If God is silent what should the preacher do?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Sep 7, 2010.

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Clear Bible or not?

  1. If I have to make a complex case because the Scripture is silent- I should be silent.

    11 vote(s)
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  2. I can preach against things if I can make a case outside of the Bible for them being wrong

    0 vote(s)
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  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    How clear must our principle be spelled out in Scripture to justify us preaching it?

    For example, the Church of Christ preach against any music in the worship service. They claim they have biblical basis for this. I say they do not because their principle is far too many steps removed from clear teaching in Scripture on the matter.

    The Amish are against modern technology. I don't think their arguments for this belief have any less biblical basis than the arguments of those who condemn Contemporary Christian Music and pants on women and KJVO.

    God was silent on NT worship music. Therefore, Church of Christ should be.
    God was silent on the idea of worldliness being linked to technology. Therefore the Amish should be.

    And God is silent on the preservation of any particular Bible version above all others, silent on types of music being intrinsically good or evil, silent on most of the dress standards preached from IFB and UPC pulpits- so shouldn't they be silent where God is silent???

    Wouldn't being silent where God is silent keep down on a tremendous amount of confusion within and without the body of Christ concerning the Kingdom of God?

    Is it dangerous to speak for God, even thinking you have Bible for it, where God has not spoken?

    Shouldn't we err on the side of silence where God has not clearly spoken?
     
  2. Darrenss1

    Darrenss1
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    One problem I see is many doctrines are built on "principles" where the bible may not say word for word but the principles are incorporated into their "convictions". Different preachers apply scripture in a way that is more or less "building a case". In my former Baptist church they forbid drums as drums are claimed to be rooted in the occult. The bible says nothing of this doctrine but the bible is used to piece together a case that seems to address it.

    Sometimes it gets beyond the joke, where will it end?

    Darren
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
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    I remember, one preacher once said it was wrong to take a nap on Sun afternoon
     
  4. Ruiz

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    Here is the problem with a part of this philosophy.

    In worship, there are those who hold to the normative principle of worship and those who hold to the regulative principles. The normative says, "Unless God has strictly forbidden it in worship then it is allowed." The regulative position states, "Unless God has allowed it in worship it is forbidden."

    Thus, both sides acknowledge there are areas that God has not spoken. The regulative will see dramas in a church as a violation because God has not commanded it and you cannot find this anywhere in Scripture. The Normative attacks the regulative because they say the Bible is silent on the issue and thus is allowed.

    Both agree that the Bible is silent, they disagree on whether it should be allowed and not allowed based upon this silence.

    Even in areas of silence a Preacher may have to make some distinctions based upon other underlying principles.
     
  5. asterisktom

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    I believe the preacher - and all Christians, in fact - do well to steer between both those two principles (normative and regulative). The truth seems to be between those two (what I would call) extremes. Personally, I see both of them as Charybdis and Scylla. Being drawn to either can be damaging.

    This is where spiritual wisdom and a good handle on Scripture should come in, giving us guidance on case by case bases.
     
  6. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Is it more dangerous to not speak if you believe you have Bible for it?

    I understand what you are saying and to a certain extent I agree. But if I believe the Bible teaches about a certain issue, I would be wrong to NOT say something.
     
  7. Ruiz

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    How can you steer between those two principles? Either God allows what is not forbidden in the worship or God only allows what was commanded. I do not see how there can be a third option????

    There are debates within each group on the working out of these principles. However, either you allow more than what was commanded or you do not allow more than what was commanded.
     
  8. RAdam

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    The problem lies in what you call silence. You say the bible is silent on music in church. I say it isn't.

    A great passage for understanding how we should proceed in my opinion is 2 Kings 5. Naaman is a leper and goes to see Elisha in order to be healed. Naaman expected a big show and a big production, but the prophet didn't even come out to see him. Instead he sent his messenger out to Naaman who told him to go and wash in Jordan 7 times. Naaman was angered because Elisha didn't come out to see him and the procedure to be healed just wasn't flashy enough. He wondered why he couldn't go to rivers back in Syria which he viewed as superior to Jordan. In the end he followed Elisha's instructions and were healed.

    Now, there the bible didn't forbid every other river in the world specifically. It didn't tell Naaman not to go here, or there. It simply told him where to go. In doing this, it implicitly ruled out every other river in the world. It also told him how many times to wash. He couldn't do more or less. The instructions he received were simple but specific. Really, this is very analogous to NT worship, very simple but specific. Silence in the scriptures does afford some liberty. The bible never tells us anything about the building, other than what we can infer from scripture in general that God desires a nice but simple unadorned building so as to put our attention on Him. We aren't told whether to use pews or chairs. We aren't told anything about hymnbooks or the like. There is liberty here. Other issues, though, the bible is not silent on. Who is to preach, for instance, is particularly spelled out. We don't have liberty there, God has spoken specifically. What we are to preach, how we are to preach (generally, not talking about style), how we are to sing, how we should conduct ourselves one to another, etc. - the bible isn't silent on these things. Pass the plate or pass by the plate? Silence = liberty.

    Christians have made a mess of forcing tradition on others. We say we believe in church autonomy. The truth is we don't back that up with action. Things based on the bible and bible principle aren't tradition, but other things are, and we need to be careful not to make them a test of fellowship.
     
  9. Luke2427

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    I understand your point about Naaman. However, the Bible no where says- "This is the kind of music you should listen to" or "Avoid certain types of music" It no where says, "Avoid music that tends to stir emotions of sadness or even anger." For that matter the Bible does not say to avoid any particular emotion- anger and sadness are highly appropriate emotions to embrace at certain times. Peace and jubilation are very inappropriate at times.

    This is why I believe God never condemned any genre of music. Therefore we have liberty where god has been silent.
     
  10. Luke2427

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    I think these are good thoughts. I am having a hard time fully comprehending them though. Perhaps and anecdote might help me. Give an example of when this might be needful.
     
  11. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    The "believing" there brother Tom I think is the problem. Almost all cults "believe" the Bible is teaching their distinctives. The Amish "believe" the Bible teaches that technology and worldliness are two sides of the same coin.

    Some brethren on here "believe" the Bible teaches that one version of Scripture will be preserved perfectly.

    The problem is this "believing". And when some of these doctrines are preached they start heretical movements, they stir confusion in the body of Christ.

    It seems to me that the better thing to do is NOT preach something unless it is clear either in precept or principle in the Bible.

    No one believes that the Bible has to say thou shalt and thou shalt not to justify preaching against something. But principles can be clear without being explicitly spelled out. Those clear principles can and should be preached.
     
  12. Winman

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    I do not believe the scriptures are silent on music. We are told in Galatians 5 that "revellings" is sin. This deals with music.

    Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


    Strong's concordance defines revellings as:

    I guess in modern language we would call this partying. Church is not supposed to be a big party, when we sing or play music it should be with respect and decency. It is not wrong to sing with joy and we should do that. But if taken to excess I believe it is wrong. When folks start jumping up and down, running through the aisles, or rolling on the floor it has gotten out of hand and is no longer decent. Notice the scriptures also say "and such like". Some modern church services are very like a Rock concert only missing the smoke.

    So, the scriptures are not silent on this.
     
    #12 Winman, Sep 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2010
  13. Luke2427

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    That's the very problem I am addressing Winman. Revelings are what Strong's says they are. I don't argue with the definition here at all.

    The problem is that you think that that verse can be used to condemn certain types of music. Your position is not there.

    Strong's said that running down the streets at night are part of revelry- can I therefore condemn all marathons that go into the evening hours?

    Strong's said revelry has to do with torches- can I condemn street lamps?

    The fact that music is played during revelry does not provide ANY clear principle upon which you can condemn any genre of music.

    It is this willingness to leap from certain texts into all kinds of conclusions which become doctrines that I think is DANGEROUS BEYOND MEASURE.

    Well meaning people like yourself, trying to keep the church holy, introduce philosophies of Bible interpretation that grow into deadly heresies.

    Therefore, if you don;t have clear Bible for what you believe- you MUST keep silent.
     
  14. RAdam

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    I wasn't talking about what kind of music Christians listen to outside of church, I was talking about how we should sing in church.
     
  15. Luke2427

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    You know, I actually have a very strong preference for music in worship. I love Isaac Watts and Toplady. My favorite song of all time is Luther's Mighty Fortress. This kind of singing with a powerful orchestra backing is my very strong preference.

    I must, for sake of honesty, add that I also like for worship a great deal of Brooklyn Tabernacle. I do enjoy much of Chris Tomlin's music and I love the song- "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" and "In Christ Alone" (the one by Steve Greene which says- In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light my strength my song...), etc...

    But what I do not have is a single passage of Scripture whereby I can condemn any ministry for employing Christian Rock in their worship.

    Without this, I can only argue for a certain air of majesty and nobility in the worship of the Almighty- I can make the case from preference, not authoritatively from Scripture, that God is The King and should be worshiped as such.

    I cannot, however, preach that as though the Bible demands that is the only type of worship that anyone can offer to Him in church.
     
  16. Winman

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    Give me a break. Revelry doesn't mean we have to be out at night, drunken, singing to Bacchus. Everybody knows what revelry means. But just for you, here is the definition from the dictionary.

    Revelry

    –noun, plural -ries.
    reveling; boisterous festivity: Their revelry could be heard across the river.
    Origin:
    1400–50; late ME; see revel, -ry
    Synonyms
    merrymaking, celebration, carousal, spree.

    If people are playing music in church at 120 decibels, bobbing their heads up and down like Angus Young, that is revelry. It is not respectful, it is not decent.

    You simply refuse to acknowledge that some people take music to excess in church today.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    No breaks here. Strong's does not attribute morality to music in the definition you provided. Neither does the Bible. Therefore neither should you.

    For the rest, please read the above post #15.
     
  18. Winman

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    The scriptures say revelry is a work of the flesh, and therefore sinful.
     
  19. Luke2427

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    Revelry IS sinful. That doesn't have a thing to do with some kinds of music being sinful. Not a thing.
     
  20. RAdam

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    The bible tells us to use two instruments to worship God in song - the heart and the voice. Now, you can get mad at me all you want, but that is what the bible says. It's not about preference. You say I can't make a case against Christian rock (has there ever been a greater oxymoron?) in a church service. I say the bible makes a case against any sort of music or song not made by the heart and voice.
     

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