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

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

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

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

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

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

52585 reads
RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

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

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

I am preparing to speak 7 times this weekend at a friend's church so I will not be interacting further on this thread until early next week. May it please the Lord to bless us all to please Him in all our ways in the days to come.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

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

 

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

So many rock musicians and others have spoken about this matter. If you do some research, you can find numerous statements giving you information about instrumental music that is sensual. Here is a sampling [bold added to the original in several quotes below]:

In his “Discourse to the Greeks,” Justin Martyr stated:

“Do not suppose, ye Greeks, that my separation from your customs is unreasonable and unthinking; for I found in them nothing that is holy or acceptable to God.” (Chapter 1)

As well:

“And your public assemblies I have come to hate. For there are excessive banquetings, and subtle flutes which provoke to lustful movements, and useless and luxurious anointing, and crowning with garlands.” (Chapter 4)

From this early church father who lived (100-165 AD) to our day, people have testified to instrumental music that is sensual:

"Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body's [sexual] rhythms . . . Rock and roll has largely been seen as a form of rebellious music for just about as long as it has existed." (Frank Zappa, Life, June 28, 1968)

"That's what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!" (Gene Simmons, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987)

"There is a great deal of powerful, albeit subliminal, sexual stimulation implicit in both the rhythm and lyrics of rock music." (Dr. David Elkind, American child psychologist, The Hurried Child, 2001)

This very small sampling of statements that span more than 1800 years makes it plain that many people have no difficulty knowing that there is instrumental music that is sensual.

For specific info of the type that you seem to be most interested in, John Makujina has a section titled "Encoding Eroticism" that discusses "how rock music expresses sensuality" (Measuring the Music, 130-133; italics in original)

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

So many rock musicians and others have spoken about this matter. If you do some research, you can find numerous statements giving you information about instrumental music that is sensual. Here is a sampling [bold added to the original in several quotes below]:

In his “Discourse to the Greeks,” Justin Martyr stated:

“Do not suppose, ye Greeks, that my separation from your customs is unreasonable and unthinking; for I found in them nothing that is holy or acceptable to God.” (Chapter 1)

As well:

“And your public assemblies I have come to hate. For there are excessive banquetings, and subtle flutes which provoke to lustful movements, and useless and luxurious anointing, and crowning with garlands.” (Chapter 4)

From this early church father who lived (100-165 AD) to our day, people have testified to instrumental music that is sensual:

"Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body's [sexual] rhythms . . . Rock and roll has largely been seen as a form of rebellious music for just about as long as it has existed." (Frank Zappa, Life, June 28, 1968)

"That's what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!" (Gene Simmons, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987)

"There is a great deal of powerful, albeit subliminal, sexual stimulation implicit in both the rhythm and lyrics of rock music." (Dr. David Elkind, American child psychologist, The Hurried Child, 2001)

This very small sampling of statements that span more than 1800 years makes it plain that many people have no difficulty knowing that there is instrumental music that is sensual.

For specific info of the type that you seem to be most interested in, John Makujina has a section titled "Encoding Eroticism" that discusses "how rock music expresses sensuality" (Measuring the Music, 130-133; italics in original)

I think it's worth discussing the definition of musical form that you posted earlier when you were showing that musical form is used the same way as genre. Here's the definition you posted. 

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

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

According to the definition, there are three ways to determine a genre, and these three ways are likely not even exhaustive. One is by "the medium of performance." I take it that this genre would be something like "trumpet music" or "harp music." I do not believe God would be displeased with this particular kind of genre, since God is not displeased with musical instruments. I think the only way for God to be displeased with this genre is if it is combined with the "by function" method of determining genre. If the function of a piece of music is inappropriate, then God would be displeased with that particular function. A displeasing function could be "sensual music." In this regard, some "flute music" could be played sensuously, but God wouldn't be displeased with the 'flute" part of the music, only with the sensuous use. Someone could play music in a rebellious manner, whether that was with the lyrics or with gestures, but it would be the rebellion that God would be displeased with not the particular instrument tha was being used.

The determining factor I haven't covered yet is "the technique of composition." In this regard, you could have minor key styles or styles related to a particular beat. This is where I would place rock music. How do we know something is rock music? Well, there is a particular beat, a particular "technique of composition," that determines if something is rock music. Does God tell us anywhere that He is displeased with particular composition techniques? Are minor keys, for example, displeasing to God? Besides having a beat, rock music is often played loudly. Is loud volume displeasing to God? Where would we get the idea that a particular beat is displeasing to God? It seems to me that this is where people start mixing the "by function" aspect with the "composition technique " aspect. As I've mentioned before, pretty much ANY music can be played sensuously, but this doesn't mean all aspects of composition to all music becomes displeasing simply because a particular performance can be sensual. We would have to look at the function of each performance rather than make a blanket condemnation of everything that could be played sensuously. Have some rock musicians played their music sensuously (or rebelliously)? Sure, but I don't see as how those uses can condemn a particular aspect of musical composition any more than loudness can be condemned due to it's use by rock musicians. I think some of those rock musicians you quoted wanted to claim their music was sensual or rebellious in order to sell more of their music to kids who wanted to make their parents uncomfortable.

My point is that if music is actually being used in a sensual or rebellious fashion, than God is displeased with the sensuality or rebellion. If a composer of CCM is simply using composition techniques that are nowhere specifically condemned by Scripture and he has no intent of sensuality or rebellion in the production of the work, then I don't see as how any one could claim that that music is displeasing to God.

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that the musicians Rajesh quotes--Frank Zappa and Gene Simmons--really made their careers more on being a provocation than by their music.  It has the same relationship to musical reality as James Bond movies have to the reality of spying.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

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

 

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

 

 

So many rock musicians and others have spoken about this matter. If you do some research, you can find numerous statements giving you information about instrumental music that is sensual. Here is a sampling [bold added to the original in several quotes below]:

In his “Discourse to the Greeks,” Justin Martyr stated:

“Do not suppose, ye Greeks, that my separation from your customs is unreasonable and unthinking; for I found in them nothing that is holy or acceptable to God.” (Chapter 1)

As well:

“And your public assemblies I have come to hate. For there are excessive banquetings, and subtle flutes which provoke to lustful movements, and useless and luxurious anointing, and crowning with garlands.” (Chapter 4)

From this early church father who lived (100-165 AD) to our day, people have testified to instrumental music that is sensual:

"Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body's [sexual] rhythms . . . Rock and roll has largely been seen as a form of rebellious music for just about as long as it has existed." (Frank Zappa, Life, June 28, 1968)

"That's what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!" (Gene Simmons, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987)

"There is a great deal of powerful, albeit subliminal, sexual stimulation implicit in both the rhythm and lyrics of rock music." (Dr. David Elkind, American child psychologist, The Hurried Child, 2001)

This very small sampling of statements that span more than 1800 years makes it plain that many people have no difficulty knowing that there is instrumental music that is sensual.

For specific info of the type that you seem to be most interested in, John Makujina has a section titled "Encoding Eroticism" that discusses "how rock music expresses sensuality" (Measuring the Music, 130-133; italics in original)

 

Rajesh, please allow me to walk you through my thinking after reading your latest post.  These are just my thoughts; no need to respond.  Here goes:

1.  Do the two musicians Rajesh quotes (Zappa and Simmons) speak for all musicians?  Are they authorities with the ability to represent the thoughts of all musicians?  Why should I listen to these two?  If these two are authorities, why are they authorities?

2.  Do any rock musicians disagree with Zappa and Simmons?  Do at least a few musicians reject the idea that their music is about sex?  If any disagree with Zappa and Simmons, who is correct?  Does Rajesh have any musicians who disagree with Zappa and Simmons and what weight does he give them in his teaching?

3.  Is Rajesh "cherry picking" his sources to get the results he wants?

4. Are Zappa and Simmons good sources on which Rajesh relies?  That is, were they under demonic influence when they said these things and therefore unreliable?  How might Rajesh tell?  Mighty they have misspoken?  Perhaps they later changed their minds?  Might they be lying?  Might they be using hyperbole, irony, or any number of rhetorical devices that Rajesh is misunderstanding?  Did they know they were speaking as authoritative?  Why should Rajesh take their statements as authoritative?

5.  Why would three lost people be good sources for Rajesh to determine what is, and is not, sensual music?  Doesn’t God address this clearly in His Word?  If He does, why the need to use unsaved authorities?  If He doesn’t clearly address this in His Word, should the opinions of Zappa, Simmons and Elkind mean anything to Rajesh?

6.  Might Dr. David Elkind be wrong?  How does he know this?  Why should Rajesh listen to him and why use him as an authority?  That was almost 20 years ago, has there been any new research done in this area?  Would other psychologists disagree with Dr. Elkind?  If any disagree, how might Rajesh tell who is correct?  Why quote a Dr. if God's Word clearly addresses this?  If God's Word doesn't clearly address this, then should Dr. Elkind's opinion mean anything to Rajesh?

7.  Does Rajesh think other genres of music also sensual?  Was Frank Sinatra's music not sensual?   Is this phenomena limited to rock music?  If only rock, why rock?  If all genres, then why focus on rock? 

8.  Does Rajesh think Makujina is a good source?  Why is he a good source?

Just food for thought.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I think it's worth discussing the definition of musical form that you posted earlier when you were showing that musical form is used the same way as genre. Here's the definition you posted. 

I did not cite that definition because I believe that definition is the correct way to understand what is true about music. I cited it only in relation to a comment made about my supposed misuse of the term "musical form."

Kevin Miller wrote:

A displeasing function could be "sensual music." In this regard, some "flute music" could be played sensuously, but God wouldn't be displeased with the 'flute" part of the music, only with the sensuous use. Someone could play music in a rebellious manner, whether that was with the lyrics or with gestures, but it would be the rebellion that God would be displeased with not the particular instrument tha was being used.

This is just a roundabout way of denying that the instrumental music itself has any morality to it.

Kevin Miller wrote:

Does God tell us anywhere that He is displeased with particular composition techniques? . . . Where would we get the idea that a particular beat is displeasing to God?

God tells us that the whole universe was corrupted by the Fall. Somehow, apparently in your thinking, the realm of instrumental music itself is the one realm that was exempted in some mysterious way from the Fall and its effects. If that is your view, the burden of proof is on you to show that this is true.

Kevin Miller wrote:

My point is that if music is actually being used in a sensual or rebellious fashion, than God is displeased with the sensuality or rebellion. If a composer of CCM is simply using composition techniques that are nowhere specifically condemned by Scripture and he has no intent of sensuality or rebellion in the production of the work, then I don't see as how any one could claim that that music is displeasing to God.

The supposed lack of specific statements condemning whatever you mean by "composition techniques" does not mean that all "composition techniques" are inherently good and acceptable to God. There is no biblical basis for such a view. In fact, God tells us that reprobate humans are "inventors of evil" (Rom. 1:30) and does not qualify that statement by saying that they are inventors of evil in all realms except for instrumental music.

Those who hold that all instrumental music itself (apart from its use in wrong contexts, etc.) is inherently exempt from any effects of the Fall and exempt from being something created by wicked humans who have rejected God and invented evil things under demonic influence have to prove how the Bible specifically teaches that instrumental music is such an incorruptible realm in the universe.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Does God tell us anywhere that He is displeased with particular composition techniques? . . . Where would we get the idea that a particular beat is displeasing to God?

 

 

God tells us that the whole universe was corrupted by the Fall. Somehow, apparently in your thinking, the realm of instrumental music itself is the one realm that was exempted in some mysterious way from the Fall and its effects. If that is your view, the burden of proof is on you to show that this is true.

I guess I need to get something straight here in regards to what things God is displeased with. I asked you to tell me what makes a particular beat displeasing to God. You insist that that question means I think instrumental music is exempt from the Fall and it's effects. I'm not sure how you are making that leap. It's my understanding that all of God's creation has been affected by the Fall and Romans 8 tells us creation is groaning until it's redemption happens at the Second Coming. Since all of God's creation is affected by the Fall, does this mean, in your perspective, that God is displeased with all of creation as it currently exists?

Are you saying that a particular beat gets affected by the Fall, by other aspects of music do not? Are musical keys affected by the Fall? Are notes affected by the Fall? Is pitch affected by the Fall? How does the Fall affect one particular beat, making it displeasing, but not affect another beat? Wouldn't every aspect of all music be affected by the Fall in some way until the Second coming happens and all of creation is made new?

Dan Miller's picture

I always find the use of this Frank Zappa quote kind of funny. Doesn’t anyone think that his judgment that his music was sensual was either based on or in anticipation of his own sexual behavior? In other words, he found that as a famous musician, girls threw themselves at him, so he irrationally (but understandably) believed that this was due to his musical style? Or that he hoped that it would continue?

 P.S. I find it amazing that you’re still going...

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I guess I need to get something straight here in regards to what things God is displeased with. I asked you to tell me what makes a particular beat displeasing to God. You insist that that question means I think instrumental music is exempt from the Fall and it's effects. I'm not sure how you are making that leap. It's my understanding that all of God's creation has been affected by the Fall and Romans 8 tells us creation is groaning until it's redemption happens at the Second Coming. Since all of God's creation is affected by the Fall, does this mean, in your perspective, that God is displeased with all of creation as it currently exists?

Are you saying that a particular beat gets affected by the Fall, by other aspects of music do not? Are musical keys affected by the Fall? Are notes affected by the Fall? Is pitch affected by the Fall? How does the Fall affect one particular beat, making it displeasing, but not affect another beat? Wouldn't every aspect of all music be affected by the Fall in some way until the Second coming happens and all of creation is made new?

No, God is not displeased with all of creation as it currently exists. He has commanded humans to use musical instruments to worship Him so we know that there are instrumental musical styles/genres/forms that are acceptable to Him. There is, however, no biblical revelation that teaches that all instrumental musical genre/styles/forms are pleasing to Him and acceptable to Him for use in worship.

Properly speaking, a beat is not an entity in and of itself. Beat is a property of some collections of sounds, including but not limited to just collections of musical sounds.

There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. In fact, because of the existence of supernatural evil beings who are musical beings, both vocally and instrumentally, and because of their incorrigibly evil character, any music sourced in demonic influence must be categorically rejected.

Demons know far more about music that pleases God and music that does not please God than humans do. We know that demons seeks to corrupt divine worship in every way possible. The music of demonically influenced human beings, therefore, is entirely off limits for righteous people.

In particular, we have testimonies form rock musicians themselves who have said that rock music is the devil's music:

"Rock has always been the devil's music... I believe that rock & roll is dangerous... I feel that we're only heralding something even darker than ourselves." (David Bowie; bold added to the original)

With testimonies such as these, consecrated believers have an obligation to reject rock music and all music derived from it or based upon it. We must have no fellowship with rock and rock-based music because they are the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). 
 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

No, God is not displeased with all of creation as it currently exists. He has commanded humans to use musical instruments to worship Him so we know that there are instrumental musical styles/genres/forms that are acceptable to Him. There is, however, no biblical revelation that teaches that all instrumental musical genre/styles/forms are pleasing to Him and acceptable to Him for use in worship.

Ok, so you acknowledge that God is not displeased with all of creation. So why did you bring up the Fall when I asked you how God could be displeased with a particular beat? You stated to me that  "God tells us that the whole universe was corrupted by the Fall." Wouldn't the whole universe include the instruments invented by man? Are you saying that the instruments God commands us to use are somehow exempt from the effects of the Fall? I'm just still confused as to how you thought I was making a statement about the Fall when I asked you to show me how a particular beat could be displeasing. How has the Fall affected music? Would you say that the Fall has made most musical styles/genres unacceptable to God unless God has commanded a proper use?  Or would you say that even with the Fall, most musical styles/genres are acceptable to God unless God has given us a reason for His displeasure? I would tend toward the second choice, which is why I asked you for a reason why God would be displeased with a particular beat. But then you brought up the Fall affecting the whole universe, which made me think you might hold to everything being displeasing to God because of the Fall. After all, you did say the whole universe was corrupted.

 

Quote:
Properly speaking, a beat is not an entity in and of itself. Beat is a property of some collections of sounds, including but not limited to just collections of musical sounds.

There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. In fact, because of the existence of supernatural evil beings who are musical beings, both vocally and instrumentally, and because of their incorrigibly evil character, any music sourced in demonic influence must be categorically rejected.

I realize, of course, that a beat is just a property of some collection of sounds. This is why I asked you about other properties of collections of sounds. Does demonic influence just limit itself to beats but have no effect on any other property? Is it also your position that: 1. There is no biblical reason that all key signatures must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 2. There is no biblical reason that all musical pitches must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 3. There is no biblical reason that all tempos must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. Wouldn't the incorrigibly evil demons also affect those properties?

Quote:
Demons know far more about music that pleases God and music that does not please God than humans do. We know that demons seeks to corrupt divine worship in every way possible. The music of demonically influenced human beings, therefore, is entirely off limits for righteous people.
As we've discussed previously, there is a wide spectrum of demonic influence in the world. Wouldn't ALL unsaved people be in the category of "demonically influenced human beings"? I believe I have asked you if we need to reject the music of ALL unsaved people, and you have said "no." Yet here you are, once again, making the general statement that righteous people have to reject the music of demonically influenced people, which would in reality be all unsaved people. Then we start discussing the levels of demonic influence, with only a higher-level-almost-possessed-but-maybe-not-quite person being the one whose music we must reject. So how do we know that a particular style has been produced by this higher-level type of demonically influenced person that requires us to reject it?

This is where your logic seems to me to be circular reasoning. How do we know a higher-level demonically influenced person has produced music that is displeasing to God? Because the music contains a rock beat. How do we know a rock beat is displeasing to God? Because it was put into the music by a higher-level demonically influenced person. 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

In particular, we have testimonies form rock musicians themselves who have said that rock music is the devil's music:

"Rock has always been the devil's music... I believe that rock & roll is dangerous... I feel that we're only heralding something even darker than ourselves." (David Bowie; bold added to the original)

With testimonies such as these, consecrated believers have an obligation to reject rock music and all music derived from it or based upon it. We must have no fellowship with rock and rock-based music because they are the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). 

Here are a few more quotes from that same interview with David Bowie:

“I never got into acid either. I did it three or four times and it was colourful, but my own imagination was already richer. I never got into grass at all. Hash for a time, but never grass. I guess drugs have been a part of my life for the past 10 years, but never anything very heavy … I’ve had short flirtations with smack and things, but it was only for the mystery and the enigma. I like fast drugs. I hate anything that slows me down.”

“I fell for Ziggy too. It was quite easy to become obsessed night and day with the character. I became Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie went totally out the window. Everybody was convincing me that I was a messiah, especially on that first American tour. I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy."

"Somebody asked me in an interview if I ever had a gay experience and I said, ‘Yes, of course, I am a bisexual.’  . . . . I had no idea my sexuality would get so widely publicized. It was just a very sort of off-the-cuff little remark. Best thing I ever said, I suppose.”

With testimonies such as these, I don't think David Bowie's credibility is to be trusted when he makes proclamations about rock music. He was on drugs, living in a fantasy world, and very, very confused.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

This is where your logic seems to me to be circular reasoning. How do we know a higher-level demonically influenced person has produced music that is displeasing to God? Because the music contains a rock beat. How do we know a rock beat is displeasing to God? Because it was put into the music by a higher-level demonically influenced person. 

When a demonically influenced person says that he has made his music to promote wickedness, we do not have any basis to say that his music must still be pleasing to God even though he himself says that he has specifically created it to promote evil. Many rock musicians have testified to the evil character of their own music and of their intent to promote evil through their instrumental music. Such music must be rejected.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

In particular, we have testimonies form rock musicians themselves who have said that rock music is the devil's music:

"Rock has always been the devil's music... I believe that rock & roll is dangerous... I feel that we're only heralding something even darker than ourselves." (David Bowie; bold added to the original)

With testimonies such as these, consecrated believers have an obligation to reject rock music and all music derived from it or based upon it. We must have no fellowship with rock and rock-based music because they are the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). 

Here are a few more quotes from that same interview with David Bowie:

 

“I never got into acid either. I did it three or four times and it was colourful, but my own imagination was already richer. I never got into grass at all. Hash for a time, but never grass. I guess drugs have been a part of my life for the past 10 years, but never anything very heavy … I’ve had short flirtations with smack and things, but it was only for the mystery and the enigma. I like fast drugs. I hate anything that slows me down.”

“I fell for Ziggy too. It was quite easy to become obsessed night and day with the character. I became Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie went totally out the window. Everybody was convincing me that I was a messiah, especially on that first American tour. I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy."

"Somebody asked me in an interview if I ever had a gay experience and I said, ‘Yes, of course, I am a bisexual.’  . . . . I had no idea my sexuality would get so widely publicized. It was just a very sort of off-the-cuff little remark. Best thing I ever said, I suppose.”

With testimonies such as these, I don't think David Bowie's credibility is to be trusted when he makes proclamations about rock music. He was on drugs, living in a fantasy world, and very, very confused.

We have already had a very long discussion in another thread in which I have provided evidence from Scripture that shows that testimonies from unbelievers or even openly evil people is not inherently invalid because they are unbelievers or even openly evil people. Scripture records that a man who was possessed by many demons still accurately testified to profound spiritual truths (Mark. 5:7).

To be consistent, you would have to say that any testimonies about the evils of drug use from people who have abused drugs cannot be trusted because of their prior drug use. Such a claim would be patently false.

In what you quote above, Bowie specifies, "Drugs have been a part of my life for the past 10 years, but never anything very heavy." By his own words, he asserted that he was never a very heavy drug user who would thereby have been completely mentally incapacitated by such excessive use of drugs.

It's also very telling that you claim that Bowie's testimony about the nature of the music that he chose to play is not credible because "he was on drugs, living in a fantasy world, and very, very confused," but you would still apparently maintain that the music that he regularly played while he was in such a state was still instrumental music that was acceptable to God. 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
Properly speaking, a beat is not an entity in and of itself. Beat is a property of some collections of sounds, including but not limited to just collections of musical sounds.

 

There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. In fact, because of the existence of supernatural evil beings who are musical beings, both vocally and instrumentally, and because of their incorrigibly evil character, any music sourced in demonic influence must be categorically rejected.

I realize, of course, that a beat is just a property of some collection of sounds. This is why I asked you about other properties of collections of sounds. Does demonic influence just limit itself to beats but have no effect on any other property? Is it also your position that: 1. There is no biblical reason that all key signatures must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 2. There is no biblical reason that all musical pitches must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 3. There is no biblical reason that all tempos must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. Wouldn't the incorrigibly evil demons also affect those properties?

I have not made any specific claims about what properties of collections of musical sounds incorrigibly evil demons affect and what properties they do not. The Bible does not provide us with such specifics about demonically influenced music.

More importantly, we do not have to know such specifics. We know from Scripture that demonically influenced humans produced music in the GCI. We do not have to be able to analyze it to know it was evil; in fact, God commanded the Israelites not to even inquire about any such things that wicked idolaters used in their idolatrous worship, and He commands us likewise not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

RajeshG's picture

"In an interview in 1983 [Malcolm] McLaren [former manager of the rock group Sex Pistols] reminded everyone that 'we live in a Christian society concerned with order: rock 'n' roll was always concerned with disorder. Punk rock promoted blatantly the word chaos. Cash from Chaos.'"

--Quoted in John Makujina, Measuring the Music, 179; bold added to the original

This statement speaks of the fundamentally ungodly nature of rock music and is further evidence that its use in worship must be categorically rejected because such use violates explicitly stated divine mandates for what we must do in our worship:

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

The demonically controlled idolaters in the GCI who were wildly out-of-control in their wicked worship played music and danced wickedly in their ungodliness. We must not be like them (cf. 1 Cor. 10:7) by using any music in our worship that is sourced in demonic influence on corrupt humans and is music that at its essence has always been concerned with disorder.

JD Miller's picture

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

I grew up listening to country music and part of the reason I like it is because it sounds orderly to me.  Perhaps it seems more orderly because it is simply more familiar.  Still, most of the country songs have a message and tell a story through the lyrics in an orderly way.  Many of those messages promote virtues like hard work, family, and worshipping God.  These songs would be good.  Others promote sinful activities like drunkenness and adultery.  These songs are bad.  Still they tend to be orderly. 

Part of the reason I do not like classical music is because it sounds so disordered to me, yet I do not hear that being preached against.  I thought it was just a "me" thing and that perhaps others do not hear the disorder that I hear in classical music.  The question that I have is, "who gets to decide what music is disordered and what it not and how can we speak with authority concerning the criteria we choose to use if scripture does not spell out that criteria?"  Even if the golden calf music were disordered and had other evil elements, if we are not allowed to look into those things, then we cannot even know the elements involved.

Obviously music can be used for evil or for good as country music lyrics prove, but much of our personal thoughts tend to be based more on what we are exposed to rather than specific guidance from scripture.  I personally could not even tell you what David Bowie or Kiss sang to even comment on those things.  As a kid, it appeared to me that Kiss (Gene Simmons etal) were intentionally promoting themselves as evil as an advertising gimmick and that is enough reason for me to steer clear of them.  Ironically I think they did more damage to the church by sowing discord over music than they did with their actual music.

P.S.  I don't think I know either Kevin or Dan even though we are all Millers.  I did meet a Kevin Miller at a Bible camp in MN years ago, but have no idea if it is the same Kevin who has been posting here.  

Dan Miller's picture

... if we could just agree to get rid of jazz. 

GregH's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

... if we could just agree to get rid of jazz. 

I know that you are tongue-in-cheek but it reminded me that many would consider jazz disorderly when it is actually based on very ordered and complex systems of theory. It can only work because of the underlying order. I think improvised jazz is the most cerebral music we have. It just happens to take a ton of musical background to understand what is going on, which is why there are like 30 people left in the country who still like it. Smile I love it but I still get lost at times when listening.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Mistaken post ...

 

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

josh p's picture

I love old jazz but the Miles Davis/Charlie Parker era on sounds like a car crash. It is amazing that they can improvise so well though.

GregH's picture

josh p wrote:

I love old jazz but the Miles Davis/Charlie Parker era on sounds like a car crash. It is amazing that they can improvise so well though.

I get that. I think jazz musicians are their own worse enemy, starting in that era with Miles when they went to modal theory. It is like they spend all their time trying to impress each other with their cerebral abilities and technique and have forgotten to make music for everyone else. So, they play their 1,000 chords in front of 3 people while other musicians play 3 chords in front of 1,000 people.

Bert Perry's picture

1 Cor. 14:40 is about speaking in tongues and prophecy, and how they ought to be used in the church, not the musical genre which are, and are not, appropriate.  Context, context, context.  Someone with (ahem) a "PhD" in New Testament interpretation ought to be able to do better than that.

And if we're going to follow Garlock and Makujina in using some rock & roll artists to defame the entire genre--I believe that would be "guilt by association" and "hasty generalization"--we need to remember that Buddy Holly was a faithful Baptist to the day of his death, and despite a very short career, was far more influential than KISS, Zappa, and the Six Pistols combined.  Holly formulated the typical band structure--singer, lead & rhythm guitar, bass, drums--that is followed by many/most rock & roll bands to this day, and the people he influenced, like Holly himself, achieved something that KISS, Zappa, and the Sex Pistols rarely if ever achieved: records that went gold, platinum, and diamond.  Among the people strongly influenced by Holly were Bob Dylan, some guys from Liverpool, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones.

Really, if Gene Simmons,  Frank Zappa, or Sid Vicious is representative of rock & roll as a whole, we may as well with the same logic say that Yugo is representative of the entire car industry.  Praise be to God, that just ain't true.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

This is where your logic seems to me to be circular reasoning. How do we know a higher-level demonically influenced person has produced music that is displeasing to God? Because the music contains a rock beat. How do we know a rock beat is displeasing to God? Because it was put into the music by a higher-level demonically influenced person. 

 

 

When a demonically influenced person says that he has made his music to promote wickedness, we do not have any basis to say that his music must still be pleasing to God even though he himself says that he has specifically created it to promote evil. Many rock musicians have testified to the evil character of their own music and of their intent to promote evil through their instrumental music. Such music must be rejected.

Ah, so "promoting evil" becomes part of the circle. I am right with you in condemning the promotion of wickedness. If the rock beat actually makes people commit sins and do wickedness, then it needs to be condemned. Are you saying that the rock beat makes people commit sins? Couldn't it be the composite performance of those demonically influenced rock stars that promotes wickedness rather than just one element of their music such as the beat?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

We have already had a very long discussion in another thread in which I have provided evidence from Scripture that shows that testimonies from unbelievers or even openly evil people is not inherently invalid because they are unbelievers or even openly evil people. Scripture records that a man who was possessed by many demons still accurately testified to profound spiritual truths (Mark. 5:7).

On a different thread, I mentioned that the demoniac seemed to be speaking understandably even though he was demon controlled, and you told me that this was just the demon speaking through him. Would you say that when rock musicians give testimony of their own music it is really just demons speaking through them? If that is not the situation, then I don't know why you are bringing up this example.

Quote:
To be consistent, you would have to say that any testimonies about the evils of drug use from people who have abused drugs cannot be trusted because of their prior drug use. Such a claim would be patently false.
Well, we actually have Biblical support for saying that overindulgence of alcohol or drugs is sinful, so people relaying the evils of such overuse would be reflecting a Biblical principle. Where would one find the same sort of command against rock music? I don't see it. The rock beat might still be unacceptable, but if God doesn't proclaim it to be such, then it is rather hard to make a case for it being unacceptable. Regarding alcohol, I just see the overuse being condemned. Perhaps the same is true for rock music. Perhaps God gives it to us as a blessing as long as we don't overuse it.

Quote:
In what you quote above, Bowie specifies, "Drugs have been a part of my life for the past 10 years, but never anything very heavy." By his own words, he asserted that he was never a very heavy drug user who would thereby have been completely mentally incapacitated by such excessive use of drugs.
I never said he was "mentally incapacitated."  I simply said he was "on drugs." 

Quote:
It's also very telling that you claim that Bowie's testimony about the nature of the music that he chose to play is not credible because "he was on drugs, living in a fantasy world, and very, very confused," but you would still apparently maintain that the music that he regularly played while he was in such a state was still instrumental music that was acceptable to God. 
I "apparently maintain" that? How so? We haven't really talked specifically about the music itself that David Bowie regularly played. What is it about his music that makes it unacceptable. I'm not denying that it is unacceptable, but I think it is his composite performance and the way he used music that was unacceptable rather than some element of his music that one could separate out. 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

Quote:
Properly speaking, a beat is not an entity in and of itself. Beat is a property of some collections of sounds, including but not limited to just collections of musical sounds.

 

There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. In fact, because of the existence of supernatural evil beings who are musical beings, both vocally and instrumentally, and because of their incorrigibly evil character, any music sourced in demonic influence must be categorically rejected.

I realize, of course, that a beat is just a property of some collection of sounds. This is why I asked you about other properties of collections of sounds. Does demonic influence just limit itself to beats but have no effect on any other property? Is it also your position that: 1. There is no biblical reason that all key signatures must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 2. There is no biblical reason that all musical pitches must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. and 3. There is no biblical reason that all tempos must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship. Wouldn't the incorrigibly evil demons also affect those properties?

 

 

I have not made any specific claims about what properties of collections of musical sounds incorrigibly evil demons affect and what properties they do not. The Bible does not provide us with such specifics about demonically influenced music.

More importantly, we do not have to know such specifics. We know from Scripture that demonically influenced humans produced music in the GCI. We do not have to be able to analyze it to know it was evil; in fact, God commanded the Israelites not to even inquire about any such things that wicked idolaters used in their idolatrous worship, and He commands us likewise not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

I know you haven't made any claims yet about those other properties. That's why I was asking you about them. You have seemed to make the claim about the rock beat, though. Unless I am misunderstanding you.  You did say "There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship." and then you talked about "music sourced in demonic influence." You were talking about the rock beat, weren't you? Now you're telling me that you didn't make any claims about properties of music that demons affect because the Bible doesn't provide us with specifics. Are you willing to admit that the Bible doesn't provide us with specifics that link the rock beat to demonically influenced music?

Kevin Miller's picture

JD Miller wrote:

P.S.  I don't think I know either Kevin or Dan even though we are all Millers.  I did meet a Kevin Miller at a Bible camp in MN years ago, but have no idea if it is the same Kevin who has been posting here.  

I'm not related to the Dan Miller who's been posting in the thread, but if the Minnesota camp is Camp Shiloh, then I would be the same Kevin. I see from your profile that you attended Pillsbury College, but I'm 11 years older than you, so we weren't there together. You probably know my older brother Randy Miller who worked at Pillsbury for many years..

JD Miller's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

JD Miller wrote:

 

P.S.  I don't think I know either Kevin or Dan even though we are all Millers.  I did meet a Kevin Miller at a Bible camp in MN years ago, but have no idea if it is the same Kevin who has been posting here.  

Yes, you are the same Kevin then.  I counseled at Camp Shiloh for years during the time your daughter went there.  I remembered she was an outgoing kid, but cannot remember her name (other than that her last name was Miller).  I went to Pillsbury later in life, so Randy was no longer there, but I heard others talk of him.  It is a small world.  

 

 

 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

When a demonically influenced person says that he has made his music to promote wickedness, we do not have any basis to say that his music must still be pleasing to God even though he himself says that he has specifically created it to promote evil. Many rock musicians have testified to the evil character of their own music and of their intent to promote evil through their instrumental music. Such music must be rejected.

 

Ah, so "promoting evil" becomes part of the circle. I am right with you in condemning the promotion of wickedness. If the rock beat actually makes people commit sins and do wickedness, then it needs to be condemned. Are you saying that the rock beat makes people commit sins? Couldn't it be the composite performance of those demonically influenced rock stars that promotes wickedness rather than just one element of their music such as the beat?

You are missing the larger point. There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance of how they combine musical sounds together, regardless of what lyrics they use. The most important consideration is not what effects it has on humans--does God accept it or not is the ultimate criterion.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
It's also very telling that you claim that Bowie's testimony about the nature of the music that he chose to play is not credible because "he was on drugs, living in a fantasy world, and very, very confused," but you would still apparently maintain that the music that he regularly played while he was in such a state was still instrumental music that was acceptable to God. 

I "apparently maintain" that? How so? We haven't really talked specifically about the music itself that David Bowie regularly played. What is it about his music that makes it unacceptable. I'm not denying that it is unacceptable, but I think it is his composite performance and the way he used music that was unacceptable rather than some element of his music that one could separate out. 

Saying that its his composite performance and the way he used the music but not the music itself is asserting that the music itself was not objectionable to God. You do not have any biblical basis to make such an assertion.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

I have not made any specific claims about what properties of collections of musical sounds incorrigibly evil demons affect and what properties they do not. The Bible does not provide us with such specifics about demonically influenced music.

More importantly, we do not have to know such specifics. We know from Scripture that demonically influenced humans produced music in the GCI. We do not have to be able to analyze it to know it was evil; in fact, God commanded the Israelites not to even inquire about any such things that wicked idolaters used in their idolatrous worship, and He commands us likewise not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

 

I know you haven't made any claims yet about those other properties. That's why I was asking you about them. You have seemed to make the claim about the rock beat, though. Unless I am misunderstanding you.  You did say "There is no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God for use in worship." and then you talked about "music sourced in demonic influence." You were talking about the rock beat, weren't you? Now you're telling me that you didn't make any claims about properties of music that demons affect because the Bible doesn't provide us with specifics. Are you willing to admit that the Bible doesn't provide us with specifics that link the rock beat to demonically influenced music?

I said what I said about no biblical reason that all beats must be or are acceptable to God because you have made it the focus of your questions. What I have said all along is that rock music is evil and must be rejected in its totality.

The Bible does provide us with multiple bases to reject rock music as demonically influenced music. First, the Bible attests to the reality of demonically influenced music through what we know about the GCI. Second, God commands us to reject things that are connected to any human activities that put them in contact with supernatural evil. Many rock musicians have testified of the demonic nature of rock music. Because they have done so, we must reject it categorically.

Beyond that, Scripture makes it plain that sensuality is a work of the flesh that has no place in godly worship. Because of the numerous testimonies from rock musicians and others who have commented about rock music that rock music is sensual to the core, we must reject it categorically.

Pages