Wrong Views, Disunity, and "The Worship Wars"

I believe that wrong views about God as the Creator of all things, the image of God in man, and "common grace" plague multitudes of believers today. We will never have the unity among God's people that He wants us to have until these false views are rejected.

These wrongs views are one of the leading reasons that "the worship wars" have not been resolved among God's people. These wrongs views are especially prevalent concerning what instrumental music God will accept for use in worship.

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RajeshG's picture

God commanded His people to reject certain altars:

Deuteronomy 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Careful attention to this divine mandate provides vital understanding to God's people that is highly relevant concerning the wrong views that many believers hold today.

RajeshG's picture

God commanded the destruction of the Canaanite altars. Scripture never says that God created those altars.

God made the Canaanites in His image. The Canaanites were recipients of common grace.

In spite of both of these immensely important theological realities being true about the Canaanites, the divine rejection of the altars that they created shows that Scripture never teaches that the image of God in man and common grace somehow guarantee that any given creative cultural product of humans will be of inherent value and acceptable to God for human use in worship.

Moreover, the Canaanites were evil humans with evil motives and intent. They created those altars for their false worship.

They made those altars of good raw materials that God made. The divine rejection of those altars proves that it is false to say that evil people made in the image of God who are recipients of common grace cannot make things that God rejects provided they only use good things made by God to make those things.

Evil humans have made and can make creative cultural products that God rejects even though they have made and continue to make those products from good things that God has made.

Applying these truths to the realm of instrumental music shows that it is false to claim that all instrumental music is inherently acceptable to God for use in worship because it is made by image bearers who receive common grace and only use good musical elements that God created to make that instrumental music.

There is no biblical basis to assert legitimately that instrumental music made by evil humans for evil purposes still is or must be inherently good and acceptable to God for use in worship.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

In spite of both of these immensely important theological realities being true about the Canaanites, the divine rejection of the altars that they created shows that Scripture never teaches that the image of God in man and common grace somehow guarantee that any given creative cultural product of humans will be of inherent value and acceptable to God for human use in worship.

I suppose you're going to add something to this thread each day until somebody responds. I don't intend to get into a long argument here since it tends to eventually go in circles, but I will say this: I think it's comparing apples to oranges to think that an altar on which false worship is performed is comparable to a series of instrumental musical notes.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

I think it's comparing apples to oranges to think that an altar on which false worship is performed is comparable to a series of instrumental musical notes.

If you have some Bible to support your contention, which I reject, then we would have something to discuss. If not, you have expressed your viewpoint and we can leave it there.

Ron Bean's picture

Well, the altars were made of "rock", so there's that.

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

Bert Perry's picture

....and Psalms 149 and 150 refer to God's people praising Him in dancing, too.  So we've got to infer that not only did God's people use the same instrument families that the pagans did, but they also did so with a beat and rhythm.   I remember spending a wonderful evening doing Israeli folk dance back in college....great time, and it gives a picture of how God's people have praised God and remembered His goodness in dance.  

Really, a lot of time and effort gets spent trying to talk around the obvious implications of the last two Psalms, and more or less, it boils down to ignoring Scripture while exalting guilt by association fallacies.  Ron's alma mater is especially guilty of this, sad to say.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it's comparing apples to oranges to think that an altar on which false worship is performed is comparable to a series of instrumental musical notes.

 

 

If you have some Bible to support your contention, which I reject, then we would have something to discuss. If not, you have expressed your viewpoint and we can leave it there.

I was just going by the verse you have posted earlier. Deuteronomy 7:5. That verse lists a few comparable things. We have the altar, the graven images, and the groves. They were all physical items that were to be destroyed, cut down, or burnt. A series of instrumental musical notes isn't a physical item like that. How does one destroy, cut down, or burn instrumental music?

As I said, you're comparing apples to oranges.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

I think it's comparing apples to oranges to think that an altar on which false worship is performed is comparable to a series of instrumental musical notes.

 

 

If you have some Bible to support your contention, which I reject, then we would have something to discuss. If not, you have expressed your viewpoint and we can leave it there.

 

I was just going by the verse you have posted earlier. Deuteronomy 7:5. That verse lists a few comparable things. We have the altar, the graven images, and the groves. They were all physical items that were to be destroyed, cut down, or burnt. A series of instrumental musical notes isn't a physical item like that. How does one destroy, cut down, or burn instrumental music?

 

As I said, you're comparing apples to oranges.

When I became a believer, I destroyed a vast amount of physical items that I had that had recorded in them certain types of instrumental music. I also disposed of materials that had printed music in it that was played in those styles.

Beyond that, you are making an issue of something that I never specified--"a series of instrumental notes." You know very well that instrumental music used in worship is much more than just that.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

I was just going by the verse you have posted earlier. Deuteronomy 7:5. That verse lists a few comparable things. We have the altar, the graven images, and the groves. They were all physical items that were to be destroyed, cut down, or burnt. A series of instrumental musical notes isn't a physical item like that. How does one destroy, cut down, or burn instrumental music?

 

As I said, you're comparing apples to oranges.

 

 

When I became a believer, I destroyed a vast amount of physical items that I had that had recorded in them certain types of instrumental music. I also disposed of materials that had printed music in it that was played in those styles.

But the Israelites never encountered recorded music or printed music, did they? Are you making a claim that the commands to the Israelites in Duet 7 as they took over the land are applicable to us today as we deal with aspects of our current culture?

Quote:
Beyond that, you are making an issue of something that I never specified--"a series of instrumental notes." You know very well that instrumental music used in worship is much more than just that. 
But the passage in Duet 7 never mentions the instrumental music that was being used in worship. You're trying to pull a principle from these commands to the Israelites when the passage doesn't even discuss the item that you think should be destroyed.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

I was just going by the verse you have posted earlier. Deuteronomy 7:5. That verse lists a few comparable things. We have the altar, the graven images, and the groves. They were all physical items that were to be destroyed, cut down, or burnt. A series of instrumental musical notes isn't a physical item like that. How does one destroy, cut down, or burn instrumental music?

 

As I said, you're comparing apples to oranges.

 

 

When I became a believer, I destroyed a vast amount of physical items that I had that had recorded in them certain types of instrumental music. I also disposed of materials that had printed music in it that was played in those styles.

 

But the Israelites never encountered recorded music or printed music, did they? Are you making a claim that the commands to the Israelites in Duet 7 as they took over the land are applicable to us today as we deal with aspects of our current culture?

So what? In fact, I didn't even say anything directly about destroying music based on Deut. 7:5.

The bigger truth, as I already explained, is that passage destroys the arguments used by some supporters of contemporary worship that are based on the image of God in man and on common grace. That is what this thread is about--those false views and how they do not justify what people claim about the use of certain instrumental music in worship.

Kevin Miller wrote:

Quote:
Beyond that, you are making an issue of something that I never specified--"a series of instrumental notes." You know very well that instrumental music used in worship is much more than just that. 

But the passage in Duet 7 never mentions the instrumental music that was being used in worship. You're trying to pull a principle from these commands to the Israelites when the passage doesn't even discuss the item that you think should be destroyed.

Actually, looking back on what I actually said, I never directly tied what I said about music to that passage. I made a broader application based on what that passage refutes about claims about the image of God in man and common grace and how those supposedly apply to instrumental music made by evil people.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

But the Israelites never encountered recorded music or printed music, did they? Are you making a claim that the commands to the Israelites in Duet 7 as they took over the land are applicable to us today as we deal with aspects of our current culture?

 

So what. The bigger truth, as I already explained, is that passage destroys the arguments used by some supporters of contemporary worship that are based on the image of God in man and on common grace. That is what this thread is about--those false views and how they do not justify what people claim about the use of certain instrumental music in worship.

I see what did here. Instead of answering my question, you tried shifting to the "bigger truth" that you want to deal with. I don't know of anyone who thinks that the image of God or common grace should have kept the Israelites from destroying the Caananites, but unless you can show how this passage relates to instrumental music or how God's commands to the Israelites apply to us today, then I don't really think Duet 7 is applicable in the way you think it is.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

So what? In fact, I didn't even say anything directly about destroying music based on Deut. 7:5.

I see you made an edit in the portion I had previously responded to. The thing is, you didn't have to say it "directly" for me to understand your point that way. You introduced Duet 7:5 in this thread by saying "God commanded His people to reject certain altars:" How does the verse you introduced tell the Israelites to reject them? By destroying them. That's right in the verse. If you think these altars are analogous to instrumental music used in worship, then why wouldn't the rejection be the same. At least that's what I thought you were getting at.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

But the Israelites never encountered recorded music or printed music, did they? Are you making a claim that the commands to the Israelites in Duet 7 as they took over the land are applicable to us today as we deal with aspects of our current culture?

 

So what. The bigger truth, as I already explained, is that passage destroys the arguments used by some supporters of contemporary worship that are based on the image of God in man and on common grace. That is what this thread is about--those false views and how they do not justify what people claim about the use of certain instrumental music in worship.

 

I see what did here. Instead of answering my question, you tried shifting to the "bigger truth" that you want to deal with. I don't know of anyone who thinks that the image of God or common grace should have kept the Israelites from destroying the Caananites, but unless you can show how this passage relates to instrumental music or how God's commands to the Israelites apply to us today, then I don't really think Duet 7 is applicable in the way you think it is.

I didn't try to do anything. You made an erroneous claim that I had based what I said earlier on Deut. 7; I did not base what I said earlier directly on Deut. 7.

I did not say anything about the image of God in man or common grace as reasons for the Israelites not to destroy the Canaanites. I have no clue how you can read what I said earlier and come up with that notion.

The point, again, of my treating Deuteronomy 7 is that it shows irrefutably that the image of God in the Canaanites and common grace to the Canaanites did not ensure that whatever the Canaanites made culturally was of intrinsic value and acceptable to God for use in worship even though it is was used by them for an ungodly purpose. Similarly, the image of God in sinful people today and common grace that God bestows on them does not ensure that whatever they make culturally is of intrinsic value and acceptable to God for use in worship.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

The point, again, of Deuteronomy 7 is that shows irrefutably that the image of God in the Canaanites and common grace to the Canaanites did not ensure that whatever the Canaanites made culturally was of intrinsic value and acceptable to God even though it is was used by them for an ungodly purpose. Similarly, the image of God in sinful people today and common grace that God bestows on them does not ensure that whatever they make culturally is of intrinsic value and acceptable to God.

But who even says that about the Caananites? Who says that whatever the Caananites made was acceptable to God? I don't get why you would even bring that point up if no one ever says that about the Caananites.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

The point, again, of Deuteronomy 7 is that shows irrefutably that the image of God in the Canaanites and common grace to the Canaanites did not ensure that whatever the Canaanites made culturally was of intrinsic value and acceptable to God even though it is was used by them for an ungodly purpose. Similarly, the image of God in sinful people today and common grace that God bestows on them does not ensure that whatever they make culturally is of intrinsic value and acceptable to God.

 

But who even says that about the Caananites? Who says that whatever the Caananites made was acceptable to God? I don't get why you would even bring that point up if no one ever says that about the Caananites.

There are people who say that all instrumental music is inherently good and acceptable to God and that the image of God in man and common grace ensure that whoever makes that music will produce music that is itself good.

Kevin Miller's picture

RajeshG wrote:

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

But who even says that about the Caananites? Who says that whatever the Caananites made was acceptable to God? I don't get why you would even bring that point up if no one ever says that about the Caananites.

 

There are people who say that all instrumental music is inherently good and acceptable to God and that the image of God in man and common grace ensure that whoever makes that music will produce music that is itself good.

But again, I don't see how the Duet 7 passage would disprove that if the passage isn't even dealing with music and contains commands specifically given to Israelites in that particular time period. I'm not saying the statement is right or wrong, but I just don't see it disproven by Duet 7.

RajeshG's picture

Kevin Miller wrote:

 

RajeshG wrote:

 

 

Kevin Miller wrote:

But who even says that about the Caananites? Who says that whatever the Caananites made was acceptable to God? I don't get why you would even bring that point up if no one ever says that about the Caananites.

 

There are people who say that all instrumental music is inherently good and acceptable to God and that the image of God in man and common grace ensure that whoever makes that music will produce music that is itself good.

 

But again, I don't see how the Duet 7 passage would disprove that if the passage isn't even dealing with music and contains commands specifically given to Israelites in that particular time period. I'm not saying the statement is right or wrong, but I just don't see it disproven by Duet 7.

I do not think that you even understand the point that I am making from Deut. 7, much less whether the application to instrumental music is sound or not. I am not going to try to explain it any further, and I do not think that further discussion is going to help. 

Let's just leave it as it is that you do not see what I see and do not agree with what I am saying, etc.