Volume. XXV, No. 12
Sunday, 19 September 2010


Worship Part 15


I have shared with you last week that CCM is not to be despised or shunned simply because it is contemporary. There are good contemporary composers and musicians. At the same time, I gave you at least six cautions in relation to CCM. There is one more thing I cannot miss. It is one of the root causes of the secularization of contemporary music. There are so many CDs and DVDs promoting contemporary music, and lots of Christian broadcasting companies also use them, too. One of the major reasons behind the secularization of Christian music is the commercialization of sacred music. Recording companies and Christian book stores are geared to make a profit, which requires their music to be appealing to a broader range of listeners. Stan Moser was the former head of Word Records and CEO of Star Song Records.

He was one of the pioneers of the CCM movement. Interestingly, he walked away from CCM after 26 years in the business. Listen to what he had to say: “. . . I would probably be more inclined to call the industry ‘commercial Christian music,’ rather than ‘contemporary Christian music’” (Christianity Today, “We Have Created a Monster,” May 20, 1996, p. 27). Having seen all these problems and issues related to CCM, we may become more sympathetic to no-music proponents. If I was not interested in proper church music, I would have taken side with those who removed all music from churches except psalm singing. It is because music is one of the major contributors toward the secularization of Christian churches. Even today, churches are promoting church services by defining their church music as contemporary music (using all kinds of musical instruments, styles of performances, and music styles) in order to attract people, especially young people. There has not been an era that worship was, and is, defined by music, not by preaching and expositions of the Word of God since the time of Reformation until now. We are living in an era of confusion. Young people who have grown up in fundamental churches are not very different. They do not know the sacredness of sacred music.
 
At this point, I would like to bring you to the use of music in Jewish religion. My talk is more based on the Jewish encyclopedic explanations of music. First, it seems to be clear that music was an important part of the feasts immediately following sacrifices. Amos 6:5 says, “That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David.” Isaiah 5:12 says, “And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.” Second, popular feasts were celebrated with singing and music, quite often also with accompanying dances. Women and maidens joined for those occasions. I hope that this point makes it clear that worship dance does not have a place in worship. There was a place for dance, but not in the Temple worship or sacrifices. I hope that all those who are dancing on the stage or pulpit will come down and worship, not dance, in the house of God for public worship. Dance was especially used following the harvest festival. Judges 21:20-21, “Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.” Third, victorious generals were welcomed with music. Judges 11:34, “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.” 1 Samuel 18:6, “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.” Fourth, enthronement was an occasion to use music. 1 Kings 1:40, “And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.” Fifth, family festivals of various kinds were celebrated with music. Genesis 31:27, “Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?” Jeremiah 25:10, “Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.” Sixth, it seems that music from young people was a sign of peace and its cessation was a sign of misery. Lamentations 5:14, “The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musick.” Seventh, music was also used for spiritual purposes such as David driving the evil spirit from Saul (1 Samuel 16:16), prophets’ ministries (1 Samuel 10:5), and inspiring Elisha (2 Kings 3:15). It signifies the importance of the sacred music, and also the danger of wrong and secular music for spiritual life. Eighth, music was an important part of the Temple service. At the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah formed the Levitical singers into two large choruses. They stood opposite each other at the Temple and sang praises to God. Nehemiah 12:31, “Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate.” The article Cantillation (Jewish Encyclopaedia, iii. 537b) shows that “the desire to read the Scriptures in the manner indicated in Nehemiah 8:8 [“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”] has from time immemorial resulted in the use of some sort of musical declamation for the passages uttered aloud in the synagogue. For reasons very similar to those there discussed, the prayers and praises equally with the lessons have always been thus musically declaimed; and this declamation, developing in many lands under the influence of varying tonal surroundings through the long centuries, has gradually become extended into the vocal melody, solo or choral, in which the whole of the traditional services are now presented. The earliest synagogal music was founded upon the same system and method as prevailed in the orchestra of the Temple itself.” What this explanation clearly shows is that the purpose of temple music was not for the worshippers’ amusement, pleasure, or emotional expressions alone. It was to read and understand the Word of God. Some CCM singers use their music in such a way that even human sensuality is to be expressed. It is not only a misuse of Christian music but also a disgrace, if not, blasphemy to our God.
 
In worship music, musical instruments should be used to accompany, and voices should give a proper rendition. In this regard, many churches seem to have misused music in worship. Some churches use very high volumes, loud speakers, and a strong beat and noise level, sufficient enough to bring accusations and even lawsuits from their neighbours. Voices are buried by loud speakers, and strong noise and drum beats even shake our bodies. Such use of music was not a part of Temple services. Modern day synagogue worship does not use musical instruments for various reasons. One major reason is obviously the dispersal of the Temple singers and the cessation of the performances of the musicians in the Temple. There is no more Temple in Jerusalem. Some Jewish congregations may not even like to sing because there is a sense of lasting mourning for the fall of Jerusalem Temple. In conclusion, (1) music must be used properly to honour God and to remember the Word of God, (2) dance and worship do not go together, and (3) the absence of music in synagogues is not an example for Christians not to use musical instruments in church worship.
 
Lovingly,
Your Senior Pastor
 
 
From the Pearsons
 
Greetings
Pastor David and Elders
 
For two years the assembly has consistently given up prayer and support for our grand daughter, Dianne, who has been suffering from anorexia, and her parents who were obliged to fight the battle without medical support.
 
We are now pleased to say that there has been much improvement and the family can now begin to live a normal homely life, which is a great relief for the parents and Dianne\'s sister ,Sara.
 
Being aware that this sickness leaves scars which consistency lurk beneath the surface, awaiting to again manifest itself, continued vigilance is of utmost importance. The “coming of age "also presents its own problems which go beyond parental control. Dianne has progressed well as she indulges in sporting and social activities.
 
Her social achievement has been her interest in the CFS where she has attended classes with her father. She has passed her CFS examinations and is now qualified to attend emergency call outs on the fire truck with her father.
 
Whilst we do not underestimate the effort and sacrifices the parents have made, neither must we underestimate the power of prayer and the support which the church assembly has afforded us.
 
To the Hope church, Richard and Margaret give thanks as we also do, and thank God for the blessings He has bestowed upon us all through those two years of trials.
 
Yours because of Calvary
Len and Margaret
Richard, and Margaret.
 
I have a great need for Christ:
I have a great Christ for my need”
Charles Spurgeon
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang
*Tentative dates for Missions to Batam & Bintan: 20-23 Jan 2011. If interested, please see Dn David Yeo.
*Special Thanksto Ps & Sis Ki for their ministries at Hope.
*Next week’s Fellowship Lunch is a paid lunch. $5 per person. Children under 5 years free.
*Working bees required for clean up of church property on Sat. Please come and help.
*Junior & Adult RPGs for Oct-Dec available. Please help yourself to a copy. Donation $1 appreciated.
 
Looking Ahead
*BP National Youth Camp, 29 Nov - 3 Dec.
*Christmas Day Worship Service: Sat, 25 Dec.
*Watchnight Service: Fri, 31 Dec.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Taiwan); Dn Edwin D’Mello (Ottawa); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Europe); Bro Samuel Kwan & Sis Sophine Bai (S’pore); Bros David Law & Peter Ting (Adl); Sisters Joyce Gong & Serene Wong (S’pore/Bahrain/Europe), & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. 4-week Ministry of Ps & Sis Ki at Hope.
4. Gospel Sunday last Lord’s Day for speaker.
5. Daily mercies & guidance in our lives.
 
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao (Melb), Len Pearson, & Simon Yeo; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Lehia Paauwe; Margaret Pearson, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province); Khmer pastors & families.
3. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry.
4. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & missionaries around the world.
5. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
6. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
7. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
8. Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki (Lond); Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong, Sisters Joyce Gong & Serene Wong (Europe/UK); Bros David Law (Per) & Frank Wong (Adl), & all others who are travelling.
9. God’s comfort & strength: Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam, Bros Joseph & Christopher Selvanayagam & their families.
10. Job - Sisters Judy Li & Corinne Teng.
11. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Myra Hornung, Monica Tan & Demelza Ting. 
12. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
13. Year 12 Students: Sisters Jillian Chia & Shilsha Ninian.
14. God’s guidance & protection - Sis Marion Chan (Myazaki, Japan).
15. Today’s Baptismal candidates: Bros Yick Ho Lam & You Wen Yeap.
16. Post-op recovery & strength - Bro Simon Yeo.
17. Guidance & help with settling down in new workplace in Ottawa - Dn Edwin D’Mello.
18. Unity of Doctrine & Fellowship of B-P Churches in Australia.
 
 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063