Old Music Notes - Retro
by Shane Montgomery
Music in church has become a controversial issue among many Christians.  One of the reasons is because what one “enjoys” or what makes one “feel good” has become the measure of right and wrong, rather than what is stated in God’s Word, the Bible.  In all areas of the Christian life, including church music, all Christians must decide that the Bible is the authority.
 
This article will present some Bible principles which govern Christian music.  There is no question that God intended for us to utilize music to worship Him.  In 2Chronicles 5:12-14, the glory of the LORD filled the house of God while the people were praising the LORD with music.
 
Firstly, we find in 1Samuel 16:23 that music has spiritual power.  Saul was refreshed and an evil spirit departed from him because of the music David played on a harp.  In 2Kings 3:15 the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha when a minstrel played.  If “God is a Spirit”, John 4:24, then the music presented as worship to God must be “spiritual.”
 
Secondly, Christians have two natures:  the flesh and the spirit.  The Bible says that these are “contrary the one to the other” in Galatians 5:17.  Since this is true, music used to worship God, who is Spirit, must appeal to the spirit of man.  If worship music primarily appeals to the flesh of man through its beat or worldliness, how can it be used to also appeal to the spirit of man when the flesh and spirit are contrary to each other?
 
Thirdly, all praise and worship is to be “unto the LORD,” Psalms 95:1. Worship (including worship music) is for God, not man.  It is not to be an opportunity to “perform” or lift up a performer, but an opportunity for man to praise a holy God.  Does the music and performance of much of the “Christian” music of today glorify God?  All that a Christian does must glorify God, see 1Corinthians 10:31.
 
Fourthly, Christian music is not a tool for evangelism (as the preaching of the gospel is), it is a tool for Christians to teach and admonish “one another”, see Colossians 3:16.  When Paul and Silas were singing in prison in Acts 16, the keeper of the prison was asleep – they were singing for each other and for the LORD.  Worship music does not have to appeal to the world by being worldly.  As a matter of fact, Jesus said that the world will “hate” Christians.  They hate our music because of what is says, and because it is spiritual.  All through the Bible, Christians are commanded to be different and separate from the world.  This would include their music.  Christians are to have a “new” song, Psalms 96:1.
 
I challenge every Christian to study what the Bible has to say about music and worship and make sure that they are following God’s Biblical guidelines.
by Shane Montgomery
Original article can be found here.
  • Every great ministry that was instrumental in winning multitudes to Christ had a strong gospel music program. The churches or ministries that have a mediocre music ministry have mediocre results. I firmly believe that singing the right kind of music with the right rhythm and beat prepare the heart and soul for either the reception or rejection of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

    D. L. Moody of whom it was said shook two continents for Christ had the great Ira Sankey as his music director to lead and direct the music that prepared the hearts for the literally hundreds of thousands, and some say millions, who trusted Christ in his crusades. Their music was so influential in their campaigns that when they went to the United Kingdom they published the Moody Sankey Hymnal that had all of the songs sung at their revival and evangelistic meetings. Billy Sunday had the great Homer Rodeheaver lead the choir’s that would gather for his campaigns. The First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana under Dr. Hyles had a music ministry that was second to none. The list could go on virtually endlessly. For decades Billy Graham had George Beverly Shea lead the singing for the great evangelistic campaigns around the world.

    We are sing to one another in, “…psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” And this does not mean that we use a watered down Bible message tied to a country and western tune or a rock and roll rhythm. That isn’t any more gospel or Bible that the NIV is the Word of God.

    We must be diligent and careful about the music that we allow into our ministries. Never allow music that refers to God or the Lord Jesus Christ in the personal pronoun, “you.” That speaks of a buddy familiarity to the Lord that is just not right. Bro. Roloff used to really get after this.. He always said that when speaking to and about God we should use, Thee, Thou, Thine, etc… Anything else breeds a familiarity that takes away the majesty of God. He was right and we see the deplorable condition that ministries that used to reach multitudes of souls and baptize literally hundreds on Sundays are today baptizing 1 or 2 if some one really works hard at getting some of their converts to church. Their music ministry is just as anemic as their now failing soul winning efforts. They are definitely tied together.

  • This is the thing. Thoughtful, prayerful consideration is required. And of course it’s true God created music. Did not the morning stars sing together and the Sons of God shout for joy? But if we never used contemporary music, we’d still be singing Gregorian chants, and nothing else. Music touches the soul, and feeds it. This should be heavily on our. hearts and minds as we prepare for worship. Whatever style we choose, we should be aware that, ultimately, God is our audience.

  • Music is a matter of preference…period. Using music to manipulate the “spirit” of a service seems pretty idolatrous and hocus-pocus to me

  • Ephesians 5:19
    “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

    The basis or concentration of music is the melody which edifies the spirit. Satan has perverted much of Christian music with contemporary and rock n roll but also with the new unnaturally breathy sounds and intervals that many sing with in the modern churches. The Holy Spirit groans within us as soon as false ungodly music is played. It sickens my spirit when I hear these breathy renditions of hymns. There is a huge difference between psalms hymns and spiritual songs that make melody in your heart unto God compared to the modern Christian’s music which you cant tell the difference from worldy music. Come out from them and be ye separate! There should be a very distint difference between godly music and worldly music not only in the church setting but in your homes and your own personal walk with God.