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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    283

    Hearing God and entertainment

    I have been meaning for some time to post a paper I wrote a few years ago after I first began to find out about some of the negative biblical testimony on the topic of music. That study soon expanded to include visual entertainment. One reason I have decided to do this now was Gilgal's post on Saul's courageous beginnings as a leader, and contrasting that with the complacent attitude of most of the church when the truth is attacked today. Another reason is because in the job I have now cleaning tables at a mall food court, there are T.V. screens all over the place. I watch teens and adults alike staring glassy-eyed at the screens, mindlessly soaking up the sound of their favorite "idols" and of course looking at the clothes, hair-do's, and make-up that go along with them (all of which the mall can provide a very similar version of, for a price) They look like zombies and it's so sad. I do not like to make myself a lightning rod for controversy, but we are headed for terrible times if people continue to let themselves be brainwashed like they have been. The church has been complicit in this problem and has tried to "sanctify" the methods of the world and use them "for God". At least that is the conclusion I have come to.

    I am not in a position to answer a lot of questions that are sure to arise in response to the attachment to this post. I have not made the wisest choices in my working life, so now I am working minimum wage while looking for another job, which doesn't leave me a lot of free time or energy. But I will try to respond to as many questions as I can. I also realize that a lot of my conclusions are based on inferences, and that other people, when looking at the same facts may draw different conclusions. At the very least, you will learn the meanings of a lot of biblical words for people, places, events, and objects that are associated with music in the original languages. Things that virtually never get mentioned in churches today. I pray that reading it will not prove to be a waste of your time.


    Yours in Christ,
    Chris
    Last edited by Silence; 07-24-2010 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Attached file not readable

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    283

    OOPS!

    I am not very good with computers and should have checked the attachment before attaching it. I can't get Adobe to allow the import of a new file to pdf. They seem to have changed things since the last time I used the program. I tried using a Microsoft Works word document but that produces a file type that can't be uploaded here. I'm not sure what to do now.

    I just put the original file into a txt format and then into a zip folder so it would fit for an upload. It is harder to read than the original, but I hope maybe those who want to read it can maybe find a way to re-format it on their end to make it easier. Sorry about the lack of expertise.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    747
    Hey Chris,

    I remember you and I discussed very briefly this aspect of music from the scriptural point of view, along with some information on a very extensive website we both were looking at. Thanks for sharing this. I will be looking over it a few times as I believe there is much to be gleaned from knowing the effects of music on the human physiology.

    Ron

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, Wa
    Posts
    15,150
    Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
    I have been meaning for some time to post a paper I wrote a few years ago after I first began to find out about some of the negative biblical testimony on the topic of music. That study soon expanded to include visual entertainment. One reason I have decided to do this now was Gilgal's post on Saul's courageous beginnings as a leader, and contrasting that with the complacent attitude of most of the church when the truth is attacked today. Another reason is because in the job I have now cleaning tables at a mall food court, there are T.V. screens all over the place. I watch teens and adults alike staring glassy-eyed at the screens, mindlessly soaking up the sound of their favorite "idols" and of course looking at the clothes, hair-do's, and make-up that go along with them (all of which the mall can provide a very similar version of, for a price) They look like zombies and it's so sad. I do not like to make myself a lightning rod for controversy, but we are headed for terrible times if people continue to let themselves be brainwashed like they have been. The church has been complicit in this problem and has tried to "sanctify" the methods of the world and use them "for God". At least that is the conclusion I have come to.

    I am not in a position to answer a lot of questions that are sure to arise in response to the attachment to this post. I have not made the wisest choices in my working life, so now I am working minimum wage while looking for another job, which doesn't leave me a lot of free time or energy. But I will try to respond to as many questions as I can. I also realize that a lot of my conclusions are based on inferences, and that other people, when looking at the same facts may draw different conclusions. At the very least, you will learn the meanings of a lot of biblical words for people, places, events, and objects that are associated with music in the original languages. Things that virtually never get mentioned in churches today. I pray that reading it will not prove to be a waste of your time.


    Yours in Christ,
    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    It is a long article and the format is difficult, but I'll see if I can find time to read it. I understand your experience with the "zombies" in the shopping mall could make you think that the problem is music itself, but my experience with music makes me think that it is one of the primary gifts from God. It can be used for good or for evil like anything else - e.g. a knife.

    I'll write more after reading more.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lake district U.K
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    314

    He who planted the ear

    what might be in there . Much of that which passes for 'modern' music ( I call it murder music)Stems from the time when groups of musicians would meet after work. I am given to understand that they would often play their instruments at random. Obviously that was a break from the restraints and disciplines normally imposed. The clatter which they produced had appeal to the unrestrained and the unruly . It was called jazz. Since then it has had various names and developed in odd directions. From a child I hated it. Of course not all people have the sane taste in music. One famous writer was heard to remark ; If there is music in hell it will be the bagpipes. Another was eating in a restaurant with a small orchestra playing. The waiter approached his table and asked , 'what would you like the band to play next'. He replied ' Dominoes'Music can soothe, excite stimulate or calm. Much contemporary music is loud and aggressive and has great appeal to the rebellious and the thug. I am struggling to find words to express my feelings . I could say that music is made in heaven or that it is a gift from God ,but such words are totally inadequate. In his book,'Number in scripture',Bullinger writes. Experiments have long been completed which fix the number of vibrations for each musical note; by which of course we may easily calculate the difference between the number of vibration between each note.
    These were finally settled in Stuttgart in 1834. The following is the scale of do showing the number of vibrations per second under each note and differences between them.

    C D E F G A B C

    Do RE Mi Fa Sol La Si Do
    264 (33) 297 (33) 330 (22) 352(44) 396 (44) 440 (55) 495 (33) 528

    (24x11) (27x11 ) (39x11) (32x11) (36x11) (40x11) (45x11) (48x11)

    On examining the above it will be seen that the number eleven is stamped on music;and we may say seven also, for there are seven notes on the scale ( the eighth being a repetition of the first.

    I don't know much about that but I do like to hear a pleasant tune and a song well written.
    Alec

  6. #6
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lake district U.K
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    314

    Mix up mess and muddle

    If you think that it is worth it ,Richard ; I would like this muddle sorted out . It wasn't lke this when it left here . Gratis
    Alec

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    283
    Hello Everyone,
    There are so many facets to the topic of music that can lead in so many directions, sometimes it is hard to know where to start and where to go next. That is one reason the paper I put together is so long. Ron, you are interested in the physiological aspects, there is a little bit of that in my paper. Alec, you are right about the violent, evil spirit behind a lot of modern music. Somewhere I read a quote by a famous musician (I think it was Little Richard but I would have to search it out again) who told of a time when someone he knew was playing a rock and roll recording and a witch doctor from Africa told him that the background beat and tone of the song would be recognized by natives over in Africa immediately as a familiar voodoo song. So it is obvious that music can be used for obviously evil purposes. Which brings me to Richard's point of view, which is the most commonly held opinion on music, that it is neutral and can be used for good or evil. If I had to boil my paper down to one pivotal question for discussion, I guess it would be this - Given the fact that God has put so much detailed design into His Word, taking care to put repeating patterns of themes and keywords in just the right books, even to the point where the books having an extraordinary amount of similar content can be lined up in groups of three on spokes, - If God took that amount of care in designing the bible, can anyone explain to me why He would choose to designate musical instruments in His Word with terms that are virtually all vile, violent, vain or empty? And why the "first mention" of a musician in scripture associates musical instruments with Cain's descendants, and does so with a word (taw-fas) that is never used in scripture in a good sense? Ever since I was a young Christian, I have heard bible teachers talk about how important the "first mention principle" is in determining how a subject should be viewed in the rest of scripture. Was God not as careful in designing the parts of His Word having musical associations as He was when dealing with other subjects?

    I'm hoping that the length and "wordiness" of my paper doesn't prevent people from reading it through. I was blessed in my early days as a Christian to have people around me who could show me how much care God has taken in designing the bible so that the same message could be found in several different parts of scripture, both new testament and old. And how He is careful in the words He uses. But many Christians don't want to take the time to look at specific words and how they are used differently at different times or in different situations. They like to lump similar groups of words together and treat them like they are interchangeable. That is one reason I went at the topic of music from so many angles in my paper. Maybe it was a bit of overkill, and like I said, I hope you all will be patient, read it through, and let me know what you think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lake district U.K
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    314

    An ear for music

    I read the letter by Silence but found the conclusion a bit vague. Music can be good or evil ;In that sense it is no different than words. Music is reccomended in the Bible . The psalms were composed to be sung. You cannot have a song without music. When a person sings ,then that one is using the human voice as a musical instrument.Music can be used to inspire loyalty , love , Hate , agression and other emotions. It is not neutral. Some churches mistakenly omit any musical instrument in their worship. I beleive that that is a grave error. The Salvation army would never have existed without music. The Moody institute would never have got off the ground without it. What do you think?
    Alec

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    283
    Hello Alec,
    Below are my responses to your statements. I still don't know how to quote separate parts of a post in one reply, so I will put my responses in italics.




    Music is reccomended in the Bible . The psalms were composed to be sung. You cannot have a song without music.

    We have no idea how the songs were sung. And what kind of music should accompany the psalms? We have no idea what the accompanying music was, or even what the instruments that accompanied the psalms looked like or sounded like. The words of the psalms were preserved by the Lord, the music wasn't. And even if it had been, it was part of an "external" worship system that was destined to pass away. The early church fathers recognized that music is not spiritual, it affects the body and soulish realms. God is to be worshipped in spirit and truth. Also, I don't know that it is a good idea to improvise and just sing and play whatever suits our tastes. That opens the door to the possibility of one church split after another over what kind of music is going to be played.

    When a person sings ,then that one is using the human voice as a musical instrument.

    Using the human voice to create "music" is no different than using instruments. If you sing loudly enough, and get enough overlapping tones from multiple voices or one person with a "rich" voice in the right acoustic environment, it causes the body of the person singing and of their listeners to produce the same endorphines that instrumental music does. The early church fathers denounced the use of singing that was "moving" because they knew it was moving the soul and not the spirit. Many of them spoke of the old testament references to musical instruments as having to do with the heart of man "sounding music forth to God". Paul put the place of music in the heart and to make it even more clear in Ephesians 5:19 he also used a word in relation to the "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" that is not used to denote singing, but speaking, that being lal-eh-oh. The word for singing is ay-doh. It is impossible to lal-eh-ho (speak) to ourselves and at the same time singing and making melody externally. I don't know Greek, but Ephesians 5:19 and Collosians 3:16 also both mention singing "in" ('en' in Greek) your hearts to the Lord. If the singing was to be externalized it seems the word 'ek' (from) would have been used.

    Music can be used to inspire loyalty , love , Hate , agression and other emotions.

    The ability of music to move the soul of man is one reason it is dangerous to get it near anything that is considered "spiritual". It is easy to be deceived by music's ability to move people. If the Holy Spirit requires external means like music to move people, you would think that the New Testament would be full of teaching on the proper way to do this. On the contrary, there are only two verses that speak about psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and of these three, the only one that can have anything to do with musical accompaniment is "psalms", and in the Greek of the New Testament, if a psalmos was to be accompanied by "psalloing" an instrument, the instrument is always named. The only instrument named in this passage is the human heart.

    The Salvation army would never have existed without music. The Moody institute would never have got off the ground without it. What do you think?

    I realize that these groups have done a lot of good things, but that doesn't mean everything they did was the best way. Music is not necessary for God to work, the church was born in the upper room and there is no mention of music there or in the following accounts of when the church was growing by leaps and bounds. It seems that people take the silence of the new testament as permission to do what they like and refuse to talk about the negative associations to music that are found in scripture.
    Last edited by Silence; 07-30-2010 at 07:37 PM. Reason: I would like to use respond in a more charitable way that will not discourage further discussion.

  10. #10
    I downloaded your paper and look forward to reading it.

    I'm amazed that one cannot go to a restaurant without having to see/hear a huge TV blasting dribble. I can't stand it!
    More than one time I've asked that the music/TV be turned down or off, I just thought I was getting old! LOL But the music grates on my spirit, I actually feel bad on the inside. Agitated at first, then almost depressed.

    In college I read a book called the "psychology of music" It was very interesting. Perhaps this paper has some similar ideas?

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