Encouraging a higher standard for Christian music

Archive for the ‘psalms’ Category

12 Keys in Our Choice of Music

Music choice is important. But how are we to evaluate the music in our lives? Here are twelve major principles, based on the Word of God, which can help us, as Christians, to do so. They can be applied to any music, but they are worth considering in relation to the music we use in the services of the church, both what is presented from the platform, and what is sung by the congregation.

1. HUMILITY. In the complexities of understanding and evaluating music, none of us has all the answers (cf. Rom. 12:3, 10; 14:1).

2.UNIQUENESS. We are each different as to the music in our lives, and with respect to how it affects us (cf. Rom. 12:3-6a; I Cor. 12:14, 27).

3. INTEGRATION. Earthly things can have a valid place in our Christian lives, as we assess them biblically and use them wisely (cf. I Cor. 7:31; I Tim. 6:17b).

4. ORIGIN. The source of a piece of music can affect it in significant ways (cf. Prov. 15:2, 28; Lk. 6:45).

5. TRADITION. The wise person appreciates the heritage of the past and will continue to employ it and be enriched by it (cf. Deut. 32:7; Jer. 6:16; contrast Acts 17:21).

6. PURPOSE. The purpose of the musician and of his music will influence how it is used, and therefore how it affects us (cf. I Cor. 9:25; 10:31; contrast Phil. 3:18-19).

7. BALANCE. Music with its various elements in balance reflects the nature of God and accomplishes the purposes of God (cf. I Cor. 14:33, 40; Tit. 1:5a).

Such elements include: melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, and dynamics. If there are lyrics, the music should serve as an appropriate vehicle to enhance their message.

8. SEPARATION. We must not, with our music, encourage or glorify that attachment to this sinful world that God hates (cf. II Cor. 6:14-17; I Jn. 2:15-17).

9. ASSOCIATION. Communication problems arise if the music accompanying a Christian message is associated in the mind of the hearer with a corrupt and sinful lifestyle (cf. I Cor. 8:4, 7; 14:8; 15:33).

10. EFFECT. Music is a medium of expression (in a sense, a language) which can communicate with powerful effect (cf. I Sam. 16:23; Col. 3:16; and see Gal. 6:7).

11. MESSAGE. The message a song delivers depends upon several components working effectively together:

Words + Music + Performance + Musician’s known lifestyle + Social context = the Total Message of a Song (cf. Ps. 139:15-16; I Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:16).

12. RESPONSIBILITY. Music is a stewardship from God that we are responsible to use according to His will and purpose (cf. Deut. 12:29-31; Lk. 16:15; and see Est. 4:14; Acts 13:36).

Editor’s note – This article was written and originally published by Robert Cottrill the editor of http://www.wordwisehymns.com.

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~ Chapter 2 ~ Music – The Sound and the Unsound


“A thought-provoking look at humanity’s most influential form of expression, MUSIC  – The Sound and the Unsound

Music

THE SOUND

AND THE

UNSOUND

 

C H A P T E R  T W O

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES US ABOUT MUSIC

“A human has to worship. You have to worship something. It’s just in you to worship.” 6

The Bible tells us that the Lord finds pleasure in the praises of His people. There are over 500 specific references in the Bible to music and musical instruments7 – evidence that this is not a subject that God treats lightly. As a matter of fact, the lengthiest book in the Bible is a song book, and it is here that God demonstrates His concern for the kind of music that His children enjoy and perform by providing this example for us to follow:  The Book of Psalms.

The collection of 150 poems that make up the Book of Psalms mirrors the ideals of religious piety and communion with God. They were written by David, Moses (Psalm 90), Solomon,Asaph (David’s choir leader), the sons of Korah (a family of official musicians), and others, for the express purpose of being set to music for worship. They even include musical notations to indicate when key changes are to be made. For example, the instruction selah, meaning “to modulate to the next key,” appears 71 times in the Book of Psalms and is not normally articulated when Scripture is being read aloud.

From the Hebrew language, Psalms translates as “Book of Praise.”  This was the prayer book that our Lord Jesus used in the synagogue service, and it was His hymn book at the Temple  festival. He used it in His teaching, met temptation with it, sang the Hallel (Psalms 115-118) from it after the Last Supper, quoted from it as He hung on the cross, and died with it on His lips.8 The Book of Psalms remains the national hymn book of Israel today.

Far from advocating a single style, Psalms range from the classical presentations, written for the temple musicians, to the simple but expressive ballads, which David composed while tending his sheep. In the Book of Psalms you will find rally songs, marching songs, victory songs, and teaching songs; there are songs of repentance, lamentation, petition, praise, renewal, and thanksgiving; there are songs for saints and songs for sinners.

The Book of Psalms has been called the door into the temple of praise and prayer, and in all ages and in more than a thousand languages, the church has found through the Psalter a means of access to God.

The Bible also shows us that man has long been aware of the effect of music upon our daily existence and its power to influence people both physically and emotionally.

In I Samuel 16:14-23, Scriptures relate an example of how a man was made well – body, soul, and spirit – through the music of a young shepherd boy.

“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[physical], and was well[mental], and the evil spirit departed from him[spiritual].”

In II Kings 3:15 we learn that the prophet Elisha once used music to create an atmosphere so that he could “inquire of the Lord” for the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom.

“But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.”

As the tribes of Israel were set to war against their enemies, II Chronicles 20:21-22tells us that they put a choir and musical instruments in front of the army.

“…he[Jehoshaphat] appointed singers unto the Lord, that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.

And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.”

In the New Testament Book of Acts, chapter 16, we find the account of two early Christian leaders, Paul and Silas, who were cast into prison for preaching the Gospel. They used the opportunity to minister, through song, and glorify God.

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,and sang praises unto God: the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. ”

Now, let’s review what we have just learned from these Biblical passages:

  1. In both the Old and the New Testament, music was vital to the life of the believer, both as an expression of joy and as an act of obedience unto God;
  2. God has given us instruction (by way of examples) as to the kinds of music that He wants His people to have;
  3. Far from being merely a neutral recreation, music has the power to influence us mentally, physically, and spiritually;
  4. There are certain types of music which can make demons feel very uncomfortable; and
  5. Music can create an atmosphere wherein God can work miracles.

Taken from the magazine ONLY BELIEVE (no longer in publication). The regression of music amongst our churches is a cancer which, if not properly dealt with, will suck the true Life out of The Church. This downward spiral is caused by a lack of discernment and a general lowering of standards by a generation wanting something new and different rather than stand fast, and hold to what is tried and true, proven, and right. Many have failed to heed the warning expressed in this article. Innumerable groups, bands, and various musical artists spawned forth since Brother and Sister Smith published this article in December 1991, [Vol. 4, No 3].  No doubt the Christian artists she names here gave birth to groups like: MercyMe,KutlessNewSongSidewalk prophets The David Crowder band,Casting CrownsJeremy Camp, and Third Day to name a few. If Brother Branham called people like Pat Boone, modern day Judases, obviously these are too. What kind of person feeds off these groups, and promotes their demonic inspired lyrics and music within our churches? I pray this article will help someone. (the pictures are mine) – [DM- Editor discerningMusic]

Joy Comes In The Morning

Scientists tell us that our world is governed by what they call “natural law.” Most of them forget that behind the law is the Lawgiver.  Behind creation is a  Creator, who cares for His creation and His people. Who unifies the universe? The God who made it. All of  creation waits upon Him and trusts Him to supply  what is needed. As the psalmist wrote, “These all wait for You, that You may give  them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open  Your hand, they are filled with good” (vv. 27,28).

God gives and we gather. He provides and we take. He is dependable; He takes care of His own. “I have been young, and now am old,”  David said. “Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread” (Ps. 37:25). God is also generous. He does  not give carelessly or selfishly. He opens His hand, and all of creation is filled with good.

God controls life and death and the changing seasons. “You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die  and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth” (vv. 29,30). Spring is so  beautiful, summer so delightful and autumn so fruitful. Then winter comes, and it seems so dismal. But the same God of spring and  summer and autumn is the God of winter. He brings the refreshing, renewing springtime again.

God can renew your life today. He can bring you seasons of fruitfulness and seasons of sunshine. Don’t worry about the seasons of life.  The God who runs this universe can manage the changing seasons of your life. If you are in a winter season, wait; when He is ready,  God will send you a springtime.

“““

Psalm 30

1 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
3 O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

4 Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor
is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy
comes in the morning.

Joy Comes In The Morning

~William and Gloria Gaither~

If you’ve knelt beside the rubble of an aching, broken heart,
When the things you gave your life to fell apart;
You’re not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief or pain,
But the Master promised sunshine after the rain.

Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
Weeping only lasts for the night;
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight.

To invest your seed of trust in God in mountains you can’t move,
You have risked your life on things you cannot prove;
But to give the things you cannot keep for what you cannot lose,
Is the way to find the joy God has for you.

Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
Weeping only lasts for the night;
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning,
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight.

The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight.
Just in sight!


Bible guidelines for Christian Music:

Here’s a summary of Bible guidelines for Christian Music:

BIBLE GUIDELINES FOR CHRISTIAN MUSIC

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST — NOT MAN

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my SONG will I PRAISE him.Psalm 28:7

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS FOR THE LORD — NOT FOR THE WORLD

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. Colossians 3:16

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS A NEW SONG — NOT AN OLD SONG

I will sing a NEW SONG unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. Psalm 144:9

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC’S MESSAGE SHOULD BE CLEAR — NOT VAGUE OR DECEPTIVE

I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the UNDERSTANDING also. 1 Cor. 14:15

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD EMPHASIS THE MESSAGE — NOT THE MUSIC — NOR THE MUSICIAN

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH — NOT CONCERT HALLS, NIGHT CLUBS.

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the CHURCH will I sing praise unto thee. Hebrew 2:12

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD FEED THE SPIRIT — NOT THE FLESH

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. Colossians 3:16

 CHRISTIAN MUSICIANS SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO THE LORD — NOT WORLDLY

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:18-21

Copyright © 1995 Dial-the-Truth Ministries

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