How Do you teach on music?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by mnw, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. mnw

    mnw
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    My conviction on music would be very conservative. I'd rather be a little old fashioned rather than see how close to the line I can get.

    However, I want to teach and preach Biblical fact and not cultural preferance.

    I want to preach/teach a comprehensive series at church and am in the process of studying it all out afresh.

    Any suggestions would be helpful.
     
  2. Aaron

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    A comprehensive series would be a phenomenally gargantuan task. Impossible really. A better approach, in my opinion, would be a series on some of the basic justifications for CCM, and a Scriptural reply.

    Arguing here will help you immensely on that topic.

    I'd recommend three books by Kimberly Smith:</font>Hear That Long Snake Moan, by Micheal Ventura. Found in:</font>You Call It Madness: The Sensuous Song of the Croon, by Lenny Kaye.

    and,

    Confessions of a Former Worship Leader: Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Movement, by Dan Lucarini.
     
  3. SpiritualMadMan

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    My tastes in Church Music hasn't really changed...

    I do find that what I term as Churchable Music is becoming less and less available, though...

    The promo for Dan Lucaini's books talks about a return to harmony and melody...

    I couldn't agree more.

    Though I probably disagree with his actions and verdict on CCM...

    If you are interested you can read an article I wrote several years ago:

    http://www.houseofmyrrh.org/music1.htm

    This covers an overall view on Music...

    For church music it really depends on your church.

    Each church is different...

    They will administrate the Gifts of God differently. Yet, within Scriptural bounds.

    The most important issue is what does the Music do to or with the congregation?

    Does it minister...

    If you are in Dr. Bob's Crowd you will _NOT_ be ministered to by the same Music that ministers to me. (Love you Bro!)

    If I am a Music Minister called to a church with an older congregation I may not be able to use Hillsongs effectively...

    Questions to ask yourself when approaching Music...

    1. Are the lyrics compatible with the doctrine of the church... If not then to use a nice sounding tune that has a doctrinal conflicting message won't edify.

    2. Is the Harmonic Foundation compatible with the congregations snese of propriety... If I am in a congregation that has it's roots in Southern Gospel... trying to minister with Brookland Tabernacle Choir Music probably won't get it.

    3. What spirit is behind the music? You usually won't have to worry about an evil spirit with church music. But, you can have church music written out of purely human motives and spirit.

    4. What is your pastor comfortable with. Again, if I went to Dr. Bob's church and tried to lead some of my favorite Hillsongs Music... Well, lets just say I wouldn't be asked back. [​IMG]

    A terribly large amount of what is called "Praise and Worship" Music today... ISN'T! Period!

    I am a CCM Praise and Worship Leader...

    But, most of what is being shoved down the pike is merely a catchy tune with Christian Sounding Lyrics...

    Regardless of style of Music your congregation prefers... What is the end result? Does it leads to the Exaltation and Worship of Almighty God?

    If not... Don't use it in church services...

    Mike Sr.
     
  4. Eric B

    Eric B
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    The World, the Flesh and the Devil:
    A Look at The CCM Controversy in the Modern Church
    http://members.aol.com/etb700/ccm.html

    It's true we should not be trying to get as close to "the line" as we can get. But people on both sides do not know where any line is, so it often becomes cultural preference with proof texts.
     
  5. mnw

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    I appreciate the input so far.

    My general approach at the moment would be:

    1. Stress the importance of the words
    2. Establish music (the sound) is NOT amoral
    3. Define what makes music positive or negative

    However, how to go about that effectively is the hard part.

    I will take a look at the books that have been mentioned.

    So, how would you teach about the sound of the music being positive or negative?
     
  6. SpiritualMadMan

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    Please remember that as you read *some* of the writers have axes to grind...

    The gamut runs from anything with rythm is of the devil to any form is Ok in Church...

    No, if I go to a Rock Concert I expect certains musical styles as the norm...

    If it is billed as a Christian Concert I expect a certain lyrical content to be included and certain things not to be a part of the "show"...

    (In church I expect the music to encourage me to Praise and Worship Jesus... At the very least to teach me something. or, comfort me.)

    There is a Spiritual Battle going on...

    And, every piece of Music has a Spiritual Component... Whether it is Inspiration or Performance...

    My own view is that Music itself, ie., the notes, drum patterns, etc. is without Moral Content...

    However, the Spiritual Intent behind the music is, IMHO, what makes a particular rhythm immoral...

    Let's face it, though, there are certain Drum Patterns which our upbringing and backgrounds have imparted to as having specific connotations...

    You will never be able to convince me that the Drum Pattern used in a typical strip club is anything but for an immoral purpose...

    I suppose it could possibly be... But, even if it could possibly be Moral... It could never be so to me...

    BTW: You can't really sing anything with out a Rhythm of some kind... Even Gregorian Chants tend to have some rhythm to them...

    I guess what I am saying is that do not discount the Spiritual Side of Music...

    I redily admit I get nervous when the Moral vs. Amorality of Musical Sound is brought up...

    (There is a tendency to lump *all* compositions of a given genre into a common lump without considering the Spiritual Component.)

    Because it has been my experience that while some sounds have Immoral Applications and Connotations, by and large it is the Spiritual Intent behind a given piece of music that does the damage...

    Unless of course the Bass spectrum is at 108 db as it seems the normal Christian Concert seems to like...

    In this case I redily agree that the Sound is Destructive! [​IMG]

    But, that's another rant...

    Mike Sr.
     
  7. mnw

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    I appreciate that Mike.

    I am guessing the moral vs. immoral nature of the sound of music has been discussedon the BB before. [​IMG]

    So, are you saying that the sound is neutral though the association of it can make it wrong?

    Which principles would you use to teach that?

    Or, conversley, how would you teach that the sound can be right or wrong and which principles would you use to teach?

    I have definite opinions, but want to re-evaluate some "details" of my stand. I am not looking so much for a discussion of what is right and wrong but how to teach what you believe in the area of music.

    Thanks for the input so far.
     
  8. SpiritualMadMan

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    Yes the Moral vs Immoral has been shall we say an "interesting" topic of (politely) 'conversation'...

    IMHO, it is more than mere association...

    In my way of thinking it is a matter of Spiritual Warfare...

    And, it is hard to separate Association with the Spirits that Inspire the Music...

    Teaching on these issues is difficult to say the least... This is because the Bible isn't as clear as we'd like it to be on Musical Styles...

    The Church of Christ is convinced that we can't even have Musical Instruments in a Worship Service because no Musical Instruments are specifically mentioned in the NT.

    Though, I would be quick to point out the Scriptures:

    Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    Jam 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

    Most of the Psalms were written for Instrumental Accompaniment! So, In my opinon Musical Instruments are included in NT Worship...

    In the OT it is hard to separate Instruments from Praise and Worship...

    But, we do not have any Musical Scores (or recordings) to give us an idea of just what a Tabernacle of David might sound like...

    Still, whatever trumpeting and other instrumental issues were going on when The Ark was brought in... David danced...

    Now, granted, even this Old Penetcostal has a problem with dance in church. So, I am not advocating that... (Though I have been known to kick up my heels once in a while...)

    My own recommended reading includes:

    (In Order)
    "Worship His Majesty" by Jack Hayford
    "The Power of His Presence" by Graham truscott
    "Lifting Him Up" by Ron kenoly and Dick Bernoll

    I also have two books by Darlene Zschech of Hillsongs.

    But, she is too effusive and (as much as I love her music) in some ways shallow when it comes to the treatment of Worship..

    Biblically, I would look for places in the OT where Music was used in Worship... That would be mostly in the Psalms...

    The Jericho March probably had a cadence to it...

    As, probably, did that time they recited to each other on opposte mountain sides...

    I suspect, but can't prove it, that Drums and Cymbals were used noisely and loudly.

    And, that some of the Rhythms and Cadences were borrowed from the surrounding cultures...

    As for non-Praise and Worship music... (Out of Church Worship)

    It still comes back to the Spiritual Intent...

    There are secular pieces of Rock that I can listen to without even the slightest "check" in my spirit...

    Some, more, I can listen to sans Lyrics. Either Midi or Instrumental versions...

    And, some that at the first notes I get a forceful, 'Switch off my Child that is not for you'.

    When dealing with youth they need to First, be born again... All Musical Issues are moot, if they aren't saved...

    Second, they need to be Bereans, studying God's Word to show themseleves approved unto God...

    Only then will they be Prepared to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not...

    And, that's what this boils down to... The Spiritual Battle beneath the music.

    They (also) need to consider who their heros are... And, if they are Godly examples and live a lifestyle that Pleases God.

    Honestly, as open as I am to CCM... I am heartbroken that it is deteriorating as it is...

    At times, even my highly vaunted Praise and Worship Music seems to be nothing more than a tricky tune to sell CD's.

    It's OK for listening...

    But, NOT for the Praise and Worship of Almighty God...

    Mike Sr.

    Militant in Praise; Passionate in Worship; Combative in Prayer...
     
  9. Aaron

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    The thing about a musical piece is that it's intended to be experienced as a unified whole. An argument based on music theory will be fruitless, and unless you and your audience have a high degree of musical expertise, pocked with errors through and through.

    But one doesn't need to be a musicologist to evaluate a musical piece, just as a vast majority of rock'n'roll fans don't really know the first thing about music.

    What rock fans understand about rock music is its appeal. That's where I would begin teaching on the "positive and negative" sound of music. The works of Lenny Kaye and Michael Ventura do a good job of describing that appeal, and they're both from the viewpoint that the appeal is good.

    A while back there was a long article posted about the appeal of rock music and how good it was, to which I wrote a lengthy response. There are some quotes from Kaye and Ventura there. They're a little raw, so be prepared.

    http://aaron.thriftyplanet.net/IR1.htm
     
  10. SpiritualMadMan

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    Good Morning Aaron!

    I was wondering when you would join. [​IMG]

    You know how strongly I disagree with you that Rock Lovers don't know anything about Music except it's appeal... So, I won't go there...

    I *do* agree that you do not need to be a Musicologist to know what fits in your Congregation, though...

    Each Assembly has the right and responsibility to Administrate the Gifts of God according to their own convictions...

    Provided they do not violate clear (black and white) scriptural guidelines...

    Music is a Gift of God and must be Administrated to the Edification of the 'Whole' Congregation...

    I am not sure appeal is a bad thing... If the Appeal is towards Holiness, Praise and Worship...

    It is hard to get in an attitude of Worship if you 'feel' like you are in a straight-jacket.

    At the same time if you are not born-again or are rebellious then you may have a problem with the Church's Music and feel like you are in a straight-jacket when you really aren't...

    I'll have to try to find time to read your article today... You usually make some good points...

    Even if I don't always agree with them... )

    Mike Sr.
     
  11. Aaron

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    We agree there. We just don't agree where to draw the line between the spirit and the flesh. [​IMG]
     
  12. SpiritualMadMan

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    True Enough... [​IMG]

    Though you may be a bit surprised at some of the changes I've been through the past two years...

    Mike Sr.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Hi, mnw. I, too, am pretty conservative in my music. However, you are asking for straight Bible teaching. I did my own comprehensive study on music in the Bible many years ago, and without consulting those notes, here are some fascinating facts I discovered.

    (1) No style of music is ever discussed in the Bible. For example, we do not know the difference between the music of the temple orchestra and that of the one assembled to worship the great image in Daniel. The list of instruments for each is very similar. The only difference we know is the purpose of the music, whatever we can make of that.

    (2) Caveat to my first point is that there are no drums ever mentioned in the Bible--none, ever. And I am pretty sure that the Egyptians had drums when the sons of Israel left there. The only word similar is the word for "tortured" in Heb. 11:35, the Greek word tumpanizw, the noun form of which is the source of the word "tympani!" :D

    (3) The Greek word for "harp" in Revelation is kithara from which we get our word "guitar," so there will be guitars in Heaven! (Tongue only partly in my cheek on this one. ;) )

    Hope these tidbits help. [​IMG]
     
  14. Aaron

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    There is another stark contrast between the music of Israel and the music used in the worship of the golden image. Nebuchadnezzar allowed the use of "all kinds of musick," (Dan. 3:5), but that liberality was never given to Israel.
     
  15. mnw

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    I am filtering through the information given so far. [​IMG]

    Thanks for that John. Just acoustic guitars I assume? [​IMG]

    Concerning the beat in music; as I understand it all music has a beat. How would you discuss in a sermon how one beat can be acceptable but another unacceptable?
     
  16. Aaron

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    Again, a piece is intended to be experienced as a unified whole. A simple answer is, does it appeal to the flesh or to the spirit?

    The books I've recommended will explain that in more detail. There will be a big argument if I say more than that. Not that I would shy away from a debate, you understand, but I'm not sure if you want to see it debated in this thread.
     
  17. SpiritualMadMan

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    Aaron's right about the stark contrasts in Music...

    The 'dance' at the Golden Calf was more like the striptease prelude to an orgy... IMHO

    Miriam's Dance with the Tambourine (little drum?) was one of exaltation to God's Victory...

    Much as David's Dance...

    The music of the surrounding cultures, while I believe it was borrowed from, was to 'foreign gods'...

    And, music the Israeli's borrowed would have to be amenable to exaltation of Jehovah or, perhaps, ballads for telling epic stories...

    As for delineating between acceptable Drum beats and unacceptable...

    Some will invariably depend on your audience's backgrounds and musical tastes...

    As I alluded to earlier there are some easily recognizable beats that, at least for me, can not be separated from thier previous purposes..

    Similarly, the music Black Sabbath used on it's first album was at immediately recognizable as something you'd expect to be used in satanic worship.

    (Even though at the time I think the band was only 'playing at it'.)

    I think if there is no readily identifiable opposition that rises up in a Believers Spirit then the next critique would be application...

    In this we have no records...

    But, how really different was the music to the golden calf as opposed to music to Jehovah...

    We simply don't know...

    What I do believe, is that because of their backgrounds they would not use a 'golden calf' tune in the worship of Jehovah...

    And, most of their worship would tend to be chants or spoken ballads with minimal musical accompiament.

    I don't think full fledged musical accompiament became 'standard' until the time of David...

    And, again, even with all the instruments I believe most of David's Psalms were more of a spoken ballad than a piece of music such as we would accept today...

    I revert back to what I said earlier...

    We have great individual and corporate freedom in Music...

    But, the use of this freedom has to be weighed against whether the Church is getting edified or not...

    Salvation First...

    God's Word second...

    Personal Discipleship...

    Then I think the Music will pretty much take care of itself...

    But, the Spiritual Component of Music can not be properly discerned without a Heart Knowledge of Jesus and a Biblcal Background to base your choices on.

    I wish there were black and white scriptures...

    Mike Sr.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    That all depends on whether I can find a plug in Heaven for my cherry red hollow body... :D
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Whether it was standard or not, who knows, but it certainly did exist, as per Gen. 31:27 and 1 Sam. 10:5.
     
  20. Aaron

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    Wow, SMM. Your view has changed. :eek:

    Good post! [​IMG]
     

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