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Believers 7

17 Apr

Our ad hoc caravan was on its way to Creation 2005, an outdoor rock festival that each summer draws tens of thousands of evangelical young people and their chaperones to the bucolic hills of south central Pennsylvania for what is often described as a Christian version of Woodstock– pg. 196

About a month before the Creation festival an aging and ailing rocker named Larry Norman gave what was billed as his last U.S. concert– pg. 214

Music and the church is always a controversial topic as one generation does not agree with another as to what constitute good Christian music.  God really doesn’t tell us what music we should use in our church services but he does leave at least one scripture verse to guide our decision making– love not the world nor the things in it.

The question for the music discussion is which music is of the world and which is not? Music transcends so many boundaries and influences so many different classes of people. One thought to help in this matter would be, are we using the music we like out of our selfish desire to listen and participate in that music culture or are we using it to truly worship God? Selfishness is not of God nor does it lend anything to worship.

Another thought that would help in this issue is, the above examples illustrate more the ‘ends justify the means’ mentality than anything sacred. The ends do not justify the means especially when the means disobey God and ignore his instructions.

Then there is the question, does Christian church music have to be all original? Luther used a bar room melody to write A Mighty Fortress so are we allowed to borrow the music of unbelievers to write songs to worship the most holy God?

This issue must be decided by each local congregation and while we disagree with Hillsong and other meg Church groups who use contemporary music in their services we cannot make their decisions for them on this issue. We do not think that Hillsong or other churches are using music correctly as they forget who they are worshiping and what he requires. They are more concerned with pleasing the people than God.

And That is another point to be considered in this discussion–our motivation in using music. Are we pleasing others and ourselves or are we truly trying to please God? Our purpose is to please God not entice others to enter the church because we are hip, cool or contemporary. Jesus said HE would draw all men unto him, he did not say ‘use music to draw people to me’. We need to live obediently and that includes our use of music.

One side point, while we like choruses and hymns, the former are used to often to manipulate the congregation. We do not like the repeating of the same chorus over and over, when that happens we tend to think some sort of mind control experiment is in process in the church and not true worship.The chorus may sound good and make one feel good but constant repeating it does nothing but perform worthless repetition.

Music is good in the church, The Psalmist talks about its use but we must be careful not to use scripture wrongly to support our own desires when we select what songs will fill the singing portion of the service. We follow the Bible correctly, all of the verses not just a few so we get the right picture of what God wants for worship.

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