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!

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Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

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.

I'm not trying to miss the larger point. I see you trying to make a larger point while disregarding all sorts of smaller factors that make up the larger point. How can I possibly get the larger point if the underlying factors are so jumbled with confusion? You specifically say "There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance." Do you really mean to use the word "any" in that statement? "Any" would include aspects such as pitch and key and volume and beat and notes and instruments. The important consideration is whether God had declared his displeasure to the use of any of those aspects. Has he? If he hasn't, then how can you make a claim that He wouldn't accept "any aspect" of the performance? Now don't try putting words in my mouth by telling me I have to prove that He would accept them. That's not what I'm saying. I don't know if He would accept the use of those aspects if the Bible doesn't tell us if He would or wouldn't accept them. At least with instruments, we have clear understanding that God accepts their use even if they might also be used by rock stars who promote wickedness. With the other aspects, we don't have such clarity, so I'm at a loss to figure out why you make a declarative assessment that God is displeased with the use of "any" of those aspects. There is no reason from scripture to hold that God is displeased with them.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

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.

 I was talking about "some element of the music that could be separated out," such as pitch or key or volume or beat or specific notes. Do you have a basis to claim that any of those are objectionable to God? For all I know from Scripture, those things could be neutral to God, since God doesn't command or prohibit their use, but you seem to want to claim that they are objectionable without any Biblical support. You should really stop trying to make your point by pretending that I've made certain claims and then telling me to find a Biblical basis for what you falsely say I'm claiming.

Kevin Miller's picture

JD Miller wrote:

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.  

I have 4 daughters who attended Camp Shiloh, but you likely are referring to one of the older two, either Tegan or Brianna.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

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.

And I have spent many. many pages trying to get you to provide actual Scriptural support for that view. When we have talked about music that is used to promote wickedness, I have agreed that the use of music to promote wickedness is wrong. You have gone farther, however, to make the claim that rock music used to sing glory to God is also wrong. The reasons you give are simply not logical nor convincing.

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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.
How does this relate to rock music, since we don't know what style of music was used in the GCI? The use of music by wicked people to accompany idolatry is certainly wrong since idolatry is wrong, but I don't see as how this use would condemn an entire style, whatever that style might be.

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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.
You are making a few leaps of logic here. God commands us to reject supernatural evil. You haven't actually shown from Scripture that "things that are connected" to the supernatural become evil outside the context of their use in regards to the supernatural. Tea leaves are used in occult readings. According to your logic here, then tea leaves must be rejected since they are "connected to any human activities that put them in contact with supernatural evil." I take it, though, that you are referring just to the beat aspect of rock music, but you haven't logically explained why this would relate to just the beat aspect of the music, when there are so many other aspects involved in a musical performance. Also, the testimonies of these rock musicians can certainly be seen as advertising gimmicks for particular composers and performers. The composers of CCM would certainly NOT claim any demonic influence in regards to the composing of their CCM songs. Why wouldn't you accept the testimonies of these believers who write songs of praise to God?

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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.

I have agreed that music which is used sensuously is not appropriate in worship. Again, the use is what makes for God's condemnation, not any aspect of the music itself. We have numerous testimonies from CCM musicians that they use their music to glorify God. Why would you reject their testimonies?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

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.

 

I'm not trying to miss the larger point. I see you trying to make a larger point while disregarding all sorts of smaller factors that make up the larger point. How can I possibly get the larger point if the underlying factors are so jumbled with confusion? You specifically say "There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance." Do you really mean to use the word "any" in that statement? "Any" would include aspects such as pitch and key and volume and beat and notes and instruments. The important consideration is whether God had declared his displeasure to the use of any of those aspects. Has he? If he hasn't, then how can you make a claim that He wouldn't accept "any aspect" of the performance? Now don't try putting words in my mouth by telling me I have to prove that He would accept them. That's not what I'm saying. I don't know if He would accept the use of those aspects if the Bible doesn't tell us if He would or wouldn't accept them. At least with instruments, we have clear understanding that God accepts their use even if they might also be used by rock stars who promote wickedness. With the other aspects, we don't have such clarity, so I'm at a loss to figure out why you make a declarative assessment that God is displeased with the use of "any" of those aspects. There is no reason from scripture to hold that God is displeased with them.

You need to do a better job of reading what I say. I specifically said, "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."

Here is what you claim I said, "There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance." By leaving out the remainder of my sentence, you are attacking a straw man.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will say that you did not intend to distort what I said. Nonetheless, you did leave out the most important part of what I said: "of how they combine musical sounds together."

When you properly read what I said, pitch, notes, and instruments are completely removed from the discussion because pitch is a property of individual sounds, and I have never stated that individual sounds or specific instruments can be evil.

By strong contrast, key and beat are not properties of individual sounds. When it comes to manmade combinations of musical sounds, there is zero Bible that you can use to claim that God has to accept or will accept whatever combinations human beings choose to make. Furthermore, when those combinations are made under demonic influence, we have explicit biblical basis and explicit biblical commands to reject all such combinations.

The burden of proof is not on those of us who choose to take God at His Word and obey Him that we are not to even inquire about such things and that we are not to have any fellowship with such things.

 

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

The Spirit revealed 1 Cor. 10:18-20 to profit us concerning the demonic fellowship that humans come into whenever in a worship context they eat what has been sacrificed to idols. To understand further how God wants us to profit from this revelation and heed its vital message, we must examine carefully the Spirit's perfect wisdom in how He has crafted the surrounding context of this passage.

Although there are many biblical accounts of humans eating what has been sacrificed to idols, the Spirit chose to direct our attention to one specific account earlier in this passage and use that passage to issue a categorical demand for us not to engage in idolatry:

1 Corinthians 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

We can be certain, therefore, that He wants us to use 1 Cor. 10:18-20 to understand properly the significance of the event that 10:7 directs our attention to. In 10:7, Paul quotes from Exodus 32:6, which is part of the inspired record of the Golden Calf Incident (GCI). 

Applying 1 Cor. 10:18-20 to 10:7 reveals to us therefore that the people who ate and drank what was sacrificed to the idol in the GCI were all people who came into fellowship with demons by their doing so!

Furthermore, we must not fail to pay attention to the fact that the Spirit does not just direct our attention to their eating and drinking what was sacrificed to the idol--He also directs our attention to their idolatrous playing! Because their idolatrous playing only took place after they had consumed what was offered to the idol, we know for certain that their playing was the playing of humans who were in fellowship with demons and influenced by them.

Because the Spirit chose in 1 Corinthians 10 to quote directly from Exodus 32, we know for certain that the GCI is a passage of premier importance for us to know more about the unfruitful works of darkness with which we are commanded not to have any fellowship. Therefore, for us to profit fully from 1 Cor. 10:18-20 we must use what it reveals to illumine what God has revealed to us about what took place in the GCI after the people had eaten and drunk what had been offered to the idol.

Rajesh, just a quick question for you about the demonic influence during the worship at the golden calf incident.  From your study, who is the first person in Scripture to write about the demonic influence during the worship at the Golden Calf Incident?

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

Rajesh, just a quick question for you about the demonic influence during the worship at the golden calf incident.  From your study, who is the first person in Scripture to write about the demonic influence during the worship at the Golden Calf Incident?

God gave Moses a song to give to His people that admonished them about their having sacrificed to demons:

Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

God chose not to provide any specific instances in this song that this took place, but His speaking of their doing so in their history implies that His people would have known when those instances were.

Paul is the only Scripture writer that explicitly cites the GCI (1 Cor. 10:7) in a context in which he later makes clear that their having sacrificed to the idol was sacrificing to demons and that their eating in a worship context what had been sacrificed to demons put them into fellowship with demons (1 Cor. 10:18-22).
 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

I'm not trying to miss the larger point. I see you trying to make a larger point while disregarding all sorts of smaller factors that make up the larger point. How can I possibly get the larger point if the underlying factors are so jumbled with confusion? You specifically say "There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance." Do you really mean to use the word "any" in that statement? "Any" would include aspects such as pitch and key and volume and beat and notes and instruments. The important consideration is whether God had declared his displeasure to the use of any of those aspects. Has he? If he hasn't, then how can you make a claim that He wouldn't accept "any aspect" of the performance? Now don't try putting words in my mouth by telling me I have to prove that He would accept them. That's not what I'm saying. I don't know if He would accept the use of those aspects if the Bible doesn't tell us if He would or wouldn't accept them. At least with instruments, we have clear understanding that God accepts their use even if they might also be used by rock stars who promote wickedness. With the other aspects, we don't have such clarity, so I'm at a loss to figure out why you make a declarative assessment that God is displeased with the use of "any" of those aspects. There is no reason from scripture to hold that God is displeased with them.

 

 

You need to do a better job of reading what I say. I specifically said, "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."

Here is what you claim I said, "There is no reason from Scripture to hold that God accepts or would accept the use of any aspect of their performance." By leaving out the remainder of my sentence, you are attacking a straw man.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I will say that you did not intend to distort what I said. Nonetheless, you did leave out the most important part of what I said: "of how they combine musical sounds together."

Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I didn't mean to distort what you said, because in my mind, the combination of musical sounds included whatever musical sounds were being combined.  After all, you can't have a combination if you don't have individual elements being combined. In my mind, "any aspect of their performance" also includes the use for which their performance is being performed rather than just he musical sounds. You seem to take the position that  rock music is unacceptable even if the use if for the praise of God. Isn't that correct? I don't want to get that factor misunderstood.

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When you properly read what I said, pitch, notes, and instruments are completely removed from the discussion because pitch is a property of individual sounds, and I have never stated that individual sounds or specific instruments can be evil.
I have found that just because you don't "state" something, that doesn't mean you don't believe it. It just means you haven't come right out and said it, so in order to fully understand you, I often have to ask something two or three times in order for you to specifically "state" something. This is likely an instance where you have stated this at some point in the past 16 pages, but then when you use the phrase "any aspect" I start to wonder again, even when you use that phrase with the phrase "of how they combine musical sounds together." To my mind, even though pitch is an aspect of an individual sound, it becomes an aspect of the entire performance when it is "combined together with other musical sounds." That's not a straw man, that's just a logical understanding of what is getting combined when you have a combination of sounds.

Quote:
By strong contrast, key and beat are not properties of individual sounds. When it comes to manmade combinations of musical sounds, there is zero Bible that you can use to claim that God has to accept or will accept whatever combinations human beings choose to make. Furthermore, when those combinations are made under demonic influence, we have explicit biblical basis and explicit biblical commands to reject all such combinations.
This is the first time you have actually included "key" along with beat when speaking of those things which God might not accept. I wouldn't have known you included it with beat if I hadn't kept asking over and over. The first time I asked, you just told me "You must think all music is acceptable" rather than specifically answering about "keys." So do you have any idea what might make a "key" unacceptable to God?

Now I'm wondering why you underline "manmade combinations of musical sounds." Is there any other kind that we would hear other than manmade ones? How would I know if a particular combination I am using has been "made under demonic influence." Are you somehow claiming that all music with a rock beat has been "made under demonic influence" even if a solid Christian who desires to honor God has composed or performed it?

Also, where is the "explicit biblical command" to reject musical "combinations made under demonic influence"? Are you somehow equating "fellowship" with using a "musical combination" that had been made by a person under demonic influence, even if you're own use of that combination has nothing at all to do with demons? This sounds like we would have to know about the background of all composers in order to avoid this "fellowship." You must have some other explicit command in mind other than the one to "avoid fellowship," since the "avoid fellowship" verse couldn't really apply in the case of rock music unless you know the background of composers and the fact that they actually had been eating meat offered to idols. That is, after all, what causes fellowship with demons according to I Cor. 10.

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The burden of proof is not on those of us who choose to take God at His Word and obey Him that we are not to even inquire about such things and that we are not to have any fellowship with such things.
It seems to me that when someone states that God's Word says a particular thing, that the burden of proof would be on them to prove that God's Word states it. You can't just say, "Take God at His Word, but don't inquire HOW something is displeasing to God." I know you haven't worded it in quite that way, but that is the way it turns out when you equate rock music with fellowship with demons and than claim that the details shouldn't be the subject of inquiry. To me it just sounds like you don't have the ability to actually prove your point from Scripture.

Joe Whalen's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Joe Whalen wrote:

 

Rajesh, just a quick question for you about the demonic influence during the worship at the golden calf incident.  From your study, who is the first person in Scripture to write about the demonic influence during the worship at the Golden Calf Incident?

 

 

God gave Moses a song to give to His people that admonished them about their having sacrificed to demons:

Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

God chose not to provide any specific instances in this song that this took place, but His speaking of their doing so in their history implies that His people would have known when those instances were.

Paul is the only Scripture writer that explicitly cites the GCI (1 Cor. 10:7) in a context in which he later makes clear that their having sacrificed to the idol was sacrificing to demons and that their eating in a worship context what had been sacrificed to demons put them into fellowship with demons (1 Cor. 10:18-22).

Since Moses, under God's leadership, led the children of Israel out of Egypt around 1440 BC, and Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians around AD 55, that's about, if we round the number, 1,500 years.  (You may raise the point of the 400 "silent years" but my point stands; during those years, God didn't choose to warn his people about this worship music issue.)

For 1,500 years, no one else in Scripture makes this connection explicitly between worship music at the golden calf and demons until Paul (and when Paul does, he isn't talking directly about music).  Joshua never mentions it.  The authors of Judges, Ruth, 1 &  2 Samuel never explicitly make the connection.  None of the historical books (including the books that detail the captivity of both Israel and Judah) make the connection explicitly.  The historical books that recount the return after the Babylonian captivity never make the explicit connection.  None of the major prophets make the connection explicitly.  None of the minor prophets make the explicit connection.   By your findings, the Hebrew hymnbook, the Psalms, never make the connection explicit.  None of the wisdom books make the connection explicit.  Solomon never warns his son in Proverbs about this danger of using demon-influence worship music. 

Moving into the New Testament,  Jesus never mentions this in a sermon or in a teaching account in any of the 4 Gospels the Spirit has given to us.  Luke never details the apostles warning the early church in the book of Acts about it explicitly.  According to you, Paul only makes the explicit connection in one of his epistles.  Peter never makes this connection explicit in either of his epistles.  John in his three epistles and in the book of Revelation never does. James and Jude don't either.

I gotta tell you, Rajesh, that sure strikes me odd.  From Moses to Paul, no one makes the explicit connection. And then Paul only makes it in one book.  After 1 Corinthians, no author (including Paul) makes the explicit connection again.  That sure sounds weak to me if, as you think, this is such an important teaching we must heed.

RajeshG's picture

Joe Whalen wrote:

Since Moses, under God's leadership, led the children of Israel out of Egypt around 1440 BC, and Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians around AD 55, that's about, if we round the number, 1,500 years.  (You may raise the point of the 400 "silent years" but my point stands; during those years, God didn't choose to warn his people about this worship music issue.)

For 1,500 years, no one else in Scripture makes this connection explicitly between worship music at the golden calf and demons until Paul (and when Paul does, he isn't talking directly about music).  Joshua never mentions it.  The authors of Judges, Ruth, 1 &  2 Samuel never explicitly make the connection.  None of the historical books (including the books that detail the captivity of both Israel and Judah) make the connection explicitly.  The historical books that recount the return after the Babylonian captivity never make the explicit connection.  None of the major prophets make the connection explicitly.  None of the minor prophets make the explicit connection.   By your findings, the Hebrew hymnbook, the Psalms, never make the connection explicit.  None of the wisdom books make the connection explicit.  Solomon never warns his son in Proverbs about this danger of using demon-influence worship music. 

Moving into the New Testament,  Jesus never mentions this in a sermon or in a teaching account in any of the 4 Gospels the Spirit has given to us.  Luke never details the apostles warning the early church in the book of Acts about it explicitly.  According to you, Paul only makes the explicit connection in one of his epistles.  Peter never makes this connection explicit in either of his epistles.  John in his three epistles and in the book of Revelation never does. James and Jude don't either.

I gotta tell you, Rajesh, that sure strikes me odd.  From Moses to Paul, no one makes the explicit connection. And then Paul only makes it in one book.  After 1 Corinthians, no author (including Paul) makes the explicit connection again.  That sure sounds weak to me if, as you think, this is such an important teaching we must heed.

Nothing weak at all about this teaching. As the faithful Israelites sang Deuteronomy 32 regularly, they repeatedly warned themselves about what happened in the GCI. The faithful leaders who read the Pentateuch regularly would also have been exposed to this information regularly. The OT is also replete with warnings about idolatry and all the prophets constantly warned the Israelites about the wickedness of idolatry.

It's irrelevant that Paul is the only one who explicitly talks about this matter. God only has to warn His people once and they must receive and heed what He tells them. The NT has many warnings about idolatry.

In fact, God warns His people about the evils of sacrificing to demons in other passages as well: Leviticus 17:7; Ps. 106:37.

In addition, both Testaments explicitly forbid God's people from having anything to do with the occult. Furthermore, Revelation 9:20 speaks explicitly about evil people who worship demons.

Those believers who were (and are) obedient to God's numerous demands to be separated from the evils of wicked people would never have had anything to do with music sourced in wickedness.

The Bible does not record a single instance where godly Israelites or Christians ever borrowed any musical forms from the wicked. There is zero biblical basis for Christians borrowing the wicked music of the wicked and bringing it into the church.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

You seem to take the position that  rock music is unacceptable even if the use if for the praise of God. Isn't that correct? I don't want to get that factor misunderstood.

Yes, I take the position that rock music is wicked music that must be categorically rejected.

Kevin Miller wrote:

To my mind, even though pitch is an aspect of an individual sound, it becomes an aspect of the entire performance when it is "combined together with other musical sounds." That's not a straw man, that's just a logical understanding of what is getting combined when you have a combination of sounds.

You speak of pitch as if it were something different from musical sounds. What makes a middle C note, for example, is that it is a note of a certain pitch. Speaking of combining pitches is not something different than combining musical sounds.

Kevin Miller wrote:

This is the first time you have actually included "key" along with beat when speaking of those things which God might not accept. I wouldn't have known you included it with beat if I hadn't kept asking over and over. The first time I asked, you just told me "You must think all music is acceptable" rather than specifically answering about "keys." So do you have any idea what might make a "key" unacceptable to God?

I do not have anything else to say about keys other than it is not a property of individual sounds. Since it is a property only of a collection of sounds, there is no biblical reason that God has to accept or will accept music played in every single possible key in combination with other aspects of a given collection of sounds.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Nothing weak at all about this teaching. As the faithful Israelites sang Deuteronomy 32 regularly, they repeatedly warned themselves about what happened in the GCI. The faithful leaders who read the Pentateuch regularly would also have been exposed to this information regularly. The OT is also replete with warnings about idolatry and all the prophets constantly warned the Israelites about the wickedness of idolatry.

Yes, they had warnings about IDOLATRY. Idolatry is evil. If the discussion in this thread was just about idolatry, the thread would have concluded in three or less pages. You seem to think that a warning against idolatry is also a warning against any music that may have been used during idolatry. Isn't that one of your primary points? Yet the OT is NOT replete with warnings about the music used during idolatry. The prophets did NOT constantly warn the Israelites about the wickedness of music used during idolatry. The New Testament doesn't even warn about music used during idolatry. 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

You seem to take the position that  rock music is unacceptable even if the use if for the praise of God. Isn't that correct? I don't want to get that factor misunderstood.

 

 

Yes, I take the position that rock music is wicked music that must be categorically rejected.

Rock music is simply music that has a certain beat, a certain repetitive note pattern, yet you say the individual notes are not unacceptable to God. Only repetition of those notes in a pattern in unacceptable. Not only unacceptable, but actually wicked. I'm just not getting why a particular pattern becomes wicked apart from the use of that pattern in a particular performance that is wicked. God just doesn't get that specific when talking about music that we can make claims about specific patterns of sound being wicked. He does tell us that sensuous behavior is wicked and He does tell us that idolatry is wicked, but you're making a huge leap when you say that repetitive sounds that are sometimes used during those activities become wicked in whatever future use they may be employed in.

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Kevin Miller wrote:

 

To my mind, even though pitch is an aspect of an individual sound, it becomes an aspect of the entire performance when it is "combined together with other musical sounds." That's not a straw man, that's just a logical understanding of what is getting combined when you have a combination of sounds.

 

 

You speak of pitch as if it were something different from musical sounds. What makes a middle C note, for example, is that it is a note of a certain pitch. Speaking of combining pitches is not something different than combining musical sounds.

So could a C note played next to a B note be potentially unacceptable to God since that is a combination of sounds rather than just an individual note? Could a single B note played repetitiously every half second be unacceptable to God while playing it just once is acceptable? I'm just not seeing a logical distinction for you to say individual notes would be acceptable but combinations of the acceptable notes may become unacceptable, regardless of the purpose for which they are used.

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Kevin Miller wrote:

 

This is the first time you have actually included "key" along with beat when speaking of those things which God might not accept. I wouldn't have known you included it with beat if I hadn't kept asking over and over. The first time I asked, you just told me "You must think all music is acceptable" rather than specifically answering about "keys." So do you have any idea what might make a "key" unacceptable to God?

 

 

I do not have anything else to say about keys other than it is not a property of individual sounds. Since it is a property only of a collection of sounds, there is no biblical reason that God has to accept or will accept music played in every single possible key in combination with other aspects of a given collection of sounds.

There is also not biblical reason to suggest that music played in any possible key would transfer evil to that particular key, Even if a combination of aspects made a performance evil, that evil combination wouldn't translate into a particular key being forever evil from that point onward.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Yes, they had warnings about IDOLATRY. Idolatry is evil. If the discussion in this thread was just about idolatry, the thread would have concluded in three or less pages. You seem to think that a warning against idolatry is also a warning against any music that may have been used during idolatry. Isn't that one of your primary points? Yet the OT is NOT replete with warnings about the music used during idolatry. The prophets did NOT constantly warn the Israelites about the wickedness of music used during idolatry. The New Testament doesn't even warn about music used during idolatry. 

The OT does not have to be replete with warnings about the wickedness of music used during idolatry. By commanding that His people were not to have anything to do with how the idolaters worshiped their gods even to the point of not even inquiring about what the idolaters did in their wicked worship (Deut. 12:29-31), God has prohibited the use of any of their music by His people.

The NT does not have to give you any specific warnings. God already established that back in Deut. 12. What's more, the NT does specifically warn us about not being idolaters by playing idolatrously the way the idolaters in the GCI did, which we know included music under demonic influence.

Both Testaments also categorically warn us in many other ways about being like the wicked. The NT specifically says that we are not to be conformed to this world, which includes the wicked music made by wicked people for wicked purposes. The NT specifically says that reprobate idolaters are inventors of evil things, yet you deny that applies to their musical combinations that they make under demonic influence while worshiping their idols. You have to prove why their music is exempt from being such an evil thing.

Dan Miller's picture

Yes Hmmm

RajeshG wrote:
The OT does not have to be replete with warnings about the wickedness of music used during idolatry. By commanding that His people were not to have anything to do with how the idolaters worshiped their gods even to the point of not even inquiring about what the idolaters did in their wicked worship (Deut. 12:29-31), God has prohibited the use of any of their music by His people.

Deut 12:29-31 doesn’t mention music, which leaves us to discuss whether the general command not to worship using their methods includes using their music. Rajesh, you seem very sure that it does even though you have no evidence. None of us agree. 

I think that Mariam's use of the tambourine, which had a clear pagan-god use, in Exodus 15 demonstrates that foreign musical instruments and styles are not part of the Deut 12 command. 

RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

Yes Hmmm

RajeshG wrote:
The OT does not have to be replete with warnings about the wickedness of music used during idolatry. By commanding that His people were not to have anything to do with how the idolaters worshiped their gods even to the point of not even inquiring about what the idolaters did in their wicked worship (Deut. 12:29-31), God has prohibited the use of any of their music by His people.

 

Deut 12:29-31 doesn’t mention music, which leaves us to discuss whether the general command not to worship using their methods includes using their music. Rajesh, you seem very sure that it does even though you have no evidence. None of us agree. 

I think that Mariam's use of the tambourine, which had a clear pagan-god use, in Exodus 15 demonstrates that foreign musical instruments and styles are not part of the Deut 12 command. 

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

So what if Miriam used the tambourine? You have to prove that pagans invented the tambourine and that the Israelites got the tambourine from them and also used their pagan styles. You have zero proof in Scripture for any of those positions.

Exodus 15 does not in any way say that the foreign musical styles of the wicked Canaanite idolaters were not part of the Deut. 12 command. I found (in a Wikipedia article) the same info about the tambourine that you cited in a comment much earlier in this thread; at least in the Wikipedia article, that information merely stated some person's speculations without any historical proof.

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

Rajesh, I will ask again. Why was it OK for OT Israel to adopt the "pagan" music elements such as the musical scales and accompanying theory that they got from elsewhere? There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible or outside it that OT Israel developed their own scales. So, the burden of proof is on you to tell us why scales are exempt from the "categorical prohibition." Prove why that prohibition did not include their music scales and do it specifically from the Bible.

Two other questions for you:
1) Have you considered why you have been unconvincing in your arguments over the past few months? I am fairly sure you have not been unsuccessful at getting even one person on board with you. Why do you think that is?

2) Have you considered why you are getting no help here from the people that agree with you in principle. There are many that read here that believe the same application as you but they are silent in your threads. Why do you suppose that is?

Dan Miller's picture

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition.

Deut 12 is very broad. It isn’t a music-category prohibition. You could be here arguing that robes are forbidden - or sandals - or walking upright. Then I suppose the burden of proof would be on those who want to wear sandals. 

The tambor that Miriam used bears the name of the Egyptian god for which it was used. 

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

GregH wrote:
1) Have you considered why you have been unconvincing in your arguments over the past few months? I am fairly sure you have not been unsuccessful at getting even one person on board with you. Why do you think that is?

Extra bolding above mine.  Just a slight quibble -- you have an extra negative.  I think he has been mostly unsuccessful at getting people to sign up to his arguments, although maybe I've missed any that were convinced that have stayed silent.

I think all of us on this thread would not want to use music that God has declared evil.  I'm open to hearing new arguments on the music issue, but they do have to hold water to be convincing.

Dave Barnhart

RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

The tambor that Miriam used bears the name of the Egyptian god for which it was used. 

Says who?

RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition.

Deut 12 is very broad. It isn’t a music-category prohibition. You could be here arguing that robes are forbidden - or sandals - or walking upright. Then I suppose the burden of proof would be on those who want to wear sandals. 

If no one else on the earth previously had such robes and sandals or walked upright and that those robes and sandals and walking upright were specifically invented by demonically influenced idolaters for the purpose of worshiping those idols and were specifically offered in the worship of their idols . . .

RajeshG's picture

GregH wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Rajesh, I will ask again. Why was it OK for OT Israel to adopt the "pagan" music elements such as the musical scales and accompanying theory that they got from elsewhere? There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible or outside it that OT Israel developed their own scales. So, the burden of proof is on you to tell us why scales are exempt from the "categorical prohibition." Prove why that prohibition did not include their music scales and do it specifically from the Bible.

Who says that righteous Israelites ever adopted pagan music elements invented specifically by demonically influenced idolaters into their worship? Where is the biblical evidence that they did so? 

Moreover, do you have exhaustive, factual, unbiased historical records that record all that every nation including the Israelites ever did so you can back up these assertions with actual evidence?

RajeshG's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition.

Deut 12 is very broad. It isn’t a music-category prohibition. You could be here arguing that robes are forbidden - or sandals - or walking upright. Then I suppose the burden of proof would be on those who want to wear sandals. 

The tambor that Miriam used bears the name of the Egyptian god for which it was used. 

Furthermore, the prohibitions in Deut. 12:29-31 were specific to certain wicked Canaanite nations that the Israelites would encounter in the future:

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.

Because of the exceeding perversity of these specific nations, these commands were given to Israel. Your bringing up Miriam's use of the tambourine is irrelevant to the scope of these commands because that occurred long before Israel had any contact with the nations spoken of in this passage.

 

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Rajesh, I will ask again. Why was it OK for OT Israel to adopt the "pagan" music elements such as the musical scales and accompanying theory that they got from elsewhere? There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible or outside it that OT Israel developed their own scales. So, the burden of proof is on you to tell us why scales are exempt from the "categorical prohibition." Prove why that prohibition did not include their music scales and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Who says that righteous Israelites ever adopted pagan music elements invented specifically by demonically influenced idolaters into their worship? Where is the biblical evidence that they did so? 

Moreover, do you have exhaustive, factual, unbiased historical records that record all that every nation including the Israelites ever did so you can back up these assertions with actual evidence?

I am not going to let you change the subject. I asked you specifically about music scales, nothing more and nothing less. There is zero evidence that OT Israel created anything new in terms of music. Maybe you believe they used their own scales and you are welcome to prove that if you do believe that. So again my question: did Israel create their own music scales and if not, why was it OK to borrow the scales of pagans around them?

And while we are at it, based on what I reviewed on your website, you are using scales borrowed from pagans (originating in ancient Greece) yourself in your own music. Why is that OK?

Bert Perry's picture

Since the resonant frequencies of instruments can be deduced from the dimensions of remaining strings, physical dimensions of resonant structures (e.g. sounding boards), and the like, musicologists can use archeological discoveries like the remains of ancient instruments to figure out what scales and tonality were used by the ancients.  The math to do so is taught in engineering courses, and the words to describe this (e.g. "octave" ) are also important phrases in filtering and other engineering concepts.  

You also have some records like those of the Greek historians that indicate how, say, Persian, Roman, or Egyptian tonality would compare with that of the Greeks. 

So again, Rajesh, answer Greg's question, because he's on firm ground there.  All he's doing is applying your logic to the very scale you use.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

RajeshG's picture

GregH wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Rajesh, I will ask again. Why was it OK for OT Israel to adopt the "pagan" music elements such as the musical scales and accompanying theory that they got from elsewhere? There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible or outside it that OT Israel developed their own scales. So, the burden of proof is on you to tell us why scales are exempt from the "categorical prohibition." Prove why that prohibition did not include their music scales and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Who says that righteous Israelites ever adopted pagan music elements invented specifically by demonically influenced idolaters into their worship? Where is the biblical evidence that they did so? 

Moreover, do you have exhaustive, factual, unbiased historical records that record all that every nation including the Israelites ever did so you can back up these assertions with actual evidence?

 

 

I am not going to let you change the subject. I asked you specifically about music scales, nothing more and nothing less. There is zero evidence that OT Israel created anything new in terms of music. Maybe you believe they used their own scales and you are welcome to prove that if you do believe that. So again my question: did Israel create their own music scales and if not, why was it OK to borrow the scales of pagans around them?

And while we are at it, based on what I reviewed on your website, you are using scales borrowed from pagans (originating in ancient Greece) yourself in your own music. Why is that OK?

Really? You are not going to let me change the subject? This thread from beginning to end has been about demonic influence on worshipers and worship music. You are the one who is trying to change the subject.

If you believe that there is no evidence that "OT Israel created anything new in terms of music," you are seriously misinformed and do not know your Bible. Go and study the Bible.

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

When God gives a categorical prohibition, the burden of proof is on those who say that certain things are exempt from that prohibition. Prove why that prohibition did not include their music and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Rajesh, I will ask again. Why was it OK for OT Israel to adopt the "pagan" music elements such as the musical scales and accompanying theory that they got from elsewhere? There is not a shred of evidence in the Bible or outside it that OT Israel developed their own scales. So, the burden of proof is on you to tell us why scales are exempt from the "categorical prohibition." Prove why that prohibition did not include their music scales and do it specifically from the Bible.

 

 

Who says that righteous Israelites ever adopted pagan music elements invented specifically by demonically influenced idolaters into their worship? Where is the biblical evidence that they did so? 

Moreover, do you have exhaustive, factual, unbiased historical records that record all that every nation including the Israelites ever did so you can back up these assertions with actual evidence?

 

 

I am not going to let you change the subject. I asked you specifically about music scales, nothing more and nothing less. There is zero evidence that OT Israel created anything new in terms of music. Maybe you believe they used their own scales and you are welcome to prove that if you do believe that. So again my question: did Israel create their own music scales and if not, why was it OK to borrow the scales of pagans around them?

And while we are at it, based on what I reviewed on your website, you are using scales borrowed from pagans (originating in ancient Greece) yourself in your own music. Why is that OK?

 

If you believe that there is no evidence that "OT Israel created anything new in terms of music," you are seriously misinformed and do not know your Bible. Go and study the Bible.

Go ahead and prove me wrong. Show me historically how OT Israel helped advance musical development in any way.

RajeshG's picture

GregH wrote:

Go ahead and prove me wrong. Show me historically how OT Israel helped advance musical development in any way.

I'm not going to waste my time and allow this thread to be diverted any further. If you do not know the Bible, I am not going to do your work for you. Go and read the Bible.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

There is also not biblical reason to suggest that music played in any possible key would transfer evil to that particular key, Even if a combination of aspects made a performance evil, that evil combination wouldn't translate into a particular key being forever evil from that point onward.

By speaking of "transferring" evil to a key, you are implicitly asserting that the key inherently starts out as either neutral or good. What evidence do you have that is true?

How do you know that this is true: "Even if a combination of aspects made a performance evil, that evil combination wouldn't translate into a particular key being forever evil from that point onward."

At the heart of our differing views seems to be the false presupposition that instrumental music, apart from lyrics is inherently either neutral, amoral, or good but never immoral. To say that human beings who make musical combinations under demonic influence are incapable of producing any combinations that are themselves evil is to beg a crucial point.

Of even greater importance is the false notion that God has to and will accept whatever combinations of musical elements humans choose to offer to Him in worship, even if those combinations have been made by evil humans under demonic influence engaged in wicked activities, especially the worship of idols.

GregH's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

Go ahead and prove me wrong. Show me historically how OT Israel helped advance musical development in any way.

 

 

I'm not going to waste my time and allow this thread to be diverted any further. If you do not know the Bible, I am not going to do your work for you. Go and read the Bible.

You are free to continue to ignore hard questions. However, I will point out that I am not diverting the thread. You are the one that states that Israel was not to use the music "forms" of the pagans. I wanted you to define how you are using the word "forms." Now I know you really mean "style." Great....

So you say that tones are amoral/neutral but styles have inherent morality. My point by asking questions about scales is to determine what you believe the point is between tones and styles where morality makes its grand entrance. 

If scales do not have a moral component, Israel was free to use pagan scales and you can continue to teach pagan scales on your website. But you had better be careful before saying that scales do not convey morality because that is going to cause other problems for you.

On the other hand, if you do claim that scales have a moral component, you are going to have to explain why there is not a shred of evidence in or out of the Bible that Israel contributed at all to the development of world music, much less the development of scales.

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