[b]For the Chief Musician[/b]
[i]A Collection of writings to reprove, rebuke, and exhort "worship leaders" in righteousness.[/i]
(All Scripture quotations are KJV unless otherwise noted)
"...an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." - Jesus Christ (NASB)
Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Do I humbly receive with thankfulness and take heed of the rebuke of the wise?
Am I listening to and do I enjoy the song of fools?
A fool can be described as one who says in his heart, there is no God (psalms 14).
The Atheist is the fool pre-eminently, and a fool universally. He would not deny God if he were not a fool by nature, and having denied God it is no marvel that he becomes a fool in practice. - C.H. Spurgeon
The fool is typically a wicked man, who has no law, who does not fear God, and who despises wisdom and instruction.
Am I wasting the oxygen God gave me by singing the song of fools? Robbing Almighty God of the glory He deserves? May this never be! If it be so I must be zealous for repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psa 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
Psa 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Are my hands clean?
Is my heart pure?
Have I lifted up my soul unto vanity?
Have I sworn deceitfully?
Am I in a right standing with God, walking according to His ways in perfect obedience?
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Have I put on charity? Am I able to in place of the word "charity" (love) in 1Corinthians 13, insert my own name, and humbly with all honesty declare:
_____ is patient, _____ is kind and is not jealous; _____ does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; _____ does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
_____ never fails?
Is the fruit of the Spirit being produced in my life? (Gal. 5)
Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-control?
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Is God's peace ruling in my heart? Is my heart full of thanksgiving?
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Is the word of Christ dwelling within me-- richly?-- In all wisdom?
Am I teaching and admonishing others in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? (Which are holy, sacred, godly, set apart from the world, originating from God, returning back to God, that glorify God) with grace in my heart---TO THE LORD?
"I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy or to sell out more completely to Jesus!"
"This generation is bored of "speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). Hymns? Spiritual songs? Sweet melodies? Not if a new breed of musicians have their way. They actually laugh at Paul's description of good, Christ-exalting music described here in Ephesians. God says to this generation: "You have rejected the holy hymns, the sweet melodies, the sanctified sounds of joy and pure gladness. You detested the music of your fathers who worshipped in purity. It was your disdaining pride of all that was old. You want the miracles of the book of Acts, but not the purity of the fathers. You recoiled from the music born of the spirit and embraced the music of the world.""
"God is looking for overcomers who will search out the old paths and find the right way.
But they said, "We will not walk therein" (Jer. 6:16). Not that the old songs and hymns should be used exclusively - but they should not be cast aside and replaced with anything light and shallow. "
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
"Theology is meant to be lived and prayed and sung!" Wayne Grudem
Theo = God
Logy = The Study Of
Some today say, We don't want none of that theology junk. This is sillyness, theology is so important it affects the very way that we pray. Theology is the study of God and it is vital we have a proper understanding of Him. The problem is not with theology and theology should not be thrown out the window. The truth of the matter is that theology is to be lived, prayed, and sung!
Now I must ask myself,
Are the words in the songs in accordance with the Bible? Are they true, or am I wasting my breath?
Are the songs honest? A.W. Tozer once said that Christians don't tell lies, except on Sunday when they sing songs! May this unreality never be true in our own lives!
Are the songs just? (Atleast may they never glorify injustice!)
Am I singing of pure things? That which is lovely, things that are of good report, virtueous, praiseful? These are the things I must think and dwell on; and thus should be coming out of my heart, off of my lips, and to God-- and as a by-product to the brethren.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Heartily-- with all my might. The Lord is worthy of all, and may I never be singing, praying, or doing anything as to men-- but only to the audience of one, Jesus Christ.
Am I putting on a show?
Do I care what other people think, or what God thinks?
Am I merely entertaining people and drawing special attention to myself , or am I pointing others toward God?
Am I allowing myself to be entertained, or am I pouring myself out?
Do I behave the same in public as I do privately? (Who I am in secret reveals my true character)
"Entertainment is the devils substitute for God's joy, and when you get satisfaction out of that dumb thing, your joy will diminish." - Leonard Ravenhill
We have the breezy, self-confident Christians with little affinity for Christ and His cross. We have the joy-bell boys that can bounce out there and look as much like a game
show host as possible. Yet, they are doing it for Jesus sake?! The hypocrites! Theyre not doing it for Jesus sake at all; they are doing it in their own carnal flesh and are
using the church as a theater because they havent yet reached the place where the legitimate theater would take them.
Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church of Christ that millions dont know that its a heresy. Millions of evangelicals throughout the world have devoted
themselves to religious entertainment. They dont know that its as much heresy as the counting of beads or the splashing of holy water or something else. To expose this,
of course, raises a storm of angry protest among the people.
Rom 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
IN OUR DAY WE MUST BE DRAMATIC ABOUT EVERYTHING. We dont want God to work unless He can make a theatrical production of it. We want Him to come
dressed in costumes with a beard and with a staff. We want Him to play a part according to our ideas. Some of us even demand that He provide a colorful setting and
fireworks as well!
Because we are not truly worshipers, we spend a lot of time in the churches just spinning our wheels, burning the gasoline, making a noise but not getting anywhere.
Any objection to the carryings on of our present gold-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, But we are winning them! And winning them to what? To true
discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the
worlds treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ? Of course the answer to all these questions is no.
I hope that we will remove from our hearts every ugly thing and every unbeautiful thing and every dead thing and every unholy thing that might prevent us from worshipping the
Lord Jesus Christ in the beauty of holiness. Now I am quite sure that this kind of thing is not popular. The world does not want to hear it and the half-saved churches of the
evangelical fold do not want to hear it. They want to be entertained while they are edified. Entertain me and edify me without pain.
Psa 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Here is probably a reference to the peculiar presence of God in the Holy of Holies above the mercy-seat, and also to the glory which shone forth out of the cloud which rested above the tabernacle. Everywhere God is present, but there is a peculiar presence of grace and glory into which men should never come without the profoundest reverence. We may make bold to come before the immediate presence of the Lord - for the voice of the Holy Ghost in this Psalm invites us, and when we do draw near to him we should remember his great goodness to us and cheerfully confess it. Our worship should have reference to the past as well as to the future; if we do not bless the Lord for what we have already received, how can we reasonably look for more. We are permitted to bring our petitions, and therefore we are in honour bound to bring our thanksgivings. And make a joyful noise unto him with Psalms. We should shout as exultingly as those do who triumph in war, and as solemnly as those whose utterance is a Psalm. It is not always easy to unite enthusiasm with reverence, and it is a frequent fault to destroy one of these qualities while straining after the other. The perfection of singing is that which unites joy with gravity, exultation with humility, fervency with sobriety. The invitation given in Psa_95:1 is thus repeated in the second with the addition of directions, which indicate more fully the intent of the writer. One can imagine David in earnest tones persuading his people to go up with him to the worship of Jehovah with sound of harp and hymn, and holy delight. The gladsomeness of his exhortation is noteworthy, the noise is to be joyful; this quality he insists upon twice. It is to be feared that this is too much overlooked in ordinary services, people are so impressed with the idea that they ought to be serious that they put on the aspect of misery, and quite forget that joy is as much a characteristic of true worship as solemnity itself.
- C.H. Spurgeon
1Ch 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.
Psa 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
Sing unto him a new song. All songs of praise should be unto him. Singing for singing's sake is nothing worth; we must carry our tribute to the King, and not cast it to the winds. Do most worshippers mind this? Our faculties should be exercised when we are magnifying the Lord, so as not to run in an old groove without thought; we ought to make every hymn of praise a new song. To keep up the freshness of worship is a great thing, and in private it is indispensable. Let us not present old worn-out praise, but put life, and soul, and heart, into every song, since we have new mercies every day, and see new beauties in the work and word of our Lord. Play skillfully. It is wretched to hear God praised in a slovenly manner. He deserves the best that we have. Every Christian should endeavour to sing according to the rules of the art, so that he may keep time and tune with the congregation. The sweetest tunes and the sweetest voices, with the sweetest words, are all too little for the Lord our God; let us not offer him limping rhymes, set to harsh tunes, and growled out by discordant voices. With a loud noise. Heartiness should be conspicuous in divine worship. Well-bred whispers are disreputable here. It is not that the Lord cannot hear us, but that it is natural for great exultation to express itself in the loudest manner. Men shout at the sight of their kings: shall we offer no loud hosannahs to the Son of David?
- C.H. Spurgeon
Psa 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Let the saints be joyful in glory. God has honoured them, and put a rare glory upon them; therefore let them exult therein. Shall those to whom God is their glory be cast down and troubled? Nay, let their joy proclaim their honourable estate. Let them sing aloud upon their beds. Their exultation should express itself in shouts and songs, for it is not a feeling of which they have any need to be ashamed. That which is so fully justified by fact, may well be loudly proclaimed. Even in their quietest retreats let them burst into song; when no one hears them, let them sing aloud unto God. If confined by sickness let them joy in God. In the night watches let them not lie awake and weep, but like nightingales let them charm the midnight hours. Their shouts are not now for the battlefield, but for the places of their rest, they can peacefully lie down and yet enjoy the victory with which the Lord has beautified them. Without fighting, faith wins and sings the victory. What a blessing to have our beds made into thrones, and our retirements turned into triumphs!
- C.H. Spurgeon
Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand. It seems they are not always on their beds, but are ready for deeds of prowess. When called to fight, the meek are very hard to overcome; they are just as steady in conflict as they are steadfast in patience. Besides, their way of fighting is of an extraordinary sort, for they sing to God but keep their swords in their hands. They can do two things at a time: if they do not wield the trowel and the sword, at least they sing and strike. In this Israel was not an example, but a type: we will not copy the chosen people in making literal war, but we will fulfil the emblem by carrying on spiritual war. We praise God and contend with our corruptions; we sing joyfully and war earnestly with evil of every kind. Our weapons are not carnal, but they are mighty, and wound with both back and edge. The word of God is all edge; whichever way we turn it, it strikes deadly blows at falsehood and wickedness. If we do not praise we shall grow sad in our conflict; and if we do not fight we shall become presumptuous in our song. The verse indicates a happy blending of the chorister and the crusader.
Note how each thing in the believer is emphatic: if he sings, it is high praises, and praises deep down in his throat, as the original hath it; and if he fights, it is with the sword, and the sword is two-edged. The living God imparts vigorous life to those who trust him. They are not of a neutral tint men both hear them and feel them. Quiet is their spirit, but in that very quietude abides the thunder of an irresistible force. When godly men give battle to the powers of evil each conflict is high praise unto the God of goodness. Even the tumult of our holy war is a part of the music of our lives.
- C.H. Spurgeon
Psa 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people. This was once literally the duty of Israel: when they came into Canaan they fulfilled the righteous sentence of the Lord upon guilty nations. At this hour, under the gentler dispensation of grace, we wrestle not with flesh and blood; yet is our warfare none the less stem, and our victory none the less sure. All evil shall eventually be overthrown, the Lord shall display his justice against evil-doers, and in that warfare his servants shall play their parts. The saints shall judge the world. Both the conflict and the victory at the end of it shall cause glory to God, and honour to his holy ones.
- C.H. Spurgeon
Psa 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron. Thus are the greatest enemies of Jehovah and his people reduced to shame, rendered helpless, and themselves punished. This was Israel's boast in actual fact, it is ours spiritually. The chief powers of evil shall be restrained and ultimately destroyed. Those who made captives of the godly shall themselves be made captive. The powers of evil cannot bind our King, but by his power their king shall be bound with a great chain, and shut up in the bottomless pit, that he may at length be trodden under the feet of saints.
- C.H. Spurgeon
Psa 149:9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
To execute upon them the judgment written. Israel as a nation had this to do, and did it, and then they rejoiced in the God who gave success to their arms. We praise our God after another fashion; we are not executioners of justice, but heralds of mercy. It would be a sad thing for any one to misuse this text: lest any warlike believer should be led to do so, we would remind him that the execution must not go beyond the sentence and warrant; and we have received no warrant of execution against our fellow men. Christians have no commission of vengeance; it is theirs to execute the command of mercy, and that alone. This honour have all his saints. All the godly shared in the triumphs of the Lord when he smote Israel's foes. We have like honour, but it is shown in victories of another sort. All the holy ones are sent upon errands by their holy Lord. The honours described in this Psalm are common to all the family of grace; and such service as the Lord appoints is to be undertaken by every one of them, without exception. The Lord honours all his chosen here, and he will glorify them all hereafter: this rule is without exception. Surely in this we have the best argument for glorifying the Lord, wherefore we close our new song with another Hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord. - Charles Spurgeon
Yes, even God's wars are fought to the sound of music and praise! - Michael L. Brown
---Music and Evangelism---
Music is not merely a mixture of harmony, melody, and rhythm. It's a powerful medium given to us by God. If Satan could inspire an unholy musical revolution, why can't the Spirit inspire a holy musical revolution? Why is the Church forever copying the world? And why do we simply take the music of the world and put some catchy lyrics to it instead of joining a now message with some now music to radically impact a lost generation? - Michael L. Brown
"Contemporary Christian music, with rare exception, has sold out to what is economically correct, to a marketable message and a sellable star. Where are the prophetic voices in the contemporarry music scene? We need more groups who truly minister through the medium, challenging this generation to leave all and follow the Master. Why are they so few and far between? And what is the spiritual purpose of Christian ballads sensually sung by glamorous vocalists (are they being sung to Jesus or to a boyfriend?) or rediculous rap that is strong on coolness but weak on content? Is it not primarily carnal entertainment designed to turn a profit?" - Michael L. Brown
"Where are the Keith Greens of today, who will put their heart and soul into the message and use the music to further that message, who will develop a radical style and spirit of their own that will infuse this young generation with a radical call to radical discipleship?" - Michael L. Brown
"Music not only reflects the heart and mind of a generation, but it gives direction to that generation, shaping its desires and inspiring its dreams." - Michael L. Brown
"Scripture tells us that in 2 Kings 3:1-19, without a minstrel, Elisha could not recieve a prophetic word from God, while in 1 Samuel 10:5, the traveling group of prophets had musicians in their midst. King David, whose playing of the lyre as a young man chased oppression from King Saul (see 1 Sam. 16:14-23), esteemed music so highly that he set aside four thousand Levites to praise the Lord with the musical instruments he provided for them (see 1 Chron. 23:5; Neh. 12:36), while one of the most beloved portions of the Scriptures, namely, the psalms, was written to be sung.
(This continued right into the Early Church, where the book of Psalms formed the primary songbook of the first believers. To this day, the psalms are chanted during traditional Jewish prayer.)" - Michael L. Brown
In the Salvation Army, "the goal was to find tunes that were easy to remember likely to become ear worms not tunes that would attract a particular audience. This does not quite match up with the modern theory that we should play music to please an audience. " - Greg Gordon
"Have you ever heard the stories of how John and Charles Wesley took many of the popular "drinking songs" of their day and put Christian lyrics to them? And it didn't matter how much success they had in reaching sinners using these tunes - most of the people in the church absolutely deplored their methods!
And then the Salvation Army came along, and had the nerve to put hymns to marching music - and then proceeded to play and sing these "lewd songs" (as the traditional church of their day called them) out in the streets on Sundays! They even followed in the Wesley brothers' footsteps, taking tunes from the drunk-filled taverns, and "converting" them into worshipful choruses, or ringing appeals for people to surrender their lives to Christ! And never have there been so many "common people" converted in England than through the unorthodox efforts of those early "Salvation Soldiers."
Oh, how harmless those melodies would sound now to our grandparents' ears. But their grandparents thought that the devil himself was on the loose with music-demons!" - Keith Green
Secular music, do you say, belongs to the devil? Does it? Well, if it did I would plunder him for it, for he has no right to a single note of the whole seven. . . . So consecrate your voice and your instruments. . . . Offer them to God and use them to make all the hearts about you merry before the Lord. - General William Booth
A condition of good singing is a good tune. People will sing a tune they like, whether they care for the words or not. Indeed, if the tune strikes and pleases them, they will want no urging to sing; whereas, if the tune is not to their fancy, not only will they decline to make any effort to learn it, but they will find it very difficult to do so if they try. Good tunes are such as have plenty of go and swing in them, such as the people easily learn and readily remember. Indeed, such airs run in their heads in spite of themselves and make them go humming them about their houses and in their work-shops-- in short, stick to them whether they will or not."
--The Salvation Army Use Of Tunes
"It has been objected that they are profane, and ought not to be used for sacred work. To this we reply that there is no moral character in the music itself: that is, there are no such things as sacred or profane tunes apart from the uses to which they are put. The tune a man sings has no more moral character in it than the voice with which he sings it. If the voice is consecrated it belongs to God; if it is given up to the service of the devil, it belongs to the devil: and just so with the tune. If "hymn" tunes were as well adapted for our work as are song tunes we should exclusively use them, but as "song" tunes have proved so serviceable we are bound to continue their use. But The Army is now composing its own tunes, which will in time displace the majority of others."
--The Salvation Army Use Of Tunes