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November 5, 2008

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Q/A Topics:
Oral Sex and the Bible?

READER QUESTION:
I was please [sic] to find you [sic] website. This question i need your opinion. Is anything wrong with christian practising oral sex, most christian leaders say it is wrong what do you think? Back your answer up with scripture

INTRODUCTION:
With the kind of world we live in, there are so many things splattered in our faces at every turn. And like a recent mailing from David Cloud's FBIS mailing about rock-n-roll, with quotes from many people in the rock industry that, "it's all about sex", a person cannot exist where people of the world are, without hearing the things that come out of their mouths, and the topics they discuss amongst themselves, about the things that they do. They will also naturally ask the Believer their opinions. How do we answer them? And modern medicine also tells us that certain things are "OK" (medically 'safe') in the bedroom (some things that will be addressed beginning with the next mailing as we 're-run' the "Life is in the Blood" series for the next few weeks) which God gave laws -against- to Israel in the OT. There must have been 'reasons' He gave those laws, which the "Blood" series will address. So in that same vein, here is how (with a few modifications) I answered this visitor to the website.

VW ANSWER:
I don't know of any Scripture that addresses the matter one way or the other, directly, in so-many-words. There are some who think they see symbolisms in Song of Solomon for various non-intercourse activities. It might be the case, or it might not. When Paul speaks of the "natural use" (Rom1:26-27), is he speaking of that which, by nature, lends itself to procreation, as God had originally designed it in the beginning to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen1:28,9:1)? In the OT they had laws about impurity and cleansing due to intercourse; and not, during the menstrual period. If certain fluids were considered "unclean" in that way, would those be things a person puts in their mouth? (Lev15:19,32)

Yes, I know....in the OT pigs were also considered unclean, and in the NT that prohibition was lifted. (Mk7:19, Ac10:15)

But think about it this way: (please pardon the crassness, but the question is asked; so here is a dose of reality) Does anybody 'collect' certain fluids from their own body in a spoon (because we are not made like cats and dogs) and then take a sip? If not, why not? If the man or woman wouldn't partake of their own fluids that way, why should they expect their spouse to do so?

Otherwise... This is a question I cannot give a clear answer for others to follow, but these are some thoughts I would be pondering on the path to that decision. Ultimately, these are things between the husband and wife in their own private and intimate moments.

However: perhaps there is a 'reason' for that which is slanged and derided as "missionary" (and variations thereof) by those who engage in perversities? And contrariwise, perhaps there is a reason why porn concentrates so much on that which is contrary to the "natural use"?

    "For this you know, that NO PROSTITUTE, UNCLEAN PERSON, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore DO NOT BE PARTAKERS WITH THEM. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), PROVING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD." (Eph5:5-10)

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Sodomy in Marriage?

READER QUESTION:
if you did not yet, could you, please, address the issue about [sodomy] in marriage, as well?

VW ANSWER:
Well... When Jesus described the eating process, where do the impurities go?

    "Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and goes out as waste?" (Mk7:18-19)
When a person wants to jump in for a refreshing summer swim, do they dive into the local sewage treatment facility's holding tanks? To quote Balki from the 70s sitcom: Well of -COURSE- NOT, don't be ridiculous! A few years ago our local treatment plant in Spokane had an industrial accident, where some of the workers fell into the muck, and couldn't be gotten out in time, and they died.

And where does that sewage come from? Among other things, from people's bodily 'waste'.

Having been married to somebody who had studied a couple years towards pre-nursing, and her mother had been a nurse, they practiced diligence in sanitary cleanliness as a matter of habit. When girls are taught proper hygiene, they are supposed to learn to wipe one direction, but not the other; so as not to wipe that which is impure into places that should remain clean.

Does this not pretty much answer your question?

    "...whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely...think on these things." (Php4:8)

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Backbeat?

READER QUESTION:
Could you please explain the term "backbeat". I come across it regularly in articles about appropriate music for Christians, however I have yet to get a clear explanation of what it is and why it should be avoided in music.

VW ANSWER:
Many will talk -about- the "backbeat", and say that it is bad...but do not explain 'how' it moves/affects the body. It is one thing for all these -experts- to produce volumes of words, telling how rock-n-roll is "bad", and shouldn't be used in connection with anything called "christian", such as worship music or church services. But unless the backbeat is truly understood, any other comments about Rock are pretty much meaningless in terms of -application-. Truly there are the demonic and lyrical considerations; as well as the typical lifestyles of the world's rock musicians. But unless the music is personally physically affecting the individual through listening and enjoyment, those other things are more theoretical. But the rhythm is where the rubber meets the road.

Recall in the recent Q/A about sexually perverse activities (the first item above in this file: these things were mailed to the subscribers on different dates), the comment was made, quoting from David Cloud's mailings, who in turn quotes from Rock music industry experts, that: Rock music is "all about sex".

But "how" is Rock music about sex? In large measure, it's the "backbeat", and also "syncopation"; the two terms are related. The backbeat is the full beat, and syncopation the half-beat. But to merely explain that the backbeat is an 'emphasis of beats that should be weaker', unless we understand how the physical body responds to music, is also meaningless.

First of all, some reminders of past articles: at the website if you scroll the 'left' box of the TopicSearch to "music" and "dance". "God is my song" explains in technical terms the nature of sound. And you'll see the other links about dance and drums, etc.

Just like the nature of sound in its overtone harmonics is the "major triad", the nature of rhythm is the "down beat". A tree falls, it goes "thud". A firecracker explodes, it goes "bang!" A bat hits the ball, it goes "crack". But these are all -one- (single) beat. Single static events. The event happens... it's done.

Music is made of multiple beats. It -moves- in time. Tick, tick, tick. A person walks: Left right left right. Animals gallop: P-drrr-dump P-drrr-dump. Marching bands march [L]eft right [L]eft right [1]-2 [1]-2 The brackets indicating the 'stronger' pulse. Most people are right or left-handed, which typically also indicates the stronger of the two. People also walk that way...one step is stronger than the other. When animals gallop, out of the 4 legs, one of the two hind legs is usually the strongest, thus the P-drrr-[D]UMP. [vw: please excuse my creative spellings :]

Let's try to keep this simple: Consider the song, "[O]n-ward [C]hris-tian [S]ol-[D]iers"; or rendered "1[O]n-2ward 3[C]ris-4tian 1[S]o2l 3[D]iers4; notice how beats 1 & 3 are strong, and 2 & 4 are more receding. That corresponds to the [L]eft-right of walking-marching. The emphasis is at the 'beginning' of the counting scheme, "1" being the downbeat.

On the other hand, "a-[M]a-zing [G]race how [S]weet the [S]ound". Notice that the first syllable "a" is not the downbeat. If we were to take one of the understandings of "backbeat", the uneducated might think "a" is a backbeat. No... it is the "upbeat". The "anacrusis". The lead-in note which -prepares- for the downbeat. If we can think, for a moment, of the orchestra conductor with his baton: If the orchestra is going to start together on the downbeat, the baton cannot be at the 'top' and then simply start coming "down" suddenly. The upbeat swings up to the top in an upward motion to let the musicians know where the 'top' is going to be, and the speed at which to expect the downbeat to occur. Like taking a "big breath" before -blowing-. The upbeat to an orchestra has the same purpose as the "Uh one, uh two, uh one two three four" that a band leader might give. So, the upbeat does not have the same physical effect as the backbeat. And when a song like Amazing Grace begins with an upbeat, then a conductor provides a different kind of upbeat -to- the upbeat. (But we don't need to go into that here)

On the other hand, if we were to sing: "on-[W]ard chris-[T]ian so[L]-dier[S]...you see how the emphasis has shifted. It would be like walking, but in-between steps 'wiggling' the body with an emphasis. Such as left-WIGGLE-right-WIGGLE. Now draw, for a moment, on your experiences in watching people walk; or even get up from your seat and try it: With both feet planted, try to make a walk-like movement with your body, without moving your feet. -What- moves, or 'wants' to move? And, then consider -what- moves when engaging in sex?

Let's now just go from one topic to another, in no specific order. They are all inter-related:

What is the basic percussion drum beat? Boom-Shhh-Boom-Shhh. The kick drum does the "boom", and the cymbals do the "shhh". When jazz musicians are standing, being "cool" to the beat, they snap their fingers, along with a little wiggle of the extended arm (that the fingers are attached to). And what -else- wiggles to that snap? At a Rock music performance perhaps one of the musicians pumps up the crowd, raises his hands, sways and claps, and gets the audience to clap. All three: the "Shhh", finger snap and clap: all done on the "offbeat". (2 & 4, the 'weak' beats) In this case, the "offbeat" also becomes the "backbeat"; because what would normally be a 'weaker' beat is being emphasized, contrary to nature. Like walking Step-wiggle-Step-wiggle. Again: -what's- wiggling? When audiences clap to a performance at rock concerts, they are clapping (and wiggling), to the "offbeat/backbeat". -What's- wiggling? When they have dancers on stage as part of the show, -what- is wiggling? -How- is it wiggling? If they were to take their clothes off, and get together, they could be actually having sex on the stage with those movements...to the backbeat. That's what the backbeat is. And the heavier the backbeat, the more forceful, overt and paganly crude the hip gyrations and pelvic thrusts typically are.

Think about the last parade you might have seen. When a military band goes marching by, their music is [1] 2 [3] 4, legs straight, bodies straight, and they march along. Then along comes a local high school band, doing one of the popular Rock numbers, doing dance steps and gyrating...-what- is moving? What is the emphasis? What do TV cameras often hone in and focus on...particularly of the baton twirlers at the front?

Anybody ever done ball-room dance? It is easy to see how the "kids" today wiggle suggestively. But what about that which the kids' parents (or by now, grandparents) grew up doing? It is actually that generation from which the term "backbeat" originated, from jazz history; Harry James, Benny Goodman, etc.

Years ago, before I was fully 'back' from my apostasy, I took one of those evening dance classes at the local JrCollege, thinking it to be one of those nice benign "social" activities that would be "fun" to do. So what I say here is based on having done and seen it.

The music was Big-Band Jazz, in 4/4 time. I no longer remember all the details, but the instructor would count out the basic "box" step as [1] 2 [3] 4 [5][6]. The [5][6] would also be [rock][rock] between two feet...turning 5/6 into a sort of -emphasis-.

(This emphasis at the -end- of the 6-count, please remember that we observed this, later as we talk about the natural beats starting strong and ending weaker, but the backbeat emphasizes what is naturally weaker... thus, even the basic dance steps, themselves, include a kind-of 'backbeat'. Of course, other dances such as waltz are different.)

A couple of observations here: First of all, the 'musician' in me was feeling the dance steps in 3/4, not 6/8. If I had had a baton in my hand, conducting the movement of the dance steps the way they felt, it would have been a 3/4 conducting pattern, not 6/8. 1,3,5 in my mind were like 1-2-3, with 3 having a stronger "and" after it. (You know how you count when there are eighth notes: 1 & 2 & 3 & ) And so, here was this strong 4-beat music playing, and everybody is dancing in 3-beats, to 4-beat music. And of course, if each pair of dancers started dancing to the music at different beats, everybody in the room is 'bobbing' off-sync compared to each other. What stimulates the senses better than having rhythms where the strong pulses are sometimes happening at the same time, and others not. There is no steady "snap, snap, snap" you can do with your fingers to feel a sense of being 'grounded'. Sensually (of the 'senses') things begin sorta 'spinning'; as the stronger dance steps cycle through each of the 4 beats of the 4/4 music; some of those beats being stronger, and others being less. A sense of being "out-of-control", and as the couple are moving away from, and towards each other rhythmically; isn't that how couples decide to leave the dance floor for awhile and spend some time in the 'back-seat' of the car.

Christians are to be characterized by "self-control" (1Co7:5, Ga5:23, 1Ti2:15, 2Pt1:6)

Now, we've addressed this on other occasions. This would certainly be OK for married couples. After all, is not the "marriage bed" (Heb13:4) part of being married? And Paul says not to "deprive" one another. (1Co7:5) But at most dances, partners swap; somebody "cuts in". At this dance class, every little while we moved one person down the circle, and by the end of an evening, we might have danced with everybody at least a couple of times. If a couple is not married, the potential for lust and adultery.

It's like that song, I don't know who it is by, but Diana Kroll sings it on one of her CDs, "Let's face the music and dance" Is it that same song where the words say something about, "Dance is like making love to music" So again...when unmarried couples are swaying together. Enough said?

Now, with ballroom dance the backbeat might be more subtle most of the time. The backbeat is where the normally -weak- beat is emphasized in some manner that the audience both hears and feels it. That "shhh" of the cymbals might not be as loud as the kick drum, but it is a different kind of sound, that catches the attention. On the other hand, there are other times where the drummer will 'wail' on the snare or toms, or click the rim of the drum at the offbeat. Such beats make the body/hips -really- move. And it's not just the drums (I mention drums because we're keeping this discussion 'simple'): it's also the bass, rhythm guitar, and everything else in combination. But that is what audiences 'clap' to, when they have their hands in the air, swaying and clapping, wiggling their bodies all over the place like serpents.

Rock-n-roll might use the backbeat more, where the offbeats are emphasized. But there is also the more subtle syncopation. It is an emphasis of not only the offbeat...but the halfbeat. The easy-to-hear syncopations, that people might be familiar with, would be like ragtime: Entertainer, Pine Apple Rag, Easy Winners, Maple Leaf Rag, etc. Where the beat might be going along 1-2-3-4, the notes are going - & - & - & - &. (I realize this might not make a lot of sense, being mere -words-. If this were a 'meeting' where a piano was nearby, I would go plunk out some notes to illustrate.)

But in the context of ballroom dance, for instance: remember above the mention of the senses "spinning". Not only is it the conflict of 3-beats against 4-beats, with the final "3-&" steps giving a subtle emphasis; mix into that confusion the little 'spice' of the ornamentation of some things even happening off-kilter on the -half- beats; it's like taking a little feather and 'tickling' the senses further.

And then, for those who "like it rough" (pardon the in-your-face), there is the Tango. To review: When a tree falls and goes "thud", the sound -dies- away. There is the initial -emphasis- as the tree falls, and then the reverberation of the sound becomes less and less. In 4/4 music the beats go [ONE] Two [three] four, where three is less than one, and four is less than two, such that the measure (bar) begins on the strong[est] beat, and ends on the weak[est] beat. Each measure starts strong, and ends weaker.

On the other hand, Tango goes 1 2 3 4 [!AND!] It goes totally contrary to anything of 'natural' movement and sound. And the tango dance is one of the more 'violent' dances, with sudden jerking motions, along with sexually suggestive holds, poses, and whatnot. I suppose the Tango "[!AND!]" might be the -ultimate- "backbeat" and "syncopation" all rolled into one?

There are all sorts of dance music styles. Another with a strong backbeat is the Regae. But we're just discussing -basics- here.

The reason we are talking about dance so much is because these 'beat' considerations about music are what make dance work. Certainly, people can dance to hymns, as used to be illustrated where I went to college in Bellingham, and the street preachers on campus would sing hymns from the hymnal, to their accordion accompaniment, and the hippies, mockingly, would pair up and "slow dance" to the hymns...and once the hymn was finished, would "applaud the band". (I don't know that I would have sung hymns in such a setting: somewhat the "pearls before swine" concept comes to mind)

But it was said that Rock music is "all about sex". The step between music and sex is dance...as 'foreplay'. (Please pardon our blunt language, but these are the dirty facts! If we want understanding, we need the straight-forward explanation.) If we understand that the music is the foundation to the dance, and in turn the dance is foreplay to the sex; do we understand what is 'wrong' with the music in Church and as the basis for "worship"? Do we "commit adultery" and then come into God's house and say "It's OK to do this"? (Jer7:9-10) Worse yet, do we commit adultery -in- God's house, and claim it to be "worship"?? NO!!

You (who are by now strongly objecting to what we've been observing) who say Rock music is OK in Church, that music is "neutral", are probably also saying: We're not having sex in church. Well, if you're using that music... YOU ARE! Maybe not physically, but in your heart...vicariously.

Jesus said,

    "..whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mt5:28)
You might not be holding hands with the partner, nor being in each other's arms, swaying back and forth, closer, farther, wiggling around suggestively, or spinning the lady out and then your eyes meet, smiling, as she comes back close to resume the embrace. But the music was -designed- for dance. And the way the music and dance interact, it is -designed- to lead to sex. Remember: "Let's face the music and dance...dance is like making love to music"

If any of you have seen "Dancing with the Stars" (I've seen bits of it: they seem to do mostly the 'wild' -showoff- dances), it's all about seduction, lust, and sex...hard core. I don't even know HOW a body can do the wiggles they do! There's just gotta be an element of demon possession? A woman who does those kinds of moves, mostly naked, is the impudent Jezebel "strange woman", not the "nice girl" one takes home to meet mom and pop!

Now, speaking of demon possession. Ballroom dance and jazz might be more 'nicely' -just- about sex (please understand that comment in context); but Rock's beats are much more primatively insistantly -driving- and witch-doctorly pagan, and are related to "calling up the demons". The sex is not so 'polite', but it is Crude and IN-YOUR-FACE. Pardon the crassness again: No foreplay because of love, let's just DO IT! Don't "make love"; just "have sex".

For the demons, it's not just the backbeat: there's a whole ton of other rhythmic variations that get put into the mix, that come from the jungles such that, when people from the jungle hear Rock music, they recognize it as the same beats the witch doctors use to call up the spirits. But for sex, it's primarily the steady driving backbeat that gets the rhythm going and bodies moving.

If you use that music in Church, you are not worshiping the Most High! You are "having sex" with your fellow-man, and worshiping demons. BY DESIGN of how it all fits together. It's a package deal! If you're honest, next time you're in one of those meetings, look around you and see -who- is wiggling -what- and -how-. I've noticed they don't even need to be standing; they manage to do it even while seated. 'Nuff said?

It's all about the rhythm (strident repetitious pounding, along with the deep body-buzzing bass, syncopation, backbeats) and how it naturally induces the (uncontrolled) body to move to it. A lot of musicians apparently boast at how they can make women lose control to their music. It is so animalistically basic that babies, with no particular moral compass at their young age (they know nothing about sex one way or the other), when they are barely old enough to stand on their own two feet, unassisted, will sometimes wiggle suggestively to the music.

You say you are 'evangelizing' with Rock music? You are NOT!

    "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh) but mighty through God..." (2Co10:4)
What does the Bible say?
    "But sexual perversion and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no prostitute, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for

    BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS THE WRATH OF GOD COMES UPON THE SONS OF DISOBEDIENCE.

    THEREFORE DO NOT BE PARTAKERS WITH THEM.

    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

    PROVING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD." (Eph5:2-10)

Do you want the "wrath of God" or to hear: "well done, good and faithful servant"?

Amen!

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