Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Worship with the Beatles

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This is the way a local church advertized a special worship service this past weekend. According to a newspaper article, some of the songs that "attendees [sang] along to" were "Eight Days a Week," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Let it Be." The pastor is quoted as saying, "This is part of who we are as Lutherans....It's commonly understood that some of the many hymns that Martin Luther wrote, the music was music that was common everyday music--even bar tunes. So we are only keeping Luther's tradition going." I can just hear Luther saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
The church's musical director is quoted as explaining the rationale behind this special service: "We are taking the secular and putting it into the sacred." Mission accomplished.
I guess we could just see this as a day in the life of our Lutheran friends although it does seem like more and more of this is happening across the universe. If you ask me why, I will simply have to say, "Because." I just don't understand, although it would make me glad all over if someone could just tell me why. It seems like just yesterday that this kind of thing was unheard of. I wonder if Ken Puls will try to do this in our church? Right! That'll be the day! Perhaps I should let it be and just try to act naturally when these kinds of things are called to my attention. That is virtually impossible for me, though, because, in spite of all the danger of this kind of church life, evangelicals seem unwilling to slow down. When we stop using the Word to govern our worship practices, everything becomes helter skelter.
All together now: Help!

54 comments:

ScriptureSearcher2 said...

Beatles?
Will it be BED BUGS next?

Matthew said...

"...God loves you yeah-yeah-yeah..."

Wha...?

I feel nauseous.

MarieP said...

What's even sadder is that I did a Google search to find what church this was, and I came up with a whole list of churches doing the same thing!

I was wondering what type of Lutheran church it was, and actually it appears to be LCMS! I am amazed. Singing "SHE loves you" sounds more something PCUSA would do (I am assuming they at least are changing the lyrics to God loves you...)

Also, if they chose to sing "Let It Be" as is, it would be...Catholic!

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

littlegal_66 said...

Great photo, and great job on this post! Thank you. I linked to your photo/article on my little blogspot, with the title, "I WANT TO LIFT MY HANDS?" This practice has reached epidemic proportions, but it's great to see that someone actually captured the publicizing of it.

To borrow from your clever technique, when will we "Get Back" to using true worship songs in our worship services? "I Don't Want to Spoil The Party," but come on.......isn't there "Something" wrong with this picture? Can someone "Tell Me Why" this type of thing is beginning to occur in churches "Here, There, and Everywhere?" I wish I could say "I'm Only Sleeping," and this is just a dream. I'm praying that this movement would "Slow Down," but "I've Got a Feeling" we'll be seeing more and more of this practice. Some seem to think "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in some watered-down form of the gospel. Hopefully, the response this worship service received was feeble enough that they attempt it "Not A Second Time." Sure, "There's A Place" for the Beatles' tunes, but I don't believe it's in the House of God.

littlegal_66 said...
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jbuchanan said...

I would bet you ten bucks that this church also has theater style seating in the sanctuary. Do you see now, why I am so upset? First we reject the pew and accomodate the modern, fun loving, free styling, jive talkin, boogie-woogie crowd. And then what happens- THEY START SINGING BEATLES TUNES. What happened to the good ole' days when we burned Beatles records as a sweet smelling aroma before the Lord. What will be next?

This is why everyone here should be rallying behind my Resoluition on Pewism.

But seriously, Luther would snatch that little panzy od a preacher up a smack some sense into him. But before we balk and say that this is a Lutheran thing. I know a church right here in Virginia, and part of the conservative convention to boot, that used the Eagles song "Desparado" as an inviation hymn.

David & Rose Ann said...

And they say we want a Revolution....

Andrew Nicewander said...

hehehehehehehe

Brian Hamrick said...

Here I stand, I can do no other, Can't Buy Me Love.

Greg B said...

Joe, you gotta' come to your senses. You have got to email me off list and let me know who is worshipping to Don, Glen and Joe.
Greg B From Powhatan.

gracefellow said...

This is a slippery slope. This motivation is not of God.

Question: What did our Lord mean by tares amongst the wheat even to the end of the world? Matthew 13.

If it is the world they associate with then - as they say, "birds of a feather..." and you can finish the rest.

I pray God to snap them out of their apparent stupor for this is truly insipid.

The Traveler said...

Let me offend everyone.

What is wrong with their logic? It is true that hymns often were put to pagan tunes. So Luther could do it but we can't? Their logic is solid at that point.

Rewrite lyrics away. I fully support them.

My criticism comes on different grounds. First, I don't think it is right to camouflage the gospel as culture or to steal the gospel's thunder and replace it with pop culture juice. (they may or may not be doing this)

Secondly, I would question the lyrics that they wrote. If they are gloriously deep then I will cry amen!!

Thirdly, I question the wisdom of using the type of music. In our culture certain types of music bring certain baggage. Rap comes across as angry, pop comes across as "sexy", etc. Does the music stir up the soul to worship the Creator?

But with those concerns voiced... they may be completly unfounded. I hope we can have thoughtful discussion rather than "HE TOUCHED A PAGAN!!! HE HAS PAGAN COOTIES ON HIM!!" We need to be wise and discerning but we need to have legitamate grounds before we condemn. (not saying that is true of anyone here... it just seemed that it might be going that way)

Nathan White said...

I've recently posted a few thoughts of mine concerning Christians listening to secular music, but bringing it into the church? Much could be written about that.

It all comes down to pop-culture Christianity, which is obviously rooted in Arminianism. Prove to people that they can be a part of the church and still be 'cool', gather attention by catching the newest Christian fad, and fulfill the fleshly desires of your congregation in the process.

“The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself for Christ." To the egotist it says, "Come and do your boasting in the Lord." To the thrill- seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship." The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.”

-AW Tozer


SDG

deusvult2 said...

Funny, another one could be, He wants to hold your hand...I must admit, I bet those songs are catchy.

jfile said...

Reminds me of a Steve Taylor song:
"Spread the Good News in the Barry Manaloe. Give me that old time easy listening."

SDG

fred said...

JBuchanan said,
"First we reject the pew"

Is there a specific Biblical reference to using pews?

We are a small church with limited resources and have out grown the fellowship hall where 50-60 children + adults meet each Tuesday for AWANA. The hall can hold about 25-30 children comfortably so space is an issue.

We have a sanctuary full of unmovable pews with seats for 400 people. On Sunday morning the gathering is about 150 people. On Wednesday evening it's 30 people.

We are considering "rejecting the pew" for greater flexibility and to bring the congregation closer together.

Seeking to be Biblical
In His service,
Fred

Calvinist Gadfly said...

*sighs*

gracefellow said...

Dear Traveler,

What comes with the music is association with the writer and performer. In this case John Lennon and the Beatles.

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know
which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity."
John Lennon

Also, have in mind that one of the Beatles songs posited "what if there is no heaven" etc. His work is the work of an avowed unbeliever. I don't think anyone is unjustly disturbed at this Lutheran assembly's lack of judgment in this respect which, I fear, is only symptomatic of still worse things with their faith and practice.

Sincerely a fellow in His grace which is thoroughly holy.

Chuck said...

I heard that next week they're singing 'Don't Fear the Reaper' at a funeral.

Kim said...

Traveler,

I don’t believe your concerns are unfounded. This topic caught my interest because at the church I attended before my present church, hosted a “Long and Winding Road” week every year. It was a week of events using the music of the Beatles as a theme and then culminating with a play/production featuring Beatles’ songs with an “evangelistic message.” Ken Mansfield, who is one of the former managers of the Beatles, would speak throughout the week about his conversion and his spiritual life. At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with that approach – I’ve grown since then.

On the one hand, the gospel was presented at each of the events, the messages were doctrinally sound, there were no emotional appeals to “walk the aisle,” and afterwards they offered a series of classes for anyone interested in exploring the claims of Christianity – all good things. The problem is, there is nothing about the Beatles’ music that honors Christ. And, I had been a huge fan since I was little. The production at the end of the week received a lot of acclaim because it truly was a professional quality production, not just a church play, but, the theme of the play every year revolved around what was happening in the culture during the time the Beatles’ were popular – drugs, free love, rejection of Christian values, disobedience to parents, etc. Although I think it is important to be honest about what is happening and has happened in our culture, I don’t think it needs to be brought into the sanctuary and called evangelism.

Just my two cents…

Blessings,
Kim

Brian Hamrick said...

Greg B- If you're still reading, please send me a private email. I'd like to get in touch with you.

Gavin Brown said...

sounds like the pastor of that church is "the fool on the hill"

not bad huh?

Tony said...

How often we hear that Luther used "bar tunes" but is this actually true? Even if it was this would not necessarily make it right. I have looked into this and the general thought is that this is an incorrect statement, anyone have information otherwise? What I have found is that the reference to “bar tunes” was to a musical term and not tavern songs.

Even if he did so again that would not make it the thing we should do. The greater concern is that we need to look to the world for guidance and not God’s word. I have to say God’s word because if I say look to God then I will here the every popular, “I feel God wants me to do this.” More and more it appears that scripture is not sufficient. Yes, people may claim it is so and espouse its inerrancy but then when it comes to actions things look markedly different.

This is not a call to the old days but a call to look seriously at what we do and see if we are trying to please God or man.

Gordon Cloud said...

I guess the next step will be Michael Jackson or Madonna. Hey, he's named after the archangel and she's named after the Blessed Virgin.

SJ Camp said...
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SJ Camp said...

Luther didn't use bar room tunes--a myth. He was a trained classical flute player. Now, we all know that he did consume vast amounts of fermented grain... but let's not confuse that with what constitutes biblical worship in song.

There is a church in Nashville that several years ago introduced "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" as a worship chorus.

But this is old news... The CCM industry in Nashville has been using secular songs to speak of Christ for many years. I'm not trying to be critical... But think about this one fact (courtesy of Larry Norman): the Beatles said "All You Need Is Love" and then they broke up.

I love you Tom--great post! You get by with a little help from your friends... :-).
Steve

Darel said...

Luther may have used "bar tunes" and pop music, only rewriting the lyrics.

Luther also promoted beheading and burning at the stake of all (ana)Baptists. Also drowning. His friend Zwingli locked up several men, women and children in a tower until they starved to death because they refused to baptise their infants.

Quite the model for us to follow after.

jbuchanan said...

Darel,

Calling Luther and Zwingli friends is a little bit of a stretch.

I tend to be the class clown on this blog but in all seriousness this trend towards more and more secularization and entertainment in the church should alarm us all. The problem here is simply a denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. The greatest problem facing the convention (besides theater style seating of course) is that while we confess the inerrancy of Scripture we do not take seriously its authority or sufficiency. The Word is no longer the authority in the church, pragmatism is. The zeal to be effective has been given priority over being Biblical.

Gordan said...

The local Christian radio station recently played a "remake" (?) of the 80's Asia song, "Rosanna." Have you heard that, with the words changed so that it's "Hosanna?" I'm not kidding; I realize how dumb it sounds.

"Need You all the day
Hosanna, Yeah!"

This whole attitude has also poisoned the Chritian T-shirt and bumper-sticker industries. Let's take whatever is currently faddish and popular in the secular culture and twist it just a bit. It is Me-too-ism, baptized.

See, we're hip, too. We're with it.

Someone I know has a Lord of the Rings t-shirt that has been changed to Lord of the Kings. I want to strangle her every time she wears it.

Stephen Thomas said...

I suppose this question may not be one of the more important ones, but I wonder about the legality of this? If Luther used bar tunes, I would imagine that they were not copywrite protected. And though there are many hymns that share the same tunes with secular songs, the words are often completely different, much more than just changing the pronouns to "God."

And though this doesn't change the argument at all, out of perfectionism I must make the correction that "Imagine" is a John Lennon solo song, not a Beatles song.

Stephen Thomas said...

Oh, one more thing. This is something I thought of a while ago, before this post came about. I've been listening to a lot of George Harrison solo stuff lately, and I thought to myself that so much of CCM is so shallow that many of George's religious songs could easily be sung without anybody knowing the difference. You wouldn't even have to change any words, though you may need to omit a few "Krishnas" now and then.

Matt said...

Okay...oh wise blogging ones :)

In all seriousness I've got a question related to the travelers comment.

For the record, I simultaneously loathe and grieve over things such as Tom posted - but back to the question...

The traveler said,

In our culture certain types of music bring certain baggage.

Can this be substantiated by Scripture?

I have a hypothesis that I have yet to have time to thoroughly work through (and possible you all will help) that goes something like there is a difference between what is acceptable to use in worship and what you listen to outside of worship. Now maybe that just sounds too simple or maybe that is just blatantly obvious or possibly I am completely off base but I am one to over-analyze and admit when I am unsure of something.

I know many of you will cringe at the thought and I may even immediately lose the respect of many by even admitting to the fact that I enjoy rap music. For the longest time I didn't listen to any because, quite frankly, any "Christian" rap music I could find had horrible theology (mostly health and wealth gospel) or it was just plain bad musically...and I can hear most of you saying is there any rap that isn't? :)

The point is there is a label out there now Cross Movement who has several artists who are solid (in fact from what I know most of them are) and many even Reformed. I have found much encouragement and thoroughly enjoy their music - yes, I am going to keep calling it music :).

Is all rap music bad because it has “baggage”? Does it not glorify God when the lyrics contend for such things as the deity of Christ over against the errors of modalism and point out the problems with fanatical charismatic teaching (both of which he does)?

Let me say clearly I am not contending for its use for Sunday Morning worship – which I realize was the original post but I thought this was closely related - but I have run into the “baggage” argument against listening to it period and (as is obvious) I am yet to be convinced …sjc@mp may set me straight!

By the way, I was listening again to the Abandon to God album today. It’s one of my favorites. Great job brother.

Before you respond I would encourage you to check out one of the artist's pages at www.flame314.com

WARNING - turn down your sound or you may be negatively influenced into bobbing your head! :)

DEANBERRY said...

If you were really Christians you'd be forthright enough to admit you're murdering Iraqis to steal their oil.

Jesus will be saying "I never knew thee."

And your kind will be the first ones to take the mark of the beast. I'll bet money on it.

In Jesus' Glorious and Holy name,
Dean Berry - Real American

Larry said...

My, my, my Dean aren't we the judgmental one! Christ said if we hate our brother we're guilty of murder as well. Based on the tone of your post it may be you who is in danger here.

Who exactly do you mean by 'you'? If I'm responsible for what the American armed forces are doing then certainly a 'real American' like you is as well.

Get a grip take a deep breath and think before you post next time.

ken puls said...

Thank you, Steve, for pointing out the myth of Luther using bar room tunes in the church. I have heard that argument often and it is simply without foundation.
To set the record straight, what Luther used was "bar form" -- a poetic and compositional form that originated in the late 12th century that has nothing to do with taverns (see "bar form" in the New Harvard Dictionary of Music). The design of the form is AAB (the first two lines of the tune are the same -- thus AA -- followed by the remainder of the tune --B). The form was used extensively by German Meistersingers in the 16th century and most all Lutheran Chorales use this form. “A Mighty Fortress” by Luther is an example. The tune for the first line of text “A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing” is the same for the second “Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing” (sections AA). This is followed by the remainder of the hymn (section B). Luther was using a common musical structure of his day and writing at a time in history in which the world largely looked to the church to lead the way and set the standards for musical practice.

Darel said...

Hey JB,
As the tone of my post was sarcasm built on historical fact, calling Zwingli a "friend" was just sugar on the top.

In actuality, Luther had as many Zwinglians put to death as he did Baptists. Oh, and Jews as well. Luther pretty much went for the "if you do not agree with me in every way, you deserve death" line. And not rhetorically. He actually had them actually beheaded, drowned, burned, hung from the gallows, etc.

He was a real peach. ( <-- see that sarcasm there? )

Nathan White said...

Matt, [regarding your position on Christian Rap]:

"...let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." -Heb 12


Do you believe Rap music -even with sound lyrics-, promotes an attitude of reverence and awe in those who are attempting to offer acceptable worship to God?

Jim Pemberton said...

The Traveller wrote:
"It is true that hymns often were put to pagan tunes. ...I don't think it is right to camouflage the gospel as culture... I would question the lyrics that they wrote. If they are gloriously deep then I will cry amen!! ... I question the wisdom of using the type of music. In our culture certain types of music bring certain baggage."

This is on the money. Luther used common music, but he conveyed theological depth to a people who didn't have the scriptures widely distributed in their language yet. In our culture, we are so steeped in semi-pelagianism that the practice of re-writing Beatles tunes may only contribute to the lack of theological depth. New music styles are good to use in the proper context, but the focus must be on the glorification of God over and against our feeble attempts to worship Him.

As for the "baggage", this is subjective. I believe Paul's "eating meat sacrificed to idols" discourse applies.

Tony wrote:
How often we hear that Luther used "bar tunes" but is this actually true?

I believe the reference to "bar tunes", while technically having to do with the poetic form, is more a reference to Luther using the music of the German culture over and against that of the Latin culture imported by the church from Rome. I doubt the Latin roused the German people to worship God with understanding, which was Luther's goal.

The term "reverence" is often a little misapplied. While we need to approach God with fear and trembling, He lifts us up to worship Him with joy and gratitude and sends us out to proclaim the gospel with boldness. The worship described in the Bible is not this quiet timidness we think of as "reverence". The root of the word is "revere" and is related in meaning to "glorify".

fred said...

Is it true that John Newton's words for the hymn Amazing Grace were put to a bar tune or is it from the bar form as mentioned above

Just wondering because the story of his conversion is so wonderful.

Jamison said...

The local CCM radio station here in Houston recently staged a billboard promotion around town in this same vein. Black background, white letters, and a short piece of "christianized" lyrics. The one I can remember is T "He loves you, yeah yeah yeah" (sound familiar?!) but there were several others that have sinced slipped my mind. I never could quite figure out the point of them, especially as I don't recall there being any mention of the station's call letters on the billboard. Not really advertisement, but neither were they especially motivating/enlightening/entertaining/interesting... you get the picture. Merficully, I think they've all come down but we were subjected to them for many months.

geekforgreek said...

As I struggle to deal with issues regarding contemporary worship or contextualization I have to wonder at several statements:

1) Where do we ever see the pew in Scripture?

2) Where do we ever see "Holy, Holy, Holy" in Scripture?

3) Was there ever a time when "Holy, Holy, Holy" was the music of its age? Surely at some point the hymns in our hymnal were written to reflect current musical preferences.

While I do not feel we should take a secular song and modify a word or two and call it "worship". I do believe that contemporary artists such as Shane & Shane and even as far as rap by the Cross Movement contain lyrics that are filled with much more scripture than many of our favorite hymns.

If the goal of worship is to honor God while being as biblical as possible, I fail to see how we can chastise those who preach sound doctrine and sing biblical lyrics for not fitting into our human constructed mode of worship.

Mark said...

1. As to the pew, don't know.
2. Holy Holy Holy is found in Is 6:5 and Rev 4:8. It was the first line in the praises the angels sang or as in the scripture "sayings". It is Adoration to God.
3. The problem with worship music sounding like secular is as old at least as Fanny Crosby(who wrote about 5000 hymns, songs and poems). She admonished us to never let the worship music sound or be mistaken for the music of the poolhall or bar. Most worship music of the past was written by pastor/theologians and was not confused with secular music. The rhythm or bars may have followed a cultural norm, but the two were not confused.

Ms Crosby also stated that "we (the Church)get our theology from music as well as preaching". So is the theological shallowness of the church a product of our music and preaching or has our music and preaching lead to theological shallowness?

A Mighty Fortress was at one time a brand new song. Just as Amazing Grace. It was introduced to the church. The problem with so much of the "new" music is that it is mindless, not theologically sound and man centered not God centered. I do not have a problem with "new" worship songs. As long as they are God centered and edify the body and are not created for entertainment value. Also the hymns lend to corporate worship, some of the new stuff does not with the riffs, chaotic singing and chaotic gestures that ensue. I am waiting for the "mosh" pit to be introduced as a sufficient worship tool since some pastors think the Beatles are a good tool.

I just drove 9 hours from Charolette NC to my home. Before I left, the seminary class sang the Pslam 96 to the tune of O for a 1000 tongues to sing. It was the most moving and beautiful song I have sung and heard in many weeks. Many of the students and Pastors were moved to tears. An OPC minister lead the song. When was the last time the sermon or music in church fostered that reaction in you? If never or a long time, may be it is time for re-evaluation of our worship of the Creator.

On my 9 hour trip, I listened to numerous Christian radio stations playing all types of modern Christian music. All paled compared to the Psalm.
Having not heard SHane and Shane and Cross Mountain rap, I can not comment. But NONE of the modern music I hear today contains half the theological learning of the hymns. Most modern music is about what God does for me, me giving God praise because I want to (not that He deserves it because He is our Creator and Redeemer)no awe of God(Will I dance for You Jesus or in Awe of You be still....hint read your scriptures...questioned answered), and listening to the Oneness Pentecostals Phillips Craig and Dean...God alone. Are they denying the Trinity and we are happy to sing along with them? What I find is that people get enthralled with the tune and do not parse the words theologically.
Heresy does have a hint of truth in it, that is how it gets into the church.
For too long the church has been pragmatic and adopted an anything goes as long as I like it relativism like the world. We must be very careful before we change the order of worship and the songs we sing. The SBC is in too much trouble as it is to keep doing things because we like it or it "feels" good.

Scripture, the confessions (London, WSC etc)gives us how we are to worship. Most of what passes for worship today is Isaiah chapter 1 worship or the strange fire of Aarons' sons.

Sorry if this seems harsh as I do not mean it to be, email and the internet do not allow a complete communication process. But this is a sore point with me. I am watching my church move further away from true worship to entertainment worship. And I am sore because I was in the generation that started this relativism crap (as my seminary advisor has told me, crap is not a scholarly nor theological word..but at times is appropriate)

geekforgreek said...

Again I understand that "Holy, Holy, Holy" is based on scripture, my point was where in scripture do we find our hymns as the divinely revealed mode of worship? If what makes "Holy, Holy, Holy" a good worship song is that its lyrics are scriptural than we should have no qualms about songs with equally biblical lyrics set to upbeat music.

My point is this: I think many today feel "Holy, Holy, Holy" is a good worship song not only due to the biblical lyrical content but due to its melodic structure, its musical genre.

If we argue that biblical lyrics are not enough, but that the meter of the music, the chord progressions, and tempo must also be different from the music of the age... well we have problems.

Because then what you are deeming to not be worship today will be, by your own definition, worship in just a number of years.

Hymns in the style of Mozart and Bach were not worship while they were alive or for many years after, but now are?

I do not doubt that we should be adamant in defending scriptural lyrical content in all true "worship" music, I just have a hard time seeing how we can enforce any rules, being people of Sola Scriptura, on the meter, chord progressions, or tempo of the music.

Mark said...

sorry, but question #2 in your next to last post asked "where do we ever see Holy Holy Holy in Scritpure?" That I answered. Now the target changes.

Where in scripture? Please refer to your copy of the London Confession of Faith 1689 chapter 22. Title: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day. It list 49 scripture references on worship to include what is worship. Please refer to the Westminster Larger Catechism Q107 through Q110. These deal with worship. It list 78 scripture references on worship. References include what is God ordained worship and what is not. Some of these verses will overlap, so you do not have to wade through 127+ verses, though some of the references are mulitple verse.

I reread my post. I did not object to all current worship music due to it tune. My point is that people are enthralled by the tune and do not listen to the words, for if they did, most modern worship and praise songs would be rejected. Today, I was taking my 2 oldest daughters to a birthday party. We were listening to modern worship music. The tune was good and up beat. One tune said the same 2-3 lines over and over. The next song was a remake of a hymn set to modern music. It was good, until the singer decided to add dowah's and other non word sounds. Then if fell flat. The last song, I caught about half the word. Meaning I could only understand what was being said half the time. As I am partially deaf, I asked my oldest daughter to tell me the words. She also could not tell what the artist/singer was singing. How is God praised when half the words are unintelligable?

Do we have problems in the church? Look around they abound! Since the late 19th century the church has adopted a pragmatic anything goes attitude toward God. This includes worship. Ms Crosby warned us over 100 years ago, we have failed to hear her warning for the most part.

I never said the radio Christian music will become the corporate worship of the church. God has determined how He is to be worshiped. Just because a church building has hundreds or thousands or 10's of thousands people inside doing what is right in their eyes, does not mean that God approves. Read 1 Kings 19. Probably could start in chapter 17 to get a good idea of what is happening. Just read the prophets, King and Chronicles. People always strive to worship God the way they want to in defiance of how God has determined to be worshiped.

I know Mozart and Bach and Beethoveen wrote great musicals as did Handel. In the Baptist Hymnal there are about 8 hymns where authors were alive when the above gentlemen were alive and up to 100 years after, adapted parts of their music to the hymns. Most of "their hymns" are not the popular ones. These gentlemen did not write "popular" music for their time for the common man did not have access. Also, some like Mozart, did not become memorable until after their death.

Which is nothing but a red herring. My contention is not that new hymns or worship songs can not be written. Reference my comments on Holy Holy Holy and Amazing Grace. But my contention is with the content or lyrics and tune of most of the new songs. They do not Glorify God or edify the body. They are man centered, not God centered. Most modern Christian Radio songs fall into the Matthew 7:21-23 frame. Though start in verse 17 and go to the end of the chapter for a fuller understanding.

The church can enforce the rules due to the fact that the rules are Sola Scriptura. The problem is that the church fails to be Sola Scriptura. Many in the Church want to do what is right in their eyes and have their ears tickled.

I had a Pastor, when I was 14 (yes many years ago), who held to Sola Scriptura. Our church had a music group come to lead worship. I liked the tune, good rock tune, could understand some of the words. In the middle of the third song the pastor stopped everything. Announce this was not biblical or proper corporate worship of God. Asked the band to sit down. Mounted the pulpit and said,"take your bible and open to Romans 12:1-2 and 1 John 2:15-19." He then lead us in corporate worship. Did he take flak? You bet he did. The young people,like myself, thought he was some old uniformed throwback and needed to get with the times. I was wrong and Pastor Bob Holiday was right. 20+ years later I now realized just how blessed I was to have him as my pastor.

Like you I challenged, show me one scripture. He handed me a copy of the London Confession. You can parse theology and form it on one verse at your peril. It is best to form theological beliefs on the entire counsel of God, ie scripture from Genesis to the Apocalypse. For the scripture builds a beautiful understanding and picture of our God.

Mark said...

mariep, The Let it Be reference to Mary is not the Virgin Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus. But to Pauls' own mother who had died when Paul was younger.

This is Sir Pauls' definition of Mother Mary. Heard it in an interview about 30 years ago. Yes, I am that old.

Do not make it a correct worship song either way.

rockinrose said...

Tom,

I am a huge Beatles fan and that was completely awesome. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh. "Helter Skelter" is a great way to understand today's worship scene.

DexCisco said...

"bar tune" or "bar form" — a medieval pattern for poetry consisting of three or more stanzas – which became the pattern for songwriting.

Darel said...

Mark,

After reading your comments, I have this to say:

Head 'asplode.

You say that we ought to look to Scripture to see how we ought to worship, but then decry a particular worship song because it espouses dancing before God ( ummm... 2 Sam 6 anyone? ).

You cite another instance where you couldn't understand the lyrics at all or that it used "non-words", but using your same method of "look to Scripture" we see that there are times when we are calling out to God without words ( Ex 6:5, Rom 8:26, etc ).

I hate stupid "Christian" songs, myself. I hate bad theology in songs. But there is good stuff, and there is a lot of good modern worship music. And some of it may include "non-words" and some of it may induce dancing (despite the fact that we are Baptists...). My goodness, what would happen if we danced in worship of God?

--
When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"

David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD's people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor."

And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
--

God punished her when she berated David for his enthusiasm in worship and celebration before God.

Mark said...

Darel,

Unfortunately I think you either failed to read both of my lengthy post or failed to understand them.

I have noted your scripture passages and have decided to review them in context and not out of context.

We are to exegesis, not eisegesis scripture. Something I believe you have done with the passages you quoted. Brother, please read my entire reply and try not to focus on a few words.

Ex 6:5. This passage is God speaking with Moses and instructing Moses on how to deal with the people of Israel and with the Pharoah. The groans God talks about is not worship or praise. But the groans of an oppressed people who are slaves and have been slaves for 400 years. God is telling them He has heard them and remembered the covenant with Abraham. No corporate worship, matter of fact no worship at all.

Romans 8:26. This passage talks about prayer and how the Spirit makes intercession for us. There is no worship, either corporate or private. If you believe that the Spirit groans to God for us, do you believe what Paul states in verse 22? That creation groans as in the pains of child birth and has done so since creation. When was the last time you heard the earth groan? Paul is using description to help us understand, much like saying some one arrived at their destination, they flew.

The famous 2 Sam 6 passage.

I assume you read the entire chapter and not just a couple of select verses. For if you did, you would have seen that David moved the Ark of God due to selfish and self serving reasons, not to honor God. Now in that entire chapter how did God responsed to David? God was silent. God killed Uzzah for touching the Ark and breaking His law. The only person blessed was Obed the Gittite, probably a non-Jew. In verse 12 we see the motive David had in moving the Ark to the tabernacle he, David, had raised. David was hoping to transfer the blessings God had poured out on Obed to himself. The dancing was in the processional and could have been the expression of sheer self indulgent joy that God was going to bless him. The only other blessing mentioned are when David blesses the household. Not God. But do notice that when David was in the tabernacle and it was time to worship, he followed the proscribed worship ordained by God in the pentateuch.

The scriptures does not tell us that God made Michel barren. That is you putting the idea in to the scriptures. You are adding to scripture. The scripture is silent on why she is barren. The possible reason is that after the arugment between her and David, he forbid her to marry as was his right as king. She was under his charge. She lived and died on his whim. Ancient kings had much of the same power medieval kings did, if not more. Medieval kings would send women they dislike or displeased them or would be potential rival to be nuns. Ancient kings did also. In 2 Sam 9, David spares the life of Sauls' grandson Mephibosheth. Davids' act was unusual as evident to the reactions of the court. David was bringing a potential rival to the court and treating him like one of the family.

To your question of dancing in worship. It is not God ordained. What would happen? God could be displeased. My contention was with the song telling us we would be dancing in the righteous presence of the Triune God. In scripture, the response of the people to the presence of Gods' righteousness is to fall on the ground in fear and trembling. No dancing, laughing singing etc. Yes there are times when God manifested himself in human form: Garden of Eden, with Abraham. But then He was not in His full righteousness.

I leave with this, obtain your theology from the entire scripture. From Genesis to the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. Anyone can pick one or a few to "prove" anything. If you are interested in the order of worship, start with the 127+ verses referenced in the confessions noted above.

Darel said...

Wow. That was... fascinating.

To answer your criticism: No, I don't believe I am giving a personal interpretation (eisegesis) of that passage. Much less Scripture in general.

To answer your stance on dancing, it doesn't get any more explicit than Psalm 149:3 Where praising God is directed to be done by dancing. So, yes... it is God ordained. Unless you don't think God is speaking in that particular Psalm?

Seriously, dancing, singing, celebrating, all are given as proper ways to praise God. In Scripture. (Speaking of context, read the whole of Psalm 149) Or how about Psalm 150?

Oh wait, do you mean to say that in true worship we are not in the presence of God? I would love to see your defense of that.

As for David's failure of leadership, it certainly had nothing to do with his celebration before God, as we can see when we look at the rest of Scripture.... someone told me something about looking at the whole of Scripture... hmmm....

Well, anyway, I would suggest you look at the entirety of Scripture to find out how we should praise and worship God, rather than make broad assumptions about Michal when the narrative flow of the passage gives you the answer.

Darel said...

I must needs point out, at this point, that in my conclusion about Michal, I am not alone.

Perhaps the greatest commentator on the Bible, Matthew Henry, has this to say:

"David was contented thus to justify himself, and did not any further animadvert upon Michal's insolence; but God punished her for it, writing her for ever childless from this time forward, v. 23. She unjustly reproached David for his devotion, and therefore God justly put her under the perpetual reproach of barrenness. "

TRUTHMONGER said...

Larry, let me make you a bet.

You, and most everybody here will be taking the mark of the beast in a few years.

Why? Because the authorities will tell you to. And you always do what they tell you to.

-- deanberryministries.net

TRUTHMONGER said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clark said...

I'm really late to the conversation, but I read that Mark said that Phillips Craig and Dean were oneness Pentecostals. WOW, WHo knew? But wait, Randy Phillip's church's webstite says:

"...Triune in His manifestation, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority. ...

It goes on addressing each divine person. Let's be careful about calling out heretics.