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Confessions of a Former Worship Leader

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Aaron, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

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    Nah, not going with that one Aaron (long before I saw Dale's post). Eph. 5 deals with content, not delivery.

    For musical delivery (perhaps the closest tie to your idea of style) you have to go back to the OT, particularly the Psalms. (But as I recall, you fall back on Peter M's arguments/beliefs about ceremonial/civilian music vs. music used in temple worship. I have not gone with Master's arguments about this differentiation at this point in time.)

    So, there's not much we can do with this argument. Once again, God is (purposefully) silent about style. We've gone over the whys many times before...will not labor it here.
     
  2. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee New Member

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    Dear Aaron,

    Here's a link to an article by Arthur W. Pink titled : "Keeping The Heart" http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Miscellaneous/keeping_the_heart.htm

    I always said that the heart was the most important thing to God. A look at the OT reveals the many times that God rejected Israel's worship even though they "did the right things". He rejected them because their hearts were indifferent,hostile,and worshipping other gods.

    In the NT,the Pharisees were "tops" in the demeanor department. Nobody could do it better! Yet,they did not recognize Jesus and led the cries of "Crucify Him!"! Their "demeanor" did not save them!

    And Jesus was not impressed by them either! Read Matthew 15:8 & Mark 7:6. The attitude of their hearts was most important.

    A little side note: I looked up the term "heart" in the NT and found 170 references!
    Meanwhile,"music" has 2 references. "Songs" has 2 references. Hmmmmmm.......

    In Christ,

    Dale
     
  3. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee New Member

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    Dear Daniel,

    You wrote:
    I agree! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In Christ,

    Dale
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    You're simply mincing words and contradicting yourselves. When someone speaks of musical styles, he is describing music played in a certain manner. Take Baroque for example. It's not just music written between 1640 and 1750, it's music characterized by embellishment and terraced dynamics. Classical music is a broader term, but usually used to describe music typically played by symphony orchestras in styles remeniscent of Mozart. When someone mentions Classical music, we automatically know he isn't speaking of The Grateful Dead.

    Classical, Rock, Bluegrass, New Age, Hymns, Southern Gospel, are all terms which describe a manner in which music is performed to the minds of anyone who is familiar with them. Try as you might, (and you're trying desperately) you cannot get around that fact, and Bonga Dale's posting of the dictionary definitions nails the lid on your coffin. (I mean really, Dale, did you think you were helping Daniel with that post? :confused: )

    So, when anyone speaks of musical styles, he is speaking of the character and demeanor of the music, your attempts to redefine the terms notwithstanding.


    Now to your content argument:

    One thing you have to abandon is the worldly educational psychology you were taught, (I'm assuming you were certified by the state to teach) that one can employ form without content. You may have run across it when values clarification was discussed. You're not to teach values, but how do you direct your students to clarify their own values without influencing them one way or another? That's the goal with values clarification. Form without content. That's what you're belching in your style-of-presentation subterfuge. Even twenty years ago when I was a college swell, I could see the futility in that kind of thinking. There is no such thing as form without content.

    Form is content. If I printed your pic and displayed it on my dartboard, it would say something wholly different about my thoughts concerning you than if I displayed it in a heart-shaped frame. [​IMG] (You may not like either implication.)

    It's the same way with music.

    In fact the subject matter of a song and the way you want people to feel about it is the primary consideration when choosing a form/style/demeanor for the music. So, your assertion that "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" describes verbal content only is merely a desperate attempt to wriggle from the crushing grip of reason. But it's your only possible escape, so you're sticking to it despite its obvious weaknesses, and despite the fact that your quite alone, as far as the recognized authorities are concerned with the passages, in that opinion.

    Now, Bonga Dale, have you changed your opinion that the Scriptures teach us to use a variety of styles (in the way that you and I understood the term when I first asked you) ?
     
  5. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    Maybe I'm getting stupid but I really didn't understand any of that.

    Form is content? What precisely do you mean by this statement in regard to music?
     
  6. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

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    Don't feel bad, Travel. I didn't get that argument either! You know, I'm going, huh? I was even thinking that these Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs didn't even have a melody like we're used to hearing. What's up with this? (and this wasn't even a middle of the night post like he usually does???) Oh, well... :confused:
     
  7. Gib

    Gib Active Member

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    I didn't know Dale's first name was Bonga.
     
  8. steveo

    steveo New Member

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    I come from the rock & roll lifestyle in years past playing from the age of 12 in bars. I have worked in Ca with Producer Bobby Hart and some great studio musicians but there was no happiness and the lifestyle is sinful. Since I got saved 10 years ago, I am a little cautious on music.
    I do love praise songs and contemporary music but you have to be careful what you use in worship. For instance I play my guitar every Sunday in service but I wouldn't feel comfortable Jumping and rolling around playing a lead because of who would get the glory.
    Now if we had a music night for entertainment purposes I would go for it.
    As far as style its funny that most people who hate rock style are ok with southern gospel which is just country.
    On the other hand I think it is wrong to play Van Halen in church services like I have heard happens. Like John Macarthur said, it would be like taking the strip tease song and putting words about Jesus to it.
     
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    *sigh*

    Never mind. I assumed Daniel was exposed to values clarification when studying to be a teacher. Weren't you required to take several hours of educational psychology? You can remove that entire paragraph without affecting the meaning of the post.

    In short, style means manner, and form is content. The manner in which something is said says as much, if not more than, the verbal content. This is universally recognized and only denied by those arguing that music is neutral, and the only ones arguing that are the ones arguing for the sanctity of CCM.*

    The assertion that "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" describes only verbal content is an arbitrary assertion designed to escape the obvious fact that the Bible does indeed address musical styles.

    Since Daniel will not belabor the point let's move on. So far, everyone but Daniel (though in a weak moment he did so with his Rom. 14 argument) has agreed that the Bible addresses musical styles however vaguely. Let's move on.

    Travelsong, you've yet to answer the question:

    Is it correct to assume that you think the admonition to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, means that God wills for us to use a variety of musical styles in Christian worship?

    Bonga Dale said yes, but he may have changed his answer to conform to Daniel's newspeak. Dale, do you believe that God wills for us to use different kinds of music in Christian worship based on Eph. 5 and Col. 3?

    *I'll note here that only those whose goal it is to change a set of values away from Christianity will argue for the neutrality of anything. Those working to change the values in public education argued for "form without content", and only those working to move the church away from traditional values are arguing for the neutrality of music.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    steveo, great post. [​IMG]
     
  11. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

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  12. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    I think the message of passages like Colossians 3, Ephesians 5, Phillipians 4 etc. etc. is a commandment to conduct oneself in a Christian manner.

    So if we are going to define musical style as corresponding to words like sober, pure, kind, humble, meek, charity, grace and so on I'd like you to demonstrate exactly how music accomplishes such a thing. That is what I was looking for when I asked you to define "form is content".

    After all, a church can be a house of worship or a den of thieves. Words can indicate intent, but only God can know the heart.
     
  13. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    There's that word "manner" again. And I, too, believe that this passage is telling us to interact in a Christian manner. In fact, I expressed that very thought in our very first interaction on this board. Paul often referred to the character of our behavior in musical terms saying:</font>
    • eloquence without love is like blatting horns and clanging gongs...</font>
    • And that tongues without interpretation is like a trumpet giving indistinct sounds...</font>
    But let's just take that passage and see what we can glean from it. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are contrasted with drunkenness. So, we know from this that their manners are quite inconsistent with manners associated with drunkenness, e.g. excess and riot.

    Would you agree so far?
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Good. The Greeks had what we would call riotous music. They called them Dithyrambs:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/dithyramb

    It was a song in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine. Though it was sung in honor of a deity, the Greeks made a distinction between hymns, ("hymn" is a Greek word) paeans and dithyrambs based on the styles of the music.

    In fact, the dithyrambic style was enhanced by the state of intoxication, much like when kids do drugs at raves and rock concerts. They weren't intended to be participated in by sober audiences, but by drunken banqueters:

    http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9030664

    Paul carried this distinction over when he said, "Do not be drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit speaking to yourselves in hymns."

    Are there musical styles today which we could classify as excessive and riotous, and therefore inconsistent with Christian manners?
     
  15. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    Absolutely.

    Therefore...
     
  16. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    Also keep in mind that the definition of "style" is shifting back and forth. Aaron is trying to take "style" as implied in "hynms, psalms and spiritual songs" compared to "dithyrambs", and apply it to our modern "rock versus classical traditional" argument, based on "odd beat versus even beat accents". But while some rock may be associated with riotous living, what is forgotten is that so was the style now called "traditional", and this is not talking about the "bar tunes" misunderstanding, but rather the simple plain fact that the "traditional hymn" STYLE was once the secular barrom music, whether individual tunes were, or not.

    So no, you cannot prove by this that "hymns, psalms, spiritual songs" is exclusively "classical and tradtional" today!
     
  17. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee New Member

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    Dear Aaron,

    ~*sigh*~ :rolleyes:

    You wrote:
    I DID NOT change my answer to conform to
    "Daniel's newspeak". Just because I share his opinion regarding music,doesn't mean I'm a blind follower! :mad:

    You accuse me of sinking my own arguement when I posted the definition of "style". Again, I DID NOT!

    The reason that I posted the defintion was to show how the word "style" covers many ideas,not just your idea!

    Did you only read what you agreed with or did you read the whole definition and uses of the word ?

    Also,define the word "kind" as used in your statement " God wills for us to use different kinds of music in Christian worship based on Eph. 5 and Col. 3?"

    Again, at my church,we use many "kinds" of music in our services. And all of the music:hymns,
    contemporary,and classical,is selected according to the Scripture readings,the sermon,and for us "liturgical types",where we are in the Church Year. [​IMG]

    To wit,the music heard during Advent would reflect the looking for the birth of Christ,
    quiet and introspective. During Christmas and the season after Christmas until Lent,the music would be celebratory and glorious! At Lent,the music would reflect the coming suffering and death of Christ,and be rather somber. For the Easter season and Pentecost,the music would be jubilant and upbeat and continue on until Advent.

    So then,we use many kinds of music in our services over the year and it's all done with "decency and in order"!

    In the 30 years that I've played Contemporary music in church,I've never come across the "craziness" that some have described here and elsewhere in the churches I've attended.

    Every musician that I had the pleasure and the honor to have played with approached the music with a mature and reverent attitude when it came to playing and singing in church. Because we all were aware of the great responsibilty of leading God's people in singing His praises for His glory and to worship Him! [​IMG]

    In Christ,

    Dale
     
  18. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Absolutely.

    Therefore...
    </font>[/QUOTE]Therefore you have a partial answer to the request you posted several pages ago:

    Could you point some evil music out to me so that I might recognize it for future reference?

    Those styles which are riotous and excessive when contrasted with the demeanor commanded us by the Scriptures are evil.
     
  19. Travelsong

    Travelsong Guest

    I don't see how that follows.
     
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