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News: Church pianist fired for also playing in bar

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Miss Bobbie, Oct 16, 2002.

  1. Mike McK

    Mike McK New Member

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    How do you define "Christ honoring"?

    I would say a song like "That's How Strong My Love Is" is Christ honoring, even though it's not necessarily about Christ, Himself.

    Most of the songs I've played in the bands over the years have been morally neutral, with the exception of "Pretty Polly" and "Banks of the Ohio". Evidently, hacking your darlin' to death, cutting her up and burying her in the woods is frowned upon by many in the church. [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    I know!!! Why doesn't the church pay their pianist the equivalent of what she was making at the bar, if they're that concerned about it.

    I'm not sure where the line should be drawn. Ms Merritt was not engaging in any sinful activity. She wasn't having sex with the bar's clientele, or serving alcohol. What's the difference between playing in a "gay" bar and a "straight" bar?

    Here's a similar scenario: Let's assume for the sake of arguement that comsumption of alcohol is a sin. Would it be okay for a church to fire its organist if the same organist also plays at the local baseball stadium, where alcohol is served during games? Or what about a church being allowed to fire a pianist that also works as a pianist on Main Street at Disneyland (the SBC has taken issue with Disney for extending insurance benefits to same gender partners).
     
  3. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    I'm amused that people would question this woman's Christianity because of this. Shame.
     
  4. Mike McK

    Mike McK New Member

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    One's decorated much better.

    I don't know if anyone has been sacked from their church gig for playing at Disneyland, but several churches have gotten on members for working there.

    Mike
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua <img src=/cjv.jpg>

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    Better tips and more requests for show tunes?

    Joshua

    [ October 17, 2002, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua ]
     
  6. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

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    WHY did Jesus eat with sinners and publicans? When he did so was it to help bring MORE people into a sinful environment?
    A bar has entertainment to draw more people in to drink alcohol. Working for them is helping them to do so.
    I have a feeling Jesus wasn't eating and drinking with sinners just for the company, the entertainment, or for money. He witnessed to them. He preached the gospel.
    Gina
     
  7. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    thank you, Gina
     
  8. post-it

    post-it <img src=/post-it.jpg>

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    Right, I just can't see Jesus getting a gig at a local bar. Paul being a barkeep just doesn't sound right. Billy Graham hauling beer in the back door just isn't something that makes any sense. A Youth pastor waiting tables at Martini's just can't be right.

    Any of these people going there to witness only, sounds perfectly right.
     
  9. Mike McK

    Mike McK New Member

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    Could it be, just possibly, that He enjoyed their comapny?

    Not necessarily.

    Two of the bars where I've played, the East End Cafe in Newark, De and Andy's, in Chestertown, Md as well as the Anglesea Pub in Wildwood N.J. are heavily involved in local folk music clubs and have many "all ages" shows that don't serve alcohol at all.

    This sort of thing isn't nearly as rare as you might think.

    I do think that was one of the reasons.

    What money?

    I've done that in the bars where I've played, as has one of the guys in my old band. That's not necessarily why I go to bars, but by God's leading, ministry opportunities have presented themselves.

    Mike
     
  10. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    I read that Jack Daniels (whisky?) is brewed in a dry county,,,,,Wonder how many Bible-thumpers earn their church tithes there?

    Just a thought.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Ruth

    Ruth Member
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    My opinion? I have more questions than opinions on this matter. First - why on earth is this church hiring a professional musician for their accompaniment, as was mentioned before? I have never been in any church where there were not accomplished musicians available to fill the positions. But then I go to churches where people expected to serve, not be served! Something is very wrong there. And second - just exactly how did he find out about her other employment? Quite frankly, it sounds to me like someone is spending more time gossiping about others than living the life that we should be as Christians. Or maybe someone is going somewhere and doing things that they know would not be approved by the membership?

    If this church is large enough to pay that much for a musician (my church sure can't! We do pay what we can, though, for members who are willing to share their talents) then I would think that someone in the membership would be willing to accept the responsibility. I have grave concerns about any church who hires outsiders to perform this type of function within regular church services, but does not also require them to be a member of the church body and be willing to obey the ordinances of the church.

    Ruth
     
  12. Music Man

    Music Man New Member

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    I think the biggest problem in knowing whether the church did the right thing or not is we don't know exactly what was said during that first meeting between the pianist and the pastor.

    I think it is perfectly fine for the pastor to come to her and express concern over her playing at the bar. But, we don't know whether she was just completely unwilling to give up that job in the bar or not. If she was not willing to work with the church on a resolution, the church has every right to do what they did. But, if the church was not willing to work with her to resolve the issue, the church may have been at fault.

    I personally would not want my pianist playing at a bar on the side. I think her playing there condones (whether she really does or not), or at least gives the appearance of condoning, the activities going on at the bar. I think that is unacceptable for a worship leader in the church. I don't think the church would like their music minister playing at bars on the weekends.

    SDG,
    Chris
     
  13. Mike McK

    Mike McK New Member

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    But you're assuming that what goes on there is necessarily sinful.

    My church was fine with me doing it when I did it. My pastor even came to see us several times and sat in with us once.

    The church I was in before that, the worship team was led by the guy who was the guitar player for the Greaseband, the drummer was the guy from Out of Focus and the bass player was session player who played on a variety of mainstream records.

    Nobody ever said a word about it.

    Mike
     
  14. jonmagee

    jonmagee New Member

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    Is the piano player concerned merely about the music or to take a leading role in a ministry of worship? If it is the latter then the pianist should want to uphold the witness of him/herself as well as the church. Whether in a bar or elsewhere, this is the crucial question.
    yours, Jon
     
  15. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    why on earth is this church hiring a professional musician for their accompaniment

    I don't see why this is a problem. My church has a beautiful multirank organ that was a gift from a larger church that was demo'd in an earthquake many years back.

    It's not the kind of instrument that an amateur volunteer can play well. It requires someone who's trained at the organ for it to be played in a manner thant's uplifting and appropriate for a church hymn singing or choir accompaniment setting.
     
  16. Ruth

    Ruth Member
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    Point taken, Johnv - but to clarify my earlier statement, I should note that you are talking about a specialty instrument. The woman discussed in the article is simply a pianist, and that does not require specialized training - there are a multitude of good pianists out there. You don't have to search far and wide to find a pianist, which cannot be said for someone who can play your organ! You are very fortunate to have it.

    When you hired your organist, was there a contract involved, or at the least, a discussion of terms of employment? I don't know if the article is correct or not, but apparently these matters were never discussed with this woman according to her, and they were aware that she did take other jobs when she took this one. So it looks as though the church did not take much care in the selection of someone who is so important to the worship service. I would think it would not be hard to find someone to fill the position who would be sensitive to the position of the church on matters like this, and it should have been made clear from the first that any secular engagement should not conflict with the church's policies. I suspect the church was more interested in acquiring someone who could be pointed to as a "professional musician" rather than someone of their faith who was a good musician but not as well known.

    Ruth
     
  17. Miss Bobbie

    Miss Bobbie <img src="http://our.homewithgod.com/wrightsboro/g

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    Thank you, Squire, for fixing the link to the news item. [​IMG]

    I'm really amazed at the number of responses to this post. I brought it up because Pine Valley Baptist Church (which fired the pianist) is on our prayer list. I wish I had been able to stay for our prayer service on Wednesday, but my husband wasn't well and he needed me at home. I'm guessing that there was a discussion about it at the service.

    My understanding is that the pianist was looking for a way to supplement her income.

    I don't know what kind of reputation that Costello's (the bar where the pianist also played) has - I don't hear about it in the news, so it could very well be a calm place. But it's located downtown, and for the most part, I consider that a rougher area than being further away from town. There's been some bad press about other such establishments, with a murder at one downtown bar, and a knifing (of a couple of men on a movie shoot) at another.

    The opinions on this issue seem to have covered the full spectrum of possibilities. I appreciate the input. Thank you!
     
  18. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    And as this thread is threatening to go to a forth page, I am closing it with Miss Bobbie's comments.

    [ October 17, 2002, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
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