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

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

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

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

Yes, God loves all kinds of music because He invented it all.
20% (1 vote)
No, God does not love all kinds of music even though He invented it all.
0% (0 votes)
No, God does not love all kinds of music, and He did not invent it all.
60% (3 votes)
Other. Please specify in a comment below.
20% (1 vote)
Total votes: 5
3672 reads

There are 97 Comments

RajeshG's picture

There is no evidence in the Bible that supports holding that God loves all kinds of music, and there is explicit evidence of His rejecting certain music (Isa. 14:11). Moreover, there is no evidence that supports holding that God "invented" all kinds of music.

LGCarpenter's picture

The answer may differ on how narrow you define music when answering the poll.  Obviously, God did not "invent" sin, and some music, broadly defined, is sinful (promoting sinful actions, lurid, etc.).  However, if you narrow the subject down to certain tones, or beat, it is a much more complex discussion.

Mr. LaVern G. Carpenter

Proverbs 3:1-12

Bert Perry's picture

Did God invent, say, ragtime, or did Scott  Joplin have something to do with it?  Same thing with jazz and Satchmo, rock & roll with Chuck Berry, rap with Rev. Run, and the modern scale and Bach.  It's appropriate to ask whether the patterns and techniques in given genre serve well to communicate God's Word in lyric form and offer His people an avenue for thanks, but to say God created this all is somewhat silly, and quite frankly would offend a fair number of people.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

LGCarpenter wrote:

The answer may differ on how narrow you define music when answering the poll.  Obviously, God did not "invent" sin, and some music, broadly defined, is sinful (promoting sinful actions, lurid, etc.).  However, if you narrow the subject down to certain tones, or beat, it is a much more complex discussion.

How is it "a much more complex discussion" when "the subject" is narrowed "down to certain tones, or beat"?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

LGCarpenter wrote:

 

The answer may differ on how narrow you define music when answering the poll.  Obviously, God did not "invent" sin, and some music, broadly defined, is sinful (promoting sinful actions, lurid, etc.).  However, if you narrow the subject down to certain tones, or beat, it is a much more complex discussion.

 

 

How is it "a much more complex discussion" when "the subject" is narrowed "down to certain tones, or beat"?

It gets more complex because then you have to start making distinctions regarding when "sinfulness" or "evil" can even be applied to the music. You yourself don't believe that individual tones can be evil, unless you've changed your position since last June. On June 27, 2020, you wrote " In any case, I do not believe that a musical instrument can be inherently evil, as long as it can produce individual tones played by themselves because such individual tones by themselves cannot be evil. https://sharperiron.org/comment/117473#comment-117473

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

LGCarpenter wrote:

 

The answer may differ on how narrow you define music when answering the poll.  Obviously, God did not "invent" sin, and some music, broadly defined, is sinful (promoting sinful actions, lurid, etc.).  However, if you narrow the subject down to certain tones, or beat, it is a much more complex discussion.

 

 

How is it "a much more complex discussion" when "the subject" is narrowed "down to certain tones, or beat"?

 

It gets more complex because then you have to start making distinctions regarding when "sinfulness" or "evil" can even be applied to the music. You yourself don't believe that individual tones can be evil, unless you've changed your position since last June. On June 27, 2020, you wrote " In any case, I do not believe that a musical instrument can be inherently evil, as long as it can produce individual tones played by themselves because such individual tones by themselves cannot be evil. https://sharperiron.org/comment/117473#comment-117473

I would like to hear specifically what Mr. Carpenter has to say about what he meant by his comment to which I responded. I already know what you have said in the past.

LGCarpenter's picture

To apply sinfulness to tone, beat, and other elements of music, we need to find scripture that addresses them specifically in such a way that the morality of those elements is clear.

My taste in music is probably very close to your own, Rajesh.  Some of the reasons I do not like much of CCM is:

  • There is a prominent, loud beat, that quite literally may give me a headache.
  • The lyrics are often shallow and repeated over and over again.
  • The singing is often either really breathy or more yelling than singing.
  • The music often covers up the lyrics so much that I can't understand them.

However, these things have much more to do with how edifying and helpful the music is than whether it is sinful.

 

Mr. LaVern G. Carpenter

Proverbs 3:1-12

RajeshG's picture

LGCarpenter wrote:

To apply sinfulness to tone, beat, and other elements of music, we need to find scripture that addresses them specifically in such a way that the morality of those elements is clear.

My taste in music is probably very close to your own, Rajesh.  Some of the reasons I do not like much of CCM is:

  • There is a prominent, loud beat, that quite literally may give me a headache.
  • The lyrics are often shallow and repeated over and over again.
  • The singing is often either really breathy or more yelling than singing.
  • The music often covers up the lyrics so much that I can't understand them.

However, these things have much more to do with how edifying and helpful the music is than whether it is sinful.

I disagree that the burden of proof is on us. Who says that it is on us?

In any case, I have never applied sinfulness to individual musical tones.

Combinations of tones, however, and beat, are a different matter, because there is no biblical basis for asserting that God created, invented, or made all such combinations, and therefore, that He loves, likes, accepts, approves of them, etc.

Any claims about necessary divine acceptance of all combinations of musical elements begs crucial questions unless those claims can be proven with Scripture. Warren and many others beg those questions and do not provide any valid biblical support for their claims.

I have engaged with numerous supporters of CCM, and none of them has ever validly defended their claims biblically. They make many assertions, just as Warren does in his book . . .

Bert Perry's picture

Yes, Rajesh, since it's pretty obvious that you would bind believers' consciences to have them avoid certain kinds of music, yes, the burden of proof is on you.  The default position in Christianity is not bondage, but freedom, and you're saying we need to limit that freedom.  Galatians 5 makes this abundantly clear.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Galatians 5 does not in any way make "abundantly clear" that believers have "liberty" or "freedom" to make use of any kinds of music that are sourced in any of the works of the flesh delineated in Galatians 5:19-21:

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Anyone who wants to claim that the kinds of instrumental music that are sourced in idolatry or the occult or in any of the other works of the flesh condemned here are still nonetheless acceptable to God for use in worship must prove that position biblically.

More importantly, Galatians 5 provides zero support for holding that any of Warren's positions quoted in the OP are true. The Bible never teaches any of the following to be true.

1. God "invented" all kinds of music

2. God loves and likes all kinds of music.

3. God accepts the use of all kinds of music in worship.

Those who claim that any of these statements are true have the burden of proving their claims from Scripture.

Bert Perry's picture

....Galatians 5:1.

Yes, Rajesh, it does demonstrate that the default position of the church is liberty, and Paul is so passionate about this, that he rhetorically "recommends" that the Judiazers castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12) if they're so big on circumcision.  So again, if you would claim (as you do) that the Church is greatly limited in the music she can choose for praise, then the onus is on you to provide some actual evidence.

Not having seen any such evidence from you in the past few years you've been posting and commenting here, I'm not going to hold my breath, but the door is open if you should someday find some evidence for your position.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

....Galatians 5:1.

Yes, Rajesh, it does demonstrate that the default position of the church is liberty, and Paul is so passionate about this, that he rhetorically "recommends" that the Judiazers castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12) if they're so big on circumcision.  So again, if you would claim (as you do) that the Church is greatly limited in the music she can choose for praise, then the onus is on you to provide some actual evidence.

Not having seen any such evidence from you in the past few years you've been posting and commenting here, I'm not going to hold my breath, but the door is open if you should someday find some evidence for your position.

Wrong. I started this thread with a quote from a premier proponent of contemporary worship who makes profound claims that certain things are true about God specifically concerning music, but he provides zero Bible to support his claims.

He made the claims; he must prove those specific claims biblically. Anyone who makes such claims must prove his claims biblically.

 

Bert Perry's picture

Rajesh, just because someone says something stupid does not make any point you really want to make, unless your goal is simply to do catcalls on people who say stupid things..  Let's be real here; you have an agenda here, and that's fine, but you've got to back it up with real evidence.  If you say "someone said something stupid, that makes my point", you can expect those with whom you're debating to say "look in the mirror, buddy, 'cause by your own logic, you just disproved your own hypothesis."

For my part, I think it's significant that Psalms 149 and 150 command the use of all the major families of instruments available at the time (wind, percussive, string), that Paul instructs God's people to sing in what appears to be three genre (Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs), that the Psalms contain a variety of poetic devices that would lend themselves to a variety of musical settings, and finally that Scripture does not give a list of acceptable and unacceptable music devices for His people to use.

I therefore infer that God's given us a tremendous amount of freedom to use and invent musical settings to praise Him in ways that are  appropriate to one's culture, one's language, and the like.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, just because someone says something stupid does not make any point you really want to make, unless your goal is simply to do catcalls on people who say stupid things..  Let's be real here; you have an agenda here, and that's fine, but you've got to back it up with real evidence.  If you say "someone said something stupid, that makes my point", you can expect those with whom you're debating to say "look in the mirror, buddy, 'cause by your own logic, you just disproved your own hypothesis."

For my part, I think it's significant that Psalms 149 and 150 command the use of all the major families of instruments available at the time (wind, percussive, string), that Paul instructs God's people to sing in what appears to be three genre (Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs), that the Psalms contain a variety of poetic devices that would lend themselves to a variety of musical settings, and finally that Scripture does not give a list of acceptable and unacceptable music devices for His people to use.

I therefore infer that God's given us a tremendous amount of freedom to use and invent musical settings to praise Him in ways that are  appropriate to one's culture, one's language, and the like.  

Your regarding what Warren said as "stupid" is only your opinion. I'm sure that he would strongly disagree with you since he put those views into print.

Moreover, Warren is not the only supporter of contemporary worship who argues along these lines. In one manner or another, I have had interaction with others who argue in similar ways.

God does not have to give a list of what is and is not acceptable to Him. In His perfect wisdom, He has much better ways of making known what is acceptable to Him and what is not acceptable to Him.

When He commands that certain realms of human endeavor are categorically off-limits to His people, such as the occult, you have zero freedom to use anything from those realms.

If you disagree, you have to prove from Scripture where God says that He approves as an exception the taking of music from that forbidden realm and using it to worship Him.

Your repeated claims about the commands in Psalm 149-150 about the use of all major families of instruments do not in any way prove that every possible kind of music that can be produced using those instruments is acceptable to God. If that is your view, you have to prove it from Scripture that says exactly that view is correct.

 

Bert Perry's picture

OK, so we have zero freedom to use anything connected, however tenuously, with the occult.  Now I'll ignore your obvious guilt by association fallacy, and let's engage a reductio ad absurdum.

The hymn "Ode To Joy" is originally from Beethoven, and the original lyrics are Schiller's "An die Freude," a pantheistic hymn to the pagan gods of Europe.  Have you ripped this evil hymn out of every hymnal at the church you attend?

Likewise, "Be Still My Soul" derives from Jan Sibelius' Finlandiaa tone poem putting Finland's national epic, the Kalavala, including stories of the "demigod" Vianamoinen.  Have you ripped this one out, too?  Let's be consistent, Rajesh.  You know, by your own logic, that it's off limits!

In similar ways, many hymns--the Gloria Patri, the doxologies, and others--have connections to the errors and idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church, and others, like the Christmas song O Holy Night, not only have objectionable lyrics, but (this might be the cause) were written or translated by Unitarians.  Rip, rip, rip....Mark Minnick is going to be ticked when you get done.

Going further, the pipe organ was invented by the pagan Greeks in the 3rd century BC--and is (e.g. the Moog) also a staple instrument, in its electronic form, in rock & roll music.  You don't allow one of those evil instruments in your church, I hope!  Visited the website, and I think I see the screens hiding those pipes!  Don't worry about what Pastor Minnick says, you'd better get in there with a sledgehammer and get rid of that pagan element.

In the same way, the pianoforte is connected (shudders) with such evil people as Billy Joel (who mocks Christians in some of his songs) and Elton John.   And don't even get me started with guitars or drums--we'll ignore the obvious fact that the Psalms command their use, of course, in Temple music.

Or we could just concede that guilt by association is a basic logical fallacy that can be applied against anything and everything, and ought to have as little place in our discourse as napalm bombs.  How about it, Rajesh?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Craig Toliver's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

OK, so we have zero freedom to use anything connected, however tenuously, with the occult.  Now I'll ignore your obvious guilt by association fallacy, and let's engage a reductio ad absurdum.

The hymn "Ode To Joy" is originally from Beethoven, and the original lyrics are Schiller's "An die Freude," a pantheistic hymn to the pagan gods of Europe.  Have you ripped this evil hymn out of every hymnal at the church you attend?

Likewise, "Be Still My Soul" derives from Jan Sibelius' Finlandiaa tone poem putting Finland's national epic, the Kalavala, including stories of the "demigod" Vianamoinen.  Have you ripped this one out, too?  Let's be consistent, Rajesh.  You know, by your own logic, that it's off limits!

In similar ways, many hymns--the Gloria Patri, the doxologies, and others--have connections to the errors and idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church, and others, like the Christmas song O Holy Night, not only have objectionable lyrics, but (this might be the cause) were written or translated by Unitarians.  Rip, rip, rip....Mark Minnick is going to be ticked when you get done.

Going further, the pipe organ was invented by the pagan Greeks in the 3rd century BC--and is (e.g. the Moog) also a staple instrument, in its electronic form, in rock & roll music.  You don't allow one of those evil instruments in your church, I hope!  Visited the website, and I think I see the screens hiding those pipes!  Don't worry about what Pastor Minnick says, you'd better get in there with a sledgehammer and get rid of that pagan element.

In the same way, the pianoforte is connected (shudders) with such evil people as Billy Joel (who mocks Christians in some of his songs) and Elton John.   And don't even get me started with guitars or drums--we'll ignore the obvious fact that the Psalms command their use, of course, in Temple music.

Or we could just concede that guilt by association is a basic logical fallacy that can be applied against anything and everything, and ought to have as little place in our discourse as napalm bombs.  How about it, Rajesh?

Destroyed!!!

Give up Rajesh!

RajeshG's picture

Craig Toliver wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

OK, so we have zero freedom to use anything connected, however tenuously, with the occult.  Now I'll ignore your obvious guilt by association fallacy, and let's engage a reductio ad absurdum.

The hymn "Ode To Joy" is originally from Beethoven, and the original lyrics are Schiller's "An die Freude," a pantheistic hymn to the pagan gods of Europe.  Have you ripped this evil hymn out of every hymnal at the church you attend?

Likewise, "Be Still My Soul" derives from Jan Sibelius' Finlandiaa tone poem putting Finland's national epic, the Kalavala, including stories of the "demigod" Vianamoinen.  Have you ripped this one out, too?  Let's be consistent, Rajesh.  You know, by your own logic, that it's off limits!

In similar ways, many hymns--the Gloria Patri, the doxologies, and others--have connections to the errors and idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church, and others, like the Christmas song O Holy Night, not only have objectionable lyrics, but (this might be the cause) were written or translated by Unitarians.  Rip, rip, rip....Mark Minnick is going to be ticked when you get done.

Going further, the pipe organ was invented by the pagan Greeks in the 3rd century BC--and is (e.g. the Moog) also a staple instrument, in its electronic form, in rock & roll music.  You don't allow one of those evil instruments in your church, I hope!  Visited the website, and I think I see the screens hiding those pipes!  Don't worry about what Pastor Minnick says, you'd better get in there with a sledgehammer and get rid of that pagan element.

In the same way, the pianoforte is connected (shudders) with such evil people as Billy Joel (who mocks Christians in some of his songs) and Elton John.   And don't even get me started with guitars or drums--we'll ignore the obvious fact that the Psalms command their use, of course, in Temple music.

Or we could just concede that guilt by association is a basic logical fallacy that can be applied against anything and everything, and ought to have as little place in our discourse as napalm bombs.  How about it, Rajesh?

 

 

Destroyed!!!

Give up Rajesh!

Lol.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

OK, so we have zero freedom to use anything connected, however tenuously, with the occult.  Now I'll ignore your obvious guilt by association fallacy, and let's engage a reductio ad absurdum.

The hymn "Ode To Joy" is originally from Beethoven, and the original lyrics are Schiller's "An die Freude," a pantheistic hymn to the pagan gods of Europe.  Have you ripped this evil hymn out of every hymnal at the church you attend?

Likewise, "Be Still My Soul" derives from Jan Sibelius' Finlandiaa tone poem putting Finland's national epic, the Kalavala, including stories of the "demigod" Vianamoinen.  Have you ripped this one out, too?  Let's be consistent, Rajesh.  You know, by your own logic, that it's off limits!

In similar ways, many hymns--the Gloria Patri, the doxologies, and others--have connections to the errors and idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church, and others, like the Christmas song O Holy Night, not only have objectionable lyrics, but (this might be the cause) were written or translated by Unitarians.  Rip, rip, rip....Mark Minnick is going to be ticked when you get done.

Going further, the pipe organ was invented by the pagan Greeks in the 3rd century BC--and is (e.g. the Moog) also a staple instrument, in its electronic form, in rock & roll music.  You don't allow one of those evil instruments in your church, I hope!  Visited the website, and I think I see the screens hiding those pipes!  Don't worry about what Pastor Minnick says, you'd better get in there with a sledgehammer and get rid of that pagan element.

In the same way, the pianoforte is connected (shudders) with such evil people as Billy Joel (who mocks Christians in some of his songs) and Elton John.   And don't even get me started with guitars or drums--we'll ignore the obvious fact that the Psalms command their use, of course, in Temple music.

Or we could just concede that guilt by association is a basic logical fallacy that can be applied against anything and everything, and ought to have as little place in our discourse as napalm bombs.  How about it, Rajesh?

I do not have to answer for what other people have or have not done.

The Bible is the standard. If you want to discuss how the Bible itself supports one or more of the assertions that Warren made about music, we have something to talk about. If not, you are wasting your time and mine with comments that are irrelevant.

Nonetheless, I will briefly respond to your comments.

Your comments about musical instruments carry no weight because Scripture shows that believers and unbelievers have used some of the same instruments. I do not believe that musical instruments can be inherently evil.

You also wrongly equate idolatry with the occult. Although closely related, the two are not the same.

You again make a faulty insinuation about what the Psalms supposedly teach. There is zero basis in the Psalms to assert that every kind of music made by every instrument is acceptable to God for use in worship.

If you do not have Bible that you want to present to support whatever it is you believe, we do not have anything further to talk about. 

Ron Bean's picture

Getting people to answer specific questions about music is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. For example, if someone asked Rajesh if "Be Still My Soul"  or "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Ode to Joy Tune) were acceptable for worship in spite of their associations, I would not expect a yes or no answer.

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

Bert Perry's picture

Rajesh, regarding your last post,Scripture says nothing about the occult per se, but plenty about pagan religion.  For a man who claims to honor the Bible in what he teaches, that's a glaring error on your part.  The category to be avoided is paganism, and yes, if I apply your illogic, the consequences I mentioned follow.  Moreover, deriving an idea from a text is not called "insinuation", but rather "inference."   May I suggest a dictionary and a primer on logic?  

Regarding your claim that you're starting from Scripture, spare me.  You're the guy who's capable of trying to connect unknown music at the Golden Calf incident with rock & roll while ignoring the clear implications of the last two Psalms.  What you're doing is starting with your conclusion, and nary a bit of evidence that contradicts it will be allowed in.  Again, I commend to you the purchase of a primer on informal logic and a dictionary.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, regarding your last post,Scripture says nothing about the occult per se, but plenty about pagan religion.  For a man who claims to honor the Bible in what he teaches, that's a glaring error on your part. 

I think Rajesh might have a problem with your use of the word "nothing." I wouldn't go so far as to say the Scriptures say "nothing" about the occult, unless your addition of "per se" means some specific definition of the occult that you have in mind. I Cor. 10:28 says "the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God." So the pagan religion was basically occultic in nature, since the sacrifices were made to demons. Rajesh wrote to you, "You also wrongly equate idolatry with the occult. Although closely related, the two are not the same." They may not be exactly the same, but they are really, really close, depending upon how one defines the occult.

So I think I Cor 10 plays an important part in understanding how we should treat things like meat or music that may have occult ties. Most of the meat sold in the marketplaces had been offered to idols, yet Paul says in I Cor 10:25-26 "Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, 'The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.' " Also, they could freely eat any meat that an unbeliever put in front of them, even if it may have been previously offered to an idol, as long as the unbeliever didn't make a point of saying that is was offered to an idol. If a specific believer had a personal objection to eating any meat that maybe, perhaps, possibly had been offered to an idol, then that believer didn't have to buy from the marketplace or eat at unbeliever's homes, but any other believers could freely eat.

 

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Rajesh, regarding your last post,Scripture says nothing about the occult per se, but plenty about pagan religion.  For a man who claims to honor the Bible in what he teaches, that's a glaring error on your part.  The category to be avoided is paganism, and yes, if I apply your illogic, the consequences I mentioned follow.  Moreover, deriving an idea from a text is not called "insinuation", but rather "inference."   May I suggest a dictionary and a primer on logic?  

Regarding your claim that you're starting from Scripture, spare me.  You're the guy who's capable of trying to connect unknown music at the Golden Calf incident with rock & roll while ignoring the clear implications of the last two Psalms.  What you're doing is starting with your conclusion, and nary a bit of evidence that contradicts it will be allowed in.  Again, I commend to you the purchase of a primer on informal logic and a dictionary.

You are seriously misinformed about what Scripture says about the occult. Try searching on these words (and their plural forms ["witch" does not occur in Scripture as a plural]) and you will find that Scripture has plenty to say about the occult: "witch," "witchcraft," "wizard," "sorcerer," "sorcery," etc.

You have made false statements about what I said concerning the GCI, and you are again uttering those falsities. I never connected the music of the GCI directly with rock music to say that the GCI passages in and of themselves show that rock music is unacceptable to God; that was a blatant false statement that you have repeatedly asserted about me.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Rajesh, regarding your last post,Scripture says nothing about the occult per se, but plenty about pagan religion.  For a man who claims to honor the Bible in what he teaches, that's a glaring error on your part. 

 

I think Rajesh might have a problem with your use of the word "nothing." I wouldn't go so far as to say the Scriptures say "nothing" about the occult, unless your addition of "per se" means some specific definition of the occult that you have in mind. I Cor. 10:28 says "the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God." So the pagan religion was basically occultic in nature, since the sacrifices were made to demons. Rajesh wrote to you, "You also wrongly equate idolatry with the occult. Although closely related, the two are not the same." They may not be exactly the same, but they are really, really close, depending upon how one defines the occult.

 

So I think I Cor 10 plays an important part in understanding how we should treat things like meat or music that may have occult ties. Most of the meat sold in the marketplaces had been offered to idols, yet Paul says in I Cor 10:25-26 "Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, 'The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.' " Also, they could freely eat any meat that an unbeliever put in front of them, even if it may have been previously offered to an idol, as long as the unbeliever didn't make a point of saying that is was offered to an idol. If a specific believer had a personal objection to eating any meat that maybe, perhaps, possibly had been offered to an idol, then that believer didn't have to buy from the marketplace or eat at unbeliever's homes, but any other believers could freely eat.

Meat and music are vastly different entities, and applying passages about meat offered to idols as if they automatically and fully apply to music issues as well is a faulty handling of Scripture. I do not want to get into that peripheral discussion in this thread so I am not going to comment further. If you want more information, you can do a search for "meat offered to idols" on my blog and you will find articles that explain that matter in detail.

Ron Bean's picture

As long as the guilt by association fallacy is held as truth and people deal in generalities without specific examples, the debate will continue. I've been watching sincere people ask for specifics for decades (i.e. is Sibelius or Beethoven acceptable?) and seen them ignored. I'm at the point now where I am an amused spectator who exercises his Christian liberty!

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

RajeshG's picture

Scripture has at least 61 verses about the occult. This wealth of information that is found throughout both Testaments shows that the occult is truly an important topic in Scripture. Any believer who wants to understand what God wants him to know about the immense dangers of the occult must immerse himself in these passages.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Meat and music are vastly different entities, and applying passages about meat offered to idols as if they automatically and fully apply to music issues as well is a faulty handling of Scripture.

Well then, it's a good thing I didn't apply them automatically and fully to the music issue.

Quote:
I do not want to get into that peripheral discussion in this thread so I am not going to comment further. 
You certainly don't have to, though I think the discussion isn't as peripheral as you think it is. Both meat and music can have connections to the occult. The Bible gives a direct connection in regards to meat, in that some meat was directly offered to demons and yet believers could eat it with a clear conscience when they purchased it from the marketplace. The Bible doesn't give as clear a direct connection between music and the occult. Sure, we have a passage in which music is being played during idolatrous worship, but that music isn't described as "the sacrifice" being offered, such as the meat was. We know Satan is a musical being, but we have no Scriptural evidence of what kind or style of music Satan uses. Without that knowledge, I believe we can use music with a clear conscience.

Bert Perry's picture

OK, so Rajesh, if you're going to spend so much time on the distinctions between paganism and the occult, are we going to say that it's....somehow OK to drive to close to the edge of paganism?  Seriously?

I'm going to go with what Scripture says here.  We abhor false religion, but the fact that a false religion uses old time hymns (Mormonism, Jehovah's witnesses, etc..) does not mean that Christians can not use old time hymns.  So much more the case, really, when we really don't have much of an idea what did, or did not, distinguish the music around the "golden calf" or whatever from the music we favor--or the music we don't.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Anyone who wants to claim that the kinds of instrumental music that are sourced in idolatry or the occult or in any of the other works of the flesh condemned here are still nonetheless acceptable to God for use in worship must prove that position biblically.

I just want to mention something that I thought of when Galatians 5:19-21 was quoted earlier in the thread. These verses list particular sins that are condemned, but the passage doesn't mention items that are "sourced in" these sins. The idea of being "sourced in" a sin, and thus being condemned, is leap of logic. Let's look at the first one, which is adultery. Could there be some instrumental music that is "sourced in " adultery? If a composer dedicated an instrumental piece to his adulterous partner, then I suppose that particular piece would be sourced in adultery. Would that particular piece be forever off limits for any use by believers? I think it would be problematic if it was common knowledge regarding the origin of the tune, but I don't think the association problem with that one piece of music would make the style of that music to be forever unusable. Furthermore, it would be awfully hard to actually know the origin of all instrumental songs to know whether the composers were engaging in some sin that pertained to the writing of the instrumental music.

The same goes for any of the other sins. We are not to practice fornication. We are not to practice idolatry. We are not to practice witchcraft or hatred or wrath or envy. The idea of something being "sourced in" those sins is a subjective leap that isn't mentioned in the passage. Is there some instrumental music that originated in hatred or envy? How would we know? Music may be used while people are practicing those sins, but I don't believe that puts a permanent taint on that style of music, what ever it may be. Anyone who wishes to claim that such use puts a permanent taint on a style of music must prove that position biblically.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Anyone who wants to claim that the kinds of instrumental music that are sourced in idolatry or the occult or in any of the other works of the flesh condemned here are still nonetheless acceptable to God for use in worship must prove that position biblically.

 

I just want to mention something that I thought of when Galatians 5:19-21 was quoted earlier in the thread. These verses list particular sins that are condemned, but the passage doesn't mention items that are "sourced in" these sins. The idea of being "sourced in" a sin, and thus being condemned, is leap of logic. Let's look at the first one, which is adultery. Could there be some instrumental music that is "sourced in " adultery? If a composer dedicated an instrumental piece to his adulterous partner, then I suppose that particular piece would be sourced in adultery. Would that particular piece be forever off limits for any use by believers? I think it would be problematic if it was common knowledge regarding the origin of the tune, but I don't think the association problem with that one piece of music would make the style of that music to be forever unusable. Furthermore, it would be awfully hard to actually know the origin of all instrumental songs to know whether the composers were engaging in some sin that pertained to the writing of the instrumental music.

The same goes for any of the other sins. We are not to practice fornication. We are not to practice idolatry. We are not to practice witchcraft or hatred or wrath or envy. The idea of something being "sourced in" those sins is a subjective leap that isn't mentioned in the passage. Is there some instrumental music that originated in hatred or envy? How would we know? Music may be used while people are practicing those sins, but I don't believe that puts a permanent taint on that style of music, what ever it may be. Anyone who wishes to claim that such use puts a permanent taint on a style of music must prove that position biblically.

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods. Anyone who claims that he is free to go to the idolaters and bring their instrumental worship music into the worship of the true God is making a false claim that violates explicitly stated divine prohibitions about having anything to do with such things. If you want to claim that the instrumental music of those idolaters is an exception, you have to prove that from Scripture.

Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.

Your claim that the activities "taint" that instrumental music begs the question that the music itself was originally good and only became evil through its being "tainted" by being used in those activities. You have to prove such claims from Scripture--you do not just get to assert that instrumental music was originally good. Prove from Scripture that it was originally good.

More importantly, God categorically prohibits having any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). You have the burden of proving from Scripture that the instrumental music of the occult is an exception to that categorical prohibition.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods.

Well, this is one of the reasons I brought up meat offered to idols. Meat sold in the market place had very often been used as part of worship of false gods. Yet people could eat it in good conscience as long as they didn't inquire about it.

Quote:
Anyone who claims that he is free to go to the idolaters and bring their instrumental worship music into the worship of the true God is making a false claim that violates explicitly stated divine prohibitions about having anything to do with such things. If you want to claim that the instrumental music of those idolaters is an exception, you have to prove that from Scripture.
So is this why you haven't answered Bert's questions about "Ode to Joy" and "Be Still My Soul" and Roman Catholic hymns? Is it because, based on your logic, you would then have to prove why such hymns are acceptable?

Quote:
Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.
So how does the use of a particular piece of music make that music demonic? Is the music causing demon control or possession? This is where I think you are making your leaps of logic. Contacting demons is sinful. The Bible doesn't say that what you wear while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic, The Bible doesn't say that what you eat while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic. The Bible doesn't say that what you listen to while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic.

Quote:
Your claim that the activities "taint" that instrumental music begs the question that the music itself was originally good and only became evil through its being "tainted" by being used in those activities. You have to prove such claims from Scripture--you do not just get to assert that instrumental music was originally good. Prove from Scripture that it was originally good.
If someone thinks that instrumental music was originally evil, wouldn't they have to prove from Scripture why it was originally evil? Earlier in this thread, you said "I have never applied sinfulness to individual musical tones." You also said, " I do not believe that musical instruments can be inherently evil." So if someone believes that a combination of inherently good tones made by an inherently good instrument  is inherently evil, wouldn't that person have to Scripturally prove how the tones are evil?

Quote:
More importantly, God categorically prohibits having any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). You have the burden of proving from Scripture that the instrumental music of the occult is an exception to that categorical prohibition.
Define a "work of darkness," please. Verses 19-21 is a pretty comprehensive list, and music isn't included in it. If you claim that music is included in the list of "works of darkness," then you would have to prove that claim from Scripture. Otherwise, it's just a leap of logic. Are the garments and food of the occult also part of the "categorical prohibition?" Occult practitioners use tea leaves to read the future. Is drinking tea part of the prohibition, or is tea an exception?

Bert Perry's picture

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods. 

If that is true, why does Scripture tell us about Asherah poles, Nebuchadnezzar's shrine to himself, passing children through the fire to Molech, Artemis of the Ephesians, the Pharisees and Sadducees, legalists/judiazers (guilty enough that Paul tells them to castrate themselves!), gnostics, proto-Arians, and the like?  And really, would we be able to understand Scripture without knowing a bit about these?  

Besides, I can think of a certain commenter--the author of the statement in italics no less--who has learned quite a bit about the way one evil person worships his "god" and used that case as a way to attack all modern music.   (Gene Simmons of KISS)

One of the key tests of a hypothesis is whether it stands the test of Scripture, and whether the proponent of the hypothesis actually holds to it.  At this point, Rajesh's hypothesis fails both, and badly.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods. 

If that is true, why does Scripture tell us about Asherah poles, Nebuchadnezzar's shrine to himself, passing children through the fire to Molech, Artemis of the Ephesians, the Pharisees and Sadducees, legalists/judiazers (guilty enough that Paul tells them to castrate themselves!), gnostics, proto-Arians, and the like?  And really, would we be able to understand Scripture without knowing a bit about these?  

Besides, I can think of a certain commenter--the author of the statement in italics no less--who has learned quite a bit about the way one evil person worships his "god" and used that case as a way to attack all modern music.   (Gene Simmons of KISS)

One of the key tests of a hypothesis is whether it stands the test of Scripture, and whether the proponent of the hypothesis actually holds to it.  At this point, Rajesh's hypothesis fails both, and badly.

There is a vast difference between being given brief information that warns about the evil practices of evil people and intentionally exposing oneself at any length to their wickedness for the purpose of copying or borrowing from those practices. God does the former extensively throughout Scripture and categorically forbids the latter.

I have never used what Simmons has said as "a way to attack all modern music" (bold added to original). My denunciations of various musics are based on far more than what Simmons has said.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods.

Well, this is one of the reasons I brought up meat offered to idols. Meat sold in the market place had very often been used as part of worship of false gods. Yet people could eat it in good conscience as long as they didn't inquire about it.

 

 

Quote:
Anyone who claims that he is free to go to the idolaters and bring their instrumental worship music into the worship of the true God is making a false claim that violates explicitly stated divine prohibitions about having anything to do with such things. If you want to claim that the instrumental music of those idolaters is an exception, you have to prove that from Scripture.

So is this why you haven't answered Bert's questions about "Ode to Joy" and "Be Still My Soul" and Roman Catholic hymns? Is it because, based on your logic, you would then have to prove why such hymns are acceptable?

 

 

Quote:
Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.

So how does the use of a particular piece of music make that music demonic? Is the music causing demon control or possession? This is where I think you are making your leaps of logic. Contacting demons is sinful. The Bible doesn't say that what you wear while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic, The Bible doesn't say that what you eat while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic. The Bible doesn't say that what you listen to while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic.

 

 

Quote:
Your claim that the activities "taint" that instrumental music begs the question that the music itself was originally good and only became evil through its being "tainted" by being used in those activities. You have to prove such claims from Scripture--you do not just get to assert that instrumental music was originally good. Prove from Scripture that it was originally good.

If someone thinks that instrumental music was originally evil, wouldn't they have to prove from Scripture why it was originally evil? Earlier in this thread, you said "I have never applied sinfulness to individual musical tones." You also said, " I do not believe that musical instruments can be inherently evil." So if someone believes that a combination of inherently good tones made by an inherently good instrument  is inherently evil, wouldn't that person have to Scripturally prove how the tones are evil?

 

 

Quote:
More importantly, God categorically prohibits having any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). You have the burden of proving from Scripture that the instrumental music of the occult is an exception to that categorical prohibition.

Define a "work of darkness," please. Verses 19-21 is a pretty comprehensive list, and music isn't included in it. If you claim that music is included in the list of "works of darkness," then you would have to prove that claim from Scripture. Otherwise, it's just a leap of logic. Are the garments and food of the occult also part of the "categorical prohibition?" Occult practitioners use tea leaves to read the future. Is drinking tea part of the prohibition, or is tea an exception?

 

It's not possible to reply properly in one response to numerous issues all raised at the same time. As time allows (I am very busy with a major cleaning and rearranging of my apartment), I hope to provide pertinent responses to at least some of them.

Bert Perry's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods. 

If that is true, why does Scripture tell us about Asherah poles, Nebuchadnezzar's shrine to himself, passing children through the fire to Molech, Artemis of the Ephesians, the Pharisees and Sadducees, legalists/judiazers (guilty enough that Paul tells them to castrate themselves!), gnostics, proto-Arians, and the like?  And really, would we be able to understand Scripture without knowing a bit about these?  

Besides, I can think of a certain commenter--the author of the statement in italics no less--who has learned quite a bit about the way one evil person worships his "god" and used that case as a way to attack all modern music.   (Gene Simmons of KISS)

One of the key tests of a hypothesis is whether it stands the test of Scripture, and whether the proponent of the hypothesis actually holds to it.  At this point, Rajesh's hypothesis fails both, and badly.

 

 

There is a vast difference between being given brief information that warns about the evil practices of evil people and intentionally exposing oneself at any length to their wickedness for the purpose of copying or borrowing from those practices. God does the former extensively throughout Scripture and categorically forbids the latter.

I have never used what Simmons has said as "a way to attack all modern music" (bold added to original). My denunciations of various musics are based on far more than what Simmons has said.

Alrighty then, Rajesh, your version of a "categorical divine prohibition" says that a little bit is OK, but you get to draw the line exactly where.  Somehow I'm reminded of the analogy where someone asks their children whether they'd like "just a little bit" of dog waste in their brownies.  

For my part, I think it's important that we understand pagan customs simply because it's a bit of how we can understand those of Israel and our own.  It's important to know that pagan altars were often the exact same dimensions as the altar to God in Jerusalem.  It's important to understand the significance of groves, Asherah poles, Oral Torah, gnosticism, Arianism, and the like.  And if many of us don't understand these false religions well, good luck showing people the error of their ways and why it's significant.

And regarding Simmons, OK, not all, but most modern music, yes, you did.  Seriously, quibbling over all vs. most?  And again, of course you get to be the one to draw the line....

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

As I have already cited more than once in previous threads, there are categorical divine prohibitions about even inquiring how evil people worship their gods. 

If that is true, why does Scripture tell us about Asherah poles, Nebuchadnezzar's shrine to himself, passing children through the fire to Molech, Artemis of the Ephesians, the Pharisees and Sadducees, legalists/judiazers (guilty enough that Paul tells them to castrate themselves!), gnostics, proto-Arians, and the like?  And really, would we be able to understand Scripture without knowing a bit about these?  

Besides, I can think of a certain commenter--the author of the statement in italics no less--who has learned quite a bit about the way one evil person worships his "god" and used that case as a way to attack all modern music.   (Gene Simmons of KISS)

One of the key tests of a hypothesis is whether it stands the test of Scripture, and whether the proponent of the hypothesis actually holds to it.  At this point, Rajesh's hypothesis fails both, and badly.

 

 

There is a vast difference between being given brief information that warns about the evil practices of evil people and intentionally exposing oneself at any length to their wickedness for the purpose of copying or borrowing from those practices. God does the former extensively throughout Scripture and categorically forbids the latter.

I have never used what Simmons has said as "a way to attack all modern music" (bold added to original). My denunciations of various musics are based on far more than what Simmons has said.

 

 

Alrighty then, Rajesh, your version of a "categorical divine prohibition" says that a little bit is OK, but you get to draw the line exactly where.  Somehow I'm reminded of the analogy where someone asks their children whether they'd like "just a little bit" of dog waste in their brownies.  

For my part, I think it's important that we understand pagan customs simply because it's a bit of how we can understand those of Israel and our own.  It's important to know that pagan altars were often the exact same dimensions as the altar to God in Jerusalem.  It's important to understand the significance of groves, Asherah poles, Oral Torah, gnosticism, Arianism, and the like.  And if many of us don't understand these false religions well, good luck showing people the error of their ways and why it's significant.

And regarding Simmons, OK, not all, but most modern music, yes, you did.  Seriously, quibbling over all vs. most?  And again, of course you get to be the one to draw the line....

Wrong. Being given brief information warning about evil people and evil practices but not going into details about them and forbidding people to inquire further about them is divine wisdom. If you do not like it, you are the one who has the problem.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
More importantly, God categorically prohibits having any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). You have the burden of proving from Scripture that the instrumental music of the occult is an exception to that categorical prohibition.

Define a "work of darkness," please. Verses 19-21 is a pretty comprehensive list, and music isn't included in it. If you claim that music is included in the list of "works of darkness," then you would have to prove that claim from Scripture. Otherwise, it's just a leap of logic. Are the garments and food of the occult also part of the "categorical prohibition?" Occult practitioners use tea leaves to read the future. Is drinking tea part of the prohibition, or is tea an exception?

God does not provide definitions of such things. He expects us to understand what they pertain to based on what He has revealed in His Word. Ephesians 5:19-21 does not have anything to do with providing a list of works of darkness, but Galatians 5:19-21 does and explicitly tells us that the list is not comprehensive: "and such like" (Gal. 5:21).

Have practitioners of the occult actually said that their garments, food, or tea leaves are themselves evil things that they have made specifically to promote evil in the same ways and for the same purposes that many of them have said that their instrumental music has been made for?

Moreover, taking tea leaves that God actually created and using them to make a beverage that people drink in a non-worship context is very different from taking instrumental music that evil humans have made and offering it to God in worship. 

 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
Your claim that the activities "taint" that instrumental music begs the question that the music itself was originally good and only became evil through its being "tainted" by being used in those activities. You have to prove such claims from Scripture--you do not just get to assert that instrumental music was originally good. Prove from Scripture that it was originally good.

If someone thinks that instrumental music was originally evil, wouldn't they have to prove from Scripture why it was originally evil? Earlier in this thread, you said "I have never applied sinfulness to individual musical tones." You also said, " I do not believe that musical instruments can be inherently evil." So if someone believes that a combination of inherently good tones made by an inherently good instrument  is inherently evil, wouldn't that person have to Scripturally prove how the tones are evil?

No, the tones, as I have said are themselves individually not evil. When such musical elements are combined, however, there is no basis from Scripture to claim that every combination of them is also something that God has made that is good.

This is precisely what Warren in effect asserts in the quote that I provided in the OP, yet he provides no Scripture to support his assertion. He (and anyone else who makes or supports such an assertion) has to prove from Scripture that this assertion is true.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.

So how does the use of a particular piece of music make that music demonic? Is the music causing demon control or possession? This is where I think you are making your leaps of logic. Contacting demons is sinful. The Bible doesn't say that what you wear while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic, The Bible doesn't say that what you eat while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic. The Bible doesn't say that what you listen to while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic.

It is not necessary or even necessarily possible to answer the types of questions that you ask here. It is enough to know that something is made by evil humans involved in evil occult activities. All such things must be rejected as demonic unless it can be proven that they are not.

Scripture provides an excellent passage that shows what believers are to do with evil things of the occult that practitioners of the occult have made for their evil practices:

Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

When they were saved, these new believers in Ephesus instinctively knew that they must destroy the occult books that they used in their occult practices prior to their having been saved.

The physical materials of these books were incredibly valuable from a monetary standpoint and could have been sold for a vast amount of money (if the equivalent of those books would have been burned in 2011, they would have been worth almost $6,000,000). The new believers, however, destroyed those books. 

God has provided this passage for our instruction and profit. We do not have to explain how the evil contents and prior uses of these books "tainted" the (supposedly intrinsically good) combinations of physical materials that they were written on--it is enough that God has revealed to us that such occult books were categorically rejected by His people, including the combinations of physical materials of those occult books.

 

Ron Bean's picture

Being given brief information warning about evil people and evil practices but not going into details about them and forbidding people to inquire further about them is divine wisdom. If you do not like it, you are the one who has the problem.

I read this quote to my wife and we both had the same one word response. CULT! 

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

Bert Perry's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

<snips>

 

Alrighty then, Rajesh, your version of a "categorical divine prohibition" says that a little bit is OK, but you get to draw the line exactly where.  Somehow I'm reminded of the analogy where someone asks their children whether they'd like "just a little bit" of dog waste in their brownies.  

For my part, I think it's important that we understand pagan customs simply because it's a bit of how we can understand those of Israel and our own.  It's important to know that pagan altars were often the exact same dimensions as the altar to God in Jerusalem.  It's important to understand the significance of groves, Asherah poles, Oral Torah, gnosticism, Arianism, and the like.  And if many of us don't understand these false religions well, good luck showing people the error of their ways and why it's significant.

And regarding Simmons, OK, not all, but most modern music, yes, you did.  Seriously, quibbling over all vs. most?  And again, of course you get to be the one to draw the line....

 

 

Wrong. Being given brief information warning about evil people and evil practices but not going into details about them and forbidding people to inquire further about them is divine wisdom. If you do not like it, you are the one who has the problem.

Precisely where is this "categorical prohibition", Rajesh?  I think I've demonstrated pretty clearly that learning about the practices of the pagans can not be seen as categorically prohibited for the simple reason that Scripture itself teaches us about a lot the practices of the pagans, and going further, every study Bible I've ever seen contains further details of the practices of the pagans so that modern readers can understand why Israel and the church were responding as they did.  Was, then, John MacArthur in sin for putting this kind of details in the study Bibles he's edited?

Going further, every language reference I've ever seen contains references to other languages as a hint to the Hebrew , Aramaic, and Greek word definitions--and you cannot do that without carefully analyzing the pagan literature.  So are Brown, Driver, and Briggs, along with the Kittels and those who wrote for them, in sin for doing serious linguistic work?  The men and women who create language references cut their teeth on the works of pagans.  More or less, what you propose is to take most of the tools out of the toolbox for serious exegesis.

Which, I guess, explains your great love for guilt by association and other logical fallacies.  Lacking the skills to approach the text faithfully, you've got to grab for something.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I read this quote to my wife and we both had the same one word response. CULT! 

I wonder if "simple concerning evil" (Rom 16:9), though admittedly a few more words, might be a better idea. 

Why the necessity to know a lot about evil? Wouldn't it be wise to be "simple concerning evil"?

Ron Bean's picture

Larry wrote:

I read this quote to my wife and we both had the same one word response. CULT! 

I wonder if "simple concerning evil" (Rom 16:9), though admittedly a few more words, might be a better idea. 

Why the necessity to know a lot about evil? Wouldn't it be wise to be "simple concerning evil"?

We were in a religious cult and the quote I cited and Romans 16:9 were used regularly to explain why we were never told specifically what "evils" we were to fear. If we asked what was evil about a specific thing, we were told that the less we knew about it, the safer we would be. The examples in this thread are the refusal to address Sibelius and Ode to Joy. 

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

Bert Perry's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

Quote:
Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.

So how does the use of a particular piece of music make that music demonic? Is the music causing demon control or possession? This is where I think you are making your leaps of logic. Contacting demons is sinful. The Bible doesn't say that what you wear while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic, The Bible doesn't say that what you eat while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic. The Bible doesn't say that what you listen to while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic.

 

 

It is not necessary or even necessarily possible to answer the types of questions that you ask here. It is enough to know that something is made by evil humans involved in evil occult activities. All such things must be rejected as demonic unless it can be proven that they are not.

Scripture provides an excellent passage that shows what believers are to do with evil things of the occult that practitioners of the occult have made for their evil practices:

Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

When they were saved, these new believers in Ephesus instinctively knew that they must destroy the occult books that they used in their occult practices prior to their having been saved.

The physical materials of these books were incredibly valuable from a monetary standpoint and could have been sold for a vast amount of money (if the equivalent of those books would have been burned in 2011, they would have been worth almost $6,000,000). The new believers, however, destroyed those books. 

God has provided this passage for our instruction and profit. We do not have to explain how the evil contents and prior uses of these books "tainted" the (supposedly intrinsically good) combinations of physical materials that they were written on--it is enough that God has revealed to us that such occult books were categorically rejected by His people, including the combinations of physical materials of those occult books.

OK, so since the Bible autographs were written on the same kind of parchment and papyrus used by the magicians, and moreover using the same kind of ink, then by your "logic", Rajesh, it is sin to read the Bible.  I also must state that I have in my possession two beautiful, leather-bound volumes of the Berlenburger Bibel (the Torah and the books of history from the OT) that are made of the same materials as books of magic, and which are printed using the same kinds of ink that were used for books of alchemy and magic in the same time period.  Those horrible people at Berlenburg even used many of the same fonts!

Moreover, I have it on good authority that one can even today purchase books on magic printed on the very same kinds of acid free paper, and with the very same kinds of soybean oil ink, which are used for printing Bibles today.

Again, by your logic, Rajesh.  Don't you think it's long past time to stop this farce?  To give up your guilt by association logical and rhetorical nightmare?  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

<snips>

 

Alrighty then, Rajesh, your version of a "categorical divine prohibition" says that a little bit is OK, but you get to draw the line exactly where.  Somehow I'm reminded of the analogy where someone asks their children whether they'd like "just a little bit" of dog waste in their brownies.  

For my part, I think it's important that we understand pagan customs simply because it's a bit of how we can understand those of Israel and our own.  It's important to know that pagan altars were often the exact same dimensions as the altar to God in Jerusalem.  It's important to understand the significance of groves, Asherah poles, Oral Torah, gnosticism, Arianism, and the like.  And if many of us don't understand these false religions well, good luck showing people the error of their ways and why it's significant.

And regarding Simmons, OK, not all, but most modern music, yes, you did.  Seriously, quibbling over all vs. most?  And again, of course you get to be the one to draw the line....

 

 

Wrong. Being given brief information warning about evil people and evil practices but not going into details about them and forbidding people to inquire further about them is divine wisdom. If you do not like it, you are the one who has the problem.

 

 

Precisely where is this "categorical prohibition", Rajesh?  I think I've demonstrated pretty clearly that learning about the practices of the pagans can not be seen as categorically prohibited for the simple reason that Scripture itself teaches us about a lot the practices of the pagans, and going further, every study Bible I've ever seen contains further details of the practices of the pagans so that modern readers can understand why Israel and the church were responding as they did.  Was, then, John MacArthur in sin for putting this kind of details in the study Bibles he's edited?

Going further, every language reference I've ever seen contains references to other languages as a hint to the Hebrew , Aramaic, and Greek word definitions--and you cannot do that without carefully analyzing the pagan literature.  So are Brown, Driver, and Briggs, along with the Kittels and those who wrote for them, in sin for doing serious linguistic work?  The men and women who create language references cut their teeth on the works of pagans.  More or less, what you propose is to take most of the tools out of the toolbox for serious exegesis.

Which, I guess, explains your great love for guilt by association and other logical fallacies.  Lacking the skills to approach the text faithfully, you've got to grab for something.

Deuteronomy 12:29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

God is right--you are wrong. You are not wiser than God. God demanded that His people not even inquire about how these wicked people served their gods. There are other similar statements, including Romans 16:19 that Larry has cited.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

Quote:
Moreover, Scripture clearly distinguishes between idolatry and the occult. When people engage in occult practices that they explicitly say are designed to put them into direct contact with demons and have the demons direct or control them and at times even possess them, any such instrumental music that they use in those demonic practices is categorically off-limits to all righteous people because it is demonic music.

So how does the use of a particular piece of music make that music demonic? Is the music causing demon control or possession? This is where I think you are making your leaps of logic. Contacting demons is sinful. The Bible doesn't say that what you wear while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic, The Bible doesn't say that what you eat while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic. The Bible doesn't say that what you listen to while contacting demons becomes sinful or demonic.

 

 

It is not necessary or even necessarily possible to answer the types of questions that you ask here. It is enough to know that something is made by evil humans involved in evil occult activities. All such things must be rejected as demonic unless it can be proven that they are not.

Scripture provides an excellent passage that shows what believers are to do with evil things of the occult that practitioners of the occult have made for their evil practices:

Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

When they were saved, these new believers in Ephesus instinctively knew that they must destroy the occult books that they used in their occult practices prior to their having been saved.

The physical materials of these books were incredibly valuable from a monetary standpoint and could have been sold for a vast amount of money (if the equivalent of those books would have been burned in 2011, they would have been worth almost $6,000,000). The new believers, however, destroyed those books. 

God has provided this passage for our instruction and profit. We do not have to explain how the evil contents and prior uses of these books "tainted" the (supposedly intrinsically good) combinations of physical materials that they were written on--it is enough that God has revealed to us that such occult books were categorically rejected by His people, including the combinations of physical materials of those occult books.

 

 

OK, so since the Bible autographs were written on the same kind of parchment and papyrus used by the magicians, and moreover using the same kind of ink, then by your "logic", Rajesh, it is sin to read the Bible.  I also must state that I have in my possession two beautiful, leather-bound volumes of the Berlenburger Bibel (the Torah and the books of history from the OT) that are made of the same materials as books of magic, and which are printed using the same kinds of ink that were used for books of alchemy and magic in the same time period.  Those horrible people at Berlenburg even used many of the same fonts!

Moreover, I have it on good authority that one can even today purchase books on magic printed on the very same kinds of acid free paper, and with the very same kinds of soybean oil ink, which are used for printing Bibles today.

Again, by your logic, Rajesh.  Don't you think it's long past time to stop this farce?  To give up your guilt by association logical and rhetorical nightmare?  

Ah, so you were there so that you know exactly what these specific books were written on and exactly how they were designed, including exactly everything about how they were styled? Right.

Your fallacious argumentation fails to even answer why these books were destroyed and not "redeemed" for use in making more Bibles. After all, they were immensely valuable and could have been scrubbed to use for making more Bible manuscripts, right? Isn't that what should have been done with them according to your views?

But no, godly believers burned those books! You are wrong. There is no redeeming wicked things of the occult. Scripture provides this explicit revelation which categorically refutes any contention that you and others can try to make about the legitimacy of "redeeming" wicked things of the occult.

Larry's picture

Moderator

We were in a religious cult and the quote I cited and Romans 16:9 were used regularly to explain why we were never told specifically what "evils" we were to fear. If we asked what was evil about a specific thing, we were told that the less we knew about it, the safer we would be.

The evil was identified in the example given. If the evil is not identified, then it is a bit different. But yes, quite often the less we know about something the safe we are. I think that is the point of being simple concerning evil. It is usually enough to know it is evil and the basics of why, Is there a compelling reason to explore more? I ask that seriously. 

The examples in this thread are the refusal to address Sibelius and Ode to Joy. 

Is this really controversial? Are there a lot of people arguing about Sibelius or Ode to Joy? 

Ron Bean's picture

Larry wrote:

We were in a religious cult and the quote I cited and Romans 16:9 were used regularly to explain why we were never told specifically what "evils" we were to fear. If we asked what was evil about a specific thing, we were told that the less we knew about it, the safer we would be.

The evil was identified in the example given. If the evil is not identified, then it is a bit different. But yes, quite often the less we know about something the safe we are. I think that is the point of being simple concerning evil. It is usually enough to know it is evil and the basics of why, Is there a compelling reason to explore more? I ask that seriously. 

The examples in this thread are the refusal to address Sibelius and Ode to Joy. 

Is this really controversial? Are there a lot of people arguing about Sibelius or Ode to Joy? 

My point is simple. There are claims of demonic/evil "things" we should avoid, but those "things" are never specified. The questions asked about Sibelius and Ode to Joy are just examples of refusal to apply generalities to specific cases. 

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

Larry's picture

Moderator

There are claims of demonic/evil "things" we should avoid, but those "things" are never specified.

Never? That has not been my experience. I have almost never been denied an explanation but then that may be my background was more accepting of questions than other backgrounds were.

The questions asked about Sibelius and Ode to Joy are just examples of refusal to apply generalities to specific cases. 

What's the particular question here with Silbelius and Ode to Joy? Is there really some sort of controversy about this that I am unaware of? 

Bert Perry's picture

Larry, the hypothesis that Rajesh offers up is that any tenuous connection to paganism or "the occult" makes that very genre of music an unclean thing that we cannot touch.  Ode to Joy is originally a pantheistic (yes, occult) poem by Schiller and put to music by Beethoven, and "Be Still My Soul" is Sibelius' musical adaptation of the Finnish national epic, which is also part pagan.

So if we're going to be doing guilt by association fallacies, that's where I'd recommend Rajesh start to prove he really means business.  See here.  Otherwise, he's just proven that he's not about any coherent theological principle, but rather just about using any club to beat on the rock & roll music he abhors.

Or, as Ron's wife noted, it's cultish behavior.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Larry, the hypothesis that Rajesh offers up is that any tenuous connection to paganism or "the occult" makes that very genre of music an unclean thing that we cannot touch.  Ode to Joy is originally a pantheistic (yes, occult) poem by Schiller and put to music by Beethoven, and "Be Still My Soul" is Sibelius' musical adaptation of the Finnish national epic, which is also part pagan.

So if we're going to be doing guilt by association fallacies, that's where I'd recommend Rajesh start to prove he really means business.  See here.  Otherwise, he's just proven that he's not about any coherent theological principle, but rather just about using any club to beat on the rock & roll music he abhors.

Or, as Ron's wife noted, it's cultish behavior.

"Any tenuous connection to paganism or "the occult" . . . (bold added to original)." This is your distortion of what I have said. There is vast evidence that rock and other ungodly instrumental music are ungodly instrumental musics of the occult.

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