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Monday, September 18, 2017

WHAT IS WORLDLY MUSIC?

The Power of Music



We know that, as a child, Jesus sang, because it was the custom of Jewish children and families.  We also know that He sang with His disciples.  And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.”  (Matthew 26:30) Jesus and His disciples were gathered together in the upper room for the institution of the Lord’s Supper.  This would be the last time He gathered with His disciples during His earthly ministry.  Jesus blessed the broken bread and the fruit of the vine.  Then He passed the bread and juice to them.  At the end of this heart-wrenching time, they parted by singing a song of praise to God.

Soon the Son of God would suffer as no human being has ever suffered.  Soon He would be declared guilty by His own Father for every sin committed by mankind.  He willingly accepted His fate, including the excruciating pain that His body would soon face.  He experienced terrible separation from His heavenly Father as well as the suffering of the humiliating torments of Hell.  In the midst of it all, He wanted to sing.

Ephesians 5:18-20 says,And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

The preceding passage of Scripture gives us a clear exhortation to abstain from liquor and a clear command to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then, as a result of being separated from the world and being separated unto the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves singing to ourselves.  What will we sing about?  The Bible says we will sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  We will sing these songs and make melody in our hearts to the Lord.

Genesis 4:21 tells us, “Jubal…was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.”  Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  

It is clear from the Word of God that God gives music to man as a blessing.  God delivered Moses and the children of Israel from bondage, and they began to sing.  The song they sang is recorded in Exodus 15:1-9.  Job 38:7 says, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

In II Chronicles 5:12-14, God gives us the story of a choir that consisted of thousands of Levite instrumentalists, which included 120 Levites playing trumpets.  A great congregation was assembled for the dedication of the temple. This gigantic crowd was all in one place at the east end of the altar, dressed in white garments.  These people had so rehearsed their presentation that they gave one sound in praising God.  

The Scripture says, “They lifted their voice with the trumpet and cymbals and instruments of musick.” This mass of people, along with their awesome sound, gave praise to their God in song.  God was so pleased with their music that the shekinah glory filled the house of the Lord.  It was so overwhelming that the priests were unable to stand to minister.  That was some choir special!

THE HYMNBOOK OF THE BIBLE

David was the human pen for the majority of the Psalms.  The book of Psalms is called the “hymnbook of the Bible.”  The Psalms were songs given to men in the midst of their struggles, their suffering, and even their victories.  The Bible speaks of singers, musicians, and musical instruments more than five hundred times.  

When we make the Bible the center of our lives, Jesus will become the central figure of our lives.  The result will be Jesus becoming the “theme of our music.”  His message with Him as the Messenger must be the catalyst of our songs.  

When choir members, special singing groups, soloists, and orchestra members are in tune with Christ and with each other, their music can bring about or enhance a spiritual event.  The music in our churches should reflect support for the soul winning of the local church.  The music in our churches should reflect support for the pulpiteering of the Preacher.  

The music in our churches should reflect support for the standards of the Bible, and the music in our churches should reflect the warmth of a caring church.

THE AFFECT OF MUSIC

I Samuel 16:23 says, “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” Depression seemed to be a rather regular occurrence with King Saul.  The farther away from God he went, the deeper his depression became.  King Saul was backslidden, and as a result, I Samuel 16:15 states that he was troubled by an evil spirit.  

When his servants noticed Saul’s condition, they recommended a solution in I Samuel 16:16.  “Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.”  To soothe the evil spirit, they sent for David.  He came into the presence of Saul.
 
Notice that when the evil spirit came to trouble Saul, David did not sing.  David did not utter a word.  He simply took his harp and played it for King Saul.  The music refreshed Saul. Someone wisely stated that music is not neutral.  It can bring out the best in a man, or it can bring out the worst in a man.  Music is an invisible reality.  Thus, God’s people must be careful in both their private and public choices of music.

Obviously, if David could create a sound from the harp that calmed a depressed King Saul, then music is a reality that cannot be ignored.  The late Dr. Jack Hyles, in a sermon on music, pointed out that Plato said, “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws.”  

Aristotle believed that if you listened to music that reflected a certain mood, you would experience that same mood.  He said, “In short, if one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will tend to become the wrong kind of person; but, conversely, if he listens to the right kind of music, he will tend to become the right kind of person.” 

THE MOODS OF MUSIC

There is a term that is well known to musicians.  It is the term “moods of music.”  To play a piece correctly, it is necessary for a musician to discover the “mood” of the piece.

Pastors across the nation are in search of music that is vibrant, alive, heartwarming, and evangelistic.  Never has there been more of a need in the area of music than today.  We develop appetites that are worldly, and the effects are as damaging as an NIV Bible. If one type of music can calm you, then it stands to reason that another type can provoke you.  

Many a church split was first a mood created by selfish church music sung and played by selfish church members.  If our churches are to be all that God intends them to be, we must find the Biblical position for church music.  The extremes are found in having either a formal, dead church service with studied classical, or a barnyard hoedown, with warmed-over Oak Ridge Boys specials.

Music affects us in three ways: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Music also has three primary parts: melody, harmony, and rhythm.  Melody comes from the Greek word meloidia, which means “choral sing.” Meloidia is derived from melos, “tune,” plus aoiden, “to sing.”  Thus, the musical term melody, which follows the Bible command to be filled with the Spirit, is teaching us that music and the fullness of the Holy Spirit are related.

Our mind responds to harmony, the intellectual part of music.  The word harmony comes from the Greek word for joint, which implies the concept of fitting together. Thus, the harmony joins the melody and the rhythm together.  Our body responds to the rhythm.  Rhythm is the Greek word rheo, which means “to flow” or “to pulse.” Rhythm, then, is the physical part of music.  Remember, music can be evil or good, depending upon its usage.

The melody must dominate the music of the Christian.  The harmony must follow the melody in the supportive role in the music.  Last of all, the rhythm must be under strict control in music.  In essence, this is a picture of the Christian with his body and its desires under strict control.  

Romans 8:13 explains, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” I Corinthians 9:2 says, “If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.”

BALANCE IS THE KEY

The key word for music is balance.  Rhythm must not be forsaken.  It needs to be in a proper relationship with the harmony and melody.  Calvin Johansson’s book Music & Ministry says: “A like principle is at work in the created order, for God has set man over the world and God is over both.  We see this principle at work in government, church, and family life.  Not everyone can be a chief! 

Music shows universal truth as it adheres to this principle of dominance.  Not every note, rhythm, or harmony can be in the foreground.”  Beethoven shed more light on the need for balance in music when he said, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”

In this day and time, the melody (spiritual) and harmony (intellectual) are not just being overpowered; they are being dissolved by the overpowering, pulsating rhythm (physical).  America’s music, both in the church and in the society, reflects an obsession with the physical. 

James 1:27 tells us, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” 

WORLDLY MUSIC?

What makes worldly music?  Some music, because of its identification with the world, could and should be considered worldly.  If the honky-tonks, nightclubs, lounges, etc., where the world congregates to feed their flesh, use it, it would make sense to label it worldly music. 

This is interesting…what if the lounges started playing “The Old Rugged Cross” or “Amazing Grace”? The musicians would probably be booed, and most of the customers would leave.  Why? Because the music does not match the setting!  Then why do so many pastors and Christians think lounge or honky-tonk music belongs in the church house?  

The truth is, God’s music is meant to bring praise to God, not to entertain man.  In his book Music in the Life of Man, Julius Portnoy says, “The Christian musician is a member of two worlds, the spiritual and the material.  The choice is his: to create sacred music that is pleasing to God because it ennobles character or to defile the miracle of creation and produce secular music which arouses lust and desire.”

THE VOCAL SLIDE

There are several characteristics of a worldly sound.  The first is a vocal “slide.” Charles Brown, who wrote The Art of Rock and Roll, states, “Some people have characterized these vocal slides as sexual utterance.”

DISRESPECT FOR THE WRITTEN MELODY

The second characteristic is flipping above and below the actual written line of melody.  One man wrote, “The classically trained singer has an ingrained respect for any written melody and hesitates to tamper with it.  The modern singer, on the other hand, looks on written melody as simply a convenient starting point for his variations.”

WHISPERING, BREATHY, AND AIRY VOICE
 
The third most obvious characteristic is the ingredient of a whispering, breathy, and airy voice.  In The Art of Rock and Roll, Mr. Brown speaks of a trick used vocally by Elvis Presley.  He writes, “By softening his voice for certain passages, he could create a personal effect, which made the women in the crowd feel that he was singing directly to them.”

THE IMAGE FORMED IN THE MIND

There is a sound that the world’s music gives out.  When music is heard, the mind immediately forms an image because of the sound that is heard.  I can only imagine what image comes to mind when bar room music or honky-tonk music is heard.  I wonder what image people get when they walk past our churches and hear our music.  Do they hear Christians who have copied the sensual tone of voice while singing decent songs with decent words, trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit and to bring their own brand of conviction?  Christian, what image are you projecting from your car or in your home? Do not forget, there is a direct correlation between the power of God and the music of God. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

THE POWER OF GOD OR THE POWER OF SATAN?

EMERGING CHURCH THEOLOGY


Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Romans 1:23, “And changed the glory of the incorruptible glory of God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”


In Genesis chapter one it says that God created man in his image. In Romans chapter one it says man created God in his image.


God Wants Man To Be Like Him

God made man in his own image but man sinned and fell from the image of God. Then God made it possible for man to be redeemed so that someday man would be like God.

I John 3:2, “…we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

The great heart of God longed for man to be like him so he made man in his own image. Mankind fell and when mankind sinned God made it possible for them to be in his image someday. Between the time man is saved and the time he awakes in the likeness of Christ he is to gradually grow into image of God.


Man Wants To Be Like God

There is no doubt about the desires of mankind to be like God Man has an innate desire to be like God. He sets up godlike values to live by whether he is religious or not. He judges others who do not live by those values whether biblical or not. All over the world we find cultures with their own view of godliness or godlikeness. Individual societies function all over the planet based on their idea of God and becoming godlike.


Satan Wants Man To Be Like God

He came to Eve in the Garden of Eden and said if you will eat of that fruit you will be as gods knowing or determining your self what is good and what is evil.

There is an agreement here in that man wants to be like God and God wants man to be like God while Satan also wants man to be like God.


It Seems That All Three Agree

We have three the heavenly Father, man, and Satan all in agreement on something. That agreement is that all three want God and man to be alike! However, there is a controversy that exists here. God wants man in his image while man wants God in his image.

This Boils Down to Two Choices for Man

Thus, we have basically the two religions of the world. One religion is that God wants man in his image while the second is man wanting God in his image. God desires for man to become like him and man desires for God to be like man. In Genesis 1:26-27 God created man in his image and in Romans 1:21-23 man in turn is creating God in his image. 

God wants man to conform to him and man wants God to conform to him. Please bear in mind this is the same goal. God desires for man to be like him and we by nature like to be like God but the controversy is that God wants us to conform to his image while we want God to conform to our image? It is such a subtle thing! It looks at a glance as if it’s the same thing or the same goal.

This is the difference between true Christianity and charismatic Emerging church Christianity. This is the difference between Jack Hyles’ Christianity and Bill Hybles Christianity, Tom Malone Christianity and Paul Crouch Christianity, Lee Roberson Christianity and Robert Schuler Christianity, Curtis Hutson Christianity and Benny Hinn Christianity, or John R. Rice Christianity and Jimmy Swaggert Christianity.

Almost in every state you may go to you will find a large charismatic church and the minute you walk in and talk to the janitor you will quickly discover religion number two. There is no difference between their music and the world’s music. There is no difference between their immodest dresses on the females than you will find on the streets of their cities. There is no difference between the haircuts of the males than you will find in the population of their city. They have taken God and brought him down to their image and they project that image to their city.

A Christianity where man is making God in his image is what is being displayed. May I ask a question are you changing your image? In religion number two they have made God conform to them instead of them conforming to God. They are changing their image!

Turn on the average Charismatic or Emerging church TV program and you will find in this modern movement man has said to God we will dress like we desire to dress, sing like we desire to sing, wear our hair like we desire to wear our hair, and God we will invite you to come visit with us. We will allow you to be with us as we are! You will meet us on our level!

Who is Conforming to Whom?

My question is who is conforming to whom? Are you changing your image? “We want you God to conform to our image!” However, God says I want you to conform to my image.

All you had to do was visit a great fundamental Baptist church and then attend some Emerging church and you will see the difference in the crowds. I have preached for 45 years that God’s people are to conform to God and not God to God’s people. 

Modesty is still modesty! Long hair on males is still unscriptural no matter what society dictates as “hip.” Bad music is still bad music even when Jesus’ name is used!

Walk among both congregations and see how the respective members dress and you will find that this modern Emerging church Christianity is nothing more than man attempting to conform God to man’s image. The question is are we who call ourselves fundamental doing the same thing?

May I also suggest that the reason the worldly type of religion is so popular is because of the conforming God to man. It is less convicting, confining, and constraining with a fleshly appeal that is far more appealing to the populous! It is an amusement park atmosphere, rock concert atmosphere, Broadway atmosphere, and Burger King atmosphere every Sunday. 

Some Baptist Churches are Becoming Emerging Churches

By the way this “Emerging Church” philosophy enjoyed by some young independent Baptist pastors is nothing more than bringing God down to man in order to reach man.

All over America you will find springing up a Calvary Chapel, Community Church, Cathedral Church, Gospel Center, Vineyard Church, Church on the Rock, etc., with a basic philosophy of bringing God down to man. Their females are immodest with their shorts, halters, and blue jeans while the males sing their Gospel hip hop while wearing long hair and earrings. 

They advertise contemporary services because they intend to bring God down to man. They claim contemporary services with a conservative doctrine. The problem is doctrine is only as good as the conduct. What you believe is always reflected in your behaviour!

When you attend a fundamental Baptist church you will find God’s people attempting to conform to the image of God rather than causing God to conform to man. Let’s face it, there are more people who want to have God to conform to their image than there are people who want to conform to God’s image. However, it is necessary to note that God’s people have always been called a “remnant.” We will always be a remnant until the Rapture and then we will be the majority.

When we bring God down to man then we will need the power of darkness to draw using the world to reach the world.  The result is we end up with the world and in darkness. What some are tolerating today will be the down fall of the next generation.

That is the struggle in every church in America, every Teen Department in America, every home in America, every Christian school in America, and every Christian College in America. The difference between the thousands who attend Bill Hybles’ church and those who attended Jack Hyles’ church was not numerical but spiritual! Bill Hybles was changing the image of God into the image of man while Jack Hyles was changing the image of man into the image of God.

The fundamental Baptist men of God say here is the King James Bible now you conform to this book. There are others who say we will not change our hairstyle, our music, our miniskirts, our vampire lipstick, our movie watching, our rock n roll beat, our male wearing of earrings, our martini drinking, our dancing to match the Scriptures. Some will simply use something other than the King James to endorse our worldly lifestyle.

The sad part is some who stick by the King James and still bring God down to man will eventually produce a generation of Bible deniers. 

They call it a holy dance, a holy kiss, Christian liberty, contemporary ministry, Christian TV, and that way we will invite God to come and worship with us and we will conform God to our image. Every religion and every church is one of the two! 

By the way church number two will preach on being like Jesus, on being Christ like but what they mean is to make Jesus like them and not them like Jesus! What they mean is let God conform to us and church number one means let us conform to God!

Giving the People What They Want Via Surveys is Destructive

Robert Schuler and Bill Hybles did exactly the same thing. They both had a community survey to find out what the people wanted in a local church. Then they designed and conformed their churches to their surveys. I made up my mind that they would sell popsicles in Hell before I would be a party to such spiritual nonsense! These are not men of God they are men of the people!

God did not take a survey before he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. The one time Moses took a survey about whether to go into the Land of Canaan it cost Moses his very life. We are not to conform God to man but rather we are to conform man to God. Bill Hybles says he will build a church to suit the people while Jack Hyles said he would build a church to suit God!

There are two religions or two Christianities with one conforming God to man’s image and the second one conforming man to God’s image! Also those institutions of higher learning in Christianity are one or the other in philosophy. That is why the right college will always have a struggle. 

The institutions of higher learning are battling and struggling to keep conforming their students to God’s image instead of having a Liberty University type that is attempting to cause God to conform to man so they can attract more students. That is what is wrong with Baylor and some other institutions that were founded by aggressive Bible believers at one time who have long vacated spiritual applications to real life! What these colleges tolerate today will dominate them tomorrow.

When God says a female should not wear that which pertains to a male that a male should not wear that which pertains to a female he was not joking! In fact God called it an abomination in his sight! Man is supposed to conform to the Scriptures not the Scriptures to man’s image. 

Hang the big church if that is what is required! Hang the big college if that is what it takes to have the numbers! Big is not always better! Hitler had the crowds! The Dallas Cowboys have the crowds! God’s people must conform to God’s image and not demand God conform to man’s image!


God Wants Man To Be Like His Son

God says he wants his people to be like his son Jesus, while man says I want Jesus to be like me. That is where the issue of the Virgin Birth enters. God says my Son was born of a virgin while some men say we want God’s Son to be like us so we reject the virgin birth.

God says my Son lived a perfect sinless life and I want my people to conform to my Son’s life. However, man says we will just say your Son did not live a perfect life. He was a good man and a good teacher but not sinless man says! We are not to make Jesus like us we are too make us like Jesus.

The same can be said concerning the Scriptures. God’s words are being changed into man’s words. That is why we have the NIV, ASV, RSV, etc. God wants man’s music to like his music while man wants to bring God down to his Egyptian music. Which church do you attend? Church number one or church number two?

God says to his people I want you to sing music that will honor me and not music that will honor you! All of which includes words, melody, tune, and rhythm. According to Exodus 32:7-8 the music that Moses discovered being played by God’s people when he returned from being with God was Egyptian and was similar to noise.

God says let me decide what kind of music you should have and man says but we cannot draw a crowd with that kind of music! No, but you will draw me! Ok, then don’t draw a crowd if you have to have a trap set and a bass guitar played by longhaired hippy acting like it is the amateur hour or American Idol. Better to have ten people hearing truth than 10,000 going deaf to hellish music.

Choice is between  Holy Ghost Power or the Power of Darkness

Why not depend on the Holy Ghost of God to draw and convict sinners rather than settle for an earthly sensual draw that will do nothing but produce the same thing when they leave? Hey, I decided to have music like God, a Bible like God’s Bible, live like God’s Son, take the Gospel to the unredeemed world and let God fill the house.

There are two Christianities at play here, one of God conforming man to God’s image and the second is man conforming God to man’s image. Is your image changing? Which way is it changing? Far too many preachers in America are attempting to gain a crowd by making God look like man. The music in America’s churches needs to be overhauled and some of it ought to be scrapped. 

Too many classical songs, too many high brow songs, and on the other hand there are too many honky tonk songs with a heavy left hand on the piano being sung using Jesus’ name in order to justify their existence. 

It would be wise to play preludes and postludes that the dear people recognize. Offertories that reach the hearts of the people would add much to the spiritual atmosphere necessary for the Holy Spirit to be active in a church service. There is a big difference between a spiritual service and a sensual service.

Some of our churches in America are simply making God’s word like man’s words, God’s Son like man, and God’s music like man’s music.


God Wants Man To Accept His Plan Of Reconciliation And Man Wants God To Accept His Plan Of Reconciliation

It is an age old struggle of religions making man’s words like God’s words, God’s Son like man, man’s music like God’s music, and making man accept God’s plan of reconciliation. The struggle continues to this very day.

It is Jesus plus works in some places while historic Baptists have always believed and held to Jesus plus nothing for salvation. Man is a sinner, Hell is the price for man’s sin, Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus paid the debt through his death, burial, and resurrection. That is God’s plan of reconciliation! Man must accept or reject God’s plan of his Son’s vicarious death, burial, and resurrection.

·      God wants man to be like him
·      Man wants to be like God
·      Satan wants man to be like God
·      It seems all three agree
·      Man casts the deciding vote