As we have, from time to time, illustrated the lunacy of misappropriating Bible passages with this little tidbit of Biblical twisting: how Judas "went and hanged himself" (Mt27:5); therefore "Go and you do likewise" (Lk10:37); and "What you do, do quickly" (Jn13:27) Seeeee??? The Bible says you should go hang yourself. So...what are you waiting for??? C'mon, it says to hurry!!! Whereas, when Scripture is taken in context, it says nothing of the sort.
But this little example is exactly -just- the sort of thing unbelievers and those of the apostasy do. And after years of doing it, when they compose their doctrinal statements, they already know that certain objections are going to be heard regarding their carnal, demonic music and worship, so they have taylored their official statements to PREEMPT those objections. But, let's back up a moment.
The other day I was driving along a Spokane street that I hadn't driven in some time. As I was noticing certain businesses that no longer existed, and some new ones that hadn't been there before, I also noticed the sign in front of this old church building. It used to have one of the one-world religion church names. This time, it had several words put together with the word "Bible" in the mix. Historically, "Bible Church" has been a name associated with faithful Bible teaching and sound doctrine. (Tit1:9) While I have "come out of her (Babylon)" (Re18:4), having over the years been to any church in the area I know of that by its name might suggest a congregation that loves the Lord and is faithful to His Word, but finding none, I am always keeping my eyes open for a new group to check out, in the hopes that there might be even JUST ONE (Jer5:1) such group to "assemble" with. (Heb10:25)
'Got home, looked them up in the phone book, called the number and the answering machine gave the web address. Browsed around awhile and then e-mailed the worship pastor. In these days I typically find that the manner of a congregation's music will be a pretty clear indicator of what the group is. The pastor's bio spoke of his "band". I had hoped for a clear concise answer as to something like: we have a worship team, we use a worship band, we sing to piano/organ accompaniment, we use guitars, bass and drums, etc. But what I got was a 4-page PDF outlining their entire worship philosophy, which for all it's voluminous words was LESS-CLEAR than the simple statement that he has a "band". But, just because the man -has- a "band", does that necessarily mean they use the band in the meetings? Thus, I was seeking answers.
Just as in 40+ years of struggling against worldliness in the church,
and having them counter with their excuses; apparently they have also
spent those same years countering people like me who object to their
worldliness and have an entire preemption system in place. Let's look at
a few things as they publish things:
In this paragraph they include some Scripture references, which have nothing to do with the sentences they flank, so I'm not going to confuse the reader by including them. One main thing I was missing here, and when I used the PDF 'search' utility just in case I had missed it when reading, the word was not to be found in all their four pages. Notice how -they- "delight" in God. It is "our" worship, "our" focus. And who is "illuminating" the nature and character of God. "we"
But what I missed?
And when God's glory filled the temple the priests "were not able to stand to minister before the cloud" the glory of Jehovah (1Ki8:11) and what did they sing in worship?
In the Psalms "and give thanks at the remebrance of His holiness" (Ps30;4)
But since at least the 70s, they have not liked to -obey- God. Reference to God's will and commandments is too much -law-, and they prefer Graaaeeessss. To even have discussions about how to follow God's rules, let alone to -do- them, is so "legalistic" and "judgmental". So, they prefer to bask in "delights".
What is "holiness"? (Something they don't address) It is -separation-. God is holy. The view of God's holiness struck the fear of death in that view. God is righteous, and man is sinful. Even as Biblical Believers we still are in "corruption" of this earthly existence. (1Co15:50) God is -distinct- from evil and corruption. Being in God's holiness is not something in which we -bask- in smiling delights. It is not something we -feel- wonderful about; but rather it invokes the fear of God's judgment, only being able to rejoice that it is God's "eternal mercy" that covers our sin.
"Through Jehovah’s kindness we are not consumed, because His compassions never fail." (Lam3:22)
Understanding what has just been said, does God accept "contemporary" styles?
--STYLISTICALLY FLEXIBLE - The Bible does not limit musical style in worship. Nor does it elevate one kind of instrument over another. In fact, just the opposite, it encourages various kinds of instruments and expressions in worship (Psalm 150). Furthermore, if the gospel saves people from every tribe, tongue and language, it must be concluded that expressions of worship might differ from culture to culture or even from generation to generation. For this reason, our song style will be flexible so long as it is proper for the moment, and fits the context of our church. We will do some hymns and some contemporary songs. We will do some songs that are upbeat, encouraging loud and gregarious worship, and some songs that are slow, encouraging sober reflection. We will incorporate songs from different keys and musical modes to create different moods of worship fitting to the lyrics of the song. In some songs we might use loud instruments like drums, horns, and organs. In some songs we might use softer instruments like strings and harps. Each of these stylistic choices may be incorporated for the purpose of encouraging the worship experience and the fitting expressions they encourage. --
Are all drums bad? Orchestrally, as of from the entire musical spectrum, no. But that's not the predominant use. They typically (99.999%) use traps: the bass (kick) drum, various snares, toms and symbols; which by their design are intended for only one type of music; the jazz/rock rhythms of sensuality. Certainly the Psalms have many mentions of instruments. But is God please with -all- forms?
As David sought to bring the ark to Jerusalem it says...
It doesn't tell us the 'process' by which David calmed down, but when they again sought to bring the ark to Jerusalem, this time they did it with priests carrying the ark, as prescribed...
But what about the decades-old argument that Paul was "all things to all men" (1Co9:22) Therefore, if music was amongst older people, use organ and piano. If young people, use a rock band. If ministering to people of the Carribean, reggae. If people of Bali, or the tribal regions of Africa use their jungle witchdoctor type drum beats and dancing. Whatever the "culture" of the participants? Prior articles are recommended at this point: "Bali and the Pagan Church" - "Cultural Sensitivity"
When Israel moved into the land of promise, did they embrace the 'culture' of the land? Did they convene exploratory teams to learn what the land was "all about" and -adapt- their theology and worship of Jehovah to demonstrate concensus and group think...so as not to 'offend' the historically local people...to 'learn' from them, and 'share'?
How was Israel to treat outsiders who wanted to learn of God? Did they have 'different' liturgies for them?
"And if a stranger sojourns among you, and would keep the Passover unto Jehovah, he shall do so according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance; you shall have one ordinance, both for the sojourner and the native of the land." (Nu9:14)
--HUMBLE TEACHABILITY - no matter how skilled the musician might be, he or she must be willing to come under the leadership of the worship leader --
This is one of the required characteristics of a worship musician. But this, also, is probably the ultimate in PREEMPTION. When David did wrong he obviously came off his fury to learn why Uzzah had been killed. He was "teachable". He did not remain in defiance to do it his own way NO MATTER WHAT, but corrected what needed fixing, and did things God's way.
But that is -NOT- what they mean. The typical scenario goes something like this: A group (such as a church), or organization (such as a radio network) has a certain philosophy where they are using carnal methods in worship, or worldly ways in the broadcast schedule. Somebody comes along to work within the organization and sees things that are not honoring to God, and so in the spirit of Ga6:1 attempts to raise the issue with the goal to correct whatever is wrong, so that the group might be pleasing to God. After all, it does not take a 'committee' to fix things. Just a zealous individual...
The Christian doesn't need to take javelin; just -speak- to -change- things. But when a (particular) "christian" radio station years ago played things like "Me and Mrs Jones have a thing going on" or "this is the dawning of the age of aquarius" for the afternoon drive-time "easy listening" music; or the station manager would lie to potential clients to whom they were seeking to sell advertising space, or this or that that was both ungodly and carnal, if a Christian working for them dared to speak up about the ungodly nature of what was going on, the network manager had a conversation with the Christian, indicating that what was needed from him (the Christian) was to submit to the "CHAIN-OF-COMMAND" As far as that Christian was concerned, it "didn't matter" what things were going on, his duty was to...
This is the very thing that those in the military and law enforcement have to grapple with. The commander gives an order to go and commit a massacre. Or like in the case of the German officers who carried out the Holocaust of those millions in the ovens. And after the event, when on trial: WE WERE JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS. Did that justify their actions? Was there not a higher law of God's morality? Did they not have a conscience, and the fortitude to behave accordingly, despite the consequences?
This is something I am reading recently as 1) returning Marines are being retrained for "riot control" and "urban warfare" in this country, and 2) as those who appear on lists of potential 'terror' suspects are those who hold to the Bible, Constitution and Retired Military. The question that military recruits are being questioned and tested for is: If ordered to fire on fellow-citizens, in this country, what percentage would have NO PROBLEMS in OBEYING ORDERS? I've been amazed at actually how many Americans would fire on fellow-Americans if ordered to do so.
Is there such a thing as "right and wrong", or is it merely following the "chain-of-command"...no matter -what- the order?
When Phinehas thrust though the couple in the tent, it didn't matter that they both were the son and daughter of -RULERS- in tribes of Israel and Midean. (Nu25:14-15) God -praised- him for doing what was right.
When a church has a policy statement about "teachability", when they have an established format of honoring satan through the music, and a True Christian comes along seeking to "restore" (Ga6:1) what is wrong into conformity to God's holiness, the complaints are from the carnal congregation, that the True Christian is not being "teachable" regarding carnality. You see... the carnal ones have it firmly entrenched into their being that their carnal ways are actually, somehow, pleasing to God. And because the Believer will not slide down into their same gutter, he is "unteachable".
But this becomes the biggest 'tool' for PREEMPTION; because, you see, if the -lone- individual can be persuaded that his 'unteachability' is also "pride"... Who do you think you are? You have such pride to think that -lone- you are right, and ALL OF US are wrong? You're going to stand up to ALL-OF-US? It's not just 'us', but the professors at the seminaries and Bible colleges that are teaching this (carnal) way. And what are your 'credentials' against all those qualified experts. This is the way things are being done today. You need to repent of your pride of thinking that -only- 'you' are right.
Around here I mention "the 70s" a lot. That was the time during which the prevailing hippy culture was worming its way into the church. They thought it was about long hair and wearing coats and ties. But it was doctrine. The group by Chuck Girard and his "Love Song" probably summed it up best in their song "Little Country Church". That little country pastor was much too stiff and formal, preaching "religion" (doctrine), but they were rejoicing that the old fuddy duddy was "finally coming 'round". He no longer preaches doctrine, but they -just- come to "praise the Lord" ("delight in God"). "Long hair, short hair, some coats and ties...the little church is COMING AROUND" ("stylistically flexible")...ANYTHING GOES. During the days of Love Song they were an 'activist' band. The whole of christendom hadn't yet been converted over. They were effecting "Changes" (in my mind), getting the old traditionalists to "loosen up". Now that their goal has been met, how do we keep what now is, from reverting back to HOLY DOCTRINE? Preemption. Don't be coming along and telling us to change (back), but follow the chain-of-command. We finally got the church corrupted just the way we like it, and we're not going back. If you want to be amongst us you'd better be "teachable" to our corrupt way! They might just as well say: We are holy unto our corruption!
When it comes to corporate worship and music, the goal should not be to -blend- in with the world...to make the -world- "happy". No! Our goal should be to be pleasing to God. To obey God. To be -HOLY- unto God. Holy is the -opposite- of ecumenism. Holy is the antithesis of dialectic. Group-think resulted in judgment; and those who were pleasing to God were the -individuals- who stood -against- the group, sometimes being persecuted or killed, in order to submit to God. Daniel's three friends went to the fiery furnace. Daniel to the lion's den. There used to be a children's song...
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known