Monday, June 30, 2008

Music Article by Nathan

Hey all, the following is an article by Nathan, and does not reflect my beliefs... Read my comments...


In the beginning man was perfect. He lived in a perfect relationship with the triune God. Within this communion, everything was a beautiful song, like a poem written out by a perfect poet. When man broke this covenant, he was marred forever, he no longer could “dance” the “dance” of perfection. His mind was marred, and he rebelled against God. No longer would he be able to do things perfect, he would not be able to live the poem out perfectly. God in His awesome grace came down to him to find him. There in the garden, He established a new beautiful covenant with Adam. Within that covenant He told Adam of the war that was going to happen between the seed of Eve and the seed of the Serpent. This was the beginning where history would work towards man living in perfect, beautiful fellowship with God again (by God’s grace).

Throughout history man has tried to mar the things that God has created good.[1] In and of itself music is not inherently evil; it is what man does with it that makes it evil. No one could ever say that Genevan tunes, Gregorian chants, or Wesley’s tunes are perfect. What the church was trying to do here though, was to attain to the beauty and perfection that will reflect the beauty of communion with God. Someday all these tunes will attain perfection when we come into perfect communion with God.

Man in his sinful state has marred the music which God has made good. How are we supposed to redeem music that has been marred? God has called us to make it good again. Do not condemn all rock because of this. We are called to change it to make it beautiful again, because man in his sinful state has made it ugly. Generally rock is ugly because wicked men have made it that way. It cannot work to stick beautiful words with ugly music. Christians are not called to keep rock the same, they are called to change it, to make it beautiful again. Music will then change from rock to what is more beautiful, something which reflects the beauty of our relationship with the triune God. Just imagine the beauty of it. This relationship is not being whipped up into a frenzy, but it is a deeper relationship.

The church should not go to the world to find music that will display a genuine relationship with God. How can that work when the world does not have a genuine relationship with God? What the world has made ugly, God will in His grace change to look beautiful again. This does not mean that we enjoy rap and rock where it is at. In fact we damn it, because it is the sinful world’s evidence of it’s hate towards God. We work together within the holy communion of believers to show an evidence of the deeper context of faith, of communion with the triune God. No more dissonance in music, but a deeper melodic rhythm which will show our relationship with the triune majesty. Let us strive to bring down the satanic beat of rock, but to build a new foundation where we will dance to the melodic rhythm of the triune God. Let us work within the fellowship of God’s saints to perfect the deeper wonders of Genevan tunes, classical music, Gregorian chants, Wesleyan music, and maybe even some contemporary music so that we can dance the beautiful dance of the triune majesty. We break down the ugly music of this satanic world, in order to build a music that praises the wonders of God’s amazing glory.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hey, can I get some more ppl commenting on my music article? Thanks...

Oh, and here's what I read at my grandmother's funeral...

In the last couple of days when I have been asked on which side my grandmother passed away, I have said "my mom's stepmom." In response the reaction has been, "Oh, so she really wasn't your grandmother." But Grandma Pearl has been nothing less than that to me and my siblings. She loved us with hugs, kisses, and care so that not until I was older did I realize she wasn't genetically related.

I remember how she'd sit in the comfy chair watching us play and just enjoying us. Every time we'd visit she always made sure there was cookies and juice, and once in a while her special deviled eggs which she knew I appreciated so much.

Staying overnight she took me on walks and talked to me the way grandmothers should. The thing I remember most about Grandma Pearl, though, is her faith. Grandma Pearl's faith was genuine, and the Lord was certainly with her and she in Him. Grandma Pearl's "good deeds" as some would say were not simply because she was a good person, but because Christ was her Lord and all she did was to glorify Him.

If she was here today, I'm sure she would be the first to say with the Apostle Paul: "15The saying is(A) trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus(B) came into the world to save sinners,(C) of whom I am the foremost. 16But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life."

She, herself would say that it is only God's grace that made her the person she was, and I thank God that He worked in her. She is an example to all of us of God's goodness in one person's life. God showed us His mercy and His goodness through this woman of faith and steadfast conviction.

If Grandma Pearl could say one last thing to us all, I believe she would quote two passages with which she was very familiar...

" 1For everything there is a season, and(A) a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to(B) die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to(C) weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to(D) dance;"

It is ok to grieve that this loved one is no longer with us, but know that this was her declaration:

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19for I know that(AF) with(AG) the help of(AH) the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, is my eager expectation and hope(AI) that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full(AJ) courage, now as always, Christ(AK) will be honored in my body,(AL) whether by life or by death. 21For to me(AM) to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23(AN) I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is(AO) to depart and(AP) be with Christ, for that is far better.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Loooong Music Article

After a looong exam day I was upset by some videos on youtube I saw about contemporary Christian music, so I wrote this. It's in a pretty angry mood, but I still think what I wrote expresses what I believe concerning the subject.

-Word disection.
-Christian: follower/member of Christ. Seeking to glorify God.
-Contemporary: new and modern.
-Music: "the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity"

CCM then equals "New art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity to the glory of God."

In the 16th and 17th century hymns were considered contemporary. Martin Luther was a founder of the regulative principle of worship which sought to end "exclusive psalmody". Exclusive psalmody stated that Psalms were the only Biblical songs allowed to be song, and usually without accompaniement.

So in years past CC music was what we now sing today as normative and orthodox. We don't go shouting down hymns just because unbelievers enjoy classical music do we? We should not be quick to do the same to today's CCM.

Picture for a second(a couple centuries ago) a man is walking down the street and hears voices singing! The thoughts that come to his mind are "Of all things they are singing the psalms, and they are even using a stringed instrument! We are to be separate from the world, not join in their revelry just because we enjoy it." He then hastens to chasten the group of young people for their sin. "That type of music is not fitting for Christians to listen to and "sing". They must be content with the chanting of psalms past down by our fathers. That racket is no different from the bar music playing down the street. Chanting is harmonous and rich in and of itself, there is no need to bring strange fire to the altar of God!"

Ok, that may sound strange when you read it. Just think of that same person walking down the street today... He hears a group of young people singing along with the christian radio station. "Of all things they are singing rocky music, and they are even using a bass and drums! We are to be separate from the world, not join in their sexually stimulatation just because we enjoy it." He then hastens to chasten the group of young people for their sin. "That type of music is not fitting for Christians to listen to and "sing". They must be content with the hymns and psalms we've been singing for decades. That racket is no different from the music playing in walmart. Hymns are melodic and soothing. These people cannot bring this devilish fire to the altar of God!"

Now, before I continue, I want to make some things clear. I am not trying to say that rock music should be played in service-that is a completely different topic, and not one I wish to get into right now. As far as that goes, I believe that rock and roll is not appropriate for a worship service, but there are some "praise and worship" songs that could be sung during service such as "In Christ Alone". Anyway, I also don't want you to think that the only reason we should listen to CCM is because it's new. Just keep reading please...

Dissonance. I'm starting here, because this is one attack on CCM music that simply irks me. It presumes that certain types of music are evil, because the dissonance in their sound is presumably contrary to what the Bible commands. The problem is assuming that dissonance is itself evil, and that an individual can absolutely know when a piece of music is dissonant. I am not a relativist, and so I will not say that dissonance depends on what a person thinks about a piece of music. I will say that there is an absolute perfect way to praise God, but He has not revealed that physical way. The Bible doesn't say that dissonant music is evil, and even if it did-my definition of dissonant music is different from yours. While I am growing to like certain types of classical music, much of it sounds dissonant to me. Does that mean that that classical music is wrong? No, all it means is that I can't hear the resolution of the clashing notes and chords. I simply do not have enough practice listening to it to hear the resolution coming. The same goes for "contemporary" music. Just because you haven't taken the time to listen to contemporary music so that you can understand the melodies and harmonies which *DO* exist does not mean they're not there. Dissonance is an intrical part of music, and without it there is no mystery or curiosity to music. It is essential, and just because you can't hear it or don't like it doesn't mean it's Biblically wrong or not God glorifying.

My next point is concerning the beat. Ok, my first question is do you find anywhere in Scripture that beat is wrong, or that there are certain types of beats that are ungodly? The answer is a plain and simple no. Anyone with any musical aptitude(not including me, but...) knows that beat is essential to any piece of music. Just because rock, rap, and other contemporary music happens to have a louder and more resounding beat doesn't make it wrong. The whole argument that the beat originates from "african tribal calling up of demons" is a load of hogwash. Do you really think that beat didn't exist until North Americans happened upon some natives pounding on a drum? Even if the "anapestic beat" which is accused of being evil in contemporary music did originate from such-it doesn't make a difference. The world uses video cameras to make movies, so do Christian directors. The world uses anepestic beat, so do Christian music writers. Just because something is used in an improper way by the ungodly, doesn't make that something ungodly in and of itself.

"Bodily rythms" I will barely touch on for the simple reason of contradiction. The people who claim that rock beats can throw the heart beat into a frenzy and sexually stimulate are the same people who say the same beat causes depression. A quick second point is the evidence. When rock music is playing on the radio in a store-do you see people balling their eyes out in depression, or having heart attacks from "unhealthy" raised heart beats?

I don't deny the affect of music on the body, just whether those affects are ungodly or not. During times of meditation my heart beat is slow as I'm in prayerful consideration. After a convicting sermon and we sing a convicting song my heart beat rises as tears well in my eyes. There is nothing wrong with either of these. The problem is when someone tries to lay guilt on another for having an emotional response to something emotional. People are made to be emotional, and to have physical responses. That should not be the main goal of anyting made or listened to to glorify God, but it is simply a reality. There is a time and place for everything. Maybe I'm listening to "Forgive Me" by Rebecca St. James-a piece with lots of soothing piano and a slow somber mood. Or maybe I'm listening to "Absolute" by Thousand Foot Krutch which causes feelings of righteous anger against this relative world. Both attitudes and moods are righteous in the sight of God.

"So much music treats Jesus like a boyfriend/girlfriend" This is one which confuses me. If we are supposed to be Christians with a Christian worldview-why would this even be a consideration. My presupossitions force me to view everything in the light of Scripture-including music. Here's the lyrics to "Draw Me Close" by Michael W. Smith which I posted on my blog a while ago.

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I'm Your friend

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause nothing else could take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find the way, bring me back to You

You're all I want
You're all I've ever needed
You're all I want
Help me know You are near

Now the reason I picked this was because I read on a KJV Only(Fundamentalist/Legalist/UnScriptural group) that this song is "clearly about a girl". You know what-if you are an insecure unbeliever whose thoughts never go beyond bf/gf love and sex, you just might take the song that way. However, as a believer I come to everythign through the worldview that I am a Christian(a follower of Christ who is my Creator and Sustainer). Thus when I read "You" I think God. "Never let me go"-I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit who will never let me go. "I lay it all down again"-I think I lay down all I am "to hear You say that I'm your friend"(a restored relationship with God".

As we have learned from our catechism and apologetics, the minds of natural man are so mangled that anything can be twisted to fit into demented thought. The mind of regenerate man is different though! We see things from a renewed perspective granted by God! In light of this I make a case that the Christian could even listen to secular music and praise God through it, because our minds are interpreting the songs differently.

Just as an unbeliever may take the above song to be speaking about a bf/gf relationship, I can take a secular song and use it to praise God. The origins of the music itself do not matter. What man has intended for evil, God(by the renewing of our minds) can make good by the awesome transformation of our minds.