Thursday, July 27, 2006

More on Music ~ It's not over until Jesus comes back !

Well, I have to say that I'm not as informed as I'd like to be on the history of art / music......and I'm super excited to get to studying. (first stop, I'll be checking out Plato's observations)

I'm hoping not to make the issue of "what kind of music brings glory to God" into too large of an issue.....since it is not necessarily a salvation issue.
To reference a great discussion blog on this topic head to

Culture: defined as "The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization. Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it."

I know if I could say that any particular culture (including American "western culture" today) in and of itself can be deemed unholy (or not glorifying to God) I think that we should analyze/ evaluate the behaviors of the people in the culture as being sinful or not, based on the guidelines of the scripture. (of course, we need to always remember the text that whatever is not done from faith is sin, and for that person it is I would not encourage any who believe rap or rock to be a sin to simply 'get over it' - heed your conscience always)
The texts that can be found regarding how Christians are to be set apart from the world seem to be very clear - that we are not to be participating in sinful practices, and absolutely to be abounding in good works in keeping with repentance.

As I've been thinking about it lately, I can see both sides. With the VERY few christian rap / rock groups that I enjoy listening to - the commonality is that their lyrics are either exact texts or professions of sound God-centered doctrines. So when I think of music such as old school classical, of which there are no lyrics, the text that comes to mind is
Romans 10:14-17 "But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."

So, if an unbeliever were to listen to classical, even the most beautiful melody, to me it doesn't qualify as the "word of Christ." and I see it not being a tool that would be beneficial for reaching the lost.

On the other side.......I would agree with a friend of mine, in that classical music DOES communicate emotions and in turn then does stir the heart up - BUT I am convinced that our emotions must be guided toward that for which the music is intended for; feel the weight of divine things - depravity, repentance, love for Christ and thankfulness to God, holy fear etc....- Otherwise music of little value at all, right?
An example would be that if an unbeliever - who is very educated and cultured, LOVES to listen to Bach and he has many affections as he listens, who as he is in an unconverted state his affections are of little worth, since his affections are only based on the delight in the music for music's sake.

I'm suggesting that we need discernment in view of what exactly is the SPRING of our affections ~~~

Another example of misguided affections would be something like:
In waking up in the morning I am in a good mood; I slept well, I woke up on time, I was prepared for my day, there was no traffic on the way to work and the people at the coffee shop gave me my coffee for free that day.....then I got to work I was complimented on my outfit and asked if I had lost weight, and then there was a note on my desk from the boss congratulating me on the "great job" I did with such and such client ..............I then sit down at my desk - Now......I have JOY........but can you tell me - is this raised emotion glorifying to the Lord in and of itself ??? I would say it is not necessarily.

Instead, if when I sit at my desk, I am thinking about all of the good that has happened to me that day - then- in turn that causes me to be caught up in thoughts of divine things, scripture, praise to God for His mercy on such a worm as I ---- The affections then, would have been inclined by the end result of the good that came to me - and I would not merely be delighting in the good things that happened to me, but in the Sovereign Lord - who brings about all events in time and space. (A truly gracious affection / joy will not be simply rejoicing in the "free coffee" or the praises of men........but joy in the God who controls all things)
We are called to "Rejoice IN THE LORD always, and again I will say rejoice"

In a nutshell - Let's get our focus and meditations on right things so that our affections are set on things above and not things of earth.

I'm all over the place....
Praise Him today - for who He is and that He revealed Himself to you - the greatest blessing in the world !!!


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