, mostly the women and some men who are musically talented...then it hit me ..some of those old hymns are hard for the lay singer to connect ..so they dont try..

 

Jim

"Soul"... and premature ecclesiasticality

Agree with much of that, but the concept of "soul" in the OT especially is not equivalent to our modern (as in post-Plato) idea. Maybe heart/mind is a better term when talking about "soothing" and preparation for preaching, etc. In the West we use "soul" pretty much for that. But in the Hebrew view of things, "soul" is just your whole living self, body and spirit.

I'm still not sure if the NT writers continue that perspective, and we're reading a more distinct body-soul distinction into them--that isn't really there, or if the Platonic-seeming language in places indicates Plato was pretty close to the truth....  another topic.

Anyway, on the whole music debate, it seems like we're often jumping too quickly to the ethics of how to use it in church when we haven't yet thought through how it works in relation to human beings in general. There are some things to be gleaned from Scripture on that. Along with what in the world music actually is. Apart from the extremes, we all know it when we hear it, but try to define it some time... it's surprisingly difficult.

"free of every evil association

jreeseSr wrote:

<snip>

In essence I see the role of music in corporate worship as setting the atmosphere or "plowing" the soul for the planting of seed..I see it as a "tenderizer"  for a heart hardened by a week in the world..We are told not to be "drunk with wine" but to be filled with the spirit ...singing to yourselves, making melody in your heart ...with thanksgiving...Why did God use "intoxication" as a allegory ?   because it is a secular way man soothes the soul..or attempts to..for me music breaks up the hard ground that grieves the spirit and frees that spirit..sooooo...yes it really is intended to be an "emotional" experience...doctrinal correct,in order and without secular association of evil.

I see music as a plastic pipe into the soul of man.. with the capability to carry pure water or sewage into or out of the heart of man..for music to pass the test it must pass three tests :  first the message has to be sound doctrine, it does not have to be "deep" doctrine..some doctrinal truths are very simple but very powerful..Holy,Holy Holy has moved me to adoration at a level that has left me broken ..also putting a three part sermon to music makes bad preaching and music..  Second , it must be free of evil association I really cany worship to "rap"  style ...regardless of the words..I just cant get past the image. Of course this is the subjective issue that usually causes the divide..ie: southern Gospel is "beer joint" music to many....and "classical" music is considered "high church" or represents the classical style developed in and by European elites that defined the arrogance and self righteousness of that time..so there I have managed to offend all. Third  as mentioned here it has to connect with the listener ... singing words that were written with the vocabulary of your great great grandmother may fit some requirement of our "conservative" style..but will not "connect" with most people under 45..

<snip>

I had a conversation with my pastor on "free of evil association" yesterday, and pointed out that it is (once again) the guilt by association fallacy.  Moreover, it's quite silly, as anyone who listens to NPR ought to be fully aware that they play almost all kinds of church music for a mostly unbelieving audience.  The pagans love it!  Another example is the Minnesota men's chorale Cantus, which had a program of church music sung by a group of men who have "husbands" for mostly nonbelieving audiences.  If one things that "classical" music is somehow more pure, simply look up what went on in the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.  It looked more respectable, but it was behavior that was every bit as sinful as that which you'd imagine at a heavy metal or rap concert.

In other words, if we apply "free of evil association" consistently, we won't be needing a music pastor or music leader simply because of Romans 3:23.  We need to use sound logic as we approach music, starting with defining what we ought to be trying to do with it.  As Aaron notes, there is quite a bunch of work to be done in taking a look at how poetry and music interact with our minds differently than prose.  If we haven't picked up our discussion of poetic and musical devices lately, it will be a challenge.

Question

Is their a difference in what Music you use in whorship and Evangelistic Outreach.  Example the cofounder of Korn Brian "Head" Welch came out of a terrible drug driven rock and roll life and accepted  Christ.  His former life cost him his marriage and he now has custody of his daughter. 

In effort to be a better father to his daughter he accepted the Lord and bowed out of music for threes years to get himself anchored in the word.  

Now he is back into the music scene and playing in Evangelistic rallies to reach millennials for Christ.  Brian plays what they call nu metal.  I have no idea what that is.  

Now Many  milleanials are  caught up in this drug tattooed and nose ring world and Brian Welch is trying to  reach  them for Christ.  A missionary friend of mine works with Brian Welch in concerts and Evangelism in Europe.  So the question is this ok for this man to reach out to his contemporaries to bring them to Christ in this way  Brian and my friend work through the Stieger Mission School in Germany 

Personally I can't stand the music but my 61 year old buddy is involved with this type of Music and Evangelism. I don't have a problem with it but I sill can't stand the music.  I think it nuts but as you pointed out Bert that may be my personal taste  

Also Brian Welch just took a lot of heat from the Fundementalist and conservative Evangelical Community for praying with members of the LGBT community after a concert. He said the person he was praying with came from a terrible childhood of abuse.  Brian's argument is  your not going give these people a hell and fire and brimestone speech and cause them to instantly turn to Christ.  Brian said some yes right away but others it takes years and maybe a decade.  Brian said by being a loving friend he is trying to plant a seed and lead them to Christ one step at a time.  

Additionally I can't stand rap either. I'm a Country Rock Bluegrass guy ie Pastor Richie Furay is my man  By the way Richie I believe went to a Baptist Seminary after  he accept Christ and left Rock and Roll  

Some of you guys might like Richie he is a Tea Party Republican and likes the FRC  Apparently Richie and Huckabee had a differences in the past on Rock and Roll but now HUCK is all in.  I believe he has a praise album and his latest album is Dreamer.    Plus he can't be that bad to my knowledge he is the one and only Evangelical/Fundementalist Christian singer in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame via his participation with Buffalo Springfield   He is 73 but he can still sing and his daughter sings with him   Aaron Richie might be right up your alley politically and musically

 

 

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Agree with much of that, but the concept of "soul" in the OT especially is not equivalent to our modern (as in post-Plato) idea. Maybe heart/mind is a better term when talking about "soothing" and preparation for preaching, etc. In the West we use "soul" pretty much for that. But in the Hebrew view of things, "soul" is just your whole living self, body and spirit.

I'm still not sure if the NT writers continue that perspective, and we're reading a more distinct body-soul distinction into them--that isn't really there, or if the Platonic-seeming language in places indicates Plato was pretty close to the truth....  another topic.

Anyway, on the whole music debate, it seems like we're often jumping too quickly to the ethics of how to use it in church when we haven't yet thought through how it works in relation to human beings in general. There are some things to be gleaned from Scripture on that. Along with what in the world music actually is. Apart from the extremes, we all know it when we hear it, but try to define it some time... it's surprisingly difficult.

 

I am obviously not prepared intellectually or academically to address . much less debate the four basic theory  of the essence of man...even when throwing out the two obvious secular ones..the debate of Tri and Di..goes on between better biblical scholars than I ,My conclusion comes from a lay study of Rom 8, Thes 5:23 , Heb 4:12 and my interpretation of Paul's struggle in Rom 7..where the struggle to me is one of soul and spirit..

But honestly I have not the confidence of one who has studies to your extent and will defer to you...let it suffice to say that ...."the seat of our feelings and emotions' , that cannot be trusted without doctrinal oversight !

  

Jim

Bert Perry wrote:

Bert Perry wrote:

 

jreeseSr wrote:

 

<snip>

 

I had a conversation with my pastor on "free of evil association" yesterday, and pointed out that it is (once again) the guilt by association fallacy.  Moreover, it's quite silly, as anyone who listens to NPR ought to be fully aware that they play almost all kinds of church music for a mostly unbelieving audience.  The pagans love it!  Another example is the Minnesota men's chorale Cantus, which had a program of church music sung by a group of men who have "husbands" for mostly nonbelieving audiences.  If one things that "classical" music is somehow more pure, simply look up what went on in the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.  It looked more respectable, but it was behavior that was every bit as sinful as that which you'd imagine at a heavy metal or rap concert.

In other words, if we apply "free of evil association" consistently, we won't be needing a music pastor or music leader simply because of Romans 3:23.  We need to use sound logic as we approach music, starting with defining what we ought to be trying to do with it.  As Aaron notes, there is quite a bunch of work to be done in taking a look at how poetry and music interact with our minds differently than prose.  If we haven't picked up our discussion of poetic and musical devices lately, it will be a challenge.

 Bert , point very well made...and to your point, when the Children of Israel were commanded not to wear the "garments" of the infidels after capture because they did not want that "association"   ... They were not told not to wear "clothes" ...soooo is the the message one of degree ? or "maturity" of the listener.....or again one of a comfortable "enviorment"  to worshipper ?   .....I have no problem with the questions its the answers that foul me up ):

 

 

Jim

Joeb wrote:

Joeb wrote:

Is their a difference in what Music you use in whorship and Evangelistic Outreach.  Example the cofounder of Korn Brian "Head" Welch came out of a terrible drug driven rock and roll life and accepted  Christ.  His former life cost him his marriage and he now has custody of his daughter. 

In effort to be a better father to his daughter he accepted the Lord and bowed out of music for threes years to get himself anchored in the word.  

Now he is back into the music scene and playing in Evangelistic rallies to reach millennials for Christ.  Brian plays what they call nu metal.  I have no idea what that is.  

Now Many  milleanials are  caught up in this drug tattooed and nose ring world and Brian Welch is trying to  reach  them for Christ.  A missionary friend of mine works with Brian Welch in concerts and Evangelism in Europe.  So the question is this ok for this man to reach out to his contemporaries to bring them to Christ in this way  Brian and my friend work through the Stieger Mission School in Germany 

Personally I can't stand the music but my 61 year old buddy is involved with this type of Music and Evangelism. I don't have a problem with it but I sill can't stand the music.  I think it nuts but as you pointed out Bert that may be my personal taste  

Also Brian Welch just took a lot of heat from the Fundementalist and conservative Evangelical Community for praying with members of the LGBT community after a concert. He said the person he was praying with came from a terrible childhood of abuse.  Brian's argument is  your not going give these people a hell and fire and brimestone speech and cause them to instantly turn to Christ.  Brian said some yes right away but others it takes years and maybe a decade.  Brian said by being a loving friend he is trying to plant a seed and lead them to Christ one step at a time.  

Additionally I can't stand rap either. I'm a Country Rock Bluegrass guy ie Pastor Richie Furay is my man  By the way Richie I believe went to a Baptist Seminary after  he accept Christ and left Rock and Roll  

Some of you guys might like Richie he is a Tea Party Republican and likes the FRC  Apparently Richie and Huckabee had a differences in the past on Rock and Roll but now HUCK is all in.  I believe he has a praise album and his latest album is Dreamer.    Plus he can't be that bad to my knowledge he is the one and only Evangelical/Fundementalist Christian singer in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame via his participation with Buffalo Springfield   He is 73 but he can still sing and his daughter sings with him   Aaron Richie might be right up your alley politically and musically

 

 

 

     Last year I was at Dollywood with my wife when a group of African orphan children(7-14) was introduced at one of their out door theaters.. after a moving time of testimony of how their parents were murdered by the Marxist regime and praising their Saviour Jesus Christ the began to sing...Now as with most African cultures their music had a distinctive rhythm and they danced in unison with that rhythm ...now hearing and watching the gusto and obvious joy of their Dance and worship to a much aligned version of "nothing but the blood"   blessed my soul in spite of my strict Baptist prejudice...now some might argue that it was all just (what is the word we use ?) ahhh yes "sensual" to justify our hard heart..(;  but I know that their worship was to our saviour and my joy was in seeing that expressed ....    

Jim

Associations

After all these years the "association" argument now amuses me. Ever since I was in a church that wouldn't sing "How Great Thou Art" because of its "association" with Billy Graham nor John Peterson songs because of their "association" with the rhythm of the waltz, I've come to the conclusion that one can find a negative association with nearly any hymn.

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

All a matter of degree

Ron Bean wrote:

After all these years the "association" argument now amuses me. Ever since I was in a church that wouldn't sing "How Great Thou Art" because of its "association" with Billy Graham nor John Peterson songs because of their "association" with the rhythm of the waltz, I've come to the conclusion that one can find a negative association with nearly any hymn.

I believe we all would agree that any  stand on "separation" would be one of degree...I remember Dr. Garth Sibert 40 yrs ago teaching us using an illustration of a megaphone for degrees of separation , narrow on one end and wide on another . starting on the narrow end is the individual (priesthood of the believer) expanding to family, expanding to Church, further expansion for fellowship and further for friends.. I find Paul exhibiting degrees of separation for evangelization while observing some rituals that he had no convictions of without defiling his priesthood or calling..

But I would agree that it has been abused as in the cases you have cited ...but I dont believe that justifies a swing all the way to the other extreme.. 

Jim

On those garments

Regarding the utter ban on the property of the Canaanites, we have to remember that even the very clothing of the Hebrews was to be distinctive, and that until the industrial age, almost all cultures wove and embroidered very distinctive patterns into their clothing--when it took days to weeks to make the cloth, why not embroider it to make it prettier, and for that matter to make it very clear to whom it belonged?

(historical examples: sweaters from the U.K, especially Aran sweaters, Norse embroidery, smocking, etc...)

So I'd have to guess that the clothing of the Canaanites would have been so decorated in homage to their gods in the same way the Hebrews decorated their clothing in homage to YHWH, and hence the issue is not guilt by association, but rather idolatry.  The Hebrews would have been tempted to use these clothes, however, simply because of the effort needed to weave their own cloth.  Hence the "ban".   

It is worth noting as well that "guilt by association" arguments are not merely fallacious, but are also generally sinful.  Think about it a moment; if I say that a particular instrument or genre in music is inextricably connected to a particular sin, false god, or whatever, I have more or less accused a legion of instrumentalists, or all of those using a certain genre, of rather grievous sin.

If I am anything less than 100% correct, I'm guilty of slander.  

[quote=Bert Perry]

[quote=Bert Perry]

Regarding the utter ban on the property of the Canaanites, we have to remember that even the very clothing of the Hebrews was to be distinctive, and that until the industrial age, almost all cultures wove and embroidered very distinctive patterns into their clothing--when it took days to weeks to make the cloth, why not embroider it to make it prettier, and for that matter to make it very clear to whom it belonged?

(historical examples: sweaters from the U.K, especially Aran sweaters, Norse embroidery, smocking, etc...)

So I'd have to guess that the clothing of the Canaanites would have been so decorated in homage to their gods in the same way the Hebrews decorated their clothing in homage to YHWH, and hence the issue is not guilt by association, but rather idolatry.  The Hebrews would have been tempted to use these clothes, however, simply because of the effort needed to weave their own cloth.  Hence the "ban".   

It is worth noting as well that "guilt by association" arguments are not merely fallacious, but are also generally sinful.  Think about it a moment; if I say that a particular instrument or genre in music is inextricably connected to a particular sin, false god, or whatever, I have more or less accused a legion of instrumentalists, or all of those using a certain genre, of rather grievous sin.

If I am anything less than 100% correct, I'm guilty of slander.  

[/quote

The garment itself was not sinful but what it represented...and was not allowed...I  agree that no musical instrument is inherently evil... nor any style..but I would contend that musical styles do have an association with the culture and artists that originate them and promote it...that cannot be denied.."Guilt by association"  is your term as I have never used it because I dont believe in it... I would say that "Pork" has an association with uncleanliness to the Hebrew and I would recognize that if I were to prepare a meal... My point in stating that musical association has an impact on some people and needs to be considered.

Paul recognized that some people associated offering meat with Idol worship ...Paul knew in reality is was just a meal...He did not accuse these Christians of being sinners nor did he concede it was sin...but he did recognize the "association" of that meat with Idolatry in the minds of other Christians.. I have some christian friends that consider "Southern Gospel"  Beer joint music..I dont associate it as such but would avoid playing it when he was around...

The bottom line is that recognizing association exists does not condemn styles or instruments but when considering the ministry of music to deny ignore it would not be wise.   

 

 

Jim

It's a term of logic

Jim, "guilt by association" is a classical fallacy of informal logic, not my term.  It's always a false argument, and we ought to watch out for it, especially, as I noted above, it's usually the sin of slander to use it--really like most genetic fallacies of origin.  If we want to be people of the Logos (Word), we need to use sound logic.

Regarding the clothing, if it were mere association, why did the Hebrews get to keep trees, animals, buildings, and even young maidens of the Canaanites?  The shirt was wrong, but the daughter was A-OK?  We may not be told specifically what it was--I've only offered a historical likelihood--but mere association is not it.

Same basic thing for meat offered to idols--it was not mere association, but rather the fact said meat was consecrated to that idol--and so in the minds of the weak, it had power from that particular idol.  Think the "sacramentalism" of our Catholic friends-- it wasn't just about association here.

And music?  Well, what exactly are we objecting to if we decide, say, that using "heavy metal" has the "association" with sin, and thus is out of line?  Is it the use of common time and a driving beat, or the use of electronic amplification and instruments, or the use of distortion in vocals and instruments, or what?   What do we do, then, with cases where someone does the songs with different instrumentation (say the harp or bagpipes, or the squeezebox), without distortion, and the like?

More importantly, what do we do with other genre that use the same tools--keep in mind that a lot of black Gospel, and the genre derived from it (jazz/blues/rock/most country today), use these tools extensively.   For example. And another that reminds me of the recently deceased Chuck Berry. 

It's all musical and poetic tools that will, or will not, work in certain contexts and with certain messages and in certain cultures.  They're not inherently wrong because of some real or imagined association.  

Let us be logical ..

Bert Perry wrote:

Jim, "guilt by association" is a classical fallacy of informal logic, not my term.  It's always a false argument, and we ought to watch out for it, especially, as I noted above, it's usually the sin of slander to use it--really like most genetic fallacies of origin.  If we want to be people of the Logos (Word), we need to use sound logic.

Regarding the clothing, if it were mere association, why did the Hebrews get to keep trees, animals, buildings, and even young maidens of the Canaanites?  The shirt was wrong, but the daughter was A-OK?  We may not be told specifically what it was--I've only offered a historical likelihood--but mere association is not it.

Same basic thing for meat offered to idols--it was not mere association, but rather the fact said meat was consecrated to that idol--and so in the minds of the weak, it had power from that particular idol.  Think the "sacramentalism" of our Catholic friends-- it wasn't just about association here.

And music?  Well, what exactly are we objecting to if we decide, say, that using "heavy metal" has the "association" with sin, and thus is out of line?  Is it the use of common time and a driving beat, or the use of electronic amplification and instruments, or the use of distortion in vocals and instruments, or what?   What do we do, then, with cases where someone does the songs with different instrumentation (say the harp or bagpipes, or the squeezebox), without distortion, and the like?

More importantly, what do we do with other genre that use the same tools--keep in mind that a lot of black Gospel, and the genre derived from it (jazz/blues/rock/most country today), use these tools extensively.   For example. And another that reminds me of the recently deceased Chuck Berry. 

It's all musical and poetic tools that will, or will not, work in certain contexts and with certain messages and in certain cultures.  They're not inherently wrong because of some real or imagined association.  

Bert I never said you invented the term...you are the one that brought it to this conversation...but of course you understood what I meant (:   Again Paul's example I believe is appropriate. I believe the message is clear :

1. Paul knew there was no evil or sin in the meat. 2. When he found out that his liberty offended his brethren he gave it up. 3. He acknowledged their association between the meat and Idolotry.

Now in practical application if I was to dress in  baggy pants turn my hat sideways and sing a hymn composed to the same popular "RAP" song containing vulgar language and rebellious themes in the market place at my Church,some would make the association to the former...now Bert we or the church elders can have the debate on whether that is acceptable or not...but to deny that some would not make the association is just not logical

My musical appreciation has a very wide range , and I don't believe any instrument is out of consideration but I just dont believe I could worship to "RAP" as I know its roots in rebellion and depravity..I do not judge those that can. To deny that association exists and can hamper some in worship is just non sensical.

 Many say "what" you wear to church should not be important....and generally I agree...but if you showed up naked....some would say you went too far (; 

 

Jim

The Other Side

There is a real "other side" to the association argument. I've encountered people who associate 18th Century type hymnody with the apostate mainline churches they used to attend. I've met others who associate Gospel songs  from the revivalist era with easy believism. Meanwhile I've encountered believers from the inner city who understand things like the Westminster Confession of Faith and issues like false teachers from Shai Linne's hip hop but who had a difficult time understanding "O Sacred Head Now Wounded".

Again, to use association as a basis for one's argument is to take a stand on a hill of sand.

 

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

Ron Bean wrote:

Ron Bean wrote:

There is a real "other side" to the association argument. I've encountered people who associate 18th Century type hymnody with the apostate mainline churches they used to attend. I've met others who associate Gospel songs  from the revivalist era with easy believism. Meanwhile I've encountered believers from the inner city who understand things like the Westminster Confession of Faith and issues like false teachers from Shai Linne's hip hop but who had a difficult time understanding "O Sacred Head Now Wounded".

Again, to use association as a basis for one's argument is to take a stand on a hill of sand.

 

Ron my position is that like it or not...it exists.....not defending it.

 

Jim

A Non-Issue

When there are good and godly people on both sides of an issue, perhaps we should recognize that heated debate should be avoided.

To paraphrase someone, "I'd burn at the stake for the fives Solas, but I wouldn't take a paper cut for music."

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

Jim Never Answered My Question Re My Cuz.

So Jim living in Minnesota have you heard of Mike Kingery and his family Blue Grass Gospel Group.  Also do you have any family in Northwest Ill because some Peet's married one of my father's Aunts and their children my father's cousin lived in Cedar Rapids Iowa right across from Beaver Park.  

Watchout Jim you could be my Cuz. 

Seriously?

jreeseSr wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

<snip>

And music?  Well, what exactly are we objecting to if we decide, say, that using "heavy metal" has the "association" with sin, and thus is out of line?  Is it the use of common time and a driving beat, or the use of electronic amplification and instruments, or the use of distortion in vocals and instruments, or what?   What do we do, then, with cases where someone does the songs with different instrumentation (say the harp or bagpipes, or the squeezebox), without distortion, and the like?

More importantly, what do we do with other genre that use the same tools--keep in mind that a lot of black Gospel, and the genre derived from it (jazz/blues/rock/most country today), use these tools extensively.   For example. And another that reminds me of the recently deceased Chuck Berry. 

It's all musical and poetic tools that will, or will not, work in certain contexts and with certain messages and in certain cultures.  They're not inherently wrong because of some real or imagined association.  

 

 

Bert I never said you invented the term...you are the one that brought it to this conversation...but of course you understood what I meant (:   Again Paul's example I believe is appropriate. I believe the message is clear :

1. Paul knew there was no evil or sin in the meat. 2. When he found out that his liberty offended his brethren he gave it up. 3. He acknowledged their association between the meat and Idolotry.

Now in practical application if I was to dress in  baggy pants turn my hat sideways and sing a hymn composed to the same popular "RAP" song containing vulgar language and rebellious themes in the market place at my Church,some would make the association to the former...now Bert we or the church elders can have the debate on whether that is acceptable or not...but to deny that some would not make the association is just not logical

My musical appreciation has a very wide range , and I don't believe any instrument is out of consideration but I just dont believe I could worship to "RAP" as I know its roots in rebellion and depravity..I do not judge those that can. To deny that association exists and can hamper some in worship is just non sensical.

 Many say "what" you wear to church should not be important....and generally I agree...but if you showed up naked....some would say you went too far (; 

Jim, you're missing something big here; Romans 14 does not say that we ought to abstain from meat offered to idols simply because it was associated with idolatry.  The former idolater had been trained to believe that it had sacramental value.  

Regarding music, your comment about "beer joint music" really makes an important point for me, as well as your comments about rap.  For reference, the origins of rap date back centuries into Africa and include some thoroughly respectable artists.  Yes, there's some who use the craft to advocate (and participate) in fornication, drugs, and violence--just like a lot of opera composers, or a huge number of people in jazz, rock & roll, country, bluegrass, and of course CCM .  Ya wanna point the finger at hip-hop, fine, but let's be consistent....and then very, very quiet.

In the same way, I've also had people tell me things like "such and such music reminds me of the beer joint", and I've started to ask if they've ever been in a beer joint, and how Hank Jr.'s "Family Tradition" uses the same techniques as the Gaithers.  The answers are generally "no" and "um.....", indicating that many have their minds made up, but haven't bothered to learn anything of note.   So let's start to confront these attitudes instead of accommodating them.  To be blunt about the matter, when our "rules" for music are more or less "white protestants' music prior to Elvis is OK, everything else not so much", our black brothers and sisters, as well as those who know the actual origins of the genre derived from black Gospel and African literature/music, are going to take a very negative message.

And the singing naked; I am pretty sure that you can figure out a set of Biblical and practical reasons why this would be a bad idea, and that one does not need to rely on any guilt by association argument.  We can start with "the deacons are going to turn the heat down to 55 if someone says they're going to give it a try". 

Bert Perry wrote:

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Jim, you're missing something big here; Romans 14 does not say that we ought to abstain from meat offered to idols simply because it was associated with idolatry.  The former idolater had been trained to believe that it had sacramental value.  

Bert, you are missing something bigger, Romans 14 doesn't say anything about meat offered to idols at all. it is meat vs. vegetables. Not meat offered to idols.

But I'm not getting into the rest of this argument, just correcting this point.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert

Bert is referencing I Cor. 8:4-12, not Romans 14.

4 About eating food offered to idols, then, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth—as there are many “gods” and many “lords”—

6 yet for us there is one God, the Father.
All things are from Him,
and we exist for Him.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.
All things are through Him,
and we exist through Him.

7 However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not make us acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don’t eat, and we are not better if we do eat. 9 But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, won’t his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? 11 Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined[b] by your knowledge. 12 Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother to fall.

"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

Those are the "black sheep" Peets

Joeb wrote:
Also do you have any family in Northwest Ill because some Peet's married one of my father's Aunts and their children my father's cousin lived in Cedar Rapids Iowa right across from Beaver Park.  

Cousins  - we avoid those miscreant pagans :) 

Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 14

Don, I have to disagree with you on Romans 8.  The question that is relevant here is why someone in the NT church would refuse to eat meat.  If we start with the Old Testament, we find nowhere that vegetarianism is commanded or even suggested, and we know from history that the pagans were no herbivores, either, with the exception of certain ascetic movements.

That leaves the reality that the major source of meat for those who were not wealthy was....pagan offerings.  So if we take a serious look at the historical setting, I don't think we can find any other reasonable explanation.  

And Jay, point well taken; and given that 1 Cor. 8 does explicitly make the connection to idolatry, and given that most musical genre that we fundamentalists have objected to have origins including black gospel, all the more sad that people try to use either passage to justify their rejection of musical genre.

And let's be blunt about the matter; black gospel was used by God, among other things, to carry His darker-skinned people through three and a half centuries of slavery and Jim Crow.  While a complete analysis of how it works is beyond my "word limit" here, suffice it to say that using its techniques both imparts Scripture to memory while providing emotional comfort to people suffering in ways we can hardly even imagine.

With a pedigree like that, maybe....just maybe....fundamentalists ought to overcome their historic culture to consider using the techniques of black gospel/jazz/rock & roll, and yes, even rap.

Biblical principle

Bert the point here is that I believe there is a biblical principle throughout the bible old and new of "separation" from the carnal influence of the "world"  as part of the "be ye separate" principle..The Israelites were instructed not to keep or wear the garments of the Canaanite as it was associated with their idolatry. They were also instructed not to mark or their bodies as not to associate with the pagans of the time.  When the violated these principles and allowed small idols to be brought in then grew into "groves" of standing idols God brought punishment.  The new testament gives similar examples of  "all things becoming new"  The maniac after the demon was cast out was washed and clothed and setting at peace(why was this recorded), the physical association was changed. The saved Jews were taking liberty to the point where Paul had to restrain them as all things may be lawful but not expedient..again , regardless "what" you term the meat it is clear Paul was not in sin when he ate it and gave it up when aware of its effect on the new converts who "associated" it with their prior worship.

Your insinuation that my personal association with RAP as vulgar and ungodly is somehow racist and this is really some sort of historical African expression is just ridiculous and any teenager saved from it could enlighten you to its purpose..or you could download several hundred copies and enlighten me to the redeeming African historical content....

When those saved from Hare Krishna movement years ago came to our youth movement they lost the robe , top knot and chant ..had they just changed the words to the chant , kept the robe , top knot and tambourine and performed at our church would have doubted "they had indeed came out from among them".......no I am not condemning Tambourines (;

My last word on the subject is that a new creature where all "things" have become new is unlikely to reach back into the environment he left if pained by it.. my point from the beginning is that music has an "association"  (valid or not)  its just part of human nature , I don't believe I am alone in associating Patriotic pieces to military, love of country and ball games... Handel's messiah has an association with "standing" on the last chorus as the King did to recognize Gods authority ..(may or may not be true) I am not saying that all associations are ungodly but for some they have the potential for great damage, but to deny its existence is  folly and quite dangerous.  The drug addict , alcoholic or homosexual are particularly at risk...

Some music will always have some "association" with a culture/activity/lifestyle for some people...that is undeniable..."How"  you address it is debatable and should be.

 

 

 

 

Jim

I am from WVa...I believe they are on my side

Jim wrote:

 

Joeb wrote:

Also do you have any family in Northwest Ill because some Peet's married one of my father's Aunts and their children my father's cousin lived in Cedar Rapids Iowa right across from Beaver Park.  

 

 

 

Cousins  - we avoid those miscreant pagans :) 

Jim

No, No, and no

Jim, you're missing the point.  You are saying we ought to abstain from all rap, things like this , and while I concede the depravity of Harold Hill, who predates "Two Live Crew" by decades, that doesn't mean that nobody ought to use the spoken word in music as does LeCrae.  It simply does not follow.

If it did, we would have expected the Hebrews to not only burn the clothes in towns declared "haram", but also all those of the pagan traders who came through on the King's Highway.  (and we think Trump might be tough on trade!)  We would have expected them to eradicate the oak altogether in Israel, rather than just cutting down the sacred groves.  That just might have made Jesus' first trade rather difficult, to put it mildly.

And sorry, but the fact is that most fundamental objections to modern music DO indeed boil down to "white protestant's music prior to Elvis is OK, other peoples' not so much."  Here's some reference to Bob Jones 2 and Frank Garlock on the matter.  You might answer "but that's not my intention", but I'm sorry; that is what Garlock said.  Listen to it for yourself.

You don't have to fall in love with rap or heavy metal, but for goodness' sake, let's leave guilt by association in the circular file where it belongs.

Bert You Are Right On But.

Bert you are correct and I do believe it is a matter of taste but you have to see it from J Reese's Perspective.  Rap plus Heavy Metal Equals Drugs.  Now I can't stand either so I would slant toward J Reese's position out of taste and what the music represents not necessarily whether it's biblical.  That's the human weakness side of me not wanting to be out of my comfort zone  

I do believe people can reach people for Christ like Brian Welch is doing but you would never catch me at one of his concerts in a 1000 years.  Yet I would be wrong if God called me to reach those people who clearly need Christ in the Counter Culture.  Again Bert I have to say your position is absolutely correct.  

Jim by the way those pictures look just like me. We must be related. My wife said she fell for me because I was so handsome. 


▴ Top of page