Soothing Ourselves to Death

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Sep 2, 2009.

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  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    When church music directors lead congregations in singing contemporary Christian music, I often listen stoically with teeth clenched. But one Sunday morning, I cracked. We'd been led through endless repetitions of a meaningless ditty called "Draw Me Close to You," which has zero theological content and could just as easily be sung in any nightclub. When I thought it was finally and mercifully over, the music leader beamed. "Let's sing that again, shall we?" he asked. "No!" I shouted, loudly enough to send heads all around me spinning while my wife, Patty, cringed.


    I admit I prefer traditional hymns, but even so, I'm convinced that much of the music being written for the church today reflects an unfortunate trend—slipping across the line from worship to entertainment. Evangelicals are in danger of amusing ourselves to death, to borrow the title of the classic Neil Postman book.

    More Here
     
  2. Amy.G

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    I think your signature line says it all.
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    Amen. I have lost almost all taste for modern "christian" music. It is weak doctrinally and so repetitive that it borders chanting.
     
  4. Johnv

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    If people don't like contemporary music, then don't listen to it. But to claim that contemporary music has less spiritual content than "traditional hymns" is incredibly subjective. I've been a music director for 20 years, and am constantly perusing music, both old and new. Both have their place, but they are not necessarily being used effectively.

    BTW, I'm familiar with the song "Draw me close to you". It's not one of my favorites by any stretch, but the claim that it has "zero theological content" is inaccurate. It contains the following theological aspects:
    • That God and God alone is to be our desire
    • That none other than God can fulfill us
    • That when we become lost, we should rely upon returning to God
    • That God is all we should ever want or need
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    That song is man-centered, or "me" focused. As is most of contemporty so-called Christian music. Me me me me

    Here are the lyrics:

    Pretty weak.

    Here is something more substantial...a list of just the titles of hymns dating in the 1500-1600s birthed out of the reformation:

    Now Blessed Be The Lord Our God (Scottish Psalter, 1615-50)
    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Martin Luther, 1529)
    Now Thank We All Our God (Martin Rinkart 1636, Johann Cruger, 1647)
    Lord, Keep Us Steadfast In Thy Word (Martin Luther, 1541)
    All Glory Be To Thee Most High (Geistliche Lieder, 1539)
    O Sacred Head Now Wounded (Paul Gerhardt 1656, Hans Leo Hassler 1601)
    O Dearest Jesus, What Law Has Thou Broken? (Johann Heermann 1630, Johann Cruger 1640)


    Just the titles tell you they are Christ-centered. And those hymns/songs that speak about man, in their words glorify God, and God alone.

    Modern "christianity" has lost the basic axiom that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
     
  6. Johnv

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    This is a common critique of those denouncing contemporary music. But the is by no means absent in "traditional" hymns: "I Need Thee Every Hour", "I Surrender All", "Abide with Me", "Jesus I Come", "Fill Me Now", me me me...
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    A result of a Utilitarian religion to be sure.
     
  8. annsni

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    There are bad, OK, good and better modern songs as there are hymns. There are many hymns that are really thin theologically too. You can't just use a blanket statement to cover one style of music. It needs to be addressed on it's individual merits.

    Here's another "me" song:

    Bring me to the place where You want me Lord. (repeat 3x)

    Show me Your ways, oh Lord, teach me Your paths
    Show me Your ways, oh Lord, teach me Your paths
    Guide me in Your truths and teach me
    For You are God, my Savior

    Bring me to the place where You want me Lord. (repeat 3x)

    My hope is in You, oh Lord, all the day long
    My hope is in You, oh Lord, all the day long
    You guide the humble in what is right
    Let me be teachable in Your ways.


    This song is called "Bring Me to the Place" and it was written by my husband in 2000. It is straight from Psalm 25.
     
  9. Johnv

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    Your huband's song contains repetition, so it must be occultic.... :wavey:

    Okay, seriosly, you're absolutely right. Such a blanket statement to cover one style of music is wholely inaccurate. Any song needs to be addressed on it's individual merits, without regard to when it was written. Some are weaker than others, and some are stronger than others. I can list a whole page of theologically weak songs sung by mainline Protestants from the 1600s through the 1800s. That doesn't mean those songe are bad at all.

    Heck, the Christmas song "We Three Kings" is theologocally and hermeneutically unsound.
     
  10. ReformedBaptist

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    I agree. That's why I went back to the 1500-1600s. The Reformation hymns and the psalms (psalter) is about all i care to hear.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    hmm

    Psalm 25
    1Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

    2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

    3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

    4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

    5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

    6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

    7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

    8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

    9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

    10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

    11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

    12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

    13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

    14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

    15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

    16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

    17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

    18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

    19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

    20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

    21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

    22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.


    Missing a few things ain't it?

    Why not just sing the Psalm?

    http://www.oldchristianmusic.com/mp...-singers--psalms-of-the-trinity-psalter2.html
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

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    Let's see your list.
     
  13. Johnv

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    Now you're changing your tune. First, you claim that modern music is weak, but when you are shown with traditional hymns that also qualify as weak, you're moving the timeline back. But let's go back and see what we find:

    Dearest Jesus, Draw Thou Near Me (1600's)
    Deliver Me From Evil (1600's)
    How Shall I Meet Thee? (1600's)
    How Shall I Sing That Majesty? (1500's)
    I Greet Thee (1500's)
    In Peace and Joy I Now Depart (1500's)
    Jesu, Grant Me This, I Pray (1600's)
    Jesus I Will Ponder Now (1600's)
    Lord, I Love Thee (1500's)
    Lord Jesus, Think of Me (1500's)
    To Thee I Make Confession (1600's)
    Thee Will I Love (1600's)

    No shortage of hymns and tunes with the words centering on "I" and "Me".
    That's exactly it. It's a personal preference. Personal preference is not an adquate litmus for another's spirituality.
     
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    I disagree. Let's take one as an example:

    Dearest Jesus, draw Thou near me,
    Let Thy Spirit dwell with mine;
    Open now my ear to hear Thee,
    Take my heart and seal it Thine;
    Keep me, lead me on my way,
    Thee to follow and obey,
    E'er to do Thy will and fear Thee,
    And rejoice to know and hear Thee.

    Underneath Thy wings abiding,
    In Thy Church, O Savior dear,
    Let me dwell, in Thee confiding,
    Hold me in Thy faith and fear;
    Take away from me each thought
    That with wickedness is fraught,
    Tempting me to disobey Thee,
    Root it out, O Lord, I pray Thee.

    Thou, earth's greatest joy and gladness,
    And salvation, full and free,
    Let Thy presence cheer my sadness,
    And prepare my soul for Thee!
    In the hour when I depart,
    Touch my spirit, lips and heart,
    With Thy Word assure, uphold me
    Till the heav'nly gates enfold me.


    I see more Thee than Mee. lol

    And what is it with people always thinking evil of their brethren. Changing my tune? You can believe that if it makes you feel better. When I am thinking hymns, old hymns, I am not thinking of "modern" baptist hymnals. lol

    Allow your brother to define his own terms.
     
  15. Johnv

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    Rubbish! Your contention is nothing more than praising an old song if it reads

    Dearest Jesus, draw Thou near me, Let Thy Spirit dwell with mine;
    Open now my ear to hear Thee, Take my heart and seal it Thine;

    But condemning a new song if it were to read

    Come to me, Jesus, open my ear to hear you,
    Take my heart, keep me and lead me on my way

    When you stop doing so, perhaps you can tell us why you engaged in it so much.
     
  16. HankD

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    Music:

    It's like food. One's man's delight in a certain food is another man's repulsion.

    Asparagus or liver: Yarg! I almost need to leave the table when it's served.

    Strangely though, I don't mind watching "Bizzare Foods" with Andrew Zimmern.

    It's a documentary series about various global cultures and what they eat, like BUGS!
    Andrew tries them all with a commentary and sometimes even with the critter hanging out of his mouth. Not for the weak of stomach.

    Ya, I love both olde (mostly olde) and contemporary hymns but not all of either.

    HankD
     
  17. Johnv

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    I disagree. Asparagus and Liver are spawns of evil.
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

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    Well, looks like emotions got the best of ya. I will leave you in peace now...or not so much peace.
     
  19. rbell

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    *sigh*

    With some folks...you show them modern songs that are well done, and they move the target.

    Same folks...you show them old songs that aren't well done, and they move the target.


    There have been bad songs sung in corporate worship for centuries. Doesn't mean there should be...but there have been. Likewise...there are some terrific hymns of the faith that are centuries old that I never want to see fall by the wayside. And I'll do my best to keep them in circulation.

    But to suggest that new songs aren't being written that honor God...ridiculous.

    Back to the OP...I'm not a fan of "Draw me close to You." Too vague.
     
  20. rbell

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    Those are two different arguments...and the "repetitive" argument really doesn't hold much water.

    Think of the "Hallelujah Chorus" by Handel.

    Think of "Blessed Be the Name" (the hymn) by Ralph E. Hudson

    Both--extremely repetitive.
    Both--powerful doctrinally and are quite worshipful.
     
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