Yesterday we considered worship music from the point of view of the MUSICIAN
Today we focus on the audience…. the people who “use” the music to worship God
I disagree with those who claim that God can only be worshipped by a particular GENRE or STYLE of playing….. or only by certain INSTRUMENTS.
Both HISTORY and the BIBLE do NOT teach such a narrow perspective, but rather that people worship God in the context of their culture (the music that they know).
“Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with the psaltery and harp; Praise him with the timbrel and DANCE; praise him with stringed instruments and flutes, PRAISE HIM upon the LOUD CYMBALS; praise him upon the high sounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:3-6)
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth; make a LOUD NOISE, and rejoice and sing praise” (Psalms 98:4) …… by using the words, LOUD…… the Spirit lets us know that it does not have to be soft (being soft does not make it somehow “holier”, just because it is soft)….. by using the word NOISE….. the Spirit lets us know that “other people’s music” might sound like noise to us…. and our cherished music may appear to be “noise” to them…. but all our collective human NOISE is to be used in the WORSHIP OF GOD… that it is to be directed towards HIM in PRAISE….. but instead of this, humans prefer to argue with each other over what constitutes music and what does not…… but then again, the Great ALMIGHTY GOD is above our human pettiness and preferences and our “enemies” are also his children…. NO WONDER Jesus Christ told us to LOVE and FORGIVE other people…. that is the DIVINE viewpoint on humanity….. it is so unfortunate that our human ARROGANCE makes us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think !
A string orchestra is going to sound as weird to an African tribesman as a sitar (India) or sanxian (China) might to an American teenager.
Generally the people who argue against certain musical forms and against certain instruments use “association” as their main point of dispute….. such people claim that because of evil association, newborn Christians seeking a new life in Christ need to sever ALL ties with their past and this not only includes their “unsaved” friends but all the music that they once liked…. they want a CLEAN BREAK…. and they need a CLEAR DISTINCTION between what was “of the world” and what is “of Christ”….. this argument has SOME VALIDITY and Scriptural support ! …… but carried to EXTREME, one may well ask the following questions.
1. HOW DO WE REACH THE LOST for Christ ? ….. exactly HOW do we maintain such an ABSOLUTE and COMPLETE “separation”…….. notice that, historically, it has been tried before….. monks have gone into monasteries…… but the problem is you cannot escape your own wicked nature by cutting off “all evil influence” of the “unrighteous heathen”…. your own personal wickedness follows you right into the monastery !…. and this is NOT the way of Jesus Christ, who mingled with tax collectors, publicans and sinners…. for the Christian, OUR sanctification comes from GOD as we boldly minister “in the trenches” surrounded by every vice of the world.
2. but what of the INSTRUMENTS themselves ? …. they are neither good or evil…. and what if satan has used them for evil ? … does this “evil association” now “rub off” on an INSTRUMENT ? and should we NOT rather RE-CLAIM the territory that the enemy has STOLEN ?……. the land of Canaan was full of EVIL PEOPLE and EVERY DEMON OF HELL was there before the Israelites marched in and took possession….. it was the PRESENCE of the LORD that sanctified the LAND….. the children of Israel were told to clear the land of wickedness and dwell there…… in the same way that DRUMS, CYMBALS or any other musical instrument is cleansed and sanctified for GOD’s SERVICE by the children of God…. like the land of Israel, the instruments are there for OUR USE in Praise and service to God and we don’t just throw up our hands and say, “Oh well satan’s got them now guess we will have to look around for something else to use”
FINALLY…. three more points to help you….
1. The great LIE of “classical music”…. I, personally, love classical music dearly….. but I want to DEBUNK the MYTH that it is “somehow” HOLY …. many of the classical composers lived evil lives….. they were homosexuals and adulterers…. vicious tempers…. weird, eccentrics and some of them may even have been just as demon possessed as the “heavy metal monsters” of the 20th century.
2. Church history tells us the “HOLY” organ and piano were also once regarded as evil and were not even allowed in church !
3. and this may be the MOST IMPORTANT POINT OF ALL, so read it carefully, whatever Worship Music you listen to SHOULD draw you closer to GOD and result in HOLY LIVING and the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, faith…. and if it just makes you “happy” in the flesh…. then either you need to change your music (because it is nothing more than entertainment) OR there are other issues that need to be dealt with in your life….. it is only natural, that BY ASSOCIATION, certain music will NOT inspire certain people….. persons who formerly served satan using drums may not be able to Worship God with drum music….. persons who formerly did drugs and sex to heavy metal may have flashbacks and feel unable to Worship God with certain beats or sounds…. and that’s OK, EVERYBODY needs to use WORSHIP MUSIC that ACTUALLY HELPS them to WORSHIP GOD otherwise what’s the point ?
My only request to the “warring” music factions in the Christendom is this…… do NOT allow your own “perspective” (YOUR own position on the Christian music debate) to blind you to the work that GOD is doing in other parts of His Vineyard.
Remember that even Peter was SURPRISED by what happened at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47)…. and this passage needs to be borne in mind by all God’s servants who are totally CONVINCED that they have the “entire revelation of God” on any particular issue….. and this may be the most important revelation of all !