by Dr. R.B. Ouellette
It seems to me that we have by and large lost the battle for music in fundamentalism. I hear music in good, sound churches that is far beyond what the Beatles brought to America when I was a child. Yet, every Fundamental pastor preached against the music of the Beatles.
We seem to have no anchor, because music is diﬃcult to deﬁne and explain, particularly when we seek to do so from the Bible. People simply choose what they like and what appeals to them. It is diﬃcult for us mortals to always discern between that which appeals to the carnal ﬂesh and that which appeals to the godly spirit.
There seems to be no consistency in the matter of music. Two welltrained, godly musicians will diﬀer as to what is right and wrong. In fact, each of them will do songs to which the other objects, but with which they individually ﬁnd no fault.
We must establish a standard. Any standard will be arbitrary. So are other standards. I cannot prove to you that it is sinful for a man’s hair to touch the top of his ear, or to be onesixteenth or one-eighth of an inch over the top of his ear. I can only prove to you that the Bible says it is a shame for a man to have long hair. I then establish an arbitrary standard which helps us keep the Bible principle.
So it is too, in music. I cannot prove, nor do I need to be able to prove to all those in my church that a particular beat is sinful, a particular rhythm is wrong, a particular style is unscriptural. I merely need to say that as the Pastor, it is my responsibility to establish a standard, that I believe that the standard is safe and will keep us from trouble, and that I urge their cooperation in holding to the standard. Because a pastor cannot prove from Scripture that vocal sliding is sinful does not mean he may not have a standard against it. The Pastor is responsible to God for what goes on in the church.
Praise the Lord for godly pastors! “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unproﬁtable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
by Dr. R.B. Ouellette