the Bible says about Praise and Worship:
I. Focus on two types of music:
II. Worship Music:
2. Hymn (Humnos) - noun. denotes a song of praise addressed to God - Ephesians 5:19, Col 3:16 Humneo - verb. Transitively. matt 26:30, Mark 14:26 - the hymn was part of that Hallel consisting of Psalms 113-118 intransitively - Acts 16:25, Heb 2:12 - the verb itself is rendered to sing praises or praise. This covers all other songs of praise to God, and includes both traditional hymns and contemporary choruses.
3. Spiritual songs - (pneumatikos) - spiritual songs are songs of which the burden is the things revealed by the Spirit. Ode - an ode, a song in praise of god or Christ. A generic word (that's why "spiritual" was tacked on). This is the weird one. There are three opinions on this.
b. Some think that all three words (psalms, hymns, spiritual songs) simply generically refer to songs about God. Paul does tend to repeat himself at times.
c. The third choice is the weird one. Some scholars think this refers to "singing in the spirit," which is really nothing more than singing an improvised song to God by making up words on the spot and singing them to God. Many more charismatically-inclined churches do this. And, our church fathers did this, too! Some early Gregorian chants had a middle section dedicated to improvisation. The person singing would simply come up with his own words.
2. They're different:
b. Choruses - one idea, appeals to younger generations, vocally easy, lyrics contemporary, frees attention to God, new and untried.
b. All hymns were new at some point in time, and many, in their day, were looked upon as the "new songs."
c. Many have been changed or weren't excellent. For example, Charles Wesley wrote over 6000 hymns - how many of those do we sing today? Another example - Oh For a Thousand Tongues To Sing - originally 16 stanzas!
d. Some choruses/hymns employ bad theology. We want to make sure we're singing theologically sound songs!
III. Other Music:
2. All other music, in terms of both style and content.
3. Can be entertainment, educational, evangelistic, propagandistic, etc.
2. If you don't like a certain style - that's preference
3. If someone tells you different - they're imposing their preference on you.
4. Abuse doesn't invalidate forms
b. The Satanic Bible is written in English - does that mean we shouldn't speak English, or our Bibles should only be written in Latin? No.
b. No biblical support, since Bible never mentions good/bad musical styles. The Bible does mention the use of single rhythm instruments being the only musical accompaniment - Exodus 15:20-21.
c. No scholarly support, either - Not in important scholarly works like The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. If this theory were true, it'd definitely be important.
d. The context of the music and our experience are the determining factors.
2. Lifestyle - are they Christians? Don't assume that it's bad simply because the performer has long hair and earrings. Some classical composers were homosexual, lead terrible lives, and committed suicide. On the other hand, Amy Grant's songs still reflect her Christian worldview, even though she's now a christian performer writing songs primarily for the secular market. She also writes worship songs, and invites youth in the Nashville area over to her barn for a time of praise and worship.
3. Remember to judge the heart.
2. "Eat anything ... without raising questions of conscience."
b. If you like the tune. Simply enjoy it.
b. Accept the weak brother (Romans 14:1-8)
c. Scripture tolerates inconsistencies in people - something may be right for one person and wrong for another!
d. Don't make the weak one stumble. I don't think this means "if I think classical music is of the devil, no one at my church should ever listen to it again." Rather, it means, "don't play it around me."
© 1998 David L. King Updated: 8/24/00