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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RajeshG's picture

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

Inspiring Moses to write these verses, the Spirit informs us that the idolatrous playing in the GCI included corporate shouting that was an aspect of their singing. Joshua, however, did not identify this composite musical sound as music at all. Instead, he said that it was the noise of war.

Joshua certainly had heard godly Israelite worship music in the past (Ex. 15) and was very familiar with what it sounded like. Joshua's not identifying the composite sound emanating from the camp at all as music does not support the notion that the idolaters in the GCI were playing instruments and singing in any godly Israelite style(s) of worship music.

Moreover, the people, in fact, were not engaged in any battle yet their worship music sounded like war to Joshua. The Bible never says that any godly Israelite worship music sounded like war.

We know that these people were partnering with demons in their idolatrous playing. They were co-participants with demons in their unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).

Certainly, therefore, not a single one of these idolatrous people was energized by or controlled by the Spirit to produce godly music (Eph. 5; Col. 3). Joshua's testimony about their music shows that it did not display any of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5). 

Joshua's testimony about the music of the GCI points to its being ungodly music.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

If people are singing ungodly lyrics but the godly music is so loud that the words cannot be understood, then the sound is still going to be a mix of the two. I see no reason why ungodly lyrics in such a situation are going to overpower or color the total sound so as to make it an ungodly composite sound.

Similarly, if people are singing ungodly lyrics in a language totally unknown to the hearer and singing those lyrics to godly music, on what basis are you going to say that the hearers will still say that the composite sound that they are hearing is ungodly?

How do you define "ungodly"? If God can understand the wicked lyrics and be displeased by them, then wouldn't the composite sound be ungodly, even if I myself cannot understand the lyrics?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Inspiring Moses to write these verses, the Spirit informs us that the idolatrous playing in the GCI included corporate shouting that was an aspect of their singing. Joshua, however, did not identify this composite musical sound as music at all. Instead, he said that it was the noise of war.

Joshua certainly had heard godly Israelite worship music in the past (Ex. 15) and was very familiar with what it sounded like. Joshua's not identifying the composite sound emanating from the camp at all as music does not support the notion that the idolaters in the GCI were playing instruments and singing in any godly Israelite style(s) of worship music.

Moreover, the people, in fact, were not engaged in any battle yet their worship music sounded like war to Joshua. The Bible never says that any godly Israelite worship music sounded like war.

First off, what does "war" sound like? If I am supposed to stay away from music that sounds like war, then I would need to know what characterizes a war sound, wouldn't I? War is very chaotic, with no discernable pattern to the clashing sounds and the screaming of the injured. Is it that type of sound that makes a "war sound" ungodly? Or is the war sound referring to a regular tempo that people can march to? How can we derive any principles from the "sound of war" if the Bible isn't clear exactly what that sound was?

What is the significance of the "corporate shouting" that you mentioned? Is shouting an inherently ungodly style of communication? I would hardly think so, since the Psalms often tell us to shout to the Lord. At what point does shouting become a sound of war?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan. The first situation would be a real slap in the face to God, which is exactly the kind of evil thing demons would WANT to do.

 

 

Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan. The first situation would be a real slap in the face to God, which is exactly the kind of evil thing demons would WANT to do.

 

 

Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

 

I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

 

Hmm. I am not sure how the context of our conversation would have indicated to me that this is what you were talking about with that comment.

Yes, before they fell, none of them had performed or heard any such sounds.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

First off, what does "war" sound like? If I am supposed to stay away from music that sounds like war, then I would need to know what characterizes a war sound, wouldn't I? War is very chaotic, with no discernable pattern to the clashing sounds and the screaming of the injured. Is it that type of sound that makes a "war sound" ungodly? Or is the war sound referring to a regular tempo that people can march to? How can we derive any principles from the "sound of war" if the Bible isn't clear exactly what that sound was?

 

What is the significance of the "corporate shouting" that you mentioned? Is shouting an inherently ungodly style of communication? I would hardly think so, since the Psalms often tell us to shout to the Lord. At what point does shouting become a sound of war?

These are valid questions but they are more applicational in nature. It is not necessary to try to answer these questions at this time--what's needed at this time is a proper assessment about the larger issues concerning what has been revealed. Does Joshua's remark point to the ungodliness of the musical sound that he was hearing or not? If not, why not?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

If people are singing ungodly lyrics but the godly music is so loud that the words cannot be understood, then the sound is still going to be a mix of the two. I see no reason why ungodly lyrics in such a situation are going to overpower or color the total sound so as to make it an ungodly composite sound.

Similarly, if people are singing ungodly lyrics in a language totally unknown to the hearer and singing those lyrics to godly music, on what basis are you going to say that the hearers will still say that the composite sound that they are hearing is ungodly?

 

How do you define "ungodly"? If God can understand the wicked lyrics and be displeased by them, then wouldn't the composite sound be ungodly, even if I myself cannot understand the lyrics?

Of course, such composite sound would be sinful music from divine perspective because a key component of it would have been ungodly, but that would be because He knows what the words that were being sung mean. Humans who hear that music seemingly would not be able to assess that it was sinful music just by its sound because they would not know what is being sung.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan. The first situation would be a real slap in the face to God, which is exactly the kind of evil thing demons would WANT to do.

 

 

Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

 

I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

 

 

 

Hmm. I am not sure how the context of our conversation would have indicated to me that this is what you were talking about with that comment.

Yes, before they fell, none of them had performed or heard any such sounds.

I guess I'm able to keep the "snipped" comments in mind a bit better than you are. I'll cut and paste all the snipped comments up to this post. 

I started out by saying "So let's talk about a particular example of when godly heavenly beings were making music. Job 38:6-7talks about the creation of the world. "On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" The mornings stars are typically understood as a reference to angels and we see here that they were singing. The verse doesn't mention instruments, but even the singing alone without lyrics would have been in some sort of style. I'm sure we can agree that it would have been a godly style that expressed joy.

So here's my question. When one third of the angles fell, what would have prevented them from adding wicked lyrics to this "style that expressed joy" and using it to express joy at Satan's wickedness? Satan wanted to be like God, after all, so it seems logical that he would want the same styles of praise and joy directed to him as had been previously directed to God.

You then said "By their very nature, demons are not going to want anything done in ways that are inherently godly. If it is possible to corrupt something, they will seek to corrupt it.

I then said "So I see I need to be really specific to catch your point, Are you saying that the "nature" of demons would prevent them from taking the "godly style of praise and joy' and adding wicked lyrics to it to make an ungodly composite sound? I know that adding wicked lyrics to songs is something that humans do all the time. We can take a godly style, such as hymns of praise (or even a lullaby, for that matter), and add terribly offensive lyrics to it. Does the nature of humans allow us to do that, but the nature of demons means that demons cannot? If that is the case, then you are presenting a scenario in which humans have more power to produce wicked composite sounds that what demons have.

You then said "No, I did not make any comment about what demons are incapable of doing. What I said was about what the demons would want to do.

Demons hate God and want to do whatever they can to displease and offend and spite Him, etc. They want to deny Him the glory that is due Him as much as they possibly can.

Now, I have some questions for you.

First, is a song played and sung in godly styles but with ungodly lyrics less sinful than the same song played and sung in ungodly styles but with the same ungodly lyrics or are both ways of producing that music equally sinful?

Or, to put it differently, are the following equally sinful or is one more sinful than the other:

1. Ungodly lyrics sung in a godly style and accompanied with music played in a godly style

2. The same ungodly lyrics sung in an ungodly style and accompanied with music played in an ungodly style

Second, are the following equally sinful or is one more sinful than the other:

1. A woman who is fully clothed and dancing in a vulgar, sensual way

2. The same woman who is almost completely unclothed and dancing in the same vulgar, sensual way

I then said "I see you're still not responding to the specific question I asked. Why would you respond about what demons would want to do when I asked you if anything prevented them from doing something? Demons want to make ungodly composite sounds, don't they? Does something prevent them from using godly music with wicked lyrics to spite God? Asking me a bunch of questions about "equal" or "less" sinfulness does not give me the information I need to understand your position. I've made no claims about equal or less sinfulness.

You then said "It is not that they are incapable of doing so, which is something that I have already at least implied in two previous responses--in theory, they could do so. I have been saying that because of their nature and unlimited hatred of God and desire to offend Him, they would not do so (unless they could not do so), especially on an occasion of such importance as the GCI was.

Now, it's your turn to answer some questions. If there is more than one way for demons to defile human worship and one is more sinful than another, why would demons choose not to defile it in the worst way possible? 

I then said "I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan."

You then said "Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

I then said "I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

As you can see, the course of our conversation was about the singing of the angels who fell and whether their "nature" prevented them from using the music they already knew to worship Satan with. Did those angels have to come up with brand new sounds that were evil in order to worship Satan?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

These are valid questions but they are more applicational in nature. It is not necessary to try to answer these questions at this time--what's needed at this time is a proper assessment about the larger issues concerning what has been revealed. Does Joshua's remark point to the ungodliness of the musical sound that he was hearing or not? If not, why not?

It doesn't point to the ungodliness of the musical sound because we have no indication from Scripture that "sounds of war" are ungodly.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan. The first situation would be a real slap in the face to God, which is exactly the kind of evil thing demons would WANT to do.

 

 

Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

 

I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

 

 

 

Hmm. I am not sure how the context of our conversation would have indicated to me that this is what you were talking about with that comment.

Yes, before they fell, none of them had performed or heard any such sounds.

 

I guess I'm able to keep the "snipped" comments in mind a bit better than you are. I'll cut and paste all the snipped comments up to this post. 

 

I started out by saying "So let's talk about a particular example of when godly heavenly beings were making music. Job 38:6-7talks about the creation of the world. "On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" The mornings stars are typically understood as a reference to angels and we see here that they were singing. The verse doesn't mention instruments, but even the singing alone without lyrics would have been in some sort of style. I'm sure we can agree that it would have been a godly style that expressed joy.

So here's my question. When one third of the angles fell, what would have prevented them from adding wicked lyrics to this "style that expressed joy" and using it to express joy at Satan's wickedness? Satan wanted to be like God, after all, so it seems logical that he would want the same styles of praise and joy directed to him as had been previously directed to God.

You then said "By their very nature, demons are not going to want anything done in ways that are inherently godly. If it is possible to corrupt something, they will seek to corrupt it.

I then said "So I see I need to be really specific to catch your point, Are you saying that the "nature" of demons would prevent them from taking the "godly style of praise and joy' and adding wicked lyrics to it to make an ungodly composite sound? I know that adding wicked lyrics to songs is something that humans do all the time. We can take a godly style, such as hymns of praise (or even a lullaby, for that matter), and add terribly offensive lyrics to it. Does the nature of humans allow us to do that, but the nature of demons means that demons cannot? If that is the case, then you are presenting a scenario in which humans have more power to produce wicked composite sounds that what demons have.

You then said "No, I did not make any comment about what demons are incapable of doing. What I said was about what the demons would want to do.

Demons hate God and want to do whatever they can to displease and offend and spite Him, etc. They want to deny Him the glory that is due Him as much as they possibly can.

Now, I have some questions for you.

First, is a song played and sung in godly styles but with ungodly lyrics less sinful than the same song played and sung in ungodly styles but with the same ungodly lyrics or are both ways of producing that music equally sinful?

Or, to put it differently, are the following equally sinful or is one more sinful than the other:

1. Ungodly lyrics sung in a godly style and accompanied with music played in a godly style

2. The same ungodly lyrics sung in an ungodly style and accompanied with music played in an ungodly style

Second, are the following equally sinful or is one more sinful than the other:

1. A woman who is fully clothed and dancing in a vulgar, sensual way

2. The same woman who is almost completely unclothed and dancing in the same vulgar, sensual way

I then said "I see you're still not responding to the specific question I asked. Why would you respond about what demons would want to do when I asked you if anything prevented them from doing something? Demons want to make ungodly composite sounds, don't they? Does something prevent them from using godly music with wicked lyrics to spite God? Asking me a bunch of questions about "equal" or "less" sinfulness does not give me the information I need to understand your position. I've made no claims about equal or less sinfulness.

You then said "It is not that they are incapable of doing so, which is something that I have already at least implied in two previous responses--in theory, they could do so. I have been saying that because of their nature and unlimited hatred of God and desire to offend Him, they would not do so (unless they could not do so), especially on an occasion of such importance as the GCI was.

Now, it's your turn to answer some questions. If there is more than one way for demons to defile human worship and one is more sinful than another, why would demons choose not to defile it in the worst way possible? 

I then said "I think it would be much worse to take something intended for God's glory and direct it to Satan than it would be to come up with brand new sounds that had never been heard before and direct them to Satan."

You then said "Who says that the sounds had to have been brand new sounds that had never been heard before?

I then said "I was talking about angels who had just fallen with Satan. I am quite confident that before the angels fell, none of them had performed or heard any sound that was displeasing to God. Do you disagree with that statement?

As you can see, the course of our conversation was about the singing of the angels who fell and whether their "nature" prevented them from using the music they already knew to worship Satan with. Did those angels have to come up with brand new sounds that were evil in order to worship Satan?

It is true that we did talk about that earlier. Intervening were many remarks specifically about the GCI. In the mix of all that has intervened from your initial remark, what you are talking about was not clear to me.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

These are valid questions but they are more applicational in nature. It is not necessary to try to answer these questions at this time--what's needed at this time is a proper assessment about the larger issues concerning what has been revealed. Does Joshua's remark point to the ungodliness of the musical sound that he was hearing or not? If not, why not?

 

It doesn't point to the ungodliness of the musical sound because we have no indication from Scripture that "sounds of war" are ungodly.

 

We have no indication from Scripture that the godly worship music of Israel or any other godly worship music ever sounded like the sound that he was hearing that was war-like. We also have the fact that Joshua did not even recognize what he was hearing to be music. Both of those facts do show that the sound that he was hearing was not the sound of godly Israelite worship music.

Moreover, the people, in fact, were not engaging in a battle. Had these people been celebrating a godly religious feast in a godly way, they would not have been producing a sound that is warlike of such a type that Joshua would not have even been able to tell that it was the sound of godly people celebrating in a godly way.

RajeshG's picture

Moses and Joshua were hearing from a distance the same musical sounds emanating from the camp:

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

In response to Joshua’s remark, “There is a noise of war in the camp,” Moses specified that what they were hearing was not the sound of two specific sounds of war that both Joshua and Moses had the ability to recognize accurately, even from a distance.

Moses first said, “It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery.” Saying this, Moses explained that when people who have been engaging in a battle gain mastery over their opponents, they respond to their triumphing with shouting in a manner that communicates their succeeding in being victorious in the battle.

The sound emanating from the camp was not the recognizable sound of people shouting in their singing to celebrate their mastery. Such people sing joyfully with a shout of triumph that Moses’ response shows is distinctly recognizable even from a distance.

Moses then added, “Neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome.” Saying this, Moses explained that there is a distinctively recognizable sound that people produce when they have been overcome in a battle and are mourning at their defeat.

People who have been defeated in a battle do not sing joyfully with a shout of triumph because they did not win the battle. Their shouting is the mournful sound of people bemoaning their having lost the battle.

Taken together, the inspired revelation in Exodus 32:17-18 about the sound of the singing in the GCI shows us that the musical composite sound emanating from the camp was neither the sound of people joyfully shouting in celebrating their victory nor the sound of people mournfully shouting in lamenting their defeat. This revelation, therefore, tells us that the war-like musical composite sound emanating from the camp sounded like the uncertain, indistinct, chaotic sounds of people engaged in a battle where neither side is winning the battle and the battle is still raging.

These musical sounds were not at all the distinctive sound of godly Israelites worshiping God with the joyful sound of people praising the Lord in a religious feast that pleased Him. Moses’ response to Joshua illumines Joshua’s remark by further showing that the musical sound emanating from the camp in the GCI was the ungodly composite musical sound of people celebrating in an ungodly way.

Moreover, explicit NT revelation shows us that the composite musical sound emanating from the camp was an ungodly sound because it did not at all meet the divinely revealed criteria of producing sounds that are distinctive such that they communicate clearly the meaning of those sounds:

1 Corinthians 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

When worship music is indistinct in its sound so that it is an uncertain sound, that sound does not meet God’s criteria for the proper use of music.

By comparing Scripture with Scripture, 1 Cor. 14:7-8 applied to Exodus 32:17-18 decisively shows us that the musical sound of the people shouting in their singing in the GCI was not the godly sound of people celebrating a religious feast in a godly way with singing and the use of musical instruments that produced a distinctively recognizable composite sound. Instead, the composite musical sound emanating from the camp was an ungodly sound of people singing and playing musical instruments in ungodly ways that were not at all any of the ways that godly Israelites ever worshiped God.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

It is true that we did talk about that earlier. Intervening were many remarks specifically about the GCI. In the mix of all that has intervened from your initial remark, what you are talking about was not clear to me.

Besides having intervening conversations, this particular sequence took a full week to happen, so it's not at all surprising that things become unclear. One of the things I like about pages and pages of conversation is that the particular points tend to circle around and get repeated with slightly different wording, and it may take the third time of asking something before we see what the other person was trying to build upon with the question. (So I really shouldn't have got after you earlier with a "repeating your points doesn't make them true" comment. Repeating is often used just to "refresh" the point.)

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

We have no indication from Scripture that the godly worship music of Israel or any other godly worship music ever sounded like the sound that he was hearing that was war-like.

We also have no indication that it didn't. We have descriptions in other passages of instruments that were used in worship music, but the Bible doesn't give indication one way or another if godly worship music might sound "war-like" if heard from a distance.

Quote:
We also have the fact that Joshua did not even recognize what he was hearing to be music.
That is easy enough to understand if you realize he wasn't expecting to hear any sounds coming from the camp at that distance. He was likely very conscious of the dangers that surrounded them from local people groups. Of course his mind was going to jump to some sort of an attack if he heard sounds in the distance.

Quote:
Both of those facts do show that the sound that he was hearing was not the sound of godly Israelite worship music.
Isn't it significant that when Moses recognized the sound as singing, he didn't say, "That's the sound of ungodly Egyptian singing that I hear"? Surely Moses knew what ungodly worship music sounded like, yet Moses didn't get angry until he actually saw the calf and the dancing.

Quote:
Moreover, the people, in fact, were not engaging in a battle.
Joshua had no way of knowing that when he first heard the sounds.

Quote:
Had these people been celebrating a godly religious feast in a godly way, they would not have been producing a sound that is warlike of such a type that Joshua would not have even been able to tell that it was the sound of godly people celebrating in a godly way.
And you really have no way of knowing that. We simply don't have Scriptural descriptions of the sound of Israelite worship music. How can you possibly know that some of their worship songs did not have elements that sounded like war from a distance? 

RajeshG's picture

MF wrote:

a better question might be, how do you define ungodly music?

Any definition would have to be based on all that God has revealed in His Word, which is a discussion that is far beyond the scope of this thread. Nonetheless, a major goal of this thread is to establish some key points about what God has revealed about ungodly music.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Any definition would have to be based on all that God has revealed in His Word, which is a discussion that is far beyond the scope of this thread. Nonetheless, a major goal of this thread is to establish some key points about what God has revealed about ungodly music.

How do you know if you really ARE discussing key points about ungodly music if you can't present a concise foundational understanding of what you mean by "ungodly music"? You have also used the phrase "demonically influenced music." Are the two phrases interchangeable or is there a difference between the two?

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

Any definition would have to be based on all that God has revealed in His Word, which is a discussion that is far beyond the scope of this thread. Nonetheless, a major goal of this thread is to establish some key points about what God has revealed about ungodly music.

 

How do you know if you really ARE discussing key points about ungodly music if you can't present a concise foundational understanding of what you mean by "ungodly music"? You have also used the phrase "demonically influenced music." Are the two phrases interchangeable or is there a difference between the two?

The Bible is the perfect source of information about all things that pertain unto what is and is not ungodly. God rarely defines terms; He expects you to study thoroughly what He has revealed about a subject and derive a proper understanding from such a comprehensive study of what He has revealed.

"Demonically influenced music" means music that is produced by entities under demonic influence. Hence, the term "demonically influenced music."

In my present understanding, the terms are not interchangeable. All demonically influenced music is ungodly music, but we as humans do not have the ability to say with certainty whether all ungodly music is the product of demonic influence.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

Quote:
We also have the fact that Joshua did not even recognize what he was hearing to be music.

That is easy enough to understand if you realize he wasn't expecting to hear any sounds coming from the camp at that distance. He was likely very conscious of the dangers that surrounded them from local people groups. Of course his mind was going to jump to some sort of an attack if he heard sounds in the distance.

No, this is not correct. No one, not even Moses or Aaron, had the authority to decide on their own when the feasts to the Lord would take place. God determined everything about how He was to be worshiped.

When Aaron said, "To morrow is a feast to the LORD" (Ex. 32:5), he was not deciding on a whim to have the nation observe a feast; he was proclaiming what all the leadership of Israel would have known had been predetermined by God, and probably many of the people also knew that fact.

When Moses and Joshua were returning to the camp, Joshua would have been expecting to hear the joyful sound of people worshiping the Lord in a feast to the Lord. Instead, he heard uncertain, indistinct, chaotic, disorderly sound emanating from the camp that sounded like war to him.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

Quote:
Both of those facts do show that the sound that he was hearing was not the sound of godly Israelite worship music.

Isn't it significant that when Moses recognized the sound as singing, he didn't say, "That's the sound of ungodly Egyptian singing that I hear"? Surely Moses knew what ungodly worship music sounded like, yet Moses didn't get angry until he actually saw the calf and the dancing.

No, Moses did not only get angry when he saw the calf and the dancing. God had told Moses about the people's making an idol, etc. Given God's being immensely provoked to anger by what they had done and given that Moses was a Spirit-filled man, he was angry long before he came to the camp and actually saw the idol, etc.

It is not significant that Moses did not expound on the singing; there was no necessity that he would have had to have done so. Of course, Moses knew what ungodly worship music sounded like.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

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Moreover, the people, in fact, were not engaging in a battle.

Joshua had no way of knowing that when he first heard the sounds.

It's irrelevant whether he had any way of knowing that or not when he first heard the sound. We know that there was not a battle going on . . .

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

We have no indication from Scripture that the godly worship music of Israel or any other godly worship music ever sounded like the sound that he was hearing that was war-like.

We also have no indication that it didn't. We have descriptions in other passages of instruments that were used in worship music, but the Bible doesn't give indication one way or another if godly worship music might sound "war-like" if heard from a distance.

Yes, we do. Scripture definitively teaches that God is a God of order who demands that everything in His worship be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). He does not accept music that is uncertain, indistinct, chaotic, disorderly, etc. (1 Cor. 14:7-8; 14:40), as the sound that was emanating from the camp was.

Something that sounded like the sound of a battle that is raging with neither side winning the battle at the time is certainly not a sound that meets God's standards for worship music.

Kevin Miller wrote:

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Had these people been celebrating a godly religious feast in a godly way, they would not have been producing a sound that is warlike of such a type that Joshua would not have even been able to tell that it was the sound of godly people celebrating in a godly way.

And you really have no way of knowing that. We simply don't have Scriptural descriptions of the sound of Israelite worship music. How can you possibly know that some of their worship songs did not have elements that sounded like war from a distance? 

Not true. We do have descriptions of what godly Israelite worship sounded like from a distance:

Nehemiah 12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me: 41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. 43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

When godly Israelites worshiped God in a godly way at a time of rejoicing, including the use of musical instruments (Neh. 12:35-36), the sound was a joyful sound of rejoicing in Him that was distinctly recognizable "even afar off" (Neh. 12:43) as the sound of joy.

Moses' remarks about the music of the GCI definitively tell us that the composite sound emanating from the camp was not the sound of joy that it should have been had they been worshiping the Lord in a feast to the Lord in a godly way with the godly use of musical instruments, as they did in Nehemiah 12:40-43.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

No, this is not correct. No one, not even Moses or Aaron, had the authority to decide on their own when the feasts to the Lord would take place. God determined everything about how He was to be worshiped.

When Aaron said, "To morrow is a feast to the LORD" (Ex. 32:5), he was not deciding on a whim to have the nation observe a feast; he was proclaiming what all the leadership of Israel would have known had been predetermined by God, and probably many of the people also knew that fact.

When Moses and Joshua were returning to the camp, Joshua would have been expecting to hear the joyful sound of people worshiping the Lord in a feast to the Lord. Instead, he heard uncertain, indistinct, chaotic, disorderly sound emanating from the camp that sounded like war to him.

Is there any indication from scripture that this particular feast was predetermined by God ahead of time? I don't see it in the passage. Would God have also predetermined ahead of time that Aaron collect earrings so that a golden calf could be made?

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

No, Moses did not only get angry when he saw the calf and the dancing. God had told Moses about the people's making an idol, etc. Given God's being immensely provoked to anger by what they had done and given that Moses was a Spirit-filled man, he was angry long before he came to the camp and actually saw the idol, etc.

Was he really? This man that asked God "why should your anger burn against your people?" was actually burning with anger himself? This man who begged God to "Turn from your fierce anger." had a fierce anger himself? Based on the verses in the passage, I don't see any indication of anger from Moses until he saw the calf and the dancing. We can have an opinion of what his feelings might have been at any particular time, but we can only assert definitively what the Bible actually says.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

Moses first said, “It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery.” Saying this, Moses explained that when people who have been engaging in a battle gain mastery over their opponents, they respond to their triumphing with shouting in a manner that communicates their succeeding in being victorious in the battle.

The sound emanating from the camp was not the recognizable sound of people shouting in their singing to celebrate their mastery. Such people sing joyfully with a shout of triumph that Moses’ response shows is distinctly recognizable even from a distance.

Wait a minute. The sound of triumph after a battle is not the only possible "shout for mastery" that exists. During the Civil War, the Confederates had their Rebel Yell that they used during a battle as a shout for mastery. I suppose they sometimes did it after a battle as well, but it was mainly used to distract and throw fear into their opponents during a battle.

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Moses then added, “Neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome.” Saying this, Moses explained that there is a distinctively recognizable sound that people produce when they have been overcome in a battle and are mourning at their defeat.

People who have been defeated in a battle do not sing joyfully with a shout of triumph because they did not win the battle. Their shouting is the mournful sound of people bemoaning their having lost the battle.

Wait a minute again. The sound of mourning after a battle is not the only "cry for being overcome" that is possible. People in the middle of the battle can cry out in pain and beg for mercy and call out for help.

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Taken together, the inspired revelation in Exodus 32:17-18 about the sound of the singing in the GCI shows us that the musical composite sound emanating from the camp was neither the sound of people joyfully shouting in celebrating their victory nor the sound of people mournfully shouting in lamenting their defeat. This revelation, therefore, tells us that the war-like musical composite sound emanating from the camp sounded like the uncertain, indistinct, chaotic sounds of people engaged in a battle where neither side is winning the battle and the battle is still raging. 
Now you are really just making things up. There is no indication from the comment of Moses that your description of battle sounds would apply. Another possible battle sound we haven't mentioned is the sound of people marching into battle. That is another battle sound that would be potentially indistinct if heard from a distance. You are trying to assert something, a "battle is still raging" sound, that just isn't shown in the verses. After all, the sounds that Moses mentioned as NOT being heard can both happen while the battle is raging.

The way I interpret it, in my admittedly human and therefore fallible way, is that Moses is not saying, "That sound is not like X war sound or like Y war sound, but it is like Z war sound." That was not the message of Moses. Instead, he was saying, "Joshua, clean out your ears. That is not  the sound of war in any way. It's the sound of singing (in a corporate shouting type way)" Israelites DID practice shouting in the worship of God, and I'm sure other nations practiced shouting in the worship of their gods. The style of "shout-singing" is not inherently ungodly just because it sounds uncertain from a distance.

 

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

And you really have no way of knowing that. We simply don't have Scriptural descriptions of the sound of Israelite worship music. How can you possibly know that some of their worship songs did not have elements that sounded like war from a distance? 

 

 

Not true. We do have descriptions of what godly Israelite worship sounded like from a distance:

Nehemiah 12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me: 41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. 43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

When godly Israelites worshiped God in a godly way at a time of rejoicing, including the use of musical instruments (Neh. 12:35-36), the sound was a joyful sound of rejoicing in Him that was distinctly recognizable "even afar off" (Neh. 12:43) as the sound of joy.

Moses' remarks about the music of the GCI definitively tell us that the composite sound emanating from the camp was not the sound of joy that it should have been had they been worshiping the Lord in a feast to the Lord in a godly way with the godly use of musical instruments, as they did in Nehemiah 12:40-43.

But you have to admit that Nehemiah 12 does not describe all possible Israelite worship music. Some of their worship music would have sounded like joy from a distance. Other worship music would have had other elements.

I should have written my statement as "We simply don't have Scriptural descriptions of the sound of ALL Israelite worship music. How can you possibly know that some of their worship songs did not have elements that sounded like war from a distance?" 

After all, some of their worship music could have sounded like "majesty," with trumpet calls that could have sounded like a call to war from a distance.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

No, Moses did not only get angry when he saw the calf and the dancing. God had told Moses about the people's making an idol, etc. Given God's being immensely provoked to anger by what they had done and given that Moses was a Spirit-filled man, he was angry long before he came to the camp and actually saw the idol, etc.

 

Was he really? This man that asked God "why should your anger burn against your people?" was actually burning with anger himself? This man who begged God to "Turn from your fierce anger." had a fierce anger himself? Based on the verses in the passage, I don't see any indication of anger from Moses until he saw the calf and the dancing. We can have an opinion of what his feelings might have been at any particular time, but we can only assert definitively what the Bible actually says.

I see. So Moses was more "spiritual" than God. God's anger was burning because the people were engaging in vile idolatry that was profaning His name, but a Spirit-filled Moses was not angry at their sinfulness? The Holy Spirit is God, and when He controls a person, that person will respond in the same perfect ways that God does. It makes zero sense to try to assert that Moses was not angry.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

No, this is not correct. No one, not even Moses or Aaron, had the authority to decide on their own when the feasts to the Lord would take place. God determined everything about how He was to be worshiped.

When Aaron said, "To morrow is a feast to the LORD" (Ex. 32:5), he was not deciding on a whim to have the nation observe a feast; he was proclaiming what all the leadership of Israel would have known had been predetermined by God, and probably many of the people also knew that fact.

When Moses and Joshua were returning to the camp, Joshua would have been expecting to hear the joyful sound of people worshiping the Lord in a feast to the Lord. Instead, he heard uncertain, indistinct, chaotic, disorderly sound emanating from the camp that sounded like war to him.

 

Is there any indication from scripture that this particular feast was predetermined by God ahead of time? I don't see it in the passage. Would God have also predetermined ahead of time that Aaron collect earrings so that a golden calf could be made?

 

I'm not going to dignify your second question with any kind of response other than this because it is so outrageous that it does not deserve a response.

The point is that Aaron did not have the authority to declare arbitrarily at his whim that there would be a national feast to the Lord. Those were predetermined by God, and Aaron was merely announcing what was already scheduled to be observed.

In fact, Moses and Aaron testified to Pharaoh that they had to go into the wilderness to observe a feast to the Lord (Ex. 5:1; 10:9). In the flow of the narrative, the feast that Aaron talked about is the only feast that is recorded that they were going to observe.

 

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

But you have to admit that Nehemiah 12 does not describe all possible Israelite worship music. Some of their worship music would have sounded like joy from a distance. Other worship music would have had other elements.

I should have written my statement as "We simply don't have Scriptural descriptions of the sound of ALL Israelite worship music. How can you possibly know that some of their worship songs did not have elements that sounded like war from a distance?" 

After all, some of their worship music could have sounded like "majesty," with trumpet calls that could have sounded like a call to war from a distance.

It does not matter whether Neh. 12 describes all possible Israelite worship sounds. You are arguing from silence by asserting that they could have had some worship music that sounded like war from a distance. You have zero Bible to back up your position. You need to produce biblical data to support your position that some of Israel's godly worship music in a feast to the Lord ever sounded from a distance anything like war but did not sound either like the joyful sound of triumphant shouting or the mournful sound of those lamenting their defeat.

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