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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Rules to Appropriate Worship?

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groh_frog
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Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Rules to Appropriate Worship?

Our church has been discussing some modern issues that have faced the church in general in recent years, and one issue that has come up is "what's appropriate worship?" Today, our pastor announced some rules for special music, some that I might question. Read these over, and if there's opinions, biblical justifications, or biblical contradictions to any of these, please open up! Here's the pamphlet as it was handed out:

It quotes Psalm 138:1-2 and Psalm 66:1-4 in the beginning.

The Music Ministry is meant to enhance the entire corporate Worship Service. Our Worship involves all the areas coming before God: Prasie, Giving, Thankfulness, Singing, and Instruction from God's Word. Worship must be firmly based upon the truth of the Word. This truth must reach our inner man, our spirit, if it is to truly impact us. Worship should not be an intellectual exercise alone, but should be a spiritual expression of an intellectual truth that is felt deeply within the inner man. Therefore, it is important that when we come before the Lord in Music Ministry that we do so in a Biblical way.

I. A Right Heart Attitude
-If we are to minister to others we need to be certain that our hearts are right before the Lord.
-We need to be humble in spirit, realizing that our gifts come from teh Lord and are to be used for Him.
-There should be no known areas of sin in our lives that are unconfessed.

II. An Appearance that Glorifies God
-Since God deserves our very best, we should dress in our best.
-We must be sure that we are modest in our apparel so as not to cause another to stumble.

III. Our Best Presentation
-We must be prepared ahead of time. Time and care should be given in choosing our song, practicing the song, so that we can do our very best.
-It is important to practice with the Sound Person/ and or pianist one week in advance or during the prior week so that any adjustments can be made ahead of time.

IV. Appropriate Music Selection
-Our first consideration should be the doctrinal accuracy of the words to a song. If there is any question about this, talk to the Pastor before you practice a song.
-The musical accompaniment to the spoken truth must be used carefully to contribute to the truth being expressed.
-We must be aware of musical tastes. Not all music will appeal to everyone. One of our tests for a song should be kept in mind that this is a church worship service and not just a big show.
-Our criteria in selecting mediums of worship expression must be the effectiveness by which the medium illuminates, magnifies, and compliments the theological message about God. The listener's attention should be drawn to words, not to music.


As these were handed out, the pastor re-emphasized some points, particularly that "Jeans and T-shirt" are inappropriate worship attire, and hinted that only certain forms of music, using certain insturments is appropriate. Where's the line where legalism can legitamately be drawn? Where's the line where you're missing the point of Worship?

 2007/1/28 20:12Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7446
Mississippi

 Re: Rules to Appropriate Worship?

I am curous: how old are you? Sounds to me like you are a young peson...

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/1/28 23:12Profile
JennRich
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Joined: 2006/7/17
Posts: 140
Alabama

 Re: Rules to Appropriate Worship?

These guidelines sound perfectly reasonable and God-glorifying to me. . . I know it might get sticky about what attire to wear to worship, but the motive behind that stipulation seems to be an honest endeavor to come before the Lord with due respect. We wouldn't go to an appointment with the President just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, would we?

At our church, we don't have a "rule" about what to wear, and as a matter of fact one of the Godliest ladies I know wears jeans quite often. But personally I feel more serious about worshipping the Lord when I'm dressed nicely. I also feel more ladylike when I wear a dress or skirt, and that's a good thing.

I guess our church staff and leaders sort of set the example about what to wear to church -- the men are usually in a jacket and tie, and most ladies are in dresses. But when visitors do show up in jeans or whatever, they go out of their way to make them feel welcome (and would never draw attention to their more casual attire).


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Jennifer Richardson

 2007/1/29 0:04Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
Our church has been discussing some modern issues that have faced the church in general in recent years, and one issue that has come up is "what's appropriate worship?" Today, our pastor announced some rules for special music, some that I might question.



This is the typical challenge when traditions are being reshaped. The list of rules you present basically seems reasonable. Personally I feel that it would have been better if those involved in music were all drawn into the process of setting boundaries rather than having them imposed on them from above. That helps build maturity and fosters willing cooperation. Even if all the musicians are young and immature, it still is better that they learn how to think and make decisions corporately. After all, it’s not just about music, it’s about building mature disciples – and that IS part of the role of the spiritual leadership.

Quote:
Where's the line where legalism can legitimately be drawn?

No where. Legalism is never the path to spiritual maturity. (that’s a big topic in itself) However that doesn’t mean that it is wrong to establish guidelines. Guidelines help maintain order and harmony. Also rules are needed because not everyone is mature or knows what is expected. As a musician I abide by thousands of rules – - rules of good musicianship, rules of good relationships, etc etc. Of course through training and experience they are now a natural part of me. I don’t need someone to give me a list of rules. They are inside of me. (though I’m still learning: At the moment I am reading a book on choral conducting)

Re inappropriate instruments: It’s probably more a case of insufficient skill. You can make just about any instrument sound inappropriate. And you can make just about any instrument sound appropriate. In my church there is a farmer who from time to time plays his cowbells - most tastefully.

Meanwhile, you would be best to graciously comply with the guidelines to the best of your ability– and do all your music for the glory of God. You are not merely doing it for your pastor. You may not agree with it all, but the ministry will flow best if you accept it as it is.

Let me share something with you: I don’t like all the rules (traditions) in my church, but by working with what exists, (I’m the minister of music) I gain respect, and can subtly introduce new ideas – with their cooperation. So far it works better that way.

PS. I feel that a lot of tensions in the music area would dissolve if were seen in it's proper perspective. It is not nearly as important, in the bigger picture, as it is made out to be.

Diane


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Diane

 2007/1/29 0:43Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4498


 Re: Rules to Appropriate Worship?

Hi groh_frog...

Quote:

groh_frog wrote:
Our church has been discussing some modern issues that have faced the church in general in recent years, and one issue that has come up is "what's appropriate worship?" Today, our pastor announced some rules for special music, some that I might question. Read these over, and if there's opinions, biblical justifications, or biblical contradictions to any of these, please open up! Here's the pamphlet as it was handed out...

...

As these were handed out, the pastor re-emphasized some points, particularly that "Jeans and T-shirt" are inappropriate worship attire, and hinted that only certain forms of music, using certain insturments is appropriate. Where's the line where legalism can legitamately be drawn? Where's the line where you're missing the point of Worship?

I agree with the essence of these guidelines. However, I do have an issue with the "Sunday best" comment.

I feel that the Church has been "dressing up" for far too long. What good is it to dress up in your "Sunday best" on Sundays (and for midweek meetings) when you do not dress this way in life? I believe that "MODESTY" is key -- and certainly a necessity. However, the meaning of the term itself varies from place to place.

I have heard the argument about dressing the same way to Church as you would to a wedding, a funeral, a trial, a business, etc... But would the Lord require that we "dress up" to spend time with him? Does the Lord require for His people to dress in such a manner in order to appear "acceptable" in the eyes of others? Of course, we should ALWAYS dress in modesty. But I have been to some Churches that REQUIRED men to wear coat and ties and women to wear nice dresses.

I feel comfortable (in life and amongst the Body of Christ) to wear jeans and pants. I once attended a large Church where the choir wore ornately decorated robes and the orchestra wore tuxedos. Sometimes, I wish that singers and musicians in some fellowships would remove the choir robes and wear simple and normal attire.

Wouldn't it be lovely if we could, in Biblical modesty, simply be ourselves in dress, tongue and action while in fellowship with other believers? Unfortunately, it seems that too many people prepare their outward adornment and wear it as a mask. I do believe that holiness extends to every aspect of our lives -- including our dress. But does a suit and tie reflect [i]holiness[/i] or does it reflect [i]money[/i]? Are jeans, a shirt and sneakers immodest? What if a poor believer desired to play his instrument unto the Lord -- but could not afford a shirt and tie or slacks? What would be our excuse for telling him, "[i]No thanks[/i]?"

I often wonder how the early Church, during the height of persecution, conducted meetings. Did they worry about dressing up for such meetings, or did they wear their normal attire when believers fellowshipped together?

:-)

By the way, I attend a small fellowship where there are no "set" rules for attire other than the guideline of Biblical modesty. We do not seem to have a problem with dress. While some of our few musicians will wear jeans, it is done tastefully and in modesty. The presence of the Lord is still evidenced in our hunger for Him.


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Christopher

 2007/1/29 2:09Profile
groh_frog
Member



Joined: 2005/1/5
Posts: 432


 Re:

I'll try to answer a few questions at once.

Ginny, I've talked with you before, and you're absolutely right- I am a "young person".

Also, I should clarify something I had said- while there is never a place for legalism, there is a place for simple, unquestioning obedience. Where are rules meant to stand?

Maybe it's a "loaded" post, but whenever you dress a certain way, or perform a certain type of music, you run a very strong risk of doing it for show. While the world respects looking "sharp", requiring it for worship seems to me a sign that you're missing the point entirely.

This debate is one of those age-old debates that sweeps churches with diverse congregations. I heard an elderly gentelman comment this past week that "I hope when the Lord returns, the first things he destroys are the drums and guitars..." My question, as younger generations (ginny) are asking, is "is this a biblical stance, or is simply unbased tradition?" Something of opinion, spun up to become the measure of right and wrong?

Maybe with a few things cleared up, where do you draw the line in a diverse church? Are we really going up front to look nice and impress onlookers, or is there some real point of this fellowship? How do you justify that stance?

I honestly, maybe to a fault, can't stand the phrase "put on your Sunday best", as if looking nice at church makes the Good Lord happier with us. There's a time and place to dress nicely, but only resulting from man's tendency to judge upon looks. That's hardly a good thing, in my opinion. But when we have to please a stigma before we can speak to the heart, is something in the way?

 2007/1/29 3:31Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7446
Mississippi

 Re:

Groh_frog wrote:

That's hardly a good thing, in my opinion. But when we have to please a stigma before we can speak to the heart, is something in the way?

To answer your question it is “yes’.

Mind if I share a little bit of history?

My generation spawned the hippie movement in the 60s which was a movement rooted in rebellion to the social mores that existed. Hippies flaunted their immorality, used drugs openly and talked about it, and dressed sloppy. Their dress was a reflection of their rebellion to any sense of decently there was in society.

Until this point in time, people ‘dressed up’ when they appeared in public, be it in town to go shopping, to church, the ball game or calling on friends. They did it out of respect to others. People were sensitive to others’ feelings about what was considered proper. It was a mentality of loving your neighbor, honoring the other person, being considerate.

Fast forward. The hippie movement changed all that. The focus turned to self: what I want is more important then others opinions, feeling on any subject. The youth decided the church no longer had any authority on any issue. It all was on self and the need to gratify it.

This, young man, is what the older generation witnessed and hence, the roots of their concern.

Now to answer another immediate question about how should musicians dress: is it possible to dress in a way that would not call any attention to yourself? Let’s face it: jeans are not appropriate to wear in front of a crowd: they are too tight; draw attention to a part of the anatomy that is best left unnoticed…do you see what I mean? Can you not dress that would minimize your physical body and the audience’s focus will be on the music and not on the performers themselves? Do you not think that to do otherwise would be one that would feed the ego more then bring honor and glory to the LORD Jesus?

Just something to think about....

Blessings,
ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/1/29 18:23Profile
DIEDTOSELF
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Joined: 2006/12/20
Posts: 61
Minnesota

 Re:

Amen Ginnyrose!! Is there a standard anymore? Tolerance has taken over the church!! The physical church seems to tolerate anything and everything there is no rules of conduct or dress.
I heard someone put down catechisms and this really made me think. Now tell me what is wrong with abiding by a certain catechism? I can think of some really good ones that should be implamented in the church youth today; Wesley's, Spurgeons, etc... These were a Godly standard to live by not rules just obedience. These are not our justification by all means. But I do believe there should be a moral standard in and outside the church as far as dress goes and many other issues. If these catechisms were taught today with the vigor they were written with at the time......


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Craig

 2007/1/29 20:21Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4498


 Re:

Hi ginnyrose...

Quote:
Now to answer another immediate question about how should musicians dress: is it possible to dress in a way that would not call any attention to yourself? Let’s face it: jeans are not appropriate to wear in front of a crowd: they are too tight; draw attention to a part of the anatomy that is best left unnoticed…do you see what I mean? Can you not dress that would minimize your physical body and the audience’s focus will be on the music and not on the performers themselves? Do you not think that to do otherwise would be one that would feed the ego more then bring honor and glory to the LORD Jesus?

While I certainly agree with the concept and need for Biblical modesty, I disagree with this opinion about jeans. I wear jeans with regularity. I do not wear "tight" or "form fitting" jeans. I wear relaxed fit or loose fit jeans because of their comfort and durability. I have worn them to school, work, and yes, church meetings. Contrary to this assessment, I feel that jeans can actually be less "attention drawing" than nice slacks or pants.

Again, jeans are not a product of the 1960s. They have been around since the 18th Century (C. 1740s). At the time, they were work clothes created for durability. In fact, "dungarees" were available two centuries earlier (in the 16th Century) using thick material from India. Denim jeans were widely popular in America between 1840 and 1940 -- because America was a frontier nation. Farmers and workers required thick, durable clothing. The 1960s certainly brought about immodest changes to dress -- including the styles of jeans (like "hip-huggers" or "slim fit"). It was during the 1960s that tight jeans became "fashionable."

We really need to be careful about using measuring lines for outward standards of holiness. The key, as stated before, is MODESTY. Do we really need to create rules so that people will continue to respect the key? It is my opinion that jeans are NOT necessarily immodest. If a congregation will turn their eyes from Jesus because of a pair of jeans worn by a guitar player, then the congregation really needs a stronger relationship with Jesus.

There are various denominations that hold certain requirement in dress. There are some that have color restrictions, material restrictions, and certain dress-type restrictions. All of them, no doubt, base their rules (or "standards" and "guidelines") on a desire to not draw attention to one's body. If this were the most important factor in determining proper dress, then we would ALL (both men and women) walk around completely covered like devout Shiite women (faces and heads covered and bodies covered in long robes).

Should a local congregation dictate such standards? OR should the local church impress the congregation to JUDGE THEMSELVES by Biblical modesty? When so many believers and congregations define modesty by different standards, it becomes difficult to try and impress such opinionated standards on other believers.

This is not an embrace of an "anything goes" philosophy. On the contrary, a pastor (or more appropriately, parents) can certainly point out gross violations of true modesty. But we must be careful to seperate our own opinions or beliefs from "measuring rod" standards which would be considered doctrinal truth.

:-)


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Christopher

 2007/1/30 1:33Profile
Meriwether
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Joined: 2006/8/13
Posts: 33


 Re: Rules to Appropriate Worship?

Dear groh_frog,

I kinda liked that list, but I am a big fuddy duddy.

This might not be the case, but possibly the rules were formally written because of one or more seriously inappropriate folks whom the minister did not want to single out.

Here's a thought. During the millinium kingdom, when everyone will presumably go to the temple during the feast of tabernacles, what sort of clothing do you think they'll wear in the presence of the King? What sort of music do you think might be offered? I don't know... I'm just thinkin'

In Him,
C.M.

 2007/1/30 1:39Profile





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