- Problems with Contemporary Music
Greetings to all in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. I sincerely thank you for allowing me to leave a comment amongst many here who are far more educated, with much broader vocabularies, who are consequently are better spoken, with a far more in-depth knowledge than myself.
I would also like to make note that I’m not of any particular denomination, nor do I have any particular depth of knowledge to the various denominations that are participating in this comment thread. Please forgive me if I misspeak or offend anyone here, as it is unknowingly and without intention.
*** Warning, this comment is very lengthy, as my convictions on this subject are deep. ***
I would like to start by saying thank you to Pastor Eric Andersen for even approaching this subject, while many, even though they are heavily convicted by the Holy Spirit on this subject, are unwilling to approach it. Honestly, I do thank you for your apparent lack of fear in approaching and teaching Biblical truths.
I would like to say I am slightly troubled there are not more Biblical references in many (certainly…not all) of the conversations here, even though many of the beliefs expressed here are indeed based on Biblically sound truths and doctrines – at least in my limited knowledge of the scriptures. My fellow brethren and sisters, let us not so easily forget (James 1:5 – KJV): “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” However, I also believe that it is very easy when quoting scriptures to take them out of context and basically “twist” them to say anything we’d like. This brings a second scripture to mind from (1 John 2:27 – KJV) which says: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (E.g. …always, always, take your questions (Spiritual or otherwise), to the Holy Spirit and let Him teach you in His ways!)
Applying these words to our current conversation, the very reason I came across this post today, was because the Holy Spirit has convicted my wife and I of the very things Pastor Andersen has written about! While performing research on the subject, I ran across this post on Google. I’ve recently come to the decision that we needed to leave our current contemporary church, due to these convictions, and I was researching and reading looking to put together a “beliefs document” for my family on the subject. Point being, if the Holy Spirit convicts you about something, you need to follow that conviction. Or if He’s opened your eyes to new truths, such as this one, you are obligated to answer said ‘call’ or ‘conviction’ as is noted in (Hebrews 10:26): “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”.
I firmly believe that we are all convicted of different things at different times in our lives. We are all at different places in our walk with Christ, consequently His Holy Spirit is teaching each of us different things at different times. However, just as Hebrews 10:26 says, when a new truth or Biblically sound doctrine is made know to us (regardless of the method of delivery…noting that God has used a donkey to speak truth in times past (Numbers 22:28): “And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”), we must not start throwing stones at each other just to prove that our way is “the right way”, nor should we start looking up scriptures to back up our doctrine. Rather, why can’t we search the scriptures and go to God in prayer instead? Why? I fear it’s the same reason some denominations don’t preach the Holy Spirit – because He teaches us of our ways, that are wrong and which ones are right, and He does not lie (1 John 2:27). Maybe its because we like the sound of the tune we’re hearing, and we’d rather “believe” it to be the right one, whether it’s actually right or not, we don’t care – as long as our hearts desire is satisfied.
We also need to stop taking each other’s words as the gospel and start searching the Word for ourselves, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us what it really says for ourselves. (E.g. I just recently found out that the Apocrypha isn’t Catholic in its origin. For years and years I’d always thought it was Catholic (or contained strictly Catholic teachings), because that’s what my minister Dad taught me. However, after doing my research on the subject, I come to find out the Apocrypha was written a LONG time before Catholicism was even a religion.) Note: I’m not advocating the Apocrypha, advocating it’s inclusion in the Bible, or anything of the sort. I’ve included this here to prove a point that we shouldn’t take men’s word as the final word, certainly not as the gospel.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am neither suggesting that using a guitar IS a sin no more than I am suggesting that an organ ISN’T a sin. I believe that to be absurd. In king David’s days they used many various types of instruments to worship the Lord (Psalms 150:1-6). We certainly, according to my knowledge of the scripture are NOT restricted to certain instruments, but rather that our use of those instruments be used for the purpose of praising the Lord, which I believe in my heart is the desire of each and everyone here – to praise the Lord! I believe I’ve proven (in my knowledge) that the instrument is not the problem here. Also, no matter the title given to a particular type of worship (contemporary or traditional), the title is NOT the problem.
One of the main problems I see in this whole discussion is best played out in the following comments. A comment from Katherine (#305) referenced some people who told her: “Often it employs a style that can only be described as classical stripper music, or of a style that in the past accomapanied drug use.” Secondly, a comment from Christopher Pyles (#307), claimed that Katherine’s ‘drivel’ made no sense and was disingenuous. Brothers and sisters – how do we miss the importance of what’s going on here? The primary thing happening here, is simply, someone felt they were being taken back to a previous form of their past life. In other words, it’s quite possible they were caused to stumble. I must remind us all of Paul’s instructions in the following verses from Romans 14:
(Romans 14:12-13): “12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
Also in (Romans 14:19): “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
Because (Romans 14:20): ” For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”
and finally, (Romans 14:21-22): “21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”
I believe these verses speak well for themselves in the message Paul was trying to get across to us. He didn’t want us to do anything which would cause our brother to stumble, always remembering that are to do everything to glorify Christ instead. Honestly, I would find it really hard to believe (personally), that anyone would find an old hymnal song caused them to stumble, reminding them of their old lifestyle, but that’s just my personal belief.
The key things that I felt convicted about, the things that started me on this journey away from CoWo or contemporary worship styles, was:
a) (John 17:14-15) – “14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
b) Why do we need to change that which is not broken, even if it is 150 years old…or however old it is.
I’ve felt in my heart, multiple times, that the type of contemporary worship music being used in many churches today, is not the Godly type of worship music that we whom have been called “out of this world” should be using in praise towards our Heavenly Father. Why you ask? 1) Because of the Holy Spirit’s conviction in my heart, 2) I believe this is due to the fact that contemporary Christian music sounds entirely too worldly, and not to mention that the performers are often dressed very worldly while performing said music. I know from experience, in my church for example, they adopted contemporary worship music and styles so they would be “more up-to-date”, and so they could attract more young people, and other people for that matter. This was directly from the church leadership. So, I know this is the motivation for some – quite simply larger membership roles.
Why in the world do we feel like we have to change our beliefs, our styles, our type of music, become more hip – indeed more like the world, to grow our membership? Has God fallen from His throne? Is He not still in charge? Has His mighty arm been cut short? Does He not still retain the power to grow our membership as He sees fit? Does His Word not stand on its own as the infallible, inerrant Word of God? God is able! We do not need to take on a responsibility that is God’s! If each of us (those that have pushed for the contemporary movement in our own organizations) were to be honest with ourselves, I fear we would have to admit at least part of us just wanted to be “free” from the “old ways”, or hymnals, and secondly that we really wanted to grow our churches exponentially, without ever asking (especially not waiting on) the Lord to work in His way, or in His time for us.
I’d like to know, just for my knowledge, how many times an old hymnal song has sounded “worldly” to anyone here. They may be old, they may even be archaic, but they do not sound worldly, to my knowledge. They are full of spiritual depth and gratification to God for the things He’s done for us, even for the eternal life Jesus has blessed us with!
*** I beg of each one here to disregard my entire comment as the words of a man! Seriously, please! ***
Go to your private place, your closet of prayer, and simply ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this – to show you if anything you’ve read here to be true or to be false. I promise you with my whole heart, He will teach and guide you. He loves you, and wishes that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9): “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Finally, ask yourself this: “Why am I not being hated?” Not because being hated creates your salvation, nor that it will in and of itself get you into Heaven, but because it is indicative of a work inside of you that Jesus has done inside your heart. Please, ask the Holy Spirit, cause He will surely show you and give you guidance in this matter also.
I love each of you in Christ, with all my heart, and I’m so thankful you’ve chosen to read my comment. I do apologize for its lengthiness, but as I mentioned earlier, my convictions on this matter run very deep in my heart, and this is so very real to me at this point in my life. God bless each of you!
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