Archive for March, 2014

The following are rebuttals from Simeon and the responses I offered accordingly on the music article.

Please notice that under the blog format it was impossible to carry over the format from the forums, so some of the responses and quotations may be a little harder to follow.  I will say this: all of Simeon’s responses are included in the ‘block quotations”.  All italicized quotations inside those are sections in which Simeon quoted me.  Also, the facial expressions changed from the forums to the blog in case you are wondering.

 

 

Rebuttal #1

simeoncameron, “Daniel: First, thank you for your careful and respectful approach to addressing people on this subject. Thank you for trying to discern what God truly wants in this situation. Thank you for bringing your thoughts out of a heart of love.

Although I agree with your heart and some of what you say, I would like to ask a question regarding/address something you said [quote]What’s wrong with using sensual music while swaying back and forth to it with a whole bunch of people in an attempt to worshipping God? The Israelites attempt was condemned by God. Not only this, but this music is focused on the physical with the driving beat (not the spiritual) eliciting the sensual bodily movements and goes against the natural creation of music. This music is not ministering to the spirit but to the body… and it is sadly fooling Christians.[/quote]
The Israelites were [b]not[/b] attempting to worship God “When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, ‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'”(Exodus 32:1) In this verse we see that they are deliberately turning their backs on God and pursuing idolatry. They weren’t attempting to use secular songs for worship, they were literally worshipping another “deity”. In calling the back beat “un-godly”, I wonder, where do you find Scriptural basis for that? Music is absolutely not neutral, I agree, but instruments are. In the the same way that a drum is used to create a beat, a rhythm is used to keep tempo. A tempo is no more sinful than an electric guitar. Genres aren’t sinful. To say that would be to akin to saying that Renaissance art is sinful because some people painted some sinful pictures during that time. Just as what is on the painting makes it right or wrong, it is the product of lyrics that are put to music that defines whether or not that song is sinful or not. Back beat is simply one of the colors of paint with which an artist composes his work. And what would you say of the music by these Christian rock artists that use ‘natural’ beat. It is still rock music, so how would you go about condemning it? You quoted secular artists on how they use their music to corrupt people… yet you gave no example of Christian artists saying such things. Musicians in the Christian ‘realm’ have a whole different approach. Take for example Thousand Foot Krutch’s song “War of Change” [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Ub6pW71Zsor[/url] or “Already Home” [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22RkJAVRFno&feature=kp[/url] both have not only positive, but Christian messages and do not spark ‘urges’. Similarly, the rap song “Don’t Waste Your Life” by the hiphop artist Lecrae posits a lifestyle of not wasting your life: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RWEllqh5J0&feature=kp[/url]. Maybe it’s not the style of music that you like, but you have no grounds to call this unbiblical or sinful. Rap wasn’t around in Scripture… but poetry was and rap is a form of poetry. Scripture never condemns a style of poetry. It condemns words we use, not music that we use. “Amazing Grace” is said to have been composed in the style of bar tunes, yet it is one of the most popular and well known hymns in the world. Even if instruments or certain tempo beats [b][i]are[/i][/b] ‘of the devil’ as you say, in 1 Cor. 8:4-5 “Therefore, as to eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no God but one. For although there may be so-called ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom all things exist.” Is the devil a real threat? Absolutely. Is music that is glorifying God that has a beat that is foreign to you sinful? Not biblically. Again, God never established a certain beat. Do our hearts beat “1,2, 1,2”? Yes. Can I see your point of caution? Yes. But I don’t quite see your point about how this music, that without a doubt glorifies Jesus, is sinful. To say that the devil owns anything is to say that he won… and he didn’t. Jesus is the Redeemer of [i][b]all[/b][/i] creation. The world was perfect, we sinned. Jesus died, He saved us. He owns all of creation, not Satan. Satan doesn’t even own hell.
Now, on the other hand, if you do find that this music produces in [b]you[/b] a sensual feeling or posture, than I am not going to infringe upon your own convictions. All that I am saying is this: in my understanding of Scripture in regard to music, God never lays out what instruments or tempos are to be used. He does say to be “in this world, not of it” as well as “a tree is known by its fruit”. I find it interesting that you chose tobyMac’s song “Forgiveness” to prove your point that this kind of music is sinful. You said that this music is not ministering to the spirit, but to the body. Yet, if you look at the fruit of the music, you will see that it is producing anything but sinful behavior. Is there “Christian” music that is groundless and borderline secular? Yes. Is there so-called “Christian” music that is sinful? Absolutely. But your example is, I believe, suggesting that you are elevating a personal preference to biblical law status. In this instance, it IS lyrics that define whether a song is good or bad, because the lyrics are what we sing. Will some people use some of this music for dancing in a sinful way? Possibly. Because people will always find ways to sin. It is in our human nature. Will they do so using a song called “Forgiveness”? I doubt it. Why do I doubt it? Because the song is about forgiveness. I suggest you use music that proves your point to show us an example, not one that bears much good fruit.

Thank you, and please know, I am also trying to approach this out of a heart of love. 😀

Reponse to Rebuttal #1

Simeon,

Thank you for your response and for making it your aim to approach this out of a heart of love. I appreciate it! 🙂

First off in Exodus 32:4, when the golden calf was presented to the children of Israel, they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” It was JEHOVAH God who had brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, and now these people had taken the Lord God and put Him into the image of the golden calf. In their minds, this was JEHOVAH God, The One Who delivered them from Egypt, and they were now worshipping Him in the form of a golden calf; not only that, but they were doing it their own way with that which was not Godly music at all (as I elaborate on in that section of the paper).

You asked, where do I find Scriptural evidence the backbeat being ungodly? Throughout my article I provide numerous Scripture passages that clearly show how that the backbeat is devilish and not Godly, given its characteristics of constantly going against the natural-rhythmic pattern which God created, a music of confusion (1 Corinthians), rebellion (1 Samuel), eliciter of sensual responses (1 John). (Also, keep in mind that the ‘backbeat’ section cannot be looked at by itself; everything in the paper goes hand-in-hand and must be looked at in its entirety to see what Scripture says.) Also, I did not say that there were some instruments that were inherently evil or not neutral for it is how they are used that make them so. Music does have great power for good and evil. And I also said that I liked certain of this ‘sensual’ music, but do not listen to it because of what I like and dislike (if that was my reasoning, I would listen to it), but rather because of what God’s Word clearly teaches about music.

I quoted the secular artists because you would expect quotes like that to come from a Christian. When it comes from the world, it should wake us up that the world knows the destructiveness of this certain music that Christians refuse to acknowledge. It is very sad (Luke 16:8).

You say that these Christian Rock/Rap artists come with a whole different mindset. Sadly, that makes no difference; the same music is being used. Using this music of destructiveness with a spirit of compassion does not change anything; it’s like giving someone hemlock, but saying that you will do it with compassion and therefore it won’t harm you when in reality the destructive results remain the same. They may have a heart that seeks to do right, but as we saw over and over God wants worship in “spirit and truth” and obedience to His Word with the right heart attitude. From the examples you gave, I’m sorry to say, but other than the words, the music that is supposed to be Christian is exactly the same as the worldly music from which we have been delivered as believers (Psalm 40). There was no difference. How is this contrasting a difference between the believer’s life and the lost world? (2 Corinthians 5:17, “behold, all things are become new.” Even music.)

Also, good lyrics don’t make a song God-honoring if the music is sensual. In David Byers’ music series (which is very good, but not recommended for reasons addressed in the paper), he told how that “The Rolling Stones” Band (these are secularists) said in essence that they had finally come to realize that the music is all that matters. Also, Garlock and Woetzel quote Dr. Richard Taylor, a graduate of Boston University, in his work The Disciplined Lifestyle, [b][i]“Words are a timid thing. Decibels and beat are bold things, which can easily bury the words under an avalanche of sound.” [/i][/b]

Scripture furthermore tells us that you cannot join God and the devil. You cannot join devilish music with Godly words. I’ve already said this in the paper, but Satan took that which was Godly music and corrupted it just like he does everything else. There is Godly music and there is music that has been corrupted by Satan (again, this is presented throughout the paper’s entirety). Music going against God’s rhythmic creation of music, that of confusion, rebellion, and eliciting sensual responses does not glorify God, but rather the devil. While I agree that my opinion is no authority to claim something right or wrong as you pointed out, God’s Word has all the authority to do so. And the Bible does just that.

With all due respect, while I have provided numerous Scripture passages about music in communicating my musical position, you have not used any Scripture to defend your musical position or why as you say this sensual music is God-honoring, that this music cannot be evil, that God never established a certain beat, etc. Friend, the Word of God is our sole foundation for Christian living in every area of our daily life, including music; our foundation is not our personal opinions. When we make our opinions our basis for our beliefs, we in essence are building upon the sand (Matthew 7). But God’s Word is a solid Rock that will withstand even the greatest tests of times. 🙂

Just a note about Lecrea…. To be honest with you, I really don’t know who he is. I had just heard that he was some Christian Rock/Rap (sorry I don’t know which category… it uses the backbeat though) artist from CP students so I looked him up to see if I could find a good demonstration of the backbeat. It was merely given as an example; I have nothing personal against the man at all; as I said, I don’t even really know who he is. o_O (actually, when I clicked on your examples you provided I thought, “I could have used one of these for my example. Again, it the song was merely an example.) I am not judging the man at all nor do I wish to do so for that is God’s job. I’m sure he loves the Lord. 😀 I’m sure God can bring good out it (God brings good out of anything, like the Nazi camps but in no way condoned the Nazi’s actions), but that doesn’t mean God thereby condones the channel/method (this is elaborated on more in the paper).

It is certainly true that God is the creator of music; and as believers we ought to use Godly music (this new song) to glorify God since He is our music (Exodus, Psalm, Isaiah). Satan, being musical, corrupted music and made music that glorifies himself. As I said before, there is certainly God music. God made other things that Satan has corrupted; that which is corrupted is not Godly; God’s original creation of it was Godly. The same concept goes with music, a topic on which Scripture has very much to say. God’s original creation of music is Godly (since there is Godly music), but like everything else, this musical devil made a corrupted form of music to glorify himself. These are results of the fall; it’s not surprising. Ought not we as believers to be showing a distinction from the world in every area of our lives as the Bible commands us in 2 Corinthians 5:17? By this new music of a believer in Psalm 40, many will hear, fear, and trust the Lord. This is glorious! But how is this supposed to be done if we are being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2)? Let’s be that difference for Christ, showing for the spirit of love.

I pray that this response has likewise come across in the spirit of love (Ephesians 4:15). Isn’t it so great to be able to discuss with a spirit of love? Thanks for doing it, Simeon!! It builds respect for you as an individual when you do so. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts as well!

I hope I have clarified your questions/concerns. May I say just this: let’s allow God’s Word to shape our opinions over against our opinions shaping God’s Word. I will honestly admit that I grappled with some of these concepts for a while in the 2 month process of writing this paper. For instance, the backbeat- at the outset, I was going to build up and show how Scripture speaks against the backbeat, but then as I started getting into my paper, I began to think, “I know this is wrong, but I don’t see anywhere where Scripture speaks against it in principle… I’m not going to write about the backbeat…” And so for a while, I did not. But the more and more I studied and delved into Scripture, I realized (without intending) that Scripture did have clear principle and teaching against the backbeat and its sensual characteristics. (there were other areas that I grappled with as well… and I have not written that which I fully believe Scripture clearly teaches about. Yes, I have more to say… but I had to stop sometime. XD)

Even if we end at a point of disagreement on music, we will still see each other in heaven one day because of what Christ did on Calvary, not our positions on this issue, albeit a very important topic. Again, thank you for the reply! 🙂 May God richly bless you as you follow God’s leading in your life. 😀

Because of Christ,

Daniel

 

Rebuttal #2 (the parts italicized bracketed in the following rebuttal are the sections which Simeon quoted me)

simeoncameron- “All. Right. here is my reply. Sorry, it’s [b][i]only[/i][/b] 2,895 words (and half of those are quotes)… 😆

So, Round 2. I readily admit that I did not come to the ring with my gloves on last time. For this bout, however, I am set in my corner, ready to come out swinging. I am going to cover several issues in your argument. I also believe that I have addressed your problem with my lack of Scripture (I use the English Standard Version). 😀

First

[DanielDiedrichquoted ]They were using this music to worship the golden calf which in their mind was JEHOVAH God. […] Here were the children of Israel attempting to worship God their own way with sensual music, actions, and the golden calf… and in reality worshipping the devil. [/quote]

Here you are wrong. Why do I think you are wrong? If you look at Exodus 32:1-3, you will see that the Israelites were not attempting to worship God in their own way: [quote] When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Ex. 32:1-3[/quote]In Exodus 20, the Lord speaks to all of Israel out of the cloud and gives them the Ten Commandments, the second of which is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” The Israelites knew exactly what they were doing when they told Aaron to make them godS (emphasis on the pluralization). Your argument that they were trying to worship God is invalid because He, The Lord GOD, had already commanded them to make no graven images.

[DanielDiedrichquote]Yet how many times in the Christian life do we know God’s commands but disobey them and then try to speak our love to God by saying how much we love Him[/quote]

You mention several times how the back beat is ‘sinful,’ yet you give no solid Scriptural evidence as to how it is. The Bible constantly refers to singing a new song to the Lord which indicates writing new music… sometimes writing new music would indicate using different song structure. Scripture even promotes yelling in music

Psalm 33:3-4
“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud SHOUTS.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”

Isaiah 42:10-21
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The Lord goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he SHOUTS aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.”

I added emphasis on SHOUTS to indicate what I was referring to. Now, you may say “Simeon, you don’t have much basis for saying that shouting is indicative of yelling,” and I would want to retort with “Neither do you have any basis for saying that the back beat is sinful,” but, instead I will point you to the Hebrew definition of this word: “rua: to raise a shout, give a blast: to shout a war cry.” Both Psalm 33:3-4 AND Isaiah 42:10-21 are written regarding songs, the writing of songs, and the singing of them. Both of the passages include shouting as an integral part of music. Isaiah calls for people of all nations and places to sing praise to the Lord… but according to you, the can only sing in a certain beat? Every people group has music that is known as their folk music, and yet, if their folk music has a back beat, they can’t honestly be praising Jesus? But I digress.

Next:

[quote]What’s Wrong with Christian Rock by Jeff Godwin wrote:
“No one can deny that the music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles sent millions of teenagers all over the world into sobbing, screaming, hysterical frenzies. If C-Rock’s [Christian Rock] natural philosophy is true [that good words to rock music overrides the music], then that mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music. Here are the lyrics to two of the biggest hits Presley and the Fab Four every produced:
TEDDY BEAR [Presley]
“Just wanna be your teddy bear/ Don’t wann be a lion/ Cause lions play too rough/ Don’t wanna be a tiger/ Cause tigers aren’t the kind you love enough…”
I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND [the Beatles]
“Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something’/ I think you’ll understand/ When I say that somethin’/ I wanna hold your hand…”
Sorry C-Rock fans, but those lyrics had nothing to do with the mass hysteria surrounding Elvis and the Beatles. Something MUCH bigger than the dim-witted stanzas of Pop/Rock music turned those little girls into screaming maniacs writhing in {improper action- words replaced to stay inside rules}… The power behind Presley and the Beatles’ success was made up of two elements: the MUSIC and the spirit BEHIND the music- the spirit of antichrist.”[/quote]

Is it so unbelievable to think that the “mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music”? The answer is no. The seemingly meaningless lyrics pumped massive amounts of emotion into the thralls of teenage girls. The prospect, no matter how unachievable, of a young ‘hot’ man, singing love to women everywhere is more of what made them writhing masses than anything else. The apostle James says (in Chapter 3 of his book, beginning in verse 3 and going through verse 9), [b]“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly posion. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”[/b] Here we see that, although our God is musical, He values words much higher than music. Words have the power to build up and tear down, music has the power to uplift or depress. The former is of more importance.

[DanielDiedrichquote] Rock artists also purposefully utilize the backbeat continuously throughout the song, repetitively, in an attempt to control the listener’s mind. The constant repetition has the ability to do just that; once done, they can slip their message in at a sublimal level without our noticing it. (“Christian Rock” series by David Byers). Yet does not the Scripture command believers to be filled with the Spirit?[/quote]

also

[quote]William J. Schaffer wrote: “…rock has acted as a catalyst, a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings. It is a medium, a means of communicating emotions… the medium is the message. Associated with rock, for instance, is a cult or irrationality, a reverence for the instinctual, the visceral- and a distrust of reason and logic; this form of anti-intellectualism can be highly dangerous, can lead to totalitarian modes of thought and action. Linked with this anti-intellectualism can be interest in the occult: magic, superstition, exotic religious thought, anything contrary to the main currents of Western thought. Also directly connected is an obsession with the unconscious mind; the force of drug culture has been in promise to reveal the hidden, instinctual man, to free the individual from restrictions and limitations of his conscious mind and his … physical body”[/quote]

If these facts are true, “that rock artists can ‘control peoples minds’ (I paraphrase) and that “rock is a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings,” why on earth should we concede to let the devil hold that power? Jesus is the Redeemer of creation and He has the power to save all genres of music, if they are indeed fallen. To say that this music is the devil’s music is to admit defeat. It is to say that Jesus is not the Conqueror of ALL creation, and this, friend Daniel, is far from the truth.

[DanielDiedrichquote]Yet the extensive usage of the backbeat brings forth a music of confusion. It does not follow the order or the natural rhythmic patterns created by God.[/quote] 

Again, you fail to give Scriptural proof of God ordaining certain beats and condemning others.
You used this reference as a weapon to smack down rock/rap music:

[DanielDiedrichquote]Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”[/quote]

Yet, elsewhere, Jesus also says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil” (Matthew 12:34b-35). Look at these contemporary Christian songs and see if you can tell me that they are biblically sinful:

All to Us (by Chris Tomlin): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoXPhuDVp4U[/url]
Forever Reign (by the Passion Worship team): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpUJkFmv8kE[/url]
Man of Sorrows (by Hillsong): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6jXqdtZi10[/url]

 

In regards to the ‘Amazing Grace rap’ you stated that

[DanielDiedrichquote] It was also irreverent to use as worship to God for a believer. [/quote]

Although I disliked this rap (merely because it was poorly executed and not pleasant to listen to), biblically, you have little ground to say this. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Please, be careful in casting judgment on others in such a heavy way.
[DanielDiedrichquote] Just as the Christian who places priorities on the physical things in life is sensual, even so music that is primarily focused on rhythm is sensual.[/quote]

In focusing on the beat, rather than the lyrics of songs, would you say that you are becoming legalistic and (to use your wording) ‘sensual?’ Where the writers and performers of these songs are changing peoples lives, you say

[DanielDiedrichquote]Using this music of destructiveness with a spirit of compassion does not change anything; it’s like giving someone hemlock, but saying that you will do it with compassion and therefore it won’t harm you when in reality the destructive results remain the same.[/quote]

Yet you give no statistical evidence for these ‘destructive results’. You appear to be consumed with sensual things and focusing on the less relevant beat. Earlier, I referenced Matthew 12:34b-35, a cross reference of that verse takes us to Luke 6:43-44b, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, not again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.” The fruit that these as Christian artists are producing is revealing that God is using them to bring thousands to Him.
Take for example:
Once and For All (by Disciple) [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NryE8daUauc&feature=kp[/url]
This song clearly lays out the path of a sinner to redemption through Jesus… and yet, because it has a beat you aren’t familiar with, it is of the devil?

Or what of this song by the Christian rock band Kutless:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jehF0SYiaSU[/url]

or this one by the same band:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaJ-wiGgrDs[/url]

These songs clearly and beautifully declare the glory of God. I caution you to cast such weighty judgment on the work of people glorifying their Maker with the gifts that He has given them.
[DanielDiedrichquote]Friends, ought we really to be using this sensual music to worship our holy God? It does not work. God about had it with the Israelites…. and yet, we are doing similar to that of the Israelites in our attempt to worship God. Many a church is out on the battlefield for Christ and have left its back doors wide open through which Satan has crept in through the medium of music- one of his greatest tools. He wants us to enjoy that which He has made and use it to reflect His glory (as we stay inside His basic principles)[/quote]

To say that God about had it with the Israelites, going back to my previous point, is groundless in condemning rock music. As stated earlier, the Israelites were not attempting to worship God. They were deliberately rebelling against Him and creating idols, which He had commanded them not to do. I completely agree that the Lord wants us to enjoy that which He has made and use it to reflect His glory. The song “Holy God” by contemporary Christian artist Brian Doerksen captures (just as well as Holy, Holy, Holy) the magnitude of HIS splendor.

Listen well:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjuLrSv6PgA[/url]

or the cCm song “I Will Glory in My Redeemer”
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC5-ZuQTBgk[/url]

How are these ‘sensual’ in nature? If all contemporary Christian music is sinful, what of these?
[DanielDiedrichquote]Christians, I do want to make a note that if we are using the new, Godly song (Psalm 40) from which many will see and come to Christ, then we are going to need to have some joy and enthusiasm in this new song.  Too many times do we sing songs of praise to God, yet by the pitiful looks on our faces, one would never know we truly meant what we were singing.[/quote]
I would like to point out that (and it may only be in my personal experience) I have seen more joy in these churches that sing “sinful” songs than in the ones that sing hymns. Why is this? I highly doubt that every single person in those churches are happy because they are sinning by singing devilish songs about ::gasp:: praising Jesus. (God forbid we do something so horrible)…. Okay, I apologize for my brief sarcasm, I honestly am approaching this out of a heart of love for my fellow Christians. Back to the subject now, out of the couple dozen churches I have visited, I have seen more dead-looking congregations on your side of the coin then mine. Now, I am not at all saying that your type of church is more or less alive than my type, because, after all, the Lord looks on the heart. What I am saying is that you, dear friend, seem to be missing the forest for the tree that you don’t like. A pastor that I look up to and deeply respect said, “We need to be careful to not let our preferences become our prejudices,”(Mark Driscoll in the sermon ‘Your Seat, Jesus’ Seat) and, although music is a very big issue in the life of a Christian, I believe that you are focusing on a part of music that doesn’t matter as much. It would be akin to saying, “Animal skin/products are the only materials that can be used to make clothes because cotton and polyester didn’t originate until more recently and sinful people use them for bad things therefore it must be the devil’s so we can’t use them. And God made clothes out of animals not plants while Adam and Eve tried to use plants, so it must be wrong to use plants for clothing.” As far fetched as this example may seem it is extremely similar to your theory on music. The ‘back beat’ that you reference so constantly is merely a building block for creating music.

I believe my argument has come to a close. Thank you for reading.
One last thought regarding sensuality: I recommend that you go and read the extremely sensual Song of Solomon. Sensuality is biblical. The devil perverted it into SINFUL sensuality, but sensuality was God’s idea first. I encourage you to think about that.”

 

 

My Response to Rebuttle #2:

 

“simeoncameron- “All. Right. here is my reply. Sorry, it’s [b][i]only[/i][/b] 2,895 words (and half of those are quotes)… 😆 .”

No worries about the word count, friend. XD I was very surprised to see your post so soon after you said you would be taking a while on it. I was like, “So soon? My ‘take a while’ would be days…. weeks…” 😆 Thanks for all the hard work you did in sharing your thoughts. Thank you for putting Scripture in your response. 😀 I aim to address your concerns…. all, like we’ve been doing, in the spirit of love. 🙂

simeoncameron- “First

[DanielDiedrichquote]They were using this music to worship the golden calf which in their mind was JEHOVAH God. […] Here were the children of Israel attempting to worship God their own way with sensual music, actions, and the golden calf… and in reality worshipping the devil. [/quote]

Here you are wrong. Why do I think you are wrong? If you look at Exodus 32:1-3, you will see that the Israelites were not attempting to worship God in their own way:

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Ex. 32:1-3

In Exodus 20, the Lord speaks to all of Israel out of the cloud and gives them the Ten Commandments, the second of which is “You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” The Israelites knew exactly what they were doing when they told Aaron to make them godS (emphasis on the pluralization). Your argument that they were trying to worship God is invalid because He, The Lord GOD, had already commanded them to make no graven images.”

I’ll have to disagree. First of all, had the Israelites not intended in their minds to worship God, they would not have said when they presented the golden calf, “these be the gods that brought thee out of Egypt.” They could have said if they had no intent or mindset of worshipping God in a false way of the graven image, “these be the gods of Egypt” (or other things along the same lines) Who brought them out of Egypt? JEHOVAH God did. Yes, this golden calf was a graven image as you correctly implied, but it is very important as Scripture shows to note that Israel was attempting to place JEHOVAH God into the form of this graven image. They were making God into their own image of the golden calf, and in their minds worshipping JEHOVAH God, but the devil’s way.

simeoncameron- “The Bible constantly refers to singing a new song to the Lord which indicates writing new music… sometimes writing new music would indicate using different song structure. Scripture even promotes yelling in music.
Psalm 33:3-4
“Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud SHOUTS.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”

Isaiah 42:10-21
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The Lord goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he SHOUTS aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.” “

I whole-heartedly agree with you that the Bible talks about singing a new song as believer as Psalm 33:3-4 and Isaiah 42:10-21 in your example talk about. I talked about this ‘new song’ extensively in the music article. This ‘new song’ is that song which God has given us as believers when He delivered us from that “horrible pit (by definition: pit of noise and confusion)” in Psalm 40 and saved us. Confusion is an exact characteristic of a music with backbeats, and yet God has delivered us from that horrible pit and given us a new song (even as the passages you presented further support)! 😀 You even say that this ‘new song’ could indicate using different song structures, and I have this to say: from Scripture’s teaching this pit of noise/confusion could use the emphasis of the 2nd and 4th beats- structured against God’s natural created rhythmic pattern of duple form. Now that we’ve been saved as believers, our new song does not follow this old worldly structure, but it is characterized by a new structure- that structure which God has created in the basics rhythmic patterns of the duple and triple form. With this basic new structure as our foundation, we have the freedom to create all kinds of music that glorifies God with this ‘new song’. But yes, this ‘new song’ is distinct from that old song of confusion as Scripture clearly states. This is so cool! 😀

I also agree that we are to sing with all of our hearts to the Lord with shouts of praise. We are to give the Lord our all, not partial.

The word “noise” (KJV) or in the ESV version “shout” comes from (as you said) the Hebrew word: [i]clamor, that is, acclamation of joy or a battle cry; especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum: – alarm, blow (-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout (-ing), (high, joyful) sound (-ing).[/i] Just a note: if the definition does not render the usage of the word ‘yell’ then it ought not to be taken that way. We need to stick to what the definition has to say. Even if you were to be given the word “to yell”, I don’t see what you are trying to prove. Yes, I do agree that we are to sing with all of our hearts, joyful shouts of praise to God. 🙂

While you talk about shouting in song, how does this show that the backbeat is Godly? You make a very good point of singing whole-heartedly to God, 😀 but this doesn’t approve of the using of the backbeat.

simeoncameron- “If these facts are true, “that rock artists can ‘control peoples minds’ (I paraphrase) and that “rock is a force uniting and amplifying ideas and feelings,” why on earth should we concede to let the devil hold that power? Jesus is the Redeemer of creation and He has the power to save all genres of music, if they are indeed fallen. To say that this music is the devil’s music is to admit defeat. It is to say that Jesus is not the Conqueror of ALL creation, and this, friend Daniel, is far from the truth.”

Jesus Christ came and paid the penalty of mankind’s sin. Christ gives those who accept this free gift of salvation a new life in which all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17), even in our music (Psalm 40:2-3). Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse Himself (Galatians 3:13). Christ has not redeemed all of our creation YET (yet- is the key word). If right now all of creation is redeemed, then there should be no suffering and sin in this world. All creation has not been redeemed YET, but there will be a day when Christ redeems everything and there will be no more suffering or rebellion when He comes to earth to reign for 1,000 years in the Millinuem.

Consider the following example (all kept inside forum rules): God created marriage in its holy form (Hebrews 13:4); Satan corrupted marriage. Satan’s corruption of marriage does not glorify God, but it is sin. Yet following your thought-pattern in your argument, the devil’s corruptive form of marriage does glorify God? The point is this: God created music in its holy form to glorify Him. The musical devil’s corruption of music does not glorify God, but rather himself. Why is it being used in attempt to glorify God? Christ has redeemed us from this old lifestyle through His death on the cross and made all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through Christ we can live in victory over our old nature. Why ought we to go back to the old song when Christ has redeemed us to a new life in Jesus?

I like your question on why should we allow the devil to hold that power? Let’s not allow the devil that opportunity by getting rid of his old worldly music and using music that glorifies God.

simeoncameron- “You mention several times how the back beat is ‘sinful,’ yet you give no solid Scriptural evidence as to how it is.”

Yet where is Scriptural backing for saying that backbeats in music are Godly? While it may be tempting to say, “Scripture says nothing about it”, Scripture is clear that there is music that glorifies God and music that glorifies the devil since both our musical. Therefore, it behooves us as believers to look to Scripture and evaluate what music is Godly and what music is devilish. To say any music can be used doesn’t float the boat. (we have seen the backbeat’s characteristics and how that they are spoken against in Scripture- 1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Samuel 15:23, 1 John 2:16, Psalm 40:2-3). The backbeat is characterized by that of the old song, but why are we as believers using it in our music when we have the much better ‘new song’ which God has given us?

simeoncameron- “Is it so unbelievable to think that the “mob insanity surrounding Elvis and the Beatles was the result of their LYRICS, not their music”? The answer is no. The seemingly meaningless lyrics pumped massive amounts of emotion into the thralls of teenage girls. The prospect, no matter how unachievable, of a young ‘hot’ man, singing love to women everywhere is more of what made them writhing masses than anything else. The apostle James says (in Chapter 3 of his book, beginning in verse 3 and going through verse 9), “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly posion. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” Here we see that, although our God is musical, He values words much higher than music. Words have the power to build up and tear down, music has the power to uplift or depress. The former is of more importance.”

Yes, it is unbelievable. Someone saying those lyrics monotone would not cause these thralls. The music behind the words was the major catalyst in eliciting this response. Let’s look further though…

A Christian Rock (Rock- extensively utilizing the backbeat) performer held a concert in Russia. His song included Christian lyrics, all of which being in English were foreign to the Russian-speaking people. The crowd didn’t understand any of the words, but they were still bringing forth inappropriate bodily responses from the music he was playing. The music, not the words, elicited these responses, holding the greater power.

But we will return to this idea after touching on the passage in James. This passage is not talking about words but rather the power of the tongue, which can be deadly indeed. The tongue encompasses more than just words (i.e. tone of how you say something, etc). Let’s read the following passage:

“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” –Acts 16:16-18 (emphasis mine)

There’s a question to be asked: how was the demon-possessed damsel saying this message? Was this said sincerely? Was this said mockingly? Was this said in distress? Was this said angrily? The Scripture doesn’t say, but Paul was grieved. Had the message been communicated in either one of these ways, it would have altered the meaning of the message. Depending on the music used, the context of the words is changed. Imagine looking at a picture of Christ on the cross with the backdrop of Looney Tunes (please don’t stone me for suggesting this- merely an example). Music defines the context of the words and setting and changes the meaning accordingly. The way one says something defines the context. This all lies in the power of the tongue (not the words), which James is talking about.

Furthermore, James does not mention music at all in this passage. Therefore since no comparison at all is given, a conclusion that one is more important than the other cannot be made from the passage.

As was seen in the paper and Scripture passages, music alone has great power. In 1 Samuel 16 when David played for King Saul, Saul was refreshed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The music David played had the power to drive away the evil spirits, not the words (they aren’t even mentioned in the passage). Jim Morrison became demon-possessed not by the words, but by the music that his band played. (this is merely one example, mind you) Music was used to pave the way for the hand of the Lord coming upon Elijah in 1 Kings. The context and meaning of lyrics are changed based on what type of music is used. Music is not neutral; Scripture affirms that it has a wealth of power both physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

simeoncameron-

[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]]Yet the extensive usage of the backbeat brings forth a music of confusion. It does not follow the order or the natural rhythmic patterns created by God.[/quote]
Again, you fail to give Scriptural proof of God ordaining certain beats and condemning others.”

You will notice that had you quoted me while opting out the Scripture passage in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that directly followed. Also in the paper, we already saw how that the duple/triple forms (without which there would be no music) are created by our musical God. God’s created rhythmic pattern of the duple form by nature emphasizes the 1, 2 (basic music theory). When the created emphasis of this basic rhythmic pattern is switched in the form of the backbeat, it does not follow God’s order; its intrinsic characteristics are that of confusion, rebellion, elicitation of inappropriate bodily responses- all of which God’s Word speaks against in 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, and 1 John. Our musical God has indeed created the natural emphasis of the first and third beats (base concept of the duple form).

simeoncameron- “You used this reference as a weapon to smack down rock/rap music:
[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”[/quote]”

This verse was not in any way used to smack down rock/rap music. As seen in the context of the paper, I used this verse to further evidence how music was not a “meat offered to idols” issue in Romans 14 as some point out. Here is that section of the article in context so you understand what I am saying: 😀

[quote=”Daniel Diedrich”]Can we really call the music topic a Romans 14 “meat offered to idols”?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-18, “…Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

Meat goes in and out of you. It does not defile the heart. Music goes in though and affects the heart, affects the mind, and affects the body. In music lies the potential to defile the heart as we have seen thus far.[/quote]

As seen, it was in reference to music not being a “meat offered to idols” issue. 😀

simeoncameron- “Although I disliked this rap (merely because it was poorly executed and not pleasant to listen to), biblically, you have little ground to say this. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Please, be careful in casting judgment on others in such a heavy way.”

Please understand that I am talking about the music itself. More than anything I want you to realize (as I have re-itereated this) that I do not wish at all to judge people’s hearts. That is God’s job and His alone, not mine. The music alone in the “Amazing Grace” selection (just a mere example) communicated a vastly different message than that of honoring God as it was focused on the physical (seen by the video itself); the focus was detracted to the performers that came from the music, which utilized the backbeat extensively itself, rather than be focused on God. Remember “Words are a timid thing. Decibels and beat are bold things, which can easily bury the words under an avalanche of sound. (Dr. Richard Taylor, graduate of Boston University in his work “The Disciplined Lifestyle”). Is God being shown reverence with music that elicits confusion, rebellion, and improper physical movements? It’s a good question to ponder.

simeroncameron- “In focusing on the beat, rather than the lyrics of songs, would you say that you are becoming legalistic and (to use your wording) ‘sensual?'”

Please be careful with the usage of the word ‘legalism’. Legalism has to do with following all the commands in an attempt to earn favor with God (Galatians would be a good read to understand the legalism concept). A Christian who loves the Lord and wants to obey God’s Word because he loves the Lord is not legalistic. It has to do with the heart, not the actions. Again because music has so much power and is so important, it needs to be evaluated in the grid of the Scriptures- all, mind you, in a spirit of love for Christ… as for every area of our life. 😀 So in answer to your question: no. The music holds greater power than the lyrics and must be evaluated in light of Scripture. Would we not all agree that the words in music need to be God-honoring? I believe so. Good words with wrong music makes wrong music (as we have seen).

simeoncameron- “The fruit that these as Christian artists are producing is revealing that God is using them to bring thousands to Him.”

I do not doubt this at all. However, just because God uses something, doesn’t mean God approves of it. And yes, there are evidences (sourced in David Byer’s “Christian Rock” music series) of negative results that cannot be mentioned under forum rules. But yes, God works everything for good- I believe that. We fall into a humanistic “end-justifies-the-means” train-of-thought if we say something is good just because God brought good out of it. Well then… what about the Nazi camps? God brought good out of it, but in no way whatsoever condoned it. The point is that there is a major flaw in that type of thinking, and it is not Biblical. Music (in our example) ought to be evaluated as good not by what the end-results are, but by what God’s Word says about music itself. Therefore, as in all things, we are to prove “what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)”.

simeoncameron- “and yet, because it has a beat you aren’t familiar with, it is of the devil?”

Actually,I am familiar with the backbeat- it’s not a foreign concept. But the backbeat is opposite to God’s created rhythmic pattern. That’s what is meant when “unnatural emphasis” is used in that it’s against God’s pattern. Hopefully that helps clear it up.

simeoncameron- “These songs clearly and beautifully declare the glory of God. I caution you to cast such weighty judgment on the work of people glorifying their Maker with the gifts that He has given them.”

All your links (except the last song which is not in 4/4 timing) utilize the backbeat. As Scripture has shown this does not glorify God. You cannot mix God-honoring lyrics with music that glorifies the devil (1 Corinthians shows that Christ and Belial cannot be mixed). And while you say these songs declare the glory of God, you do so with just a simple statement. Why is that? Scripture speaks against this music… can we smack it down with a simple statement? …That doesn’t seem to work. I don’t wish to judge the individual at all :D, but the Bible commands to be “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)”. The music needs to be evaluated in light of Scripture- is it acceptable to the Lord? Is it that old song or new song? I do not doubt that God has gifted many artists with a musical talent, but again is the music being created acceptable or unacceptable to the Lord? Once inside God’s foundational guidelines, we can create all kinds of music to glorify God- yes, new music.

simeoncameron- “I would like to point out that (and it may only be in my personal experience) I have seen more joy in these churches that sing “sinful” songs than in the ones that sing hymns. Why is this? I highly doubt that every single person in those churches are happy because they are sinning by singing devilish songs about ::gasp:: praising Jesus. (God forbid we do something so horrible)…. Okay, I apologize for my brief sarcasm, I honestly am approaching this out of a heart of love for my fellow Christians. Back to the subject now, out of the couple dozen churches I have visited, I have seen more dead-looking congregations on your side of the coin then mine. Now, I am not at all saying that your type of church is more or less alive than my type, because, after all, the Lord looks on the heart.”

I brought that point to sing with joy up as an important reminder to Christian churches (who don’t use your music- if I may label it that without getting into to much) as if to warn them, “just because the whole paper has been on what music is acceptable to God, it doesn’t mean you are scott-free because you use acceptable music.” Why? God commands to be worshipped in “spirit and truth”- with the right heart attitude and according to God’s way. Using Godly music accept with a bad attitude is just as disobedient to God as using wrong music with the right heart attitude. (and yes, I’ll admit to not having the joy I should be having in worshipping the Lord at church at times. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it happens sadly at times. :/ And when that happens, I have sinned and not worshipped the Lord in “spirit and truth”.) We ought to worship God in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

simeoncameron- “What I am saying is that you, dear friend, seem to be missing the forest for the tree that you don’t like.”

The tree I don’t like? I’ve already said this a couple times before that if I were giving you my ‘preference’ and likes on music, I would not in a million years have written this paper because there is definitely some of that music that appeals to me that I like. But I do not listen to it, not because of my likes and dislikes, but rather because of what Scripture says about the issue of music.

simeoncameron- “although music is a very big issue in the life of a Christian, I believe that you are focusing on a part of music that doesn’t matter as much. It would be akin to saying, “Animal skin/products are the only materials that can be used to make clothes because cotton and polyester didn’t originate until more recently and sinful people use them for bad things therefore it must be the devil’s so we can’t use them. And God made clothes out of animals not plants while Adam and Eve tried to use plants, so it must be wrong to use plants for clothing.” As far fetched as this example may seem it is extremely similar to your theory on music.”

Well, I must disagree and here’s partly why.:D The clothing comparison you give to parallel with what I’ve said first off fails because it has solely to do with associations and a judging of people’s hearts for the criteria of rejecting things like cotton and polyester. The music article did not use that criteria, but rather evaluated the music itself in light of Scripture, not the people involved. Also just on a note, the duple and triple rhythmic patterns are basic building blocks for Godly. The backbeat is contrary to this…. and I’ll leave you with a question…. From reading all of this and seeing Scripture, for what type of music is the backbeat a building block? The answer… well, you know what I’m going to say… but I’ll let you say it. 🙂

In regards to the word ‘sensual’, it has to do about “me, me, me”- it’s a focus on self and pleasing oneself- the old sin nature. I would have varied the use of the word ‘sensual’ in the paper with other words, but because of forum rules and the nature of the other words (no they’re not bad 😛 XD), I was rather limited.

Thank you so much for reading and being willing to discuss. Please understand that I have spoken all of this in the spirit of love, and I hope it has come across that way. We are fellow believers in the Lord, who will see each other in heaven one day because of what Christ did on the cross of Calvary, not our agreement on these other issues albeit important. Thank you, Simeon! 😀

And alas, my response has come to a close. With this said, I am going to be bowing out of the music debate as you all know where I stand on the issue of music. Thank you all for taking the time to read what I’ve said and for generating some great discussion! 😀 [i]Actually to be quite honest, I am looking forward to taking a nice break from these controversial topics… *long happy sigh[/i]* XD Well, tally-hoe with the discussion and have fun! 🙂 May God richly bless you all!! 🙂

Because of Christ,

Daniel[/quote]

Part 1 Rebuttles on “Music: A Matter of Taste or Biblical Analysis?”

 

Below are rebuttles that came in to the music article, posted back in February.  There were a couple social media forms through which these responses came.  Since there was overlap in some of the rebuttles from this various channels, what I have done is selected the best of the rebuttles and provided my response to those accordingly.  Please enjoy.

 

Isaac Anderson, “Thank you so much Daniel for your extremely thoughtful, and engaging paper. One point I would like to pick at, and I’m afraid it is your main point, is your explanation of the backbeat. “The backbeat constantly goes against the natural rhythmic patterns of music which God created. ”

Why is this? You say it causes confusion, but I don’t understand how this is so, the musical piece in and of itself is still a symmetrical pattern. How does having the emphasis on a different beat create confusion?

I think this may have to end up being something we agree to disagree on, but in your paper, I believe we have come to an understanding on where we stand and thats awesome 😀 😀

Thank you for this hard work Daniel :)”

Isaac, thank you for asking that question so I can better clarify that point. 🙂 The major thrust I want to leave you all with is the truth that Scripture has much to say about the music in a believer’s life, and it thereby behooves us as believers to be constantly “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10).”

While I address your question on the confusion aspect of the backbeat, please keep in mind the paper in its entirety (as all of it is essential together) and then also the other points that were addressed by the backbeat.

Okay, so let’s ask this question, “Why does the backbeat cause confusion when in and of itself is still a symmetrical pattern?”

It does constantly go against the natural rhythmic pattern and emphasis of music (duple form), which we had concluded God to be the creator of, since without these patterns music is dead.

The accompanying lyrics in the melody follow the natural rhythmic pattern of music. For example, the natural emphasis will tend to be on the 1st and 3rd beats; this merely follows natural poetic form.

With the repetitive usage of the backbeat (always replacing the emphasis off from God’s natural emphasis to the 2nd and 4th beats), the rhythm has become an entity of itself. This means that if we removed the melody and harmony, the rhythm would still exist in the form of the constant driving backbeat (an over excess of rhythm (which is talked about)). Rather than complimenting the melody, the backbeat is continuously contradicting it. What happens is these two musical components are fighting against each other for dominance in the music when they should be working with each other and kept in their proper priority as Scripture speaks about. Because the melody (and lyrics) and rhythm are working against each other, this does not create unity but rather a music of confusion since there is no clear message, but rather two contradicting ones.

Remember, the Beatles said that their music (with this backbeat), “is capable of causing emotional instability, disorganized behavior, rebellion and even revolution.”

You may ask, “Why am I quoting secularists?” These music artists know full well what their music (with the backbeat) does and are honest about it. Furthermore, we may expect something like this said from a Christian defending what is being brought forth; it should get a hold of our attention even more so when the lost world is saying this about type of music. Look at the words, ‘emotional instability, disorganized behavior’- confusion.

Let’s build on this with the ensuing idea.

When the melody is present and the lyrics are God-honoring while the music extensively utilizes the backbeat, we have conflict taking place. These lyrics and melody ought to minister to us spiritually and seeks to draw us that way. But then at the same time the continuous backbeats in the music (thereby over-usage of rhythm) because rhythm affects the body, elicits a desired sensual, physical response to the music- it is appealing to our old fleshly nature. Remember that God’s desire is for Christians to be focused on the spiritual while Satan’s desire is that our eyes are off the spiritual and focused on the physical. Now, we have this music that is trying to draw us closer to God spiritually (through the melody and also the words) while trying to draw us closer to the physical, sensual aspect (in the unnatural backbeat form). But, how can music please God and Satan at the same time? The backbeat thereby creates confusion and distracts the believer from the spiritual through the physical aspect of its unnatural rhythm. Scripture tells us that Christ can have nothing to with the devil (2 Corinthians 6). These two things cannot be joined together. Two masters cannot be served. Even James talks about how a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways; a music in the which rhythmic part (in the unnatural backbeat) dominates the God-ordained order of melody is communicating two separate, contradictory ideas, creating a music of confusion.

But as we have seen in 1 Corinthians 14:33- “For God is not the author of confusion [instability, disorder, confusion], but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Just for thought: Can this music really be from God when God is not the author of confusion? And why is it being used in worship of a holy God?

Hopefully, I was better able to answer your question on the backbeat creates confusion, Isaac. Thank you again for the reply. 😀 And yes, there is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree if it comes to that. We’ll be in heaven because of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. While these other Scriptural doctrines/topics are very important, at least they do not affect our eternal destiny. 😀 Thanks again!

Austin Harrison- “So here is a new question to stir the pot.  How can you justify going to places that play that music? The grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc. You are intentionally placing yourself in an environment where your ears will receive the sounds. Seems a bit inconsistent, if your typed standards are are strong as mentioned in posts.”

Thank you for your reply, Austin. 🙂 Unfortunately, you cannot go anywhere today without being affected by this sensual music. It is, like you said, everywhere you go (even too in the workplace).

Jesus Christ prayed to God the Father concerning believers in John 17:15, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”

We as Christian are here to stay on earth for a purpose after our salvation- to carry out the Great Commission as defined in Matthew 28:18-20). God could have just taken us home to heaven to get us out of this mess, but He left us with the purpose that we be shining lights for Christ. Jesus said in Mathew 5:15-16, “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (we diminish the light when we conform to the evil of the world (Romans 12:2)). Jesus wants us to be kept from the evil in this world, not taken out of the world. We cannot be lights for Christ secluded in our own homes (and mind you, this music has the potential to penetrate inside the home as well; it is everywhere.) We as Christians are to be in the world, but not partakers of the evil in the world. Saying that we will not go anywhere but confine ourselves to our homes is not the solution to “I love listening to this inappropriate music”. That is not a Biblical solution (yes, we are to be separate from the evils of the world (in our example: rock, rap music, other sensual kinds) but we were placed by God in the world for a purpose.) It is like jumping from the ditch in one side of the road to the ditch in the other side of the road. There are Godly folks on the music issue that say, “Just play it extremely safe so there’s no possibility.” (In essence, make another fence around God’s Word). The problem is: you will get ‘burned’ because your thinking is not based upon the Word of God. We have to be careful about making man-made rules that act as a fence around God’s Word. We ought to let God’s Word speak for Itself and the follow it accordingly. Staying confined in a home and not going about normal activities is in essence jumping to the other ditch. God’s Word is our rule of authority, not our thoughts.

Because this wrong music is everywhere, it is even more important that we are constantly walking in the Spirit when we are out and about in our normal activities. Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” It is important that we put on the armor of God to withstand Satan’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6). Satan would so desire the we as Christians lock ourselves in our homes and never go to the grocery store or out to eat, so that the lost do not see our light. (and yes, there are certain places that Christians ought to stay away from, but that is not for this discussion).

There are places you must go in life as part of the daily routine, work schedule, and what God has. And we need to remember to walk in the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. It is harmful to us. And sure, it would be nice if everywhere played good music, but the devil doesn’t work that way.

It is a given that we are going to get our feet dirty in the world; it’s life; it’s our sinful human nature; it’s going to happen, regardless what sin it is (sin is sin), what we say, or even the wrong thoughts we think. That is why we need to walk in the Spirit continually and be in God’s Word for a daily spiritual cleansing.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:3-5

As we walk in the Spirit and have on the armor of God, we need to be constantly casting down everything that exalts itself above Christ. This is a constant battle from day to day for me, as I’m sure it is with all of us. Again, Christ does not want us out of the world, he wants us kept from the evil. We need to “proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10)” and have the spirit of discernment to “be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

Thanks again for the question, Austin! God bless!

David Haymond, “I completely agree that we need to base our views entirely on Scripture. However, Scripture is clear in numerous places (Psalm 150 for example) that music, as an art form, is created by God and meant for His worship and our enjoyment. Unless there is Scriptural evidence that a particular style of music is evil, we are free to use that style in appropriate ways. In other words, I don’t think we need to have “Scriptural proof” that rock music (for example) is evil. Rather, [b]all music[/b] is good unless Scriptural principles say otherwise. I am not saying that Scripture does or does not condone rock; I am just pointing out that unless either Scripture forbids it, or the music itself is not appropriate for the context, it is not wrong.”

I absolutely agree with the usage of Psalm 150 in that any instrument can be used in worship to God. Nowhere does the Bible say that a certain instrument is inherently evil in and of itself (just a side note: you may have noticed drums in the first video of Ben Everson’s “My Hope is Jesus”- they were used inside God’s created rhythmic pattern). It is how instruments are played that can make them to be used for evil. The passage doesn’t reference style though- it’s about instruments. Can [b]all[/b] music really be good though since both God and the corrupted devil are musical…. since there is music that glorifies God and corrupted music that glorifies the devil? Thanks for the thoughts, David! 😀

Nathan L, “Daniel, I have a couple questions for you, and these are honest questions that I want to know your thoughts on, not sarcasm or mockery. 🙂 (also, if you answered the questions in your paper go ahead and point me to which post it was in. 🙂 )

First one: If Rock didn’t have a backbeat, would it still be wrong?

And I forgot the other question. :|”

It’s a good question. And here’s the answer (well… the backdrop to the answer): If Rock music did not have the backbeat, it would not be Rock music (it could become “folk’ or a ‘ballad’). The extensive utilization of the backbeat in Rock music is what sets Rock apart from any genre. With that said however, the rock-beat (backbeat-same thing) can be found in other genres as well. One of the aims is not to look at genres but evaluate the backbeat tool (a removing of the dominant emphasis on the 1st and 3rd beat as created by God in the duple form and placing this emphasis on the 2nd and 4th- which is against God’s created order) in light of Scripture.

The backbeat is not the only tool in Rock music. Under the section “Invading the Intimate Zone” how the voice is used is talked about and evaluated. So, removing the backbeat from Rock (which would make it not Rock right there) does not guarantee its goodness. Depends on what else is being used. Hopefully, this answers your question. 🙂

I must say that your second question was the easiest one to answer. 😛 I very much liked it. 😉