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CCM and Sensual Worship

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by DanielFive, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Ruth

    Ruth Member
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    Enda:

    Ask away - I don't mind questions at all. But please do bear with me while I try to make myself clear. I do realize that there are times I don't say things very well.

    No, I do not consider myself "called" in the same manner a preacher is called. In fact, I was not even considering a minister's call to God's service when I was doing the comparison. I was speaking strictly of "talents", not "gifts". The gist of what I got from Dr. Master's article was that someone who has a particular talent should NOT use it in worship, since it could be taken or used in a manner which he considers "aesthetic" rather than the type of worship he thinks is legitimate. So my comparison was strictly based on the talent of the speaker or singer, not a calling for what they are doing.

    But if this is the case, then anyone who is born with a God-given talent for public speaking should not use their talent in worship, according to what I read in the article. I find this baffling, for why did God give us talent if it was not to worship him? I do not believe that all who have the talent of speaking are called to the ministry, but anyone with that talent should be using it for the glory of God. And I believe the same thing is true of those of us who can sing.

    There was a time in my life that I did refuse to sing in church - and I now regret that action. I thought that I was doing the right thing, because I was tired of dealing with people who only listened to my voice and not to what I was singing. But then He showed me how I could use this as an opportunity to share my witness and proclaim His greatness. In fact, my singing has opened opportunities that most people will never have with visitors in our church who are not saved. They will not normally talk to the preacher or the deacons - but they will come to me after I sing, and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I then have the perfect opening to discuss with them what I sang, why I sang it, and what God means to me.

    We seem to have wandered rather far afield from the original proposition, don't we? [​IMG]

    Ruth
     
  2. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    Ruth,

    Thanks for getting back to me and for clearing up the speaker/singer thing for me. Sorry I misunderstood what you were saying. I would need to give some thought to your comments before I reply again.

    There are some things about Music and about solo performances that I feel I have settled in my own conscience.

    I believe that it is wrong to bring a lot of musical instruments into a worship service as this over-emphasises the music and distracts listeneners from the message of the hymn.

    I also believe that solo performances have no place in worship services due the fact that too much attention is focused on the performer rather than on God.

    I'm clear about these two things.

    What I am not clear about is wheather there is a benefit in having solo performances at a gospel meeting - in our church we have a gospel meeting every sunday evening which includes solo performances, wheather this is right or wrong is really what I am trying to decide here.

    The purpose of these meetings is to reach sinners with the gospel this is different than a worship service.

    Your point is that you feel your singing is something that can be used by God to reach these people.

    You say:

    It is pretty clear to me that using a lot of instruments even in a gospel service would be wrong. Again its the message of the hymn that you want people to concentrate on rather than the music. The music appeals to the emotions whilst the words appeal to the intellect.

    There are some singers who come to our Church who sing with only the piano/organ/accoustic guitar as accompaniment this is OK by me as using any one of these instruments in order to discipline the singing and maintain the tune obviously helps the singer.

    It's wheather the singer should be there in the first place that I am not yet sure about. I can see where you are coming from in your comments above.

    I have no doubt as to your sincerity and likewise with many solo artists who attend my own church.

    I just feel that God will save by 'the foolishness of preaching' wheather or not this is assisted by singing beforehand or not.

    Could you honestly say that there are people who have been saved in your church who would not have come to the Lord without your singing?

    Hope you can see where I am coming from, I'm not good at explaining myself either so don't worry.
    Could you share any stories of how peolple have come to the Lord through your witness, not anything to detailed, just give me a rough idea as to the success of your performances in reaching sinners.

    This will help me to get this issue settled in my conscience, I am weighing up your views against those of Spurgeon, but don't let this put you under pressure [​IMG]


    Yours in Christ,

    Enda
     
  3. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    OK, maybe he didn't. I was looking back through his articles at freedomministries.uk and what I was probably thinking of was (from "Brass, Strings and Percussion?"):
    I saw this as flimsy justification; though he does try to clarify "by uniting its voices/played mdestly", still, the contemporary style can be played that way as well. The biggest thing was the inconsistency you admitted about him having an organ at all when Spurgeon and many others from centuries ago were so against it. This in light of how hard he is on "bringing in things from the world" (including instruments). Why is it OK then?
    Plus, his credibility is called into question the most by his ridiculous allegory of Psalms 150. Yes those instruments may have symbolized heartfelt emotions, but to suggest that they were applied only that way and not actually used is going beyond scriptural bounds. When others interpret Genesis like that to allow for evolutionary epochs, the same people are up in arms.

    He even begins to question people's salvation [from freedomministries]:
    I have dealt with this on the Calvinism/Arminianism board. While attacking "decisionism" as salvation by works, people actually create a true legalistic system by judging people's "fruits", and concluding people are "tares" or "goats" (hence Spurgeon's article linked above). This is going on right now in the SBC. Assurance is based on performance and perseverance (see next quote, second par. 1st sentence), and since nobody has yet persevered till the end, who can have true assurance unless you presume you are doing well enough? Sure, just keep to some rigid form of music and other forms of "separation", and that will make sure you never fall away! You know you're not perfect, but you draw a line somewhere below yourself, and judge others below that line harshly, perhaps as not even saved. So such a person can be just as bad or worse than the most rankest Pelagian or even cultist, even though he tries to accuse his theological opponents of these things.
    Most separationists are Arminian revivalists, and most people who take the time to offer correction to them with a more balanced position, such as Michael Horton and John Macarthur, have been Calvinists. This has provided a needed balance. But when the two theologies mix— :eek: :eek: :eek:
    Of course, it is possible that anyone we see may be a false Christian, and while I don't favor "extreme" styles such as acid, thrash or moshing (but I'm sure he's including rap, which is viewed as the black counterpart to white hard rock as far as "extremity", though I see it as different because it is in fact, more "message" oriented), and I do criticize Churches for sex-based fashions, etc. still, to say they are lost just because of a style? People may be confused a bit (especially because as I say, the ridiculous extremes of the past offered no real guidance, and once they crossed the smotheringly close "line", there wan't another line after that); but "lost"? Just because they abandon "traditional Western" standards?
    He appeals a lot to the OT principles, but the western Christian world has revolted far from that. Why not follow those telling us to keep sabbaths, kosher laws, or give up "pagan" holidays, then? Then have even stronger biblical arguments (at least those things were commanded there, where 1;3 accented beats over 2;4 were unheard of), but we dismiss them as cultic.
    It is vastly different even from the first century church. At some point, things changed, stuff was brought in from the world and could be seen as some "departure" from "the faith once delivered" by some "false deceivers who crept in", but later became the "tradition" as its origin was forgotten. In fact, since Satan is so trying to deceive "the elect", wouldn't he all the more appeal to outward piety and familiar tradition to deceive people on whom the wild looking stuff will not work? This is certainly what he was doing with the legalists in the New Testament.
    Even though he may not rant like Godwin or Watkins, for this guy to suggest this people are necessarily lost just because of music style, he is just as bad, regardless as how well put together his arguments may be.

    [ March 19, 2003, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  4. Ruth

    Ruth Member
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    Enda:

    Of course I wouldn't feel any pressure, just because you are comparing my views to Spurgeon! ;)

    As for your question about people who have been saved in my church by my singing, that is pretty easy to answer. None! I don't claim to save people with my music. But it does give me the opportunity to witness to some people who might never talk to anyone else, because they feel uneasy and/or don't want to be pressured - most people think that if they go talk to a preacher, they will have him living on their doorstep until they make the decision he wants. I do know that there are people in our church who have made the decision for Christ, that I was probably the first member they talked to when they came here. Three people in particular who have joined us over the last couple of years come to mind immediately because they have told me how much they appreciated me taking the time to just visit and share myself with them when they first attended. So maybe I planted the seed in those people, and the Gospel was able to grow in them because I showed that someone "ordinary" cared about them. And maybe they do like my voice too, and came back because they enjoyed the music - but I think God is there, every step of the way, using us in some small way to reach these people.

    I sing because...... well, because I simply cannot stop singing the praises of God. The period of time that I did stop, I was miserable even though I was in a couple of area choirs outside of the church. I sing to praise God, and give him the glory - and people tell me that when I am singing in church, they can see the joy in my face. And that comes from no one other than Jesus. And I don't just sing for special music - I am in the choir, and three of us women have formed a trio that sings too. And I have taken "under my wing" so to speak, a little 7 year old girl in our church who has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard in a child. She sang a solo part in our Christmas cantata last year, and now her mother is coming to church too. I have great hopes that this family will make their decision in the near future.

    I have no doubt that there are people out there who are singing only for personal glory - I have met a few of them in my life, and I don't ever want to be one of them. I want people to know Jesus, and if my singing praises in church can help someone towards that goal, then it doesn't really matter what all the textbooks or famous theologians think. I personally have been convicted by the Spirit that this is something I should do. I don't believe that means that everyone should - but for me, there is no question at all.

    Thank you for your graciousness. God bless you.

    Ruth
     
  5. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    RUTH & ERIC,

    I thank you both for your responses, there are some points which you have made that I want to consider and think about before I respond.

    Since you've taken the time to share your views, I think its only right and fair that I give them proper consideration rather than dismissing them out of hand.

    I will respond in a day or two when I've thought things through.

    God Bless,

    Enda
     
  6. Su Wei

    Su Wei Active Member
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    THanks Enda and Ruth for the most edifying christ-like debate i've seen on this forum! [​IMG]
     
  7. Gib

    Gib Active Member

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    :rolleyes:

    [ March 23, 2003, 10:48 PM: Message edited by: Gib ]
     
  8. Su Wei

    Su Wei Active Member
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    Thanks Enda for giving me things to think about, eg singing solos and use of many instruments because at my church, we do both!

    I do sing solos once in a while, call it being lead by the Spirit, (I'm not real sure how that works) but i will get drawn to a hymn and will practice and present to on Sunday to the church.

    The message of the song is the most important. and i want nothing to subtract from that, not my singing, not the accompaniment, not anything.
    I always make it a point to flash the transparency of the lyrics so the whole congregation can read and follow as i sing. It seems to work. I see most of the people focussed on the screen instead of on me. I just use my voice and expression to convey the meaning and interpretation of the song.

    I do get praises from people. I guess they mean well. My response is thanks for the encouragement but all glory goes to God. [​IMG]

    The music part of the worship helps to bring the whole congregation to focus on the same ideas. And the solo item, tastefully rendered, does this also.
     
  9. Su Wei

    Su Wei Active Member
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    As for the use of instrumentation, i have thought about that too. I think i have to disagree with Spurgeon! :eek:

    The non-use of instruments does not ensure a more spiritual atmosphere or that the people will focus on the words of the hymn so that the worship will be more acceptable before God. (Correct me if i have misinterpreted this.)

    Nor does the use of instruments take away from the spiritual atmosphere of the worship. If the instruments know their proper place as accompanists, that is.

    in fact, i am more inclined to think that instruments enhance the worshipful atmosphere... but then, as a member of our church orchestra, i am biased. ;)

    no true worshipper can be psyched up to worship God. true God-pleasing worship on sunday is a result of walking with God all through the week, instruments or none doesn't change that.

    just my thots. [​IMG]
     
  10. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    Hello Su Wei,

    Thanks for your comments on the debate, I am grateful to all those who have posted here, thankfully no-one is taking offence at others thoughts and views on the subject. This makes it a lot easier to share my views and thoughts.

    I really appreciate your input to the debate, I had been wondering where you were all week. Your comments are balanced and well thought out. The motives of people like yourself and Ruth are not in question as far as I'm concerned.

    I'm still thinking about the question of solo singing, but I think I'm clear about the use of instruments in Church. Personally I wouldn't have them, but accept that others see it differently.I feel that at the least they should be kept well in the background.

    For me its not so much to do with what instrument is used eg. Piano, flute, organ, guitar etc as long as it is used modestly and simply. By this I suppose I mean that it is very much in the background, not too loud or distracting. I have attended a Church where the pianist was a particularly skilful musician, she seemed to be playing with three hands at times, when I look back at this I realise that her expertise distracted me from the words of the hymn which we were singing. Maybe its because I am easily distracted, I don't know.

    I'm also thinking about the point OliveBranch made when she said that taking instruments out of church altogether would end the debate about musical styles etc. If we had no solo/group performances it would have the same effect, I can't imagine a whole church where everyone wanted to sing Christian Rock or Rap.

    Regarding solo performances, I liked your idea of projecting the lyrics of the Hymn so that people can follow them. I was just thinking about that last night. I also thought that it might be helpful if the pastor was to take a moment or two to explain the message of the hymn before or after the performance.

    At the end of the day what is wrong with everyone joining in the singing, the gifted singers would still be singing and glorifying God at the same time as the rest of us. We know for sure that this is acceptable worship, why complicate things?

    Our talents should be used to glorify God, would you say that your singing is more glorifying to God when you are singing solo or in a small group as opposed to when you are singing as a part of the congregation as a whole?

    If God is no less glorified by an average singer singing a hymn spiritually than He is by a good singer doing the same then why should good singers be given special place in worship? It can only be that they are given special place because people are entertained by their performances (I love listening to great singers singing great hymns) but this is not why we come to Church is it?

    I'm not sure about your atmosphere argument, I think I agree that our readiness for worship is dependant upon our daily walk as you pointed out elsewhere, if you are not walking with God I think that the atmosphere in the Church will not make your worship any more acceptable to God. I don't think that music could bring people to a point of genuine repentance (only on an emotional level)which is what is needed in a case like this.

    Our various talents can be used to God's glory outside of the worship service. I'd like nothing better than to attend a Su wei/Ruth cocert on a Friday night ;)

    I'll finish here because I'm rambling and this post is not well constructed, I tend to think things through as I'm writing so I hope you can decypher my thoughts from what I've said.

    God Bless,

    Enda

    [ March 21, 2003, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: enda ]
     
  11. er1001

    er1001 New Member

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    [​IMG] Hi, I too would like to say that I've been watching this thread with interest and also appreciate the courtesy shown by all.
    I think all would agree that whenerver the word of God is given it always has an impact on the listener.The Word of God hardens as well as softens souls.I have known little children who have won their parents to the Lord with a few Bible verses,souls won to the Lord by babes in Christ using a tract and souls softened by the singing of God's word.
    Although the Preaching of the Word by God's man should be the highlight of a church service,all the above are important and glorify God.
    Maybe I missed it in the above comments,if so I'm sorry,but I would say being spirit filled and a vessel fit for the Masters use plays a large part in how the message is recieved!!!!!!!!
    I've been a believer for almost 32 yrs and involved in the leadership of several baptist churches during that time and I would say that Jer 17/9&10 says it all.Pride and the flesh can show it's self anywhere,anytime and in any of us.
    Thanks for your time,have a great day in the Lord ER
     
  12. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    er1000,

    Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

    I fully agree with all your points,

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  13. Multimom

    Multimom New Member

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    I'm walking into the fire with this one.

    When the old Testament talks about David dancing before the lord, the original translates to spin about with wild emotions.

    And his response to his wife "what I did, I did unto the Lord and not for you."

    Also this:

    When the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come. Longing just to bring something that's of worth that will bless your heart. I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper with in through the way things appear you're looking into my heart.

    I'm coming back to the heart of worship and its all about you, its all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it when it's all about you. It's all about you Jesus.

    The Psalms say for us to make music skillfully unto the Lord. It is for the musician to make the music but for the person listening to have a heart prepared for worship.
     
  14. TheOliveBranch

    TheOliveBranch New Member

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    Wild emotions, hmm. Sounds out of control. But it's ok to be out of control, especially if we "say" it doesn't matter, because I did it for the Lord. Reminds me of offerings, from two guys named Cain and Abel. Remember what David did with that first wife? and how many more did he have? The Bible will show the weaknesses and sins of even those that were after His heart. A little fire [​IMG]
     
  15. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    Multimom,

    This is a very interesting point of view, I checked out Matthew Henrys commentary to see what view he took of this incident.

    It appears that he would concur with your view and disagree with the view of TheOliveBranch.

    Heres an exert from the commentary:

    I must admit that I would have agreed with TheOliveBranch but having read this commentary I will have to rethink my position I think.

    I would appreciate other peoples views on this passage (2Samuel 6:16-22).
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Matthew Henry, whose commentaries I greatly admire and respect, is drawing practical insights from this OT example. He, unlike Multimom, is not presenting the account as prescriptural for Christian worship.

    What one must keep in mind when reading the OT, is that Israel is like a child under a schoolmaster, and God was very longsuffering and condescended to their weakness and superstition. Under the NT, Israel (i.e., the Church) is fully grown and has "put away childish things."

    Under the OT, great empahsis was placed on what the NT calls "bodily exercise," e.g. raising hands, fasts, circumcision, etc. But the NT states that "bodily exercise profiteth little."

    There is a marked difference between the worship of Jehovah under the Law, and the worship of Christ under the Spirit. The early church did not see the admonitions in the Psalms to play on instruments as prescriptions for Christian worship; it saw them in the true, spiritual sense.

    The order and manner for Christian worship is clearly laid out for us in 1 Corinthians. Let's take the topic of tongues, as an example. If I were to follow the thinking of Multimom and how I think you, enda, are reading Henry, I would have to say, "Hey, this believer worships in tongues. We must be careful not to "censure," him, because his heart may be right.

    However, censure is exactly what Paul does when he commands that if there is no interpretation, keep the tongues quiet.

    I'm certain Henry is not saying "anything goes" in devotions, he is simply saying "we should be afraid." And indeed we should. If censuring is done, it had better darn well be done properly and according to knowledge.
     
  17. DanielFive

    DanielFive New Member

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    Thanks Aaron,

    I was hoping you'd jump in here.

    I fully agree with this point. The pattern for worship is laid out in the NT .

    The point I was making was that David was not sinning in his actions, Michal sinned (and was punished for it)in her judgement of David whose heart was right in spite of how it may have looked. (It was this aspect of the passage that I had to rethink)

    I agree with this point also and accept that in the past I may have been guilty of the same sin as Michal in that I censured according to my personal tastes as opposed to censuring properly and according to knowledge.

    God Bless,

    Enda
     
  18. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    Isn't the "bodily exercise" Paul speaks of precisely the opposite practice the later church began doing? Just repress all bodily pleasure and sit there stiffly, rigidly thinking that is more spiritual. One again, if Israel was so "childish", I wonder how Platonic austerity winds up being Christian "maturity" or the "newness in the Spirit".
     
  19. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Eric,

    I've tried to answer you a couple of times, but I'm not sure I understand your question. I mean bodily exercise in the sense of the bowing, kneeling, kissing (the hands), genuflecting etc; then on the charismatic side, dancing and raising hands and other such ecstatic expressions.
     
  20. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    "exercise" (Strong #1129: "gumnasia") actually means "asceticism", which seems to be more the logic of those opposing more lively worship as "of the flesh". (So physical calisthenics are called "exercise" because of the discipline involved, not because of the bodily movement)
     
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