Skip to comments.Rock and Roll Sound of Music or Noise of War
Posted on 04/16/2009 12:49:06 PM PDT by marbren
As Joshua and Moses returned down the mountain after receiving the Law from God, they heard what at first they thought was the noise of war; but as they hurried closer, they recognized that the people were singing rather than fighting. Nonetheless, their song soon proved to be the sound of war as three thousand men of Israel lost their lives in punishment. The church of today faces a similar situation. With the prevalence of rock music in Christian services, those approaching the average church house will often find themselves wondering if the noise that they hear is that of war against God or music praising God. It is a question well worth pondering; for although we sing to a God who inhabits the praise of His people, we also sing to a God who executeth judgment upon all. Let us determine then in which category God Himself would place rock music. Would He consider it to be the sound of music or the noise of war?
(Excerpt) Read more at av1611.org ...
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”
It’s all Elvis’ fault
Comments? First one that came into my head...
Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music,
Any old way you choose it.
It’s got a back beat, you can’t blues it,
Any old time you use it.
It’s gotta be rock and roll music,
If you wanna dance with me.
Far as the Lord is concerned I think it’s on a song by song basis, not just a genre as a whole personally.
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
I'm not a Bible scholar. I say make a joyful noise.
I think it does no good to favor one style of music over another in the church.
Mahalia Jackson and traditional are great. And IN MY OPINION so are Take6 and the J Moss- Kirk Franklin circles.
My 13-year old listens to something that is basically screaming/yelling. Sounds like some of that Nazi-punk crap “music”. And it is Christian. (I guess!? At least it has Christian lyrics!). I joke with him about it - I can’t understand most of the words, but I imagine lyrics like “God is my Good Shepherd” lose their meaning when you yell them out at the top of your lungs in a gutteral primal scream!
Most of the stuff he listens to is pretty good though. He even has his old man listening to some of his Christian rock and roll.
One more wack-job working hard to give Chrstianity a bad name.
I am not sure this article is correct or God pleasing. I am just asking the question.
>Make a joyful noise unto the Lord
Says nothing about being even technically correct (On Key, on tempo, etc)... In all, it is a invitation to make any kind of music/noise as praise. (That includes even what you wouldn’t consider music, such as rap, death-metal, etc.)
On the other hand "Lucille" by Little Richard sounds like a train on the tracks to me.
And of course you are all aware of the word "jazz" and what that was supposed to have meant.
Not sure, it is an interesting article though. Gave it a full scan. Some of the studies they talked about would like to see what songs they used. I can think of a lot of rock songs that are just...well noise. Can also think of a lot that aren’t and to me do seem musical, enjoyable, bring happiness, etc etc.
Maybe it’s that I don’t understand music enough (haven’t really studied it, just listen to it) to understand what rock music really is. As mentioned in the article maybe some of the songs I understand to be rock music, aren’t really “rock” music by the definition presented.
Jesus always favored pipe organs.
I didn’t think Joshua was up on the mountain.
The back beat emphasis seems to be key in article.
Where in the Bible does it say that music has a "naturally" occurring emphasis on the first beat and a secondary emphasis on the third beat?
The emphasis is placed by the person writing the music, and it is placed on the beat which THEY choose.
And stating that there are no "back-beats" in the rythmic sounds of nature is ridiculous. All one has to do is "phase shift" the "beat" of the naturally recurring sound one as decided is in 4/4 time by ONE beat and suddenly it does have a "back-beat" (i.e. the "emphasis" which was on the first beat is now on 2nd beat , which was the first beat prior to the phase shift). The beat emphasis of a naturally recurring series of sounds depends entirely on which part of the sound one defines as the "start". The person who wrote that article is pretty clearly someone who hates a certain kind of music and is trying to twist religious interpretations "prove" it comes form "the devil". I call people like this charlatans, crack-pots or, as I did previously, wackos.
What an elegant answer.
Its got a back beat, you cant blues it,
Agreed. I always practice piano with a click that I hear as being on ‘2 and 4’ (or insert an imaginary 8th note rest before the first click ) rather than on ‘1 and 3’.
Blessings to these musicians. They are reaching teenagers in ways that the youth group at your church (if you even have one) is not.
By the way... if you are in the southern Maryland area, please pray for and check out the SevenThirty Club, which offers this music and witness for area teenagers. I've seen 40 teenagers on their knees, giving their lives to Christ, at events at this club. The 7:30 Club is in Mechanicsville MD.
In my view, rather than look at labels of musical styles, we need to look at the feel of the specific music and the feelings it evokes.
Generally speaking Rock and Roll, hip-hop, pop music and jazz are inapproriate as worship music (especially in a church service), because the feel of the music and the feelings the music evokes, are not reverent, but carnal.
I don’t care how great and scriptural the lyrics might be (and most rock and hip-hop lyrics are shallow at best), if the feel of the music is carnal, it does not belong in the church. Imagine a punk rock version of “Amazing Grace”. The “all that matters is the lyrics” argument is nonsense.
Rock music usually evokes some combination of feelings of sensuality, violence, rebellion, arrogance and anger. Hip-hop is pretty much the same.
You might be able to water down the rock or hip-hop to make it more reverent, but then it wouldn’t be very good rock or hip-hop.
Sadly, in the modern church, all too often, the focus of “worship” music is on pleasing the flesh of the church members and even of unbelievers, rather than pleasing God or edifying the church. Rick Warren has played a huge role in encouraging Evangelicals to bring their musical idols into the sanctuary and deluding themselves into calling it “worship”.
Can anyone honestly say they believe our Holy God is more pleased with head-banging heavy metal, or glib hip-hop, or shallow choruses, than with reverent, joyful psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?
Also, so much of “Christian” music is produced by performers rather than worshipers. So many “worship leaders”, whether they realize it or not, or mainly focused on sounding like their favorite, reprobate pop star, rather than leading God’s people in worship, pleasing to Him.
Will read and prayerfully ponder.
Is the rock back beat emphasis the cause of the "feelings"?
I'll take a shot ...
Bill Fortenberry does an excellent job of straining out gnats while swallowing camels
I am not yet saying this article is true. I am just asking the question.
I do believe that there is an accurate . . . move of God’s Spirit into a
against the enemy in these END TIMES.
How that relates to this . . . I’ll have to ponder. But I would imagine that my Pastor and Music Minister would note that . . . and assert that their preferences for music reflect that.
Thankfully, Les really did mean it when he stopped worship 8 or so services ago about 80% through and said he wasn’t doing that any more—wasn’t going to go through the motions. He was either going to do what Holy Spirit wanted to do and that only or he was going to sit down.
He really meant it. His heart really is sold out for God. He loves God as much or more than anyone I’ve ever known. Head Pastor Christie is essentially the same on both scores. Only wants to do what God is doing. Doesn’t want to play church nor do anything else in church out of tradition, form or going through the motions any longer AT ALL. They both mean it as does the other pastor Larry.
Most of the deacons are mostly on board with that, as well.
There is, however, some history of control freak stuff. Somewhat pastor’s hubby-joint pastor. And somewhat on the part of some deacons.
I think the control freak stuff is mostly from the pit but a common human problem for those of us with attachment disorder.
HOWEVER, THERE IS STILL SOMETHING amiss about the loud AMPLIFIED volume and the defense of it so pervasive even though Les has said 80-85db is where it should be—even he on the board last night was fudging.
There’s a lot of truth to your post.
And, our church is made up of a good percentage of such folks . . . bikers, now bikers for Jesus etc.
According to a plaque in my house:
Music is a fair and glorious gift from God.
Last Sunday was the first time we had a “rock” song as our opening music from a CD. I did not pay much attention but I also did not feel uplifted. It felt a bit strange. I let it go and put the best construction on it, until today when I found this article.
Not sure how to respond.
Have a lot of sympathy for your points.
I know the folks involved in my current church are not out of a bad spirit per se.
There is no doubt some addiction vis a vis the volume and perhaps the style of sound . . .
God is certainly glorified in the words and I think I’d have to say at least mostly in most of the musical phrasing.
Sadly, Pastor Les considers the traditional stuff “hoaky.”
I think The Lord is going to adjust him on that given that Les has deliberately laid it all on the altar and wants only what God gives back and supports.
Certainly AMAZING GRACE, BLESSED ASSURANCE ETC. are NOT hoakey!
I appreciate your asking it.
I’m torn, myself on the issues. Maybe it’s not a black/white either /or thing.
What if rock is anti music?
>>>Is the rock back beat emphasis the cause of the “feelings”?<<<
I’m not sure, that could be part of it. There are a lot of different elements that go into the feel of music, including the beat, the lyrics, the tempo, the volume, the melody, harmony and instruments played.
For example, some classical music, with no backbeat is innappropriate for worship, because it is sensual and carnal. Putting Christian lyrics to circus music or the “The Wheels on the Bus” wouldn’t work as worship, not because the music is carnal, but because it is silly and trite.
I think we need to pray, read the Scriptures, walk in the Spirit and then use a “I know it when I hear it” standard for discerning what music is appropriate for worship, and pleasing to God. It’s really not that complicated, IF we truly want to worship in a way pleasing to God, rather than have a “faith based” rock, hip-hop or pop concert every Sunday morning. Some music might be borderline, but most music is clearly either appropriate, or inappropriate
There’s no need. 85db is 25db above normal conversation.
That’s PLENTY of emphasis range.
I like the 1812 overture . . . in a park on 4th of July.
I love the Hallelujah Chorus. and I love the singers to sing their hearts out.
ARTIFICIAL AMPLIFICATION TRYING TO WIND UP THE PEOPLE
VS HOLY SPIRIT INHABITING AND ENERGIZING THE PEOPLE
IS AN INSULT TO HOLY SPIRIT.
Joshua waited for Moses during Moses's 40 days on the mountain, and then return with him to the Israelites camp. So he was more "at" the mountain, as opposed to "on" the mountain.
2Co 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
One fella who years ago used to frequent nite-clubs with drinking and dancing says that if the music makes you want to dance (appeals to the flesh), it ain't Godly music...I can relate to that...
I love the old hymns and I really like some of the modern remakes of those hymns...
Who can watch the video of the guy in a wheel chair while a modern version of 'My Redeemer Lives' is being sung and not take a spiritual liking to it???
I enjoy and appreciate many of the songs by the likes of Michael Smith, Selah, etc...
Does this rock music produce 'fruit'??? That's the big question...
I'm confident that 100 years from today, "Blessed Assurance" and "Amazing Grace," which have stood the test of time, will still be sung.
Amplification has only been around 50 years or so. Maybe this is also part of the problem!
The article says rock music makes plants less fruitful.
I’ve heard this argument before back in the early 70’s, namely, that rock music is “devil music” because of the syncopation. I was told by a well-meaning and devout Christian that Africans, who used to be pagan and converted to Christianity, heard some Christian rock music and asked why they were using “witch music” in the church. They said this because the rhythms used in tribal witch chants/music was also heard in the Christian rock music. It was the syncopation (the accent of the off-beat) that they were refering to.
The problem with this argument is that sound is sound. A musical pitch or rhythm is not “moral” or “immoral”. There are not “holy” rhythms or “unholy rhythms”. There are not “sacred notes” and “profane notes”.
The same goes for musical styles. This arguing about what is proper sacred music and what is improper has been going on since the 9th century when Pope Gregory mandated that all the “acceptable” Christian melody be put in a book. This book still exists today and is popularly called, “Gregorian Chant”. If you’ve ever played the game “Halo” you’ve heard some Gregorian chant. Pope Gregory said that only the melodies put in this compilation is appropriate musical material for use in the church.
Christian musicans started messing around with the chant melodies, which were initially only monophonic (one vocal line - no harmony), and began to add other parts around the chant melody. They got so adept at creatively hiding the chant melody with all these parts going on around it (sometimes 5, 10, even 20 parts) that the Catholic church had to put a stop to it at the Council of Trent.
Even so, chant music had gotten so complicated that only trained musicians could perform it. Congregational singing nearly died out.
During the Reformation in the 15th century, Martin Luther reintroduced congregational singing by utilizing familiar secualr songs by putting Christian words to the melodies that people already knew. He did this because there were no familiar hymns at the time. As the Reformation progressed, Protestant musicians began composing new music for use in their worship services. Within a few decades these new Protestant hymns became the new “Standards”. These new songs became “proper” hymnody - the new tradition. Nothing else was needed.
Of course new songs were being written and arguments and theological debates raged furiously during the 16th and 17th centuries over what was now the new “proper” Christian sound and lyrics. Anything new was looked at as “too secular” sounding - only what Grandad listened too was “right” Christian music.
My point is this argument has been going on since Christians started singing in their worship services.
My own personal take on it is that as long as the lyrics are theologically correct with sound Christian doctrine, then the songs in whatever style should be acceptable. It may not be a style you like, but styles come and go. Time has a way of weeding out the bad stuff. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” has stood the test of time for nearly 500 years. I wonder if that will be said of the majority of music written today? I don’t think so. In the meantime, honor God with your heart, your mind, with your obedience, your motives, and with your verbal praise and worship (in whatever style). There are no musical styles specified in the Bible about what is proper - we only have the texts of the Psalms. So, maybe it is the words that are the most important?
Well thought out response, and you may be right. But, what if your first paragraph is true?
The story about African Christians may very well be true. But, does that mean that just because pagans use syncopation in their tribal worship that no one else can use it? That to use syncopation in a song is sinful?
How do we know that syncopation wasn’t used in ancient Israel? We have no idea how their music sounded. The earliest treatises about music and its affect on people come from the Greeks (at least that’s what I’ve read). They point out how certain modes of music affect people emotionally. There’s no doubt about it that people can be manipulated emotionally with music - but, does that mean because that’s possible that we shouldn’t ever use music in worship or that it should never have emotion? No - but we do need to be aware of it.
My biggest problem with any Christian artist today is not so much the style but what are their motives? I hate the “marketing” of Christian music that goes on today. Many Christian artists are treated and promoted just like secular rock stars. But, what I wonder about is what is their personal life like? Are they living a Godly Christian life? Is their ministry all about them or serving Christ? Of course, this should be the concern of all Christians - not just musicians.
Anyway, I’m more concerned about the witness of all Christians in their personal and professional lives than with what style of music they use to praise God with. At least that’s my take on it.
Ping to read later
Unfortunately, a lot of the good stuff is also being weeded out. Our Methodist hymnal contains only a smattering of the works of great Methodist hymn writers such as Charles Gabriel, Ira Sankey, William Kirkpatrick, and Phillip Bliss, and there is not a single hymn by Leila Morris, who wrote such classics as "Sweet Will of God," The Stranger of Galilee," and "The Fight is On, Oh Christian Soldier." However, Internet sites such as the Cyberhymnal are helping to make traditional as well as modern Christian music available and to preserve it for posterity.
However, I don’t know that we can say emphatically that rock music emphasizing the same features as withcraft music
is TOTALLY neutral.
I don’t think we have sufficient knowledge to say that. We just don’t KNOW that emphatically.