When did the Spiral of Music head Down?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Music may be "fleshly", that is, appealing to "fleshly" lust and drive. So may the performance and performer be "fleshly". While we may not be able to put a complete definition into place, we all know what it is.

    I find a continual downward spiral in music that parallels the rise of pentecostal charismania. Think about it with me a moment.

    Take any time from 1517-1900 and look at the LACK of controversy over music. Big deal was over "instruments" or not. Not over style.

    Heavy classical hymns by Bach, Beethoven
    Folk music from Netherland, England, Appalachia
    Praise/Testimony songs by PP Bliss, Fanny Crosby

    High church used mostly heavy hymns while our baptists used a blend. And different songs for evening service or revival meetings.

    THEN the rise of Pentecostalism and a new emotional/experienced-based type of worship spawned a new music. Beat and rhythm replacing beautiful melodies. Trite repetitious words replacing weighty doctrine or blood-based testimonies.

    I have watched the past 50 years carefully and see this trend slowly but surely being adopting (and often embraced) in my ifb circles. YOU tell me a ifb service that sang such tripe 50 years ago? Or clapped along with songs? Or had rock bands? Or raised hands and swayed like robotons at Woodstock?

    That's my take. What's yours? [​IMG]
     
  2. TheOliveBranch

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    I see it the same way you do, Dr. Bob. Too many churches giving what makes a person feel good, overlooking sin, and feeding the flesh. Seems to be such a parallel with a spiral fall away from the Lord, if I may use your words.

    Seems the argument wouldn't be here if we didn't try to modernize the church. I would prefer to see a church without music rather than the noise they try to claim as sweet music to His ears. "Proclaim the Gospel, forget what that stuff does to the flesh". I have a hard time even hearing the Gospel thru all the noise and confusion it causes. You made a good point. [​IMG]
     
  3. WonderingOne

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    Amen, Dr. Bob! Something else I have observed is that people often times see emotional response and the working of the Holy Spirit as one in the same. I don't know how many times I've heard people refer to the more formal, orthodox churches as being "dry" and "dead," and asserting that more freedom in worship and more joy in the music allows the Spirit to move more freely also. I have nothing against joyful music, but I also feel that in worship we should follow Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:40:

    "Let all things be done decently and in order."
     
  4. Eric B

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    Definitely NOT TRUE!
    There's too much of an assumption that all was well until that unglodly rhythm came and wrekced everything; but that was not the case.

    People used to plainchant and other simpler styles looked down on polyphonic styles which include classical and most everything afterward, as well as various instruments they were not used to, or associated with bad things. This is basically how people reacted to everything new or different (and right here shows a problem in the "historic" Church's attitude, which continues today). It is well documented how the music we are now calling "acceptable" classical or traditional music, when new was also likewise condemned as worldly, sensual, and even demonic. The violin was even called "the devil's fiddle", and the great pipe-organ, "the devil's bagpipe. The piano was also rejected as a "secular instrument" and was later associated with "ragtime". The augmented fourth chord was said to be possessed of the devil (yet since then it is used extensively in the Church), and classical composers were denounced as producing "wild insanities" without "form or meaning" (See Miller, Contemporary Christian Debate, p.28)
    The controversy then and now was exactly the same. Only now, we would try to say "Yeah, they were against those things then, but that was different; this time, what we are opposing really is evil! But that's just what everybody thinks!
    Plus Hebrew worship and Psalm singing may have been more rhythmic and repetitive. The charismatics were trying to emulate this, though I do agree that many have gone overboard. But it seems like the charismatics are now regarded as totally false just because of this music issue (with tonges thrown in as well). But this came from people being uptight, influenced by Platonism, and thinking anything lively was bad or "fleshy" of a necessity.
     
  5. MusicPastor

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    Agreed. Wesley, Luther and others were acused of bringing common songs into the church. Some were even taken from the pubs. Imagine that?

    I don't think the controversy is new. As long as there are people with opinions, the opinions will vary.

    Unfortunately, not enough people care to hear God's opinion on the subject. We should speak where He speaks, and keep silent where He keeps silent. hmmmm... [​IMG]
     
  6. Aaron

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    Here we go again...

    http://members.aol.com/ats0922/myth13.html
     
  7. Eric B

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    See also this thread:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=000336

    So still, while that argument may not be good, you still have to prove that only the old hymn style is the "sacred" option. On Masters' liink, he says
    But this style was once new and contemporary. OK, not a[n individual] bar tune, but the style itself has no claim to biblical preference, were influenced by unbiblical western philosophy and differed from the styles that were used in ancient mideastern biblical culture. What all of this may show is that certain people may go too far in copying sounds directly off of secular songs, or just imitating the pop idiom in general just for the sake of it, or to make money, still it does not support the argument that the whole style is bad becasue of things such as the accent of beats or syncopation. What we're doing here is taking the waek arguments of one side and thinking it proves the other side by default.
     
  8. Kiffin

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    I agree with Eric that there was much controversy over music among Protestants in the Reformation period. The Calvinist tradition espoused by Presbyterians, Puritans, Congregationalists, Baptists held to a Regulative principle that did away with all music instruments. The Lutheran tradition held by the Lutheran churches and the Church of England held to the normative principle and believed that differant styles of music glorified God.

    The Lutheran tradition on music thankfully eventually triumphed with such great musicians as Bach, Handel, Newton, Charles Wesley etc..
     
  9. Aaron

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    I think many factors contributed to the weakness of the church in these latter days. A lot of compromises had been made prior to the compromise in music.

    One looks in vain for gospel ragtime of the 10's and 20's or Big Band gospel of the 40's. If not for the moral upheaval of the 60's and 70's gospel rock would be as obscure.
     
  10. Mike McK

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    Not likely, considering that there are many examples of gospel music done to blues, R&B, country and folk, which are the foundations of rock and roll.
     
  11. Terry_Herrington

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    I think you have it backward Dr. Bob, IMHO. The thought of going back to the stale liturgical music of the past is frighting.
     
  12. JonathanDT

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    I don't think it is going down. I think it's changing, and change is a scary process. I think it is the natural human reaction to change that you are responding to, not any degradation of music. People will always look on the past as better then the present, but IMO it is just a mutation of "the grass is always greener on the other side." Now it's the grass was always greener 50 years ago.
     
  13. Molly

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    Yes,DR. Bob...music in the church is on the downgrade...people are not satisfied with Truth alone anymore,they want to *feel* something...they desire for worship to be about themselves feeling good...and I do think true worship will be a wonderful heart felt thing,it happens as a result of laying down one's life everyday,not just at singing time. I am concerned with the fact that worship should be about God and His holiness,not about man feeling good...the focus is wrong IMO.
     
  14. Alcott

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    Is worship felt or not?
     
  15. Su Wei

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    yes! It is Joy unspeakable and full of glory!

    But to have worship solely for the "buzz" and "high" is another matter all together, no?
     
  16. rsr

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    At the risk of offending someone, I am willing to admit that music is both sensual and spiritual.

    I seriously ask whether someone can sing "Messiah" or "My Eternal King" and not feel something ethereal, something that requires a sensual response.

    Man is both body and spirit, and worship must attend to both. As C.S. Lewis said in regard to prayer, physical posture really does matter. It is on our knees — a physical act of submission — that we approach God.

    And it would be a poor music that would not put us on our knees. I dare you to sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" without feeling the urge to get on your knees. And, I may add, a number of modern songs.
     
  17. Molly

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    I think this was what I was trying to say....we worship God because of who He is....it is not about us,but we will delight or see our lowliness in the worship. How we feel should not be the emphasis.
     
  18. Alcott

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    No. "Joy unspeakable and full of glory"-- if you can achieve that with absolutely no "buzz" or "high" involved-- whereas, I presume other things have given such a sensation to you, or you would have no relation whatsoever to the expressions you are using-- then it's your prerogative to do it. Maybe your "buzz" comes from arguing about this... no?
     
  19. Su Wei

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    No. "Joy unspeakable and full of glory"-- if you can achieve that with absolutely no "buzz" or "high" involved-- whereas, I presume other things have given such a sensation to you, or you would have no relation whatsoever to the expressions you are using-- then it's your prerogative to do it. Maybe your "buzz" comes from arguing about this... no? </font>[/QUOTE]:confused:

    I am saying that worship is felt!

    seems to me you think i am a quarrelsome person? :(

    I hope you will reconsider and see that i do handle my posts with as much tact and christian love as i can muster! [​IMG]

    thanks. [​IMG]

    [ April 17, 2003, 03:46 AM: Message edited by: Su Wei ]
     
  20. Jude

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    As one who loves music, who plays piano and guitar (and yes, harmonica), trained in classical music and played in a rock 'n' roll band in college, I find this topic very-interesting. I have a vast collection of Christian music, both traditional and contemporary, from Steven Curtis Chapman (who disappointed me by appearing on TBN last week)to Ralph Vaughan Williams. I am moved by both. But I've also noticed that some of the Contemporary music is bland and repetitive. While watching 'Hillsong' the other day, after about 4 songs, I began to wonder, "are these folks worshipping Jesus, or are they worshipping the music?" (do you know what I'm getting at?). I tend to be very-careful regarding my purchases of music (as at $12-$17 a CD, one has to...another subject, to be sure). Michael Card, Fernando Ortega, Eden's Bridge and Steven Curtis Chapman's new CD's are usually very-quickly on my music shelf. I also love taize and tradional music, and both traditional/cont. liturgical music. I think Dr Bob is essentially on-target here...much of what is in the CCM market today is really horrible. However, I don't believe the Holy Spirit stopped inspiring music in the Middle Ages. He moves us to sing new songs and write new texts that glorify Him today...
     

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