Contemporary Musical Worship (see David Young: North Boulevard Hijacked)

Contemporary Musical Worship (see David Young: North Boulevard Hijacked)

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 6th, 2004, 6:35 am #1

I was listening to BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network) radio one day this past summer and heard Dr. Lowell Davey speak on the "Perspective" program. He spoke of the very popular and great hymn, "O Worship the King," and contrasted it with another song that reflects the contemporary music worship culture of the last few decades. He further commented, "I think it's going to be pretty relevant to where you may find yourself to be or where the church is basically headed today." He went on to recite the words to this song and pointed out that many of the contemporary music pieces are written and promoted by unsaved people and secular corporations basically producing the music for our church today. [If time permits later on, I would like to present a transcribed segment of this program.]

To have a better appreciation for the message that the song conveys, he suggested singing it to the tune of "O Worship the King." So, here's the hymn first. Would you please sing it meaningfully? And remember the tune! (I have researched online to find a copy of the other song that Dr. Davey alluded to above. Guess what I found? You'll see it later on. But, first, the hymn.)
O worship the King, all glorious above
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light:
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender! How firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!
Now, here: http://www.bbnradio.org/bbn/bbs/read.as ... e=BBN_News

Author: Jeff Apthorp
Date:9/7/2004 4:33:09 PM
Have your hymn books been replaced?

Recently Dr. Lowell Davey shared the following thought provoking words on the Perspective program. They read best set to the tune of the Hymn "O Worship The King".

O worship the slides, projected above.
Theyre taking the place, of hymnbooks we love.
We cant read ahead, and we cant read the score,
We cant harmonize and sing parts anymore.

O tell of His love, but dont mention sin.
We cannot offend, or crowds wont come in.
Forgetting His wrath, and His anger dont sing.
Were gracious and kind, and non-threatening.

Our bountiful hymns, in which we delight,
Are stogey and old, the words they arent right.
We cant memorize them, dont know what they mean.
Their authors are dead, and their length is obscene.

Frail children of NOW, we sing what we can,
Our culture has givn, a short attention span,
Well sing and repeat the Ad infinitum,
While making their writers a neat tidy sum.
___________________________
Donnie


====================
[color=#FF0000" size="3" face="times]Changed to the original, intended title: "Contemporary Musical Worship"[/color] [d.c.]
Last edited by Donnie.Cruz on August 20th, 2017, 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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B
B

December 6th, 2004, 7:22 pm #2

I hate to tell you this, but you can still sing 4 part harmony if the songs are projected. (Not that 4 part harmony is a scriptural issue or anything)

You're muddying the waters with NON-SCRIPTURAL ISSUES. A projector and 4 part harmony are neither scriptural not unscriptural in nature. 4 part harmony is a great tradition, but let's not kill time condemning songs which might be sung in unison.

Do you actually mean to tell me that you can't figure out the tenor or bass line to Victory in Jesus without the book in front of you?
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Luci
Luci

December 7th, 2004, 7:27 pm #3

Regarding the question of hymnbooks, I don't "love" the hymnbook and I sincerely hope others don't either. The book serves a function - that is, to aid the believer in the singing of songs to the Father and one another. Hymnbooks are not sacred or "great", but simply a compilation of songs of faith, that quite rightly have been added to as time has passed and new songs are written. As to the statement that some current songs are written by persons some consider to be unbelievers, do we need to be reminded that some of our "great" hymns had their origins in pubs? What makes a song worthy of singing - the person writing it or the One whom it glorifies?

I appreciate the Paperless Hymnal, which is available to be projected on a screen. The slides include the four-part music so people may read along if they don't know the song, and quite frankly I find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up and sing out (speaking directionally).

Thanks.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 8th, 2004, 8:24 am #4

I hate to tell you this, but you can still sing 4 part harmony if the songs are projected. (Not that 4 part harmony is a scriptural issue or anything)

You're muddying the waters with NON-SCRIPTURAL ISSUES. A projector and 4 part harmony are neither scriptural not unscriptural in nature. 4 part harmony is a great tradition, but let's not kill time condemning songs which might be sung in unison.

Do you actually mean to tell me that you can't figure out the tenor or bass line to Victory in Jesus without the book in front of you?
Re: What a waste of energy. (December 6 2004, 2:22 PM)

<font color=indigo>To B,

Here’s the question back to you: Was it a waste of energy on your part after reading the original post? Just wondering ... unless you were concentrating only on a segment(s) that you wanted to bring up for debate or discussion?

You said, “… you can still sing 4 part harmony if the songs are projected.” My own observation (and probably of others as well) is that what’s displayed on the holy, big white screen without the music notations is a set of confusing directions for the different parts and their corresponding lines of words. It is really confusing when there are intervening strings of o-o-o-o’s and segmented hal-la-la-la-la-la-la-le-le-le-lujahs.

In contrast, the treble and bass clefs in the hymnbook or “paperless hymnal” clearly designate the individual parts, the measures, the words or syllables and their corresponding notes in each measure, etc. With the aid of the hymnal, the congregation does not have to rely on the Praise Team and “ECHO BACK” what it has to HEAR first. The congregation does not have to experience the P.T.D. (Praise Team Dependency) syndrome. And speaking of the P.T.D. syndrome, in reality, it makes the “Worship Leader” proud of his Praise Team’s excellent delivery and performance in times of musical complexities!!! (The musicians’ point of view is that the Lord must really listen to the quality of music … rather than to the worshipper’s heart.)

In this church’s “contemporary worship” assembly, the only time that Mr. Lancaster announces to use the hymnbook is when there is a hymn that is quite unfamiliar to the congregants. It appears, then, that the hymnbooks are still being used, although … although … occasionally … only. (I believe that if hymnbooks are used that infrequently, they might as well be contributed to smaller congregations that are in need of them.) Now, as recently as this past Sunday, he said: “Let’s open our hymnbooks to number 666 [what a coincidence!] and sing the song ‘The Spacious Firmament on High’ as we normally do [implied “contemporary songs”] with vigor [?] …” Of course, the Praise Team delivered and performed beautifully!!! Hmmm!

In the scenario above, suddenly, the projector was incapable of doing the job it was “intended” to do! It’s something to think about, isn’t it? Having to resort to the hymnbook after all? One question is, why bother to use the hymnbook when the specially talented Praise Team is very capable of “delivering and performing” for the congregation, anyway, as it normally does? (Anyone can “enjoy” listening to the Praise Team sing all day long. Just note that there is a difference between “participating” and “listening to enjoy.” )

B, I think you missed out a lot, if you didn’t pay attention to the rest of the original post. So, if you would reconsider the second verse as follows:
  • O tell of His love, but don’t mention sin.
    We cannot offend, or crowds won’t come in.
    Forgetting His wrath, and His anger don’t sing.
    We’re gracious and kind, and non-threatening.
That verse should explain why changes become scriptural or non-scriptural issues when they result in altering God’s message and purpose and when they create conflict.

Donnie</font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 9th, 2004, 8:04 am #5

Regarding the question of hymnbooks, I don't "love" the hymnbook and I sincerely hope others don't either. The book serves a function - that is, to aid the believer in the singing of songs to the Father and one another. Hymnbooks are not sacred or "great", but simply a compilation of songs of faith, that quite rightly have been added to as time has passed and new songs are written. As to the statement that some current songs are written by persons some consider to be unbelievers, do we need to be reminded that some of our "great" hymns had their origins in pubs? What makes a song worthy of singing - the person writing it or the One whom it glorifies?

I appreciate the Paperless Hymnal, which is available to be projected on a screen. The slides include the four-part music so people may read along if they don't know the song, and quite frankly I find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up and sing out (speaking directionally).

Thanks.
<font color=indigo>Yes, it is good to point out that a hymnbook is a compilation of “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” that have been written through the ages. It is also fair to mention that because hymnbooks are man-compiled, some of the songs may not necessarily be worship-material. So, we have the responsibility to select songs that “teach and admonish” according to Colossian 3:16, letting the “word of Christ dwell in you richly.” The whole verse states: “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.” (KJV)

In examining the entire New Testament, there is no evidence that music in itself is associated with worship. The only example in which “music” is mentioned is in the story of “the prodigal son” (Luke 15) in which the elder son heard “music and dancing” in celebration. In other words, if music is the primary objective in the gathering of the saints, then, worship is misdirected. This seems to be what’s happening in the “contemporary musical worship” culture—e.g., a good 75% of the 90-minute period is devoted to “musical worship”—the rest of it to the observance of the Lord’s Supper (in which “celebration” is now strongly emphasized) and to the preaching (quite often of watered-down sermons).

Even considering Ephesians 5:19—“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”—the major point in singing is communication: “speaking to” or “teaching and admonishing” one another. What? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. ”

My point is that the chances are greater that one would find from the hymnbook many more hymns that teach and admonish and are scripture-based than from a compilation of singy-clappy praise and celebration songs of the contemporary culture. I believe that Dr. Davey mentioned “unsaved people” in connection with the volumes of contemporary songs written with little or no scriptural basis and in connection with the “secular corporations” and their business schemes and exploitations. Since BBN has a program that deals with the history of hymns, I am certain that he is very aware that some of the hymns written by “unbelievers” do have scriptural bearing.

Thanks for bringing up “The Paperless Hymnal.” Shouldn’t that silence the hymnbook critics? The projector is a wonderful innovation and should be used without altering God’s message, plan and purpose. When hymns are projected on the screen civilly, there would be no need for the Praise Team “to assist” each Christian in his/her worship to the Father in heaven. Actually, the Praise Team does not have any business performing to Christians or doing the worshipping for Christians. (You said something about how you “find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up….” Personally, I find the “Worship Leader,” his or her “Praise Team,” and the holy big screen distracting—all of them.)

Donnie</font>
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Luci
Luci

December 9th, 2004, 9:28 pm #6

Thanks for responding.

Quoting you: "My point is that the chances are greater that one would find from the hymnbook many more hymns that teach and admonish and are scripture-based than from a compilation of singy-clappy praise and celebration songs of the contemporary culture."

Perhaps. However, this is no reason to disregard the entire lot of "younger" songs. Many of these are scripturally based as well, just expressed in obviously different vernacular than "How Great Thou Art" (which I love). The words to any song are rendered as worship, praise, etc. by the attitude of the heart with which they are expressed, and while I am moved by the theology and beauty of many older hymns there is no shame in enjoying "The Greatest Command" or "There's a Stirring" as well. Once again, the songs are not what are "good" or "right" - it is their object that is to be our focus, and there is much to say/meditate on/learn and celebrate of Him. In keeping with the teaching of Romans we should have no problem submitting to the wishes of one another and having both old and new songs sung in our assembly, with no one demanding that either be singularly sung.

Quoting you: "When hymns are projected on the screen civilly, there would be no need for the Praise Team “to assist” each Christian in his/her worship to the Father in heaven. Actually, the Praise Team does not have any business performing to Christians or doing the worshipping for Christians."

I'm sure it's been said before, but if the eldership of a family recognize a need and have decided that the talents of some of it's singers would be well used to assist others in learning/singing parts (because, as you know, many cannot read music), then according to scripture the family should accept their choice on this and any other disputable matter and submit to their leadership. As for your last line... you seem to assume sinful pride on the part of these saved people. It is most definitly our business to share our gifts with one another for the purpose of edification and encouragement whenever possible. And I have never heard of a praise team claiming to "worship for" anyone...who is claiming to do this impossibility?

Quoting you: (You said something about how you “find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up….” Personally, I find the “Worship Leader,” his or her “Praise Team,” and the holy big screen distracting—all of them.)

There are certain types of things/attitudes I find distracting as well. We can both, fortunately, keep relative peace by remembering that we come together to worship as a family, not to have a singularly comfortable personal experience. Not to say that we DON'T have a personal experience of worship, but the objective of corporate worship isn't the comfort level of individuals but the neverending pursuit of authentic (engaged) worship and fellowship as a local body of Christ. Just as my earthly family is likely to have ongoing friction as personalities/expectations/desires conflict from time to time, such is the family of God. Peace may be found in submitting to one another, placing each other above ourselves, and continuing to humble ourselves as we ask that whatever is done be the Lord's best for His church, not just me. I really struggle with this...I'm saddened when I think of how many times I let a critical spirit quench my openness to hear/participate in/be affected by the service.
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Ann
Ann

December 11th, 2004, 3:12 am #7

Regarding the question of hymnbooks, I don't "love" the hymnbook and I sincerely hope others don't either. The book serves a function - that is, to aid the believer in the singing of songs to the Father and one another. Hymnbooks are not sacred or "great", but simply a compilation of songs of faith, that quite rightly have been added to as time has passed and new songs are written. As to the statement that some current songs are written by persons some consider to be unbelievers, do we need to be reminded that some of our "great" hymns had their origins in pubs? What makes a song worthy of singing - the person writing it or the One whom it glorifies?

I appreciate the Paperless Hymnal, which is available to be projected on a screen. The slides include the four-part music so people may read along if they don't know the song, and quite frankly I find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up and sing out (speaking directionally).

Thanks.
I have noticed when singing from the hymnal in 4 part harmony that I am sometimes so concerned with the alto part being sung right that I don't really listen to the words I am singing. Over time I have been able to learn the songs better while looking at the screen. As for a praise team. They are singing to God while using their talents to lead the songs of praise to our Lord. I don't feel entertained by them but uplifted. And a word about the older songs. Some of them are so old that the words that are used in them aren't part of our vocabulary in these times. I sometimes wonder. What does that even mean? I just think many people have a hard time with change. I do love many of the older hymns but I do love many of the new ones too.
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 11th, 2004, 10:20 am #8

I hate to tell you this, but you can still sing 4 part harmony if the songs are projected. (Not that 4 part harmony is a scriptural issue or anything)

You're muddying the waters with NON-SCRIPTURAL ISSUES. A projector and 4 part harmony are neither scriptural not unscriptural in nature. 4 part harmony is a great tradition, but let's not kill time condemning songs which might be sung in unison.

Do you actually mean to tell me that you can't figure out the tenor or bass line to Victory in Jesus without the book in front of you?
Again, the last verse:
  • <font size=3>Frail children of “NOW,” we sing what we can
    Our culture has giv’n; a short attention span,
    We’ll sing and repeat the ad infinitum,
    While making their writers a neat tidy sum.
    </font>
First, regarding singing and repeating the “ad infinitum.” There are quite a few contemporary “praise” and “celebration” songs that have repetitious lines suitable for the beat or tempo desired by the musical worship cheerleaders. Here’s one good example:
  • Whose Side Are You Livin’ On?

    <font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Tell me [leader] whose side are you livin’ on?
    I’m livin’ on the Lord’s side.
    Tell me whose side are you livin’ on?
    I’m livin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’,
    I’m a-livin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’, I’m a-livin’,
    I’m a-livin’ on the Lord’s side.

    Tell me [leader] whose side are you singin’ on?
    I’m singin’ on the Lord’s side.
    Tell me whose side are you singin’ on?
    I’m singin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’,
    I’m a-singin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’, I’m a-singin’,
    I’m a-singin’ on the Lord’s side.

    Tell me [leader] whose side are you lovin’ on?
    I’m lovin’ on the Lord’s side.
    Tell me whose side are you lovin’ on?
    I’m lovin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’,
    I’m a-lovin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’, I’m a-lovin’,
    I’m a-lovin’ on the Lord’s side.

    Tell me [leader] whose side are you servin’ on?
    I’m servin’ on the Lord’s side.
    Tell me whose side are you servin’ on?
    I’m servin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’,
    I’m a-servin’ on the Lord’s side.
    I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’, I’m a-servin’,
    I’m a-servin’ on the Lord’s side. </font>
Second, “Frail children of ‘NOW’” have “groovy things” in mind. Here’s a fine article to read:

  • <font size=3>WE’VE GOT A GROOVY KIND OF RELIGION! </font>
    Gary Summers
    <font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Luke Shira writes of a recent conversation:

    During a talk with a young lady about attending services here in Highlands, she gave “the answer” of many folks today. “I’d like to come to church there, but the congregation where I am attending does so many ‘groovy things.’”

    Not many young people would be so blissfully honest as this person was. One wonders, however, why some do not ever seem to notice the discrepancies between their thinking and the emphasis in the Scriptures. For example, Paul criticizes the Corinthians for being selfish in their worship. They were inconsiderate concerning their brethren; they did not reflect on the seriousness of their Lord’s Supper, either. So their worship was quite flawed, but Paul did not fault them for failing to be “groovy”!

    In fact, Jesus talked about the Father seeking true worshippers—those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Where is the passage that says He is seeking groovy worshippers? Is there some new, modern version that exhorts brethren not to forsake the groovy assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25)?

    Although it is important that worship be acceptable, rather than vain (Matt. 15:1-9), where does “groovy” worship fit in? Toward whom is it directed to merit the description “groovy”? God did not so term Abraham’s offering of Isaac. None of the many offerings described in the book of Leviticus which were offered in worship to God could rightly be called such.

    Obviously, this description must be something that impresses people rather than God, which means that the “worship” must be directed at human beings rather than at God. Would such an intention not make it vain? We do not gather together in order to please ourselves, to entertain ourselves. Our purpose for meeting is to honor God and edify ourselves. Ah, but can we not have fun while we are being taught? Sure we can—in secular education. Even in our Bible classes we often take a more informal approach, but our worship on the Lord’s day is not the time or place to amuse ourselves with entertainment.

    Any congregation whose goal is to get their young people to think, “We have really groovy worship here,” needs to overhaul its priorities. A better goal would be for their youths to tell others: “In our congregation we are very intent on offering God our best worship. If you visit us, you will hear a Biblical message that praises God and exalts our Lord Jesus.” How sad that young people are more interested in groovy than spiritual. Shira concluded his article by writing:

    Our thoughts should never be all those “groovy things” that appeal to the flesh, but the spiritual things that should be coveted by the soul.

    (Send comments or questions concerning this article to [url=mailto:garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org]garysummers@spiritualperspectives.org[/url].) </font>
Third, <font size=3> “… while making their writers a neat tidy sum.” </font>

__________________________

Donnie
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 13th, 2004, 8:01 am #9

I have noticed when singing from the hymnal in 4 part harmony that I am sometimes so concerned with the alto part being sung right that I don't really listen to the words I am singing. Over time I have been able to learn the songs better while looking at the screen. As for a praise team. They are singing to God while using their talents to lead the songs of praise to our Lord. I don't feel entertained by them but uplifted. And a word about the older songs. Some of them are so old that the words that are used in them aren't part of our vocabulary in these times. I sometimes wonder. What does that even mean? I just think many people have a hard time with change. I do love many of the older hymns but I do love many of the new ones too.
<font size=3 color=indigo face=Times New Roman>Ann,

I’m assuming that you read music. Are you saying that you are not “so concerned” with the alto part when you’re looking at the screen without music notes and “listening to” the “Praise Team”? If the song is completely new to you and without the music notes, you would have to listen to the Praise Team … … … first, wouldn’t you? Then, as you become familiar with the song, you sing along with progressing confidence until such time that you don’t need to rely on the “Praise Team” anymore … correct?

Personally, I find it easier to learn and remember my part directly from the music notes because I shouldn’t have to listen to someone else first. Reading and singing the words to me are simultaneous or concurrent, i.e., when I’m learning a completely new song. [We can get really “technical” about this matter of learning “music” especially when other parts are involved. But with the “lead” part, the one who leads singing—without the Praise Team—should suffice the need of the congregation. Guess what I just thought? Since the “Worship Leader” (how I detest this man-made designation!) sings the “lead” part, anyway, there is really no need for the soprano singers on the “Praise Team”—is there? Yes? Yes?]

You said, “Over time I have been able to learn the songs better while looking at the screen.” [Does this mean that when you look at the screen, you do not look at your “Worship Leader”? Or, do you look at them alternately? ] I would say that over time, regardless of how the song is learned—via the hymnbook or the screen—one learns the song progressively better each time. The advantage of using the hymnbook or the paperless hymnal is that the music notes are available with or without the presence of the “Praise Team.”

Speaking of some of the “so old” words in hymns that you said “aren’t part of our vocabulary in these times,” were you referring to words such as “Thee, Thou, Thy or Thine,” etc.? If so, I’m sorry, but these words would be my personal preference any day over “you, your or yours”—even if capitalized—in alluding to our Father in heaven. I believe reverence and awe should be primary in our use of words in songs and in the manner that we sing these songs. I would avoid disrespecting my Creator as my “buddy” or “buddy-daddy,” etc., which seems so commonplace in our prayers and songs, especially in those non-scripture-based songs written by secular authors. If you meant other words that are not so modern (e.g., “ebon pinion”—perhaps?), would it be that much trouble to look up and learn their definitions? There really aren’t that many and, therefore, should be no reason to trash the “hymns” in order to embrace the contemporary “praise” songs. Don’t get me wrong. There are certain scripture-based contemporary songs that would be considered hymns.

“As for a praise team,” I must honestly say that as much as I despise the exclusiveness of the terminology, their efforts in helping teach new songs would not be against God’s will—but not beyond that, though. Of course, that’s the main excuse that the “Change Movement” advocates have in employing the services of the team. But there are other implications. The “Praise Team” is essentially a “Church of Christ Choir” in disguise—however you slice it. The “choir” would have such a negative impact in churches of Christ, but the “Praise Team” is a little fuzzy, deceptive concept—and the same churches would not likely question such a scheme. Why can’t the Lord be satisfied with simple congregational singing when/once someone leads or starts it?

I would not question the task of the praise team members not going beyond helping others learn new songs. But even at that, the “team” is not necessary because songs that are new will have to be learned gradually anyhow, and the one leading singing—and it does not take a “Worship Leader” to accomplish this—is already there to help others learn.

The key question is—Are ALL the 12-18 “praise” songs that are sung in the entire assembly period being learned? I don’t think so!!!!! I really don’t think so. Therefore, that’s hardly what you would call teaching others all the songs. While the “Praise Team” members honestly and sincerely believe in their type of “ministry” or “mission,” I and many others honestly and sincerely question the “performance” aspect. I wouldn’t expound on this issue at this time except for the fact that when microphones are used and applause follows, performance obviously becomes the name of the game. And you’re exactly right about their “talents”—that’s easily proven when they’re being listened to.

Actually, we ought to look at the big picture. Do you envision the early New Testament Christians having a great and wonderful “worship service” with a wonderfully choreographed “corporate musical worship” program with [what did the apostles call them?]—the “Worship Leader” and his/her “Praise Team”? Or do you envision the early New Testament Christians meeting in the synagogues or in houses with their minds directed upon the study of God’s Word; commemorating Jesus’ sacrifice, death and burial via the Lord’s Supper; and giving to help the needy? That they ... letting “the word of Christ dwell in [them] richly, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16)?

Donnie </font>
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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

December 15th, 2004, 8:37 am #10

Thanks for responding.

Quoting you: "My point is that the chances are greater that one would find from the hymnbook many more hymns that teach and admonish and are scripture-based than from a compilation of singy-clappy praise and celebration songs of the contemporary culture."

Perhaps. However, this is no reason to disregard the entire lot of "younger" songs. Many of these are scripturally based as well, just expressed in obviously different vernacular than "How Great Thou Art" (which I love). The words to any song are rendered as worship, praise, etc. by the attitude of the heart with which they are expressed, and while I am moved by the theology and beauty of many older hymns there is no shame in enjoying "The Greatest Command" or "There's a Stirring" as well. Once again, the songs are not what are "good" or "right" - it is their object that is to be our focus, and there is much to say/meditate on/learn and celebrate of Him. In keeping with the teaching of Romans we should have no problem submitting to the wishes of one another and having both old and new songs sung in our assembly, with no one demanding that either be singularly sung.

Quoting you: "When hymns are projected on the screen civilly, there would be no need for the Praise Team “to assist” each Christian in his/her worship to the Father in heaven. Actually, the Praise Team does not have any business performing to Christians or doing the worshipping for Christians."

I'm sure it's been said before, but if the eldership of a family recognize a need and have decided that the talents of some of it's singers would be well used to assist others in learning/singing parts (because, as you know, many cannot read music), then according to scripture the family should accept their choice on this and any other disputable matter and submit to their leadership. As for your last line... you seem to assume sinful pride on the part of these saved people. It is most definitly our business to share our gifts with one another for the purpose of edification and encouragement whenever possible. And I have never heard of a praise team claiming to "worship for" anyone...who is claiming to do this impossibility?

Quoting you: (You said something about how you “find it refreshing to be encouraged to look up….” Personally, I find the “Worship Leader,” his or her “Praise Team,” and the holy big screen distracting—all of them.)

There are certain types of things/attitudes I find distracting as well. We can both, fortunately, keep relative peace by remembering that we come together to worship as a family, not to have a singularly comfortable personal experience. Not to say that we DON'T have a personal experience of worship, but the objective of corporate worship isn't the comfort level of individuals but the neverending pursuit of authentic (engaged) worship and fellowship as a local body of Christ. Just as my earthly family is likely to have ongoing friction as personalities/expectations/desires conflict from time to time, such is the family of God. Peace may be found in submitting to one another, placing each other above ourselves, and continuing to humble ourselves as we ask that whatever is done be the Lord's best for His church, not just me. I really struggle with this...I'm saddened when I think of how many times I let a critical spirit quench my openness to hear/participate in/be affected by the service.
<font size=3 color=blue face=Times New Roman>Luci,

I’d like to respond later on to your comments regarding attitudes and experiences in “worship,” “corporate worship,” and the “assembly of the saints” which is generally regarded nowadays as “corporate worship.” [But just in case I’m not able to respond, here’s to let you know that much has already been said or discussed here regarding the purpose of the assembly—which in essence is not about “musical worship.”

When I said “more hymns” in the hymnbooks, I simply meant “numbers” such as more selections from a hymnbook of 700-900 songs. That is not saying to “disregard the entire lot of ‘younger’ [or contemporary] songs” which are not that voluminous yet. I would even venture to say or hope that some of the “contemporary” pieces will be added to a hymnbook.

We are aware that because of the Change or Community Church Movement, “There Is a Big Stir” going on in the brotherhood—and often the changes and innovations being implemented are just not worth the STIR, especially changes that are doctrinal in nature (e.g., baptism, good works, the church). Oops! “There Is a Big Stir” [ ] is not the title of the “praise” song you mentioned. When you respond to this post, would you please cite all the verses of “There’s a Stirring”? You see, I don’t have a good “screen display” memory.

Donnie </font>
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