While you are praying

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Salty, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Many years ago, I read an article by Dr. Bill Rice. He was relating a situation at a small church he was preaching a revival. While he was praying, the piano player was playing some music. That evening Dr Rice asked her not to play the piano while he was praying. The next night, she once agian played while he was praying. He than asked again not to play. On the third night, when she started to play, while he prayed, Dr. Rice went over to the piano and physically removed her hand from the keyboard.

    So, do you like it when the piano is playing while you are praying?
    Did Dr. Rice do the right thing? Would you have done the same thing.
    Any other comments?

    Personally, I do not like the piano playing while I am praying. At the moment, it has to be my preference; I have been searching the Bible, but I cant seem to find a verse to back me up [​IMG]
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    I like when our pianist plays softly at the end of the sermon while I pray.

    I do not think Dr. Rice did the right thing. It should have been handled in private.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Why did she insist on playing while he was praying? How did he approach her the first two times he asked her not to play while he was praying?
    Who knows but God, Dr.Rice and the piano player. If he didnt want her to play then she should have respected that.
    Why didnt Dr.rice want her to play during the prayer time? Maybe it was a distraction to him. I dont think this is something we should go to the bible for. It is neither mandated or forbidden.
    Whom ever is preaching and giving the alter call should have control of the service, as he is being led by the Holy Ghost.
    I think that prayer without music is best.
     
  4. MRCoon

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    I again with revmitchell here based on the fact that she may have been playing out of a rebellious nature or out of habit but to say one handled it right or wrong without knowing more is not my place to do. But to learn from it makes it a valuable lesson...our church doesn't have any music playing during prayer unless the Pastor tells the pianist to do so. I think it is a distraction when I've been in a Church that does this but defer to the Pastor to handle his altar calls his way and then get past my annoyance [​IMG]

    Salty even for an Army guy ya gotta know that ya may never find an answer to this question/issue in the Bible...though maybe you will if you use one of these new fangled versions [​IMG] So I would say that without clear instructions you need to use what is most effective to allow your members to respond to the message and to make decisions for God....with or without music :D
     
  5. rbell

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    The pianist should follow the lead of the pastor and do what he says.

    However, many musicans are quite "set in their ways." There are certain idiosyncracies that I had to constantly remind our organist at my former church not to do...but she had done them for so long, they were ingrained. (Was it that in the OP? Who knows....maybe she was just being ornery :D ).

    I now play keys for our Sunday AM worship band. What I try to play is something that is noticed only by its absence. It doesn't draw attention to itself, but it underscores the quietness of the moment spent talking to God.
     
  6. Rippon

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    In A.W. Pink's 2nd church as a pastor in the late 1920's while in Australia ,he had the following experience...

    When a female pianist once left the piano before Pink began to preach and walked across the front of the platform in the style of a mannequin , to take another seat , Pink at once told her that there was to be no repetition ! ( As told by Vida McAulay in Iain H. Murray's bio of Pink )
     
  7. John of Japan

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    PastorSBC1303, it looks to me from the OP that he tried to handle it in private first. SALTCITYBAPTIST wrote: "That evening Dr Rice asked her not to play the piano while he was praying." It is hard to tell, though, without reading the original article.

    Bill Rice had great integrity, and was a man's man, two things that are becoming more and more rare. In this day and age, to do what he did might invite a lawsuit or charges of sexual harrassment, so I wouldn't advise it nowadays. In Bill Rice's day, however, I believe that what he did would be considered by the vast majority of Christians to be quite all right. She directly rebelled against the evangelist's wishes. I can't imagine that even her pastor would have excused her for that--unless maybe it was his wife! :eek:

    The main reason given by the evangelist Rice brothers (Joe, John and Bill) for not having organ music during prayer time was that it is a formalistic method designed to produce a spiritual "atmosphere" during the prayer. However, prayer is a time for genuine, unfeigned communication with God. Organ music during prayer does the opposite of what it is designed to do: it distracts rather than helps. [​IMG]
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

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    John, I respect your opinion. However, I still believe it was not handled right. There is no call for him to go over and physically do anything.
     
  9. TaterTot

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    I like to play during the prayer, but I dont play anything recognizeable so attention wont be given to waht song i am playing I do it very softly and its just worshipful for me. But I have played for pastors who did not like it and I always follow his lead.
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    Well, being a pianist, I am going to take up for the pianist.

    Rebellion??????? Let me tell you-all something.

    Being an evangelist at a revival, you may have to remind the pianist, the organist, the music director, the host pastor, the ushers, and even the counselors how YOU want things done every single night.

    Especially if it is different from what they are used to. We are all creatures of habit.

    And another thing. I have played for soooooo many different music directors and evangelists for sooooo many revivals.

    Let me tell you this. An instrumentalist has to literally read the mind of a music director or evangelist. Yes, yes, I know what the OP said.

    But I have experienced countless times when I wasn't sure at ALL if what the music director or evangelist said was for "that moment" or "the whole revival" and by the time that particular night was over, I forgot to ask him about it and the following night, he had to remind me again, in the middle of the service or invitation exactly how he wanted me to play.

    That is very, very common.

    And even with my own pastor at my own church....he will many times say, "let's stop singing and just let the instruments play" or "let's sing the invitation without instruments this morning."

    It's stressful being a pianist or an organist.

    I do play while people are praying, because I have been told by my music director to do so. I play quietly and I improvise so as not to call attention to a particular song or melody.

    If that evangelist, and I don't care WHO he is, felt that the woman was "rebelling" against his authority, then he should have dealt with her in private. Aren't there "steps" to dealing with "sinful" members of the church that are to be followed?

    I can tell you this, if I were not certain what to do or forgot or didn't know if he meant every night and he came over to me and touched me in that manner......I would have gone to him in humility and in private, you can bet your bottom dollar. I could care less if he is a man's man or not. I really don't know what being a man's man has to do with this situation.

    More than likely, it is how I described it above.

    Peace to all the instrumentalists who serve Jesus-
    Scarlett O.
    <><
     
  11. Scarlett O.

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    Good Grief!!!!

    I thought I was in the music forum. I didn't know I was in the Pastor's forum, where I'm not supposed to be.

    Sorry.

    Delete my post if you feel it necessary.

    Again, sorry.
     
  12. TaterTot

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    oh, well I aint a pastor either!! :eek:
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Hoo, boy! I got stung by several hornets from that nest that was stirred up!! Or were they flying over from the music forum nest?? :eek: :eek:

    So, PastorSBC1303, let's say for the sake of argument (it is very hard to tell what really happened this many years later) that you had gone to her in private and asked her not to play during the prayer, but she still did and it seemed obvious to you that her attitude was wrong. How would you have handled it?
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Scarlett O., you are forgiven for buzzing into the Pastors forum. [​IMG] ;)

    Just by way of explanation, the bit about Bill Rice being a "man's man" was kind of a throwaway line. My meaning was that, knowing him, he would not have gotten angry unless it was a righteous indignation and he truly believed the organist was "bucking him," as the cowboys used to say. (And Bill Rice was a genuine Texas cowboy.)

    Dr. Bill got righteously angry at me once when I was a boy, and let me tell you, you didn't want to commit that sin again once he got done with you!! Don't ask what mine was, it was too embarassing!! [​IMG] [​IMG] Suffice it to say that it cost him some bucks in the early years of the Bill Rice Ranch that he could ill afford to lose! :eek: :eek:
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    John of Japan...

    Thanks for the explanation. Sorry for the stirring the nest.

    Peace-
    Scarlett O.
    <><
     
  16. John of Japan

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. PastorSBC1303

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    If her attitude was wrong when I talked to her in private then there would be a new piano player in the next service.

    I still find no reason for a pastor to go over and physically remove a ladies hands from the keys. Should she have followed the request of the evangelist? Absolutely. But there is no call for doing what he did.
     
  18. mnw

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    Once is forgivable, twice is negligence and three times calls for action.

    There are many variables in such a situation and we can not really comment 100%. But I think by the third night she should have known.

    On a more compassionate note, my wife plays the piano and I know the problems she has had trying to read the mind of whoever was leading the service.

    I would not have music played whilst praying. Especially during an invitational. The danger of someone being moved by the music instead of the music is not worth the risk in my opinion.
     
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I agree with PastorSBC. Another way to handle it would be to make eye contact and give her the cut sign, and possibly just give her a reminder.

    On a personal note, if any man touches my wife, they better watch out.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. John of Japan

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    If her attitude was wrong when I talked to her in private then there would be a new piano player in the next service.

    I still find no reason for a pastor to go over and physically remove a ladies hands from the keys. Should she have followed the request of the evangelist? Absolutely. But there is no call for doing what he did.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I agree with you here. I think this is how I would have handled it. But if I were an evangelist, I would have respected the autonomy of the local church and gone through the pastor.

    Having said that, let me point out some things here.

    (1) We still don't know who the woman was. Was she married or single? Old or young? Did the evangelist know her for many years or a few days? I can picture a case where the woman was an old single biddy who the evangelist knew for many years, so he knew he could handle the case this way. Or maybe even she was his daughter (neice, aunt) and he knew he could handle it this way.

    (2) This probably happened in the 1950's, when Bill Rice's ministry was in its heyday. He died in 1978, but as the 1960's and 1970's progressed he got more and more into the Bill Rice Ranch ministry (the first ever deaf ministry, by the way). For you young whippersnappers, that was a completely different time. It was before Americans sued at the drop of a hat, before the term "sexual harrassment" was invented, before feminism permeated society (ever before they were called "women's libbers"), before the New Evangelical movement split Fundamentalism, before many other things. What I am saying is that, his action not being a direct sin, it must be judged by society's mores, and society was far different then. [​IMG]
     

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