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The moderators have a difference of opinion about church singing. Donnie sees nothing wrong with singing hymns that are not performance-and-culture-driven. Yet because he continually and strongly emphasizes that the NT says to "speak" hymns, he leaves the contradictory impression that hymn-singing is wrong. So he seems to be perpetually confused on that point.
Do the moderators of this site believe any and all tuneful vocal Church singing is wrong/evil in the local church of Christ?
[color=#000000" size="4" face="times]The Cost of "Praise" (Contemporary) Services
One of my friends, who is an organist for a local church in Nashville, emailed to me an anecdote that he found on a pipe organ web site. The subject is "Happy Clappy vs. Traditional Organ." While organ music has no place in the C of C, the story nevertheless is thought-provoking:
"Dear List: One of our [organ technician's] recent visit to a local church gleaned the following information which I'm sure will be of interest here. This local church has 3 Sunday services, the first and third a praise band service and the middle service a traditional service with organ. Each of the praise services brings in many more people into the pews than does the traditional service. The good news is that the traditional service brings in more money than the combined two praise services. Obviously the people vote with their hands and not their wallets. Perhaps it is a matter of time before churches realize the cost of the praise services and return to traditional services."
This story confirms what I've heard for several years: In general older, traditional members (including those who are retired and on social security) contribute more to the church coffers than do the throngs of younger members who pile in for contemporary services. One would think that larger numbers of contemporary members would produce larger contributions. That's apparently not the case. These latter folks show up for the unbiblical "fun" and entertainment provided in contemporary services, but they are not as willing to cough up the cash to keep things going. So the financial burden falls primarily and unfairly upon the minority of older traditionalists, many of whom are living on limited incomes.
Determined that they were not about to leave, what would happen if the traditionalists simply withdrew financial support from their unbiblical church? The minister, song leader, and church staff would take a whopping cut in salary, or perhaps be laid off entirely. After all, this is where at least half or more of most church funds go in the first place (I could give you the name a large church that had a $750,000 annual budget, nearly 50% of which went to local in-house "salaries," yet less than 1% went to "benevolence"; the rest went to "building and grounds," "music ministry," "TV ministry," "miscellaneous," and some to "missions").
There's no biblical justification to finance that which is blatantly unbiblical. Perhaps traditionalists should consider twisting the old adage "Money talks" into "Lack of money screams."[/color]
[color=#0000FF" size="4" face="times]Here's another great message from Dr. Bill Crump (August 7 2004 at 10:57 AM):The older generation wants to hold on to the songs they grew up with.
The younger generation wants new songs they can relate to.
The elders try to accommodate both groups by only adding a few songs for the younger generation.
The older generation must bend if they don't want discord in the assembly.
The next generation will want new songs too. Get ready to bend younger generation.
The owl generation sitting there wondering what's going on, never knowing there had been changes brewing.
The poster, who was a part of the older- owl generation, started paying attention to the changes.
The poster only wants to do the will of the Father, as I'm sure some others do too.
The poster has a suggestion: instead of trying to please ourselves, take all songs away that are not
Scripture. Then there will be no more fighting on who gets a say on what will be
Included in the song book. This way Jesus Christ is the referee and teacher then we can learn
the bible and the will of the Father at the same time.
By the way, I also love some of the old songs that are no longer sung. I sing them while I am by myself, but I would rather have scripture imbedded in my mind. I didn't realize the turmoil had been brewing for many years on the music issue. If something causes this much heartache and strife, then the simple solution is to remove it, and start over.
"Blended Service" Just a Transitional Ploy
Most of us are probably familiar with the old fable about the Arab and the camel. I'm sure there are variations to the story, but it runs along this line: As an Arab slept in his tent in the desert, his camel stood outside in the cold night air. In time, the camel pleaded for the Arab to let him put just his nose inside, because it was so cold outside, and the Arab granted this wish. Soon, the camel pleaded to put just his face inside, which really wouldn't take up any room at all, and to this the Arab also agreed. Then the camel followed with consecutive, but subtle, requests which included his neck, his right foot, his left foot, his front legs, his shoulders, and his waist. Eventually, the camel ever so gradually managed to ease more and more of himself into the tent, so that finally the camel occupied the entire tent, and the Arab had been displaced outside to the cold night air. I think you can see how this analogy applies to change agents who gradually infiltrate traditional churches.
A common ploy used to transform traditional churches into bastions of the unbiblical Change Movement is to introduce the so-called "blended service," which gradually and progressively blends worldly, contemporary elements (rock music, drama, skits, etc.) with traditional worship. But make no mistake in believing that services in such churches will always remain "blended." The vast majority of such churches are only in "transition," for as the camel worked his entire body into the tent, the change agents intend for the contemporary to supplant and replace the traditional completely. The process could take years to accomplish, because all workings must be subtle and gradual.
Here's a case illustration. In previous posts, I've told my story, that I was formerly an organist for nearly four years at a once-traditional Southern Baptist church in Nashville. Some two years into my post there, the thirty-something pastor brought in a contemporary rock band to perform during the services, and their participation at first was limited to one Sunday morning per month. After all, the old traditionalists could only tolerate the ear-splitting cacophony of crashing drums, screeching guitars, and vocal acrobatics for short periods. This was the pastor's decision alone, and the congregation had not been consulted beforehand. When challenged about his decision, the pastor bristled and ordered that the congregation must learn to appreciate ALL musical styles, because (in his biased opinion), "God loves diversity."
This scenario went on for a year or so, then the rock performances increased to two Sunday mornings a month and included one, then two Sunday nights a month -- you get the drift. And the choir, which had theretofore sung traditional pieces, began to drift to more contemporary songs as well, for the minister of music was under the pastor's thumb. Soloists also sang contemporary pieces designed to show off their vocal acrobatic skills, and from time to time, drama and skits appeared during the services. On one occasion, teenage girls performed a dance routine with hand signs to recorded music, which supposedly told a "Christian" story. So I left that changing, entertainment-oriented church, as I've noted earlier. Services there now are almost exclusively contemporary, although a few traditional hymns still appear from time to time. The transitional ploy of a "blended" service has virtually given way to full metamorphosis. But the crucial point of the story is that all this gradual, contemporary change served as a prelude for the church to pursue Rick Warren's "40 Days of Purpose" study in August-September of 2004. Again, instead of consulting the congregation, the pastor successfully railroaded the final "change" element into his church.
All too often, biblically illiterate, spiritually lazy church goers rely on their pastors/ministers to supply all of their spiritual needs, when in fact their trusted "shepherd" could be plotting a major coup, as I've shown above. Only by being biblically literate and ever-watchful will traditional churches be successful in keeping the Change Movement from their doors.