Question for Calvinists

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Jon-Marc, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Jon-Marc

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    I go to a church (only Baptist church available) where the pastor leads the singing, and all of the music (including songs that are normally fast and lively) is sung at a very slow tempo.

    My question is: Is that typical of Calvinist churches? I've never been to a church before that was Calvinist, and much of the music was sung with enthusiasm instead of sounding like funeral music.
     
  2. billwald

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    No, not typical in the Dutch tradition.
     
  3. mont974x4

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    Nope. It's just the style of that pastor. Or, maybe its the level of his skill in music that is the issue.
     
  4. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Short answer - no.
     
  5. FriendofSpurgeon

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  6. Tom Butler

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    If those two songs don't ring your bell, your clapper's broken.
     
  7. Jon-Marc

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    I thank you all for the answer. I led singing in Baptist churches for about 40 years, but I can't seem to find a Baptist church down south where the pastor doesn't lead the singing. I've offered to lead the singing, but he continues to do it. Of course, with my allergies being so bad in this area, singing is very difficult for me. Of course, age could have something to do with that too.

    I mentioned (twice) about how slow the songs are, and maybe I offended him. However, singing songs like "To God Be the Glory" and "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" as slow as "Sweet Hour of Prayer" is very tedious to me. I like slow songs that are sung with a lot of feeling, but I also enjoy the fast lively ones.

    It's the only Baptist church within 50 miles of me since I live in the middle of nowheresville--so going somewhere else is out of the question since I no longer drive and have to ride with someone else or call the pastor for a ride.

    Doctrinally I have no problem with his preaching, but his song leading leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  8. Jerome

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    Perhaps inform your pastor of the prominent Reformed Baptist elder [ARBCA faction] presently advocating the following:

    http://drbobgonzales.com/2011/raisi...-turn-up-the-volume-of-congregational-praise/

    He also advocates dancing in worship:

    http://blog.rbseminary.org/2011/09/...-turn-up-the-volume-of-congregational-praise/

     
    #8 Jerome, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  9. pilgrim_99

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    A lot of pastors have had bad experiences with music ministers/song leaders. That could be an issue here. Sometimes this rises to the level of a church split when there is disagreement about what to sing, worship style, etc. Some may see leading worship as an extension of their pastoral authority. Some don't believe in a music minister that is not also a pastor/teacher, etc. (I would tend to agree with the latter, especially if the title minister or pastor is used.)

    I don't think that Dr. Bob Gonzales is ARBCA or if he is, he would not represent the majority on a good number of issues. He seems to be a nice fellow and I like much of what he writes. But he's out of step with most strict Reformed Baptists on issues like these. (And ARBCA generally is quite strict, which has led to the formation of FIRE and maybe other groups or has led to churches not affiliating with them and being indy or just SBC.) On worship Dr. Gonzales' views seem to reflect the influence of John Frame, who has been excoriated by the strict Presbyterians because they see it as a departure from their historic practice. A while back I went to an ARBCA church and the worship was very traditional. Piano and traditional hymns with the worship led by the associate pastor.

    With regard to leading worship, while I don't want to denigrate the contributions of song leaders, at times I wonder if there's the need for one at all, especially for one whose singing tends to drown out the voices of the congregation. The best times of worship in my experience have been ones in which whoever is presiding announces the hymn and everyone sings joyfully in unison without any song leader in the traditional sense. I think that many congregations use song leaders because the people either don't sing or the singing is inaudible. But in many cases all the song leader does is help keep things from being awkward and people don't sing anymore than they would otherwise. A congregation that doesn't sing is a lot bigger problem than who is leading the service. (I don't like an organ, choir or loud praise band drowning out the singing either.)

    I will admit that a song leader can be very helpful in leading the congregation in singing new songs.
     
    #9 pilgrim_99, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  10. Jerome

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  11. annsni

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    My pastor is a Calvinist and he doesn't EVER think of leading worship. We have a guy who does that - and I'm not sure where he stands with regards to that doctrine. :)

    At our own campus, it's my daughter who often leads the worship and she's still studying the Bible to know her stance. LOL
     
  12. billwald

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  13. Jon-Marc

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    I've never considered myself to be a minister, although I did think of singing specials and leading the singing as my "ministry" for the Lord. I did it for about 40 years, but now my allergies are getting so bad that singing at all is very difficult.

    I've managed to do one solo there, "How Great Thou Art" and actually got all the way through the song. However, the last time I tried to do a solo, I only made it through one stanza and the chorus and had to stop. I haven't tried doing a solo since last December. Whenever possible I do the bass in the songs.
     
  14. pilgrim_99

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    I thought he was originally ARBCA but I didn't know if that was his current affiliation given the kinds of things he's posted on worship in recent years. It really has more in common with some men and churches that are affiliated with the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (FIRE) which is Calvinistic but which doesn't take strong stands on things like worship and covenant theology. I am sure that there a good many RB men who are none too pleased by the kinds of material to which you linked.

    I don't know too many people, even among YRR types, who would be that into dancing during worship, depending on how it's definined. The only time outside of a liberal or full blown charismatic church in which I've seen what would universally be regarded as dancing was at a mildly charismatic Presbyterian church in which one woman was in the habit of getting out into the aisles and dancing with what I suppose could best be termed ballerina sort of moves.

    This distinction may be lost on those who aren't very familiar with the various Presbyterian denominations. But ARBCA seems to me to be rather similar to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in that there is a strong emphasis on the Regulative Principle of Worship, traditional hymns and maybe even psalms, no praise choruses and very little "contemporary" or newer songs. With some of them, it might be pushing it to try to introduce some Getty songs. You'll often see the Baptist edition of the Trinity Hymnal in those churches. As noted previously, Frame's views would represent a minority even in the more broadly evangelical PCA.

    But I have seen complaints on certain blogs about some Reformed Baptist churches switching to contemporary worship. Many and perhaps most (?) strictly confessional (1689) Reformed Baptist churches are unaffiliated. I'd be interested to know if there's been a big influx of this kind of thing into ARBCA churches or other strictly confessional churches.

    Back in the 1990's, "contemporary" worship was basically associated with charismaticism and broad evangelical megachurchism, or evanjellyfish ministries. But it seems to have come into more Calvinistic churches (especially in the SBC) via things like the Passion conferences and Calvinistic worship leaders and songwriters. But in most cases, I think these are church plants or churches that were previously not Calvinistic. And often, being as influenced by Piper and those of similar mindset, the leadership in those churches is not cessationist. In the early 2000's in my admittedly limited experience I didn't know of any Sovereign Grace Baptist churches that had any hint of contemporary worship, particularly rock bands and the like. And 1689ers tend to be even more self consciously Reformed than independent sovereign grace Baptists, who are largely "old time" Baptists that often sing the likes of Fanny Crosby along with Newton, Watts and Wesley.

    Although as an organization they have never been as strictly confessional as ARBCA (or at least it seems to me, although they published Barcellos' book against NCT) and they are not to be confused with ARBCA, it was an eye opener to me to tune into the Founders national conference a few years ago and see a man playing a guitar leading worship in a "contemporary" style. Most if it was newer songs and praise choruses that evidently most of the people (largely pastors I suppose) didn't know since you heard little singing. You heard the singing much more when a familiar hymn was played. That was the year that Ed Stetzer was the speaker, something else that also would have been unthinkable, at least to me, a few years earlier. But I have to admit that I've only ever seen Founders from the outside and haven't been to any of the events. And I may be projecting my independent Sovereign Grace background (and Presbyterian background) and expectations onto them, along with information gleaned via my longtime participation in the PuritanBoard which has a good number of ARBCA members and those of like mind.

    But with regard to Founders, I have heard a few men, mainly older pastors, privately express misgivings about their direction, particularly with regard to the perceived silence on things like Driscoll, who is arguably leading young men astray in some respects and has said and done things that all decent and serious Christians ought to denounce. (Apparently the idea was akin to Reagan's 11th Commandment--Thou shalt not criticize any fellow Calvinist in the SBC or any one whose ministry has significant connection to it or influence upon it.) But of course these are just old "Old South" men who just need to get out of the way and let the younger guys take over. And some of these brothers are "SBINOS" to varying degrees, having little interest in denominational politics now that the Battle for the Bible is perceived to have been won for the moment.

    I have no idea whether or not there is a similar tension within ARBCA ranks, as the only churches in that association with which I'm familiar have worship that looks rather "High Church" and "Presbyterian" to most Baptists, including many Calvinistic ones. The main hint of controversy with them that I've heard of in recent years has been over Family Integrated worship.
     
    #14 pilgrim_99, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2012
  15. Dan Todd

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    I prefer being called a biblicist

    I find a biblical basis for all five of the points in TULIP - and those of us who do are generally called CALVINISTS - but I prefer to be called a biblicist.

    I am the pastor of my church (Baptist - fundamental but not KJO) - I also play the piano and lead the singing. I've often sung solos - but as I age - I find that my voice does not have the same quality that it had when I was 20 (I'll soon be 63).

    I often get emotional when I sing (more so as I've grown older) - which presents a problem - as I cannot sing and cry at the same time. I have a hard time talking and crying at the same time.

    While I enjoy praise music - the endless repeating of the samy lyric - time after time after time after time - etc - often irritates me. I find solace in the time honored hymns - and I love a song with good theology.

    Fanny Crosby's hymns are especially dear to me, and I marvel at how ofter the blind lyricist mentions sight in her writing.

    God Bless you today,
    Dan Todd
     

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