Volume. XX, No. 1
Sunday, 03 July 2005

From the pastors heart: Music and concern for all of us

The danger of wrong kind of music is not a new phenomenon in our age. Music has been a concern for many people since early Christian church era. Clement of Alexandria was one of those leading church fathers from the second century. Ill quote from his exhortation to the heathen, chapter 1: Exhortation to Abandon the Impious Mysteries of Idolatry for the Adoration of the Divine Word and God the Father (http://www.piney.com/MuClement.html). He begins with a myth related to music. However, it may be an figurative way to illustrate the power of music.

Amphion of Thebes and Arion of Methymna were both minstrels, and both were renowned in story. They are celebrated in song to this day in the chorus of the Greeks; the one for having allured the fishes, and the other for having surrounded Thebes with walls by the power of music. Another, a Thracian (A Barbarian), a cunning master of his art (he also is the subject of a Hellenic legend), tamed the wild beasts by the mere might of song; and transplanted trees-oaks-by music.

He says abut the dangerous use of poetry and music in pagan worship:

Sweet and true is the charm of persuasion which blends with this strain.
To me, therefore, that Thracian Orpheus, that Theban, and that Methymnaean,-men, and yet unworthy of the name,-seem to have been deceivers, who, under the pretence of poetry corrupting human life, possessed by a spirit of artful sorcery for purposes of destruction, celebrating crimes in their orgies, and making human woes the materials of religious worship, were the first to entice men to idols; nay, to build up the stupidity of the nations with blocks of wood and stone,-that is, statues and images,-subjecting to the yoke of extremest bondage the truly noble freedom of those who lived as free citizens under heaven by their songs and incantations.

He makes a distinction between his music and other styles of music which are not recommendable to use in true worship:

But not such is my song, which has come to loose, and that speedily, the bitter bondage of tyrannizing demons; and leading us back to the mild and loving yoke of piety, recalls to heaven those that had been cast prostrate to the earth. It alone has tamed men, the most intractable of animals; the frivolous among them answering to the fowls of the air, deceivers to reptiles, the irascible to lions, the voluptuous to swine, the rapacious to wolves. The silly are stocks and stones, and still more senseless than stones is a man who is steeped in ignorance.

He mentions that true and spiritual music is the Word of God, which means that music should not shadow the Word of God in worship:

Others he figuratively calls wolves, clothed in sheep-skins, meaning thereby monsters of rapacity in human form. And so all such most savage beasts, and all such blocks of stone, the celestial song has transformed into tractable men. For even we ourselves were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. Thus speaks the apostolic Scripture: But after that the kindness and love of God our saviour to man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us (Titus 3: 3-5). Behold the might of the new song! It has made men out of stones, men out of beasts. Those, moreover, that were as dead, not being partakers of the true life, have come to life again, simply by becoming listeners to this song. It also composed the universe into melodious order, and tuned the discord of the elements to harmonious arrangement, so that the whole world might become harmony.

He continues to talk about music being a necessary part of our being. He describes a man as a product of a breathing instrument, which is Gods Word:

A beautiful breathing instrument (Psalm 150) of music the Lord made man, after His own image. And He Himself also, surely, who is the supramundane Wisdom, the celestial Word, is the all-harmonious, melodious, holy instrument of God. What, then, does this instrument-the Word of God, the Lord, the New Song-desire? To open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf, and to lead the lame or the erring to righteousness, to exhibit God to the foolish, to put a stop to corruption, to conquer death, to reconcile disobedient children to their father.

He talks about a few important points related to music. First, it talks about the power of music. Though he mentions of Greek fables, he uses them to make his points that music is a powerful tool in pagan worship. Second, there is a music that brings us to the bondage of evil powers and a music that releases us from them. The spiritual music is the Word of God, and man is His breathing instrument to praise God. Psalm 150 lists different kinds of musical instruments, and it says in verse 6, Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Truly, we, believers of God, must be the most beautiful instrument to praise the Lord.

Lovingly Your Pastor Ki

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 1: What is the chief end of man? Mans chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Please pray for Gods healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Bro Kevin Tye; Sisters Wendy Gong, Myung Ki, Katie Opaskiatikul, Luan Price, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Aylin Hanin, Melissa Wong, Angie Yuen, Giok Yeos sister-in-law, Mrs Doreen Dunning, Mrs Irene Turner, and all others who have been afflicted with winter illness. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1Pet 5:7).

Please pray for a) Cambodia Missions: Rev & Mrs Moses Hahn and their ministry in Sihanoukville); Bro John & Sis Lydia Saray, and Sis Kin Bopha; b) Ebenezer BPC Cambodia Missions Team: Bros Joseph Lo & Matthew Thomas in Sihanoukville & Siem Reap, & journey mercies for Sisters Adeline Goh & Vanilla Wong as they join the team in Siem Reap on 4 July; c) Bro Hai Seng Lim Sketch n Tell ministry; d) Bro Surish Dharmalingam journey mercies as he travels by road to Spore. e) Expectant mother good health for Sis Michiko Law; f) Provision of job Bro Simon Yeo; g) Bro Chris Budimans wife and child to join him in Adelaide; h) Sis Wendy Gong - for Gods guidance as she settles down in Kalgoolie; i) Bethel Youth Winter Bible Camp this week; j) Journey mercies: Sis Jasmine Chua (Syd).

Praise and Thank God for a) Blessed YAF/Teens Prayer & Share on Friday; b) Journey mercies - Ps Ki , Bro Chee Chong, Sisters Sophine Bai, Angie Chen, Jasmin Chua, Ayji Chong, Wendy Wong (Adl), Sis Wendy Gong (Kalgoolie), Bro Jason Tan & Sis Min Yen Chia (Melb), Bros Yick Ho Lam & You Wen Yip, Sis Serene Wong (Spore), BPCWA young people (Melb/Tas), and others who have been travelling; c) Recovery from surgery - Sis Angie Yuen.

Congratulations & Gods blessings to Bro Pitchet & Sis Katie Opaskiattikul on the birth of their son, Josiah (Jo Jo), on 26 June. Praise & thank God for safe delivery of Josiah & health of Sis Katie.

20th Anniversary Committee to be organised. Please see Dn Ngie Joo Gong, if you can assist.

Church Directory needs updating. Please give your details to Sis Josephine Lee for inclusion in the new directory ASAP.

All those who are interested in seeking baptism, confirmation and transfer of membership, please Ps Ki or Elder Lee ASAP.

Looking Ahead: Video presentation for Sunday School Students on Mon, 11 July at 2:00 PM at the Stone Mansion.

Looking Ahead: Baptism/Confirmation/Transfer of Membership on The Lords Day, 24 July.

Looking Ahead: Annual Congregational Meeting on Sat 30 July at 7:30 PM. Fellowship, ministry and committee reports to be handed in before 17 July to Dn Edwin DMello.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041