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Featured The Amorality of Music

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Sapper Woody, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    God can redeem any person or thing He chooses.

    By addressing the thinking that music should be considered "amoral" and benign, it was shown by even world standards that music clearly is NOT; music that is derives from evil source does influence and to the point of control allow satanic access.


    There is a small nuance that is important to explore; it concerns the beat.

    The beat in music is NEVER heard but felt. Rhythm is what is heard. I will illustrate using the typical concert in which a march is played.

    The beat is the indicated by the conductor's movements and the stress of the beat is also indicated by how those movements are displayed. In the typical 4/4 march set at two beats per second (typical parade march), the "down beat" (1st) and the the third beat (3rd) are stressed by the conductor; the rhythm heard by the audience will typically cause responses of having a sense of walking displayed by foot tapping and larger gross motor movements of arm/hand. Speeding up the tempo while not changing the stress of the beat moves the march from 120 beats per minute to 180 which is considered a "quick march" and the audience response is typically shown by having a sense of trotting and less gross motor movements give way to those like finger tapping. By slowing the beat down from 120 to 80, the march moves into the typical funeral march as exampled when listening to the parade of JFK down Pennsylvania Ave and on to Arlington cemetery; the audience will typically respond with nodding heads.

    People feel the beat (even those without ears to hear) as the pulse part of what is produced by rhythm.

    Rhythm (what the ear hears and body feels) is what is actually referred to (especially by the folks in this modern age) as the beat and the two are typically interchanged. That is unfortunate, and can cause some confusion.

    An audience watching a conductor alone on the stage, waving about, conducting what is not present nor heard or felt, would generally be amused, perhaps scorned and even ridiculed.

    It is the unheard force and the heard sounds in which the power of music is derived; that which is felt and what is heard. Both.

    Therefore, it is not merely the message and the content, but it is also the delivery mechanism.

    The actual structured enticement that cues up the emotions before the intellect is what is to be carefully guarded.

    This is a most important part of the discussion; for then, when examination of music "styles" is taken in by the head church musician, it is becomes most important that great concern that the "music" (basic elements of tempo, rhythm, timbre, mode...) and the desired effect upon the assembly is discerned and one of the most missed questions of all. Most modern folks just assume appeal means Godly worship.

    When does the music become entertainment and not worship?

    Worship transcends style, and the focus is upon the Word and Work of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life and living.

    If the music is not worship and becomes entertainment (which I contend are exclusive and not united in purpose) then the impact is man centered, geared to be for man pleasing, and the desire to heighten the emotional above the spiritual. In that setting, all manner of heretical teaching can be delivered and accepted as good and godly.

    In THAT scope, the basic elements of the music become important to the chief musician of the church. That person MUST make discernment of audience response a top priority.

    The more "flesh" oriented the music and appealing to the "flesh" the less likely it can conform to true worship. The discerning chief musician will make choice and even direction changes to limit or at least ensure by observation that the Spiritual Word is reflected in the emotion and not emotion driven in an attempt to gain some Spiritual Word.


    This principle applies to ALL music used in ANY worship setting.
     
  2. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    Was the first chief musician in the first church named Acapella Harmony? Was this an additional duty for the deacon or a pastor?

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  3. tinytim

    tinytim <img src =/tim2.jpg>

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    BWAahahahahahahaa... that cracks me up!!! you use a heretical website to prove your point!!!!! AV1611.. .ROFL!!!!! OH you fundies are soooo funny!!! and sooooo mislead!!!!

    Do you really have nothing else to do than to buy in to all that garbage!!!! GEeesh!!! Music is Music... play it, glorify God with it... and quit whining for God's sake, grow up and mature in the faith!!!!! Quit whining.. and quit believing AV1611 site!!!! OH, I needed that laugh for today!!....

    No wonder the world laughs at Christians... some are so gullible!
     
  4. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I would say that you sound gullible.

    You would rather demean, ridicule, and scorn a fellow believer than show by Scriptures the view they linked too is incorrect.

    That isn't edification; it is sloppy posting and certainly not necessary.

    FreeAtLast and I have gone tooth and nail on the BB. There have been posts in which he and I became (probably will again) heated and perhaps too much in contention; we attempt to keep it with in Scripture and compare our views with Scriptures. If in error the Scriptures say that the stronger is to go to the one in error (and bring someone with them) in hope of correcting the error.

    Perhaps it is your "style" to be scornful and ridicule those in whom you disagree, but that is displaying no strength of Christian character, and most certainly displays a weakness in the believer.

    Rather than post foolishness, why not take the issues in the links and deal with them.

    Can you disprove any of the link statements?

    Can you show by Scriptures that the links are to a heretical site?

    What makes the statements of belief on that site heretical?

    Perhaps you can demonstrate your maturity in the Scriptures on this topic and some knowledge about the matter addressed in the OP.

    Others have.
     
  5. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Why is it that the discussion of music in a worship service evokes more vitriol than the discussions regarding Calvinism/Arminianism?
     
  6. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    because unlike Scriptures, music speaks to the emotional before the rational.

    As a result, a great many respond purely from the emotional.
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Guess that it is just predestined to sooner or later get around to that!
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim <img src =/tim2.jpg>

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    Any site that is built around the premise that the AV1611 is the only true version is a heretical site... it demeans the word of God.

    Wow.. a thread with music wars, version wars ,and a C/A war.... hmmm.. yep, no wonder i stayed away from BB for a while.... have fun young ones...
     
  9. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Are we to assume you are speaking from Peter's chair or is that a direct revelation from God?
     
  10. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    I really agree with a lot of what you are saying in this thread.

    I think there is a problem with this statement, though.

    And I do think that this is actually very important.

    It gets at the heart of how we define "evil" (or ungodly).

    Music IS amoral. So is pork. So is Oxycontin. So is crack cocaine. So is anger. And the list goes on.

    Why are these things amoral? Because they are not PERSONS. Only persons can be good or evil, moral or immoral. Materials cannot have moral value. Neither can sounds.

    What corrupts a man is that which comes from within him- that is what Christ taught us.

    Now that does not mean that all substances are ok for us to enjoy. Bacon may be bad for you. Crack cocaine probably is bad for everyone. But that means that it is UNHEALTHY- not that it has immoral properties.

    The heart that drives a man to indulge in things that are not good for him- now that HEART can be immoral. The ACTION is sin, but it is only sin because it proceeds from the heart of a person.

    Only that which proceeds from the heart of a person can be sin.

    The importance of this cannot be overestimated. The greatest early heresy the Church fought was Gnosticism. It taught that material things are evil and spiritual things are good.

    This is a terrible heresy. No one on BB adheres to it. I am certain of that. BUT... we can, if we are not very careful, embrace a watered down version of gnosticism that says that STUFF has inherent moral properties.

    Stuff does not possess moral properties. Sounds do not possess moral properties. Only the hearts of person can project morality.

    This is very important.

    I'll tell you when I think the American religious culture began to forget this- PROHIBITION.

    We began to think that alcohol had inherent moral properties. We called it "liquid devil". It did not.

    Neither does music.
     
  11. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire New Member

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    agedman is correct on it working on the emotional side. When in seminary we were taught to watch the music, because music was one of the big deals on split of churches back then. So many music leaders were more liberal than most pastors of the day.
    We were warned if we didn't keep an eye on the music, we would be as the Pentecostals as far as music went, very emotional as well as putting on a show.
     
  12. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    It is my opinion that the so-called music ministry of many churches, particularly the "sanctuary" choir, has deteriorated into a performance, a show, rather than worship.

    I have observed the following: A choir gives a good performance they get an ovation:applause:, sometimes standing; a choir gives a fair performance they get "silence":(, likely followed afterwards by criticism:rolleyes:!
     
  13. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    For those who think "music" is benign or amoral, consider the sound experiments conducted both under the Nazi's and by scientists in well documented (though not cited here) experiments on sound and the effects upon the human body.

    The human ear hears down to about 15 to 22 hertz (depending on the person and the historical environmental exposures and physical aliments of the past). However, it is not all the body "hears."

    Sub human hearing sounds, can cause nausea, headaches, disorientation, dizziness, ...

    If those sounds the ear does not hear, but to which the body never the less is physically responding, how much more is the sounds effecting when the ears feed directly to the emotional?

    Is it not all the more important that the "chief musician" of an assembly be far more discerning as to just what is entertainment and what is Godly edification?
     
  14. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    But the question is not whether or not music can have negative health effects or even if music can evoke emotional responses.

    The question is whether or not music has moral value.

    I submit that the only source of morality comes from persons- not substances, sounds, etc...

    The question is: "Are musical arrangements inherently morally good or morally evil?" The answer is- "No."
     
  15. reformed_baptist

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    Music is a gift of God, it can be used to glorify his name or dishonour his name - it is how we fallen sinful people make of use of it that is the problem -espescially as music has a power manipulating effect on the emotions.
     
  16. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody Well-Known Member

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    I think we've allowed semantics to degrade the thread completely.

    My point about the amorality (rather the lack thereof) of music is not that it has a will, or can choose, or be sentient like humans. If that is your definition; then in that case, I would agree that music is amoral, as it can not choose to be other than it is.

    However, based on the research and evidence, I firmly believe that there is music that has negative effects and music that has good effects, regardless of the lyrics. This is what I am referring to as music not be amoral. And I believe that music that has these negative effects should not be used to try and glorify God. In my mind, it is like running around naked and saying, "God gave me my body, so I am glorifying him by showing it off."

    Negative music, IMO, cannot be reconciled with the worship of God.
     
  17. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I submit that is a wrong conclusion.

    The Scriptures speak specifically in personification to what humankind make attempt to make amoral. Examples include: Stating the word as groaning and travailing in its present condemnation. Saying of wine and strong drink they are mockers and raging.

    If "the only source of morality comes from persons and not substances, sounds, etc ..." there would be no ultimate need for the destruction of the heaven and earth, and there would be no need for a new heaven and earth in which a new song is sung.

    At one time, folks thought that the animals did not have a "moral" code, but responded out of pure "animal instinct." However, the most recent findings have shown inescapable proof that animals murder, rape, steal... That higher order species actually understand that these are not acceptable, and that doing so comes with high risk to themselves from the extended members of the species.

    What I am attempting to stress is that all creation is based upon moral pinning, and that applies to music and sound. God being a "moral" creator, did not create what is amoral. God has no neutral ground in what He called good in his creation.
     
  18. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    I agree that music can have negative effects. I am totally against many types of music being used in worship service because much of it creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to the worship of God.

    I just want us to be careful about ascribing moral qualities to things.

    It is a slippery slope to gnosticism.
     
  19. Luke2427

    Luke2427 Active Member

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    Neither of these examples establish a morality of "stuff".

    They are, as you acknowledge, figurative.

    To the drunkard wine is LIKE... etc, etc, etc...

    The world of nature does not LITERALLY GROAN. NOBODY in history has ever believed that to be literal.

    It is no more literal than the idea that the earth has moral qualities.

    Those passages, interpreted responsibly and thoughtfully, do not support this gnostic notion that "stuff" is good or evil.

    It can be helpful or harmful to some people. But "stuff" cannot be good or evil. Only persons can.

    The earth will be renovated, not because it is itself evil (you need to be very careful about that kind of thinking). The dirt is not tainted with dark sin magic. The trees are not plotting against God.

    The earth will be renovated because it has been transformed from its original state by God as a judgment against sinful humanity and by man who has stripped it of its original beauty and glory.

    I think you are having difficulty differentiating between "harmful" and "sinful".


    I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I think that reasoning is silly. "God being moral did not create something amoral" ??

    How does that pan out with other of God's attributes? God being omnipotent does not create what is not omnipotent? God being "all-knowing" cannot create that which is without knowledge? Are rocks all-knowing or are they a-knowing (like amoral)?

    I think, respectfully, that is silly support for this notion of yours that STUFF can be intrinsically morally good or evil.

    "Good" in the same sense that food is "good". That does not mean that it has intrinsic morality. It means it tastes good. The pinto beans and cornbread I had the other day was very "good". That does not mean that those cooked beans love God. I had some Mexican food a while back that was VERY bad. That does not mean that those fajitas were rebelling against God.

    When God said repeatedly that his creation was "good" he was saying that it is beautiful not morally upright.

    You need to think this through a little better, brother.
     
    #39 Luke2427, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2012
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Still waiting to see if the Lord can and does use music such as Christian Rock/Rap/Country etc to reach souls for Christ? or to edify those already been saved?
     
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