MMF - Contemporary Music at Church

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by r5dots, May 21, 2001.

  1. r5dots

    r5dots
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    How do you all feel about contemporary music at church services? It seems that the local Baptist churches I have visited all have contemporary music and they flash the words up on the big screen in front. Guitars and drums seem to be replacing traditional piano and organ music. I almost feel like it's not very "sacred" anymore. What do you think?


    • [ September 08, 2002, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  2. Ars

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    First, I have to ask, what kind of Baptist Church have you gone to? For, although many churches have the name "Baptist" on the front, are they a Baptist by name or by deed?

    Besides, there are many types of Baptist Churches, sad to say. You have the Southern Baptists, the Charismatic Baptists, Independent Fundamental Baptists etc. So, keep in mind, when asking this question, you probably should clarify.

    I belong to an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and, I guarantee you, you will rarely hear "contemporary" music in my church. The only times you will even hear a drum beat is when a guest singer has a tape that happens to have drums. And then, these are typically authorized by the Pastor.

    So, you see, it all depends on the type of Baptist Church you went to.

    Dave
     
  3. atestring

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    In the New Testament "style " of worship (wheither traditional, or contemporary or any other syle) is not addressed.
    Style of worship is addressed in the old Testament. The New Testament makes it clear that God is a Spirit and those who worship Him MUST worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

    If you want to look at style Go to the Old Testament. Try Psalm 150 .
    I will list the Musical instruments in this passage:
    Trumpets, Lutes (probably like a guitar), Harps, Timbrel(tamberine), string instruments
    ( maybe a bluegrass band?), flutes, cymbals and high sounding cymbals(usually found with a set of drums), and in verse 4 we even find dancing.
    This may or may not be Baptist but it sure is Bible.
     
  4. yankeefan

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    I belong to an independant Baptist church and we use a combination of Contemporary Christian Music and Traditional Hymns in our worship services. I personally favor the new contemporary music. [​IMG]
     
  5. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I like the old and the new music. The heart and attitude of the worshiper is what makes the song sacred and holy, not a piano and organ.

    Joseph
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    I like both old and new too.

    If you can't have any kind of Christian music at church, why go??
     
  7. Rockfort

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    &lt; Guitars and drums seem to be replacing traditional piano and organ music. I almost feel like it's not very "sacred" anymore. What do you think? &gt;

    How do you figure piano and organ music is "sacred," and guitars and drums are not? It seems this is another example of the opinion that what is older and more familiar just has to be what's right. People always find ways to defend them... 'dressing up' for church, the KJV, the 10 commandments with less-than-10 required, the 'old hymns.'

    It is perhaps worth noting that of the 4 instruments you referred to-- piano, organ, guitar, and drum-- only the drum is mentioned in scripture. The guitar would be closer to the stringed instruments Bible writers would have known than the piano. The organ, of course, they knew nothing of (not qualifying *any* pipe instrument without a keyboard as an 'organ').
     
  8. Blade

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rockfort:
    It seems this is another example of the opinion that what is older and more familiar just has to be what's right.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    We have pinpointed the crux of the matter!

    I have seen people against CCM attack it because of the instruments it employs. This is the weakest of their arguments. They will often go to the OT list of instruments (a list which, BTW, was for Jewish people in the Temple, not the NT church) and show how drums or electric guitars, etc. are not "scriptural." They neglect to mention that the piano and organ, two instruments upon which they depend, are not among the list either, nor do they really resemble any instrument that is described there.

    I agree that not all CCM honors Christ in its appearance, IMO. However, blanket condemnation of CCM because it is "different" than the norm simply is not fair. God didn't end his revelation of music to us with the last page of our Baptist Hymnal...

    Sincerely,

    [ May 22, 2001: Message edited by: Blade ]
     
  9. Ars

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Originally posted by SaggyWoman
    If you can't have any kind of Christian music at church, why go?? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, seems I'm going to be the bad guy here. But, I simply have to disagree. One does not go to Church to hear the music. One goes to learn about Christ. Once we begin to focus our attention on the music services rather than what is being preached, we take our eyes off of God.

    I'm not saying that we should not sing praises to our Lord. Quite the contrary, I'm only saying that if we base our belief that the Church MUST have music (of anykind), then we are missing the point of Church altogether.

    First, we have to look at who these "Contemporary Christian" Musicians are? If the music, not just the words, does not bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus, then it is wrong. Just because it has the word "Christian" on the label doesn't make it Christian.

    Have you seen some of these "Contemporary Christian" musicians. They are not what I would call Christian. If a non-Christian were to look at them, would they know they were Christians? Does not the Bible say:

    And be not conformed to this world...
    Romans 12;2


    We shouldn't mix the church with the world.

    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
    2 Corinthians 6; 17


    Am I saying that all "Contemporary Christian" are bad, I'm just saying they don't belong in Church. I've seen too many of our Christian Youth more impressed by their favorite artist rather than the Lord! This smacks of idolatry! Do you want your children to go to church to hear the music or see their favorite artist, or do you want them to go to church to hear the Gospel.

    Whether the music has drums, guitars or a banjo, if the music and lyrics don't bring glory to God, then it does not belong in church.

    Let me reiterate, Church is not about music, it is about God. And, if you go to your church because its got the best music, you are missing something.

    Dave
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    This topic was moved from General Discussion into the appropriate forum. I appreciate the good discussion and hope you will all join in.
     
  11. Aaron

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    The 1st century Christians certainly did not go for the music. Musical instruments were not employed in Christian worship until the Roman Catholic church began to bring it in as well as other shadows of the law like a priesthood and the burning of incense. (The Eastern Church to this day still does not incorporate musical instruments.)

    No matter your opinion, that fact alone suggests that musical expression in Christian worship must not be "free," but closely scrutinized. In fact you will only find musical instruments mentioned in the NT (outside historical narratives and apocalyptic visions) as examples illustrating a point in in St. Paul's exposition on the proper place of glossa in NT worship.

    It is my opinion that full instrumental worship extends well beyond the bounds of Scripture.
     
  12. Eric B

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The 1st century Christians certainly did not go for the music. Musical instruments were not employed in Christian worship until the Roman Catholic church began to bring it in as well as other shadows of the law like a priesthood and the burning of incense. (The Eastern Church to this day still does not incorporate musical instruments.)
    No matter your opinion, that fact alone suggests that musical expression in Christian worship must not be "free," but closely scrutinized. In fact you will only find musical instruments mentioned in the NT (outside historical narratives and apocalyptic visions) as examples illustrating a point in in St. Paul's exposition on the proper place of glossa in NT worship.

    It is my opinion that full instrumental worship extends well beyond the bounds of Scripture.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is the very argument of the Church of Christ. It assumes that just because something isn't mentioned in scripture, it is "unscriptural". But the fact that it wasn't mentioned shows that it wasn't an issue (like it is today), so we can safely assume that the early Christians continued the Jewish practice of festive music. After the first century, the church was infiltrated by platonic/Gnostic philosophy as various scriptures foretold (epistles of John, etc). So by the late 3rd century, we see it was becoming an issue, and at this point did the church begin to adopt plainchant, then later the Roman church made the music a professionally produced production.

    http://members.aol.com/etb700/ccm.html
     
  13. Aaron

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    Though the Church of Christ uses that incontrovertible fact (as does Charles Spurgeon to emphasize the carnal nature of instrumental worship), my argument is not the very argument of the Church of Christ.

    Read what I said again.

    My argument is more akin to John Calvin's who said: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>There is a distinction, however, to be observed here, that we may not indiscriminately consider as applicable to ourselves, every thing which was formerly enjoined upon the Jews. I have no doubt that playing upon cymbals, touching the harp and the viol, and all that kind of music, which is so frequently mentioned in the Psalms, was a part of the education; that is to say, the puerile instruction of the law:I speak of the stated service of the temple. For even now, if believers choose to cheer themselves with musical instruments, they should, I think, make it their object not to dissever their cheerfulness from the praises of God. But when they frequent their sacred assemblies, musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to him. Paul allows us to bless God in the public assembly of the saints only in a known tongue, (1 Corinthians 14:16.) The voice of man, although not understood by the generality, assuredly excels all inanimate instruments of music; and yet we see what St Paul determines concerning speaking in an unknown tongue.3 What shall we then say of chanting, which fills the ears with nothing but an empty sound? Does any one object, that music is very useful for awakening the minds of men and moving their hearts? I own it; but we should always take care that no corruption creep in, which might both defile the pure worship of God and involve men in superstition. Moreover, since the Holy Spirit expressly warns us of this danger by the mouth of Paul, to proceed beyond what we are there warranted by him is not only, I must say, unadvised zeal, but wicked and perverse obstinacy.
    --Commentary on Ps 33.2<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Yet, as I stated in another reply, the Bible is not silent about the character of music employed in Christian worship, we are simply ignorant of the fundamental nature of music itself. Music is communication; music is thought; music is character, all of which the Bible has much to say.

    The Scriptures say plainly that God hates a proud look, Pro 6.17, but you see no description in the Scriptures of a proud look. There is nothing about the position of one's eyebrows, his eyelids, how he holds his mouth, tilts his head, or anything else that says here is what a "proud look" looks like; verily, no one thinks of the individual elements at all (though much research has been done on the individual elements of non-verbal communication) when he interprets another's countenance. He just recognizes the look.

    It's the same with music. There is a lot of research into the nature and effects of individual elements, but no one needs a music theory lesson to correctly identify the character of a work. So when the Scriptures state plainly that "Evil communications corrupt good manners," it is assuming we have our "senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

    [ May 29, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  14. Barnabas H.

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    Enjoyed reading your posts Bro. Aaron! You've got a good grip concerning the place of music ministry in IFB churches. [​IMG]

    "r5dots," did you know that you just opened a can of worms by asking the question you did? Incidentally, this has been discussed in the former BBc in length, and the posters were evenly divided as they are now. I for one do not like, and actually feel nauseated by the sound of CCM! :eek:

    Now I urge you to go to the foxhole because I hear the roar of a thunder, and soon the rocks will be flying all over - "r5dots," duck! :D
     
  15. Eric B

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    I'm sorry, but this is still alot of conjecture regarding what scripture means regarding music. Here's a principle we should go by: Anything this important to God would be clearly delineated in the New Testament. Since God allowed both rhythm and instruments in the Old Testament, if he suddely changed His mind, or that was simply part of the Law as Clavin claimed, then we would have Jesus Himself or the apostles saying that this is no longer acceptable, just as they did with the "other" works of the Law. We are clearly taught about Christ's birth, death, resurrection and deity, and the nature of slvation and the new birth. We do not have to rely on indirect "principle", or what later church leaders said to extract the teaching.
    So if it was not an issue in the New Testament, and then the minute after the canon is closed men begin arising and making an issue out of it, then who do we follow?
    Post-apostolic Christianity is noted in history to have been in a state of change leading up to the Roman system, and it simply does not carry the weight of the Canon. There may have been alot of good teaching, and the defense of the faith from heresy, but Clement, the reformers and all the others were still fallible.
    By what authority does Calvin claim that instruments are of "the Law"? Nothing in either Testament even hints of that. This is based on centuries of tradition in a church that was influenced by platonic rejection of all pleasure as bad. Just look at how life in the church of that period was (both Catholic and early Protestant). And we wonder why the world burst out in rebellion!
    As for the "proud look" argument, I think bodily language is much more clear cut than musical language. The Hebrew words have a range of meanings, including "think best" and "conceit", and this doesn't even have anything to do with a "look", but the reader gets the idea.
    Once again, the isue (at least with me) is not that the Bible lays down noprinciples about music, or that "anything goes", but the insistence by various leaders that almost nothing goes (except plain tradional and classical) is nevertheless totally unbiblical.
     
  16. Ransom

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by r5dots:
    How do you all feel about contemporary music at church services<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    At some point it was all contemporary, so contemporary music at church services is inescapable (unless you sing nothing at all).

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Guitars and drums seem to be replacing traditional piano and organ music. I almost feel like it's not very "sacred" anymore. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oddly enough, that is what they originally said at the introduction of organs to churches a couple centuries ago. There is nothing new under the sun.

    As for words being projected on-screen via overhead or PowerPoint, that is a thing inconsequential.
     
  17. Barnabas H.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Eric B:
    but the insistence by various leaders that almost nothing goes (except plain tradional and classical) is nevertheless totally unbiblical. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> :frown:

    Appreciate your opinion but, since I happen to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, may I say that all it is - an opinion. Therefore, let us agree that we disagree! :D
     
  18. TomVols

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    It's strange that people who rail against so called "contemporary" music prefer a type of music that at one time in history would've been denounced for being "contemporary." Anyone else catch that pecularity? :D :rolleyes: :confused:
     
  19. Q. Marlow

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    Yes, I actually have!!!
     
  20. jeronimo

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    It's strange that people who rail against so called "contemporary" music prefer a type of music that at one time in history would've been denounced for being "contemporary." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    The key words here are "one time in history." The main reason I am and many others are against CCM is that it is part of the world. I heard Supertones last night, and I could not understand a word I heard. Not to mention it was blasting so loud that many people thought of us as stupid teenagers. We Christians are supposed to be separated from the world, so we should not listen to CCM. People who do so are denying God's Word. They don't obey the Bible when saying "Be not conformed to this world..." When hymns were being considered bad music, it was part of the world. Today it is not, so it isn't bad not to listen to it. When I listen to it, people see that I am not just a normal teenager. They notice something different. For instance, a police officer pulled a teenager over for tail-gating, and no it wasn't me. He heard their music. It was a tape full of hymns. After writing the ticket, the officer asked if they were Christians. They said yes, and had a chance to witness. I bet if these teens were listening to CCM the cop would have thought, "Stupid teens never learn." So all I have to say is that we Christians should not give place to the Devil. I would have to say if you are taken a chance of witnessing away, then you are taking away from God. :D :rolleyes: [​IMG]
     

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