music and immorality?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by timothy 1769, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
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    In the Christian world, is their a correlation between music styles and immorality/rebellion amongst young people?

    I live in a conservative Mennonite community. While there is some, immorality amongst the youth is very unusual. There is no dating, no touching, no kissing. We sing out of the hymnal, mostly.

    How are things with the CCM crowd?

    (Please, this is a serious question, I'm thinking about leaving my community but I'm worried about my children's future. Please be honest, PM if you want).
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    Our crowd is a CCM crowd, and among those who listen solely to CCM, I can't think of a one who is living an immoral lifestyle with ungodly relationships.

    But, I also do not see a correlation or even a causation from the two. There are several people I know from a previous church where CCM wasn't an option who had children out of wedlock or was forced to get married because of such a thing. If you raise your children and encourage them to seek purity and Truth, I do not see how they would go down that path whether they listen to mostly hymns or some of the CCM. (Some of CCM isn't very theologically stirring, but of those that are, I see absolutely nothing that would cause them to move in that direction.)

    I pray that God direct your path in this matter - it's not an easy decision, I am sure.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    I think it is no accident that bars and dance clubs have certain kinds of music and have had for many years. The music does have an affect and creates and atmosphere of immoral dancing, hitting on members of oppposite and trolling for immorality. (Immoral is describing a particular kidn of dancing, not dancing in general.) It is not the words that people are dancing to. They don't play Sousa or Beethoven for a reason.

    It used to be a univeral acknowledgement that music affects people. I don't think that truth has changed. In my experience, immorality does affect the CCM scene, but it does affect other churches as well.

    What is troubling to me is the wide acceptance of that kind of music in the church. We can do better and we should.
     
  4. av1611jim

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    Amen Pastor Larry!

    In His service;
    Jim
     
  5. Eric B

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    They don't play Sousa or Beethoven because those styles aren;t popular anymore. But back when they were, people favoring older, plainer styles said the same things. Many of these styles were used in the bars back then, and thus associated with some of the same things you associate these modern styles with.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    NO they weren't Eric. Don't stoop to stuff like that. Sousa and Beethoven are quite popular in various circles. But they were never played in the bars and dance clubs of today.

    I think one of the great problems with the CCM side of hte argument is the fact that they stoop to arguments such as this which have absolutely no support. There is no serious way to make that argument.

    For an opponent of CCM, I am actually quite a liberal. I think there is a right and wrong, but the line is generally not where most have drawn it and is generally not as clear as people would like to think it is. But the fact remains that distortion of the facts to pretend that at one time Beethoven and Sousa were played in dance clubs where immoral dancing and trying to pick up people for immorality is a bad method.
     
  7. Eric B

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    When I said "popular" i meant, basically according to "pop-culture". Of course it is still "popular" among smaler groups. Still, while I don't know about Beethoven and Sousa in particular; but still, styles that are "traditional" today were once used in taverns, (because even the "secular" styles back then sound like what we today use as hymns), and they were frowned upon by those favoring older styles. That was my point. So this dichotomy of "classical/traditional is (was always seen as) good, and contemporary is (is always used for)immoral" doesn't fly.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Beethoven and Sousa were never used in dance clubs and bars as we know them today, and there is a reason: They do not effect the same response. There is a great amount of ignorance about music history fostered by those trying to defend CCM.

    I am not of the opinion that "once bad always bad." I think music, like other language, changes meaning over time. I think music, like other language, can change meaning in context (but does not always). I think music, like other language, has appropriateness in certain venues and should not be used in other venues.

    But remember that "contemporary" in CCM is not a reference to time or chronology, but a reference to a genre of music. That is way too often confused.

    The fact remains that certain kinds of music effect certain responses and it is a virtual guarantee. What we need to be asking is, "Is this the kind of response we want?"
     
  9. ScottEmerson

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    Visit us on a Wednesday night, Larry. I would imagine seeing the worship of our students would affirm that the response is quite good.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    I have been to churches and seen the response to the music. I was at Willow Creek, for instance, and during a number fo the songs, I looked across the audience and saw a great number of people swaying/dancing in a very sensual way. Why, in worship to God, would you be swaying your hips as a belly dancer would, in a style very similar if not identical to what you see in dance clubs or MTV, or other dance shows? How is that about God? As a youth pastor, I played a series of musical selections without comment. When I played a selection by Chapman, the mood and body response of the kids immediately changed. It was so obvious that I started laughing. I had kids come up to me and tell me that for the first time, what I was saying made sense to them.

    But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I don't think you "see" worship. Worship is the response of the heart. It is very easy to manipulate the emotions and we must constantly guard against that. Music cannot be used to bypass the intellect in worship. We worship God because of what we know about him, not because of the emotional response that a musical selection brings forth from us. We are unfortunately accustomed to such a banal definition of worship that I think we too often miss the real thing. Emotions are no substitute for worship. I think true worship does involve the affections, but in response to the truth of God, not the skill of the band or the style of the music.

    I am not nearly so tightly strung on this as a used to be. But we do need to be able to call a spade a spade ...
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    We sing hymns all the time. Most of them are done with a little more "pep," but the theological truths are not compromised at all. We do not sing kitty-cat songs at all. I do believe that often times what we experience in worship on the inside comes forth on the outside, perhaps through a smile or even through tears. It's not strictly emotional, but how does one worship while being utterly devoid of any emotion? I don't see that in the Psalms or in the other places where those in the Bible express themselves through worship, such as Mary's hymn of praise.

    It is interesting that you did say that they began to understand what you were saying when you played a selection by SCC. I'm not sure what that means, but culturally, I can completely understand why they would say that. Our students understand the meaning of hymns and can express their worship more comfortably with an acoustic guitar than a loud pipe organ.

    And we don't sway, nor belly dance. I can't speak for Willow Creek because I have never seen it. But true worship shouldn't express itself in such a sensual manner - you and I can most certainly agree on that.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Scott, I am not suggesting we worship without emotion. I am merely saying that we should 1) not confuse emotion with worship and 2) be careful as to how we evoke the emotion. A type of music can evoke emotion that has nothing to do with the worship of God.

    When I say that they began to understand what I was saying with the SCC clip, what I mean is that they understood that music was not some amoral thing to be used anyway they like. When I played it, they had no idea who it was. In fact, after it was over, I asked them who it was and not a one of them named a Christian musician. They threw out the name of 4 or 5 secular musicians. They understood that the music I was playing fit better in a bar room than it did in a church.

    I agree to some degree about the acoustic guitar. We use a mix here. We don't use the organ much. Mostly it is piano and acoustic guitar. In fact, we used it extensively last night for communion. I just had mine out playing a few minutes ago, trying some things.

    My point is that we need to be very careful. I think there is a line where music crosses from good to bad. I do not know exactly where that line is, but we need to be very very careful of it.
     
  13. Eric B

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    Yes, certain kinds of music may effect certain responses, but too often this s overgeneralized, and without taking into consideration all of the factors possibly involved. If the people in Willow Creek were swaying sensually, then that is their spiritual weakness, but on the pother hand, you must be careful tat you are not interpreting any movement of the hips and torso as "sensual like a belly dancer" or "the same as in the clubs", when it is not necesarily so. (It is possile to be too sensitive, and thus wrongly preceive things that way).
    As for Beethoven and Sousa, once again, I can't say much about where these to particular performers were listened to. The argument is about the whole range of classical and traditiona being "good", while "rock" is bad. Other music was used in taverns that would be considered "traditional" and therefore "acceptable for Christians" when set to Christian words today.

    Also, there may be other sins associated with those classical styles; if senual dancing and bars and drunkennes is not one of them. Such as intellectual pride. (especially given the much touted "contemplative" nature of it). So any style can be associated with and used for sin.
     
  14. All about Grace

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    Based on Larry's logic, music played at church should be restricted to that which does not cause a person to sway their hips sensually.

    So bring back the organ!!!

    The only emotion evoked to the organ was many of the younger generations clasping their hands over their ears and then walking out of the church after their teen years never to return.

    Music should be relevant and engaging (which is determined by the listener). If it is not, the lyrics matter little. However if the music is relevant and engaging yet does not emphasize lyrics that are God-honoring, then the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.

    Life is about balance.
     
  15. dianetavegia

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    Sorry Grace, but Victory in Jesus played on an organ will get me moving anytime! Love Lifted Me is another one! Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!

    Maybe we should all be like David and be so caught up in worshiping the Lord that we dance down the street in our ephods!
     
  16. paulsfocus

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    Why is the "person swaying their hips sensually."? Is it because he/she is enjoying the music to much, and not focusing on the real point,which is to give glory and honor to The Lord?

    So bring back the organ!!! (I love the organ) [​IMG]


    That's because they're rebellious and let their flesh control them. They don't really want to give God the glory and preeminence they claim they're giving him. I know this, 1. Because I used to be that kind of teen. 2. I have friends who are like that.

    Music is not for the listener it is for Gods Glory,if a person is listening for the fealing it gives them, they are useing a substitute Holy Spirit.
     
  17. All about Grace

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    Notice I qualified my statement with "younger generation" ;)

    If you enjoy this type of music, go for it.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Well, of course. Do you really think that sensual dancing has a place in church? Surely not ...

    I would certainly not recommend this. In fact, I have taken some heat hear for not using the organ.

    But maybe that said more about them than it did the music.

    Why? I would suggest we need a bit more thought put into this than simply going down this road. If the listener gets to determine what is appropriate, relevant, and engaging, then many of God's truth will never be preached. The listener is not the consumer in worship. That is a major area of weakness of the modern church growth movement.

    Not really ... Life is about loving God and loving others. The Bible is noticeably sparse concerning commands about balance. It is not sparse about teaching that life is all about God and what he wants, not what I want.
     
  19. All about Grace

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    After all, you cannot give glory and honor to the Lord and sway your hips at the same time. :rolleyes:

    Wow. You are able to discern the hearts and motives of other humans. Now that is a spiritual gift I wish I had.

    I am not sure this even deserves a response, but here goes. No one is suggesting music is not for God's glory. The point is: music is either engaging or not engaging (CCM for you - hymns for others). Guess who determines that? The one listening to the music. Music/lyrics that bring honor and glory to God can still disengage the listener if presented in a way that is unappealling. For instance, there are a lot of music/lyrics that are God-focused and honoring that you will not listen to. Does that make it less God-honoring? No.

    No one is talking about feelings over Spirit. The simple point, which I do not expect you to get, is that different styles of music can bring glory and honor to God. Therefore one should select music based on content and preference.

    Life is all about grace (and balance).
     
  20. All about Grace

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    Well, of course. Do you really think that sensual dancing has a place in church? Surely not ...

    Do you think you are the determiner of what is sensual and what is not? Is "moving one's hips" the qualifier for sensual? If so, what is sensual for one may not be sensual for another. You don't really believe this.

    And maybe it says something about the church's failure to pass on the truth in a way that will engage the hearer. Truth is always true and relevant, but it is not always perceived as true and relevant. Therefore it is part of our calling to present it in a way that is perceived as true and appealling.

    Who else would determine it? Only a listener can perceive whether what is being communicated is relevant.

    Truth should be communicated in a way that is relevant. Know your audience. Will every individual perceive it as helpful and true every time? Of course not.

    Unless you are simply reading from the Bible with no explanation, interpretation, or application, you are doing what I am describing. You are seeking to communicate the truth in a way the listener will be able to understand and apply it. Does that make the listener the consumer?

    You know what I mean. I wasn't looking for the Jesus answer. We all have a tendency to swing the pendulum too far in one direction or the other.
     

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