Web Watch (music, missionary minds and Gregg)

4 Aug

Listen to Third Day’s new album online for free. It seems pretty good though Andy’s noticed that the start of the second track sounds suspiciously like a rip-off of Wonderwall.

Our hero Gregg reaches international fame with his brother Joel “the traveller” Somerville for frisbee in the rain.

I can’t wait for the new U2 Album which is due in either October or November and rumour has it that it will be entitled “No Line On The Horizon”. Also Paul McGuiness (U2’s manager) had an interview with the Telegraph which is worth reading.

Feeder are going to play the Mandela Hall in November and they are considerably cheaper than the ridiculously overpriced Coldplay!

Are you Tribal Minded or Missionary Minded?

There’s some hip-hop with Trip Lee on the Don’t Waste Your Life Podcast as he speaks on the unwasted life.

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17 Responses to “Web Watch (music, missionary minds and Gregg)”

  1. Tom August 11, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    James, for all the praise you give gregg you could at least spell his surname right (and mine foe that matter).

  2. James August 12, 2008 at 7:57 am #

    Fixed.

  3. whereisthechurch September 13, 2008 at 8:01 pm #

    If it’s not a silly question, why do many young Reformed Presbyterians attend churches that sing psalms only – and then when they’re outside of church, listen to all the worldy, devlish music there is?

  4. James September 13, 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    Obviously I am not able to account for every young Reformed Presbyterian but I will attempt to answer your question. If I understand your question correctly you are asking why do we only sing Psalms in worship but are quite happy to listen to other forms of music outside of church?

    We believe that what is not commanded in worship is forbidden. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to praise God with songs other than the Psalms. This principle does not apply to music in general when outside the worship setting. It’s not because other forms of music are wrong, it’s because God hasn’t asked for them.

    There are of course other biblical principles which may apply to what music we listen to such as Philippians 4:8 but music other than the Psalms can be described as “lovely” and “excellent”, even music by non-christians. For example I am a bit of a Snow Patrol fan and I believe their musical talent to be “admirable”.

    Does that reply help?

  5. whereisthechurch September 13, 2008 at 11:01 pm #

    Oh, I understand why you guys believe in worship with psalms only (although scripture says otherwise!) but my question is more aimed at the worldly music which many RP’s seem to enjoy!

    I cannot fathom how any Christian can justify listening to worldly, carnal, lustful, ungodly and downright devilish music.

    I mean, take for example this Snow Patrol ‘music’ – A quick search brings up lyrics like this –

    “I haven’t left here yet, but I’m trying
    I’m still tied to the bed
    Can you come here?
    When you come could you please bring a knife
    And cut me down
    Cause she is larger than life and I’m frightened
    One hundred things you should have done in bed
    But you never got the chance to try them
    At least the dog has a smile on its face most of the time
    I’m drained and I’m dry and I’m sore
    It’s not that bad if she could be here all the time
    It would kill me
    I think I’ve been broken in two and I can’t scream.”

    I doubt very much that Philippians 4:8 can be applied to to ‘music’ like this?!

    Is Romans 12:2 not another biblical principle that should apply to what music you listen to?

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

  6. James September 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    As it is apparent that you do not wish discuss exclusive psalmody and are making a comment regarding another issue please refrain from making jibes such as “although scripture says otherwise!”. If you want to seriously discuss the matter provide evidence and if you don’t please don’t make unnecessary statements.

    Of course I am not going to start defending a song which obviously contradicts the principle of Philippians 4:8. There are many songs I choose to delete from my mp3 player for that reason. I agree with you that we aren’t to listen to music that is “worldly, carnal, lustful, ungodly and downright devilish”. We all need to be careful what we listen to.

    I can only assume that your initial comment was prompted by your distaste for either U2 or Feeder? What music do you think Christians should listen to?

  7. whereisthechurch September 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    I did not intend it as a derisive remark. I was merely giving my beliefs on the matter.

    Phil 4:8 says “whatsoever things are pure”. How can this music/band be pure when they write ungodly lyrics like that? Besides, even if I accept your point that you can delete certain songs… at the end of the day, you’re still financing a band which produces these ungodly songs that will undoubtably influence others to sin.

    My distate is not directed at particular bands but rather at any music of the world. I couldn’t care less if it’s U2, dance music or country and western – all are opposed to God.

    What music should Christians listen to? We are instructed to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The scriptures mostly indicate that music is primarily for the praise of God – not for just general listening pleasure or to pass time.

  8. Anonymous September 15, 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    Is there really any such thing as ‘Christian’ or ‘non-Christian’ music?!If you listen to Bach and then listen to Tchaikovsky, how can you classify one as ‘bad’ just by hearing it even though one composer’s lifestyle may have been morally completely different to the other’s?

  9. whereisthechurch September 15, 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    To classify music as being ‘bad’ based on the composer’s life/sin would leave us with no music at all.

    Look at David, author of many psalms… a murderer and adulterer – but even James will agree that we cannot classify the psalms as ‘bad’ because of this.

  10. James September 16, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    I concur with the anonymous comment writer of Sept 15th that there is no such thing as Christian music and non-Christian. There is merely good music and bad music. Good music glorifies God through using the God-given gifts required to write the lyrics, compose the music and perform the song. All music is produced by sinners yet good music still glorifies God. Bad music is harder to define and in many cases is influenced by our personal musical preferences and whilst we can apply general biblical principles (those which we also apply to the books we read, the tv we watch, the movies we see etc) the Bible doesn’t give us a list of artists we are restricted to in some divinely inspired playlist at the back of your Bible. I think you need to consider that your position is influenced by your taste in music which is obviously different to mine. Just because I don’t like Westlife doesn’t mean I will declare it sinful to listen to it.

    You quoted Ephesians 5:19 in your first comment of September 15th. Ephesians 5:19 says “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord”. Let us consider what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote these words. In Paul’s Psalter some of the Psalms bore the title “A Psalm, A Psalm” while others bore the title “A Psalm, A Hymn”. The phrase “spiritual songs” is an umbrella phrase referring to both of these types of Psalms as songs expired by the spirit of God. Therefore are you restricting the music we listen to as only the Psalms? That would be confusing as you have already stated that you are not an exclusive psalmist so you must be singing songs which Paul does not include here in worship. This text is referring to worship and it appears to me to be a proof for exclusive psalmody.

    You say “We are instructed to sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The scriptures mostly indicate that music is primarily for the praise of God – not for just general listening pleasure or to pass time.”

    I have already indicated that I believe all forms of good music to be glorifying to God and therefore agree with you that “to pass time” is not the principle reason it exists. The principle reason books exist and that God has given us the ability to read is that we may read his word and learn more about him. Does that mean we are to read only the Bible or only Christian books? That is surely the principle you are advocating applied fully?

  11. whereisthechurch September 18, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    “I think you need to consider that your position is influenced by your taste in music which is obviously different to mine. Just because I don’t like Westlife doesn’t mean I will declare it sinful to listen to it.”

    Far from the truth. When the Lord saved me, I was still listening to worldly music. In fact, my ‘taste in music’ back then, was not dissimilar to your tastes now – I quite enjoyed listening to U2 and other artists. Thankfully, the Lord has since corrected me on a number of things – listening to worldly music was one of them.

    I do not wish to enter into a debate about Exclusive Psalmody – I respect your views and I am thankful that there are congregations such as the RPC which (for the most part) have not strayed from congregational singing without the use of lifeless instruments.

    However, I do still STRONGLY disagree with your interpretation of that verse.

    “Therefore are you restricting the music we listen to as only the Psalms?”

    No, Therefore, you are restricting the music you listen as the Psalms. I used Ephesians 5:19 to show that the Lord has instructed what type and how we use music – not to debate the exclusive psalmody position.

    “I have already indicated that I believe all forms of good music to be glorifying to God and therefore agree with you that “to pass time” is not the principle reason it exists.”

    The problem with this is that you are judging what you believe to be good. However, if we apply biblical principles to music, you soon find that worldly music has no place in the life of a Christian.

    Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    1 John 2:15, 16 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

    These two verse should be proof enough that worldly music is NOT God-glorifying. But if you look at the next verse in 1 John 2:16, you’ll find…

    1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

    Now, I’m not an expert, but in my experience, I’d reckon that…say… 90% of lyrics by artists such as U2, Snow Patrol are related to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

    When these ungodly artists sit down to create ‘music’, they have no intentions of giving ANY glory to God. In fact, the reasons they create ‘music’ is for their own glory and pride and their own love of money. And further to that – the music that they are creating and you are financing is helping to damn millions around the world. How can that give any glory to God?

    As for books… they’re not quite the same as music, are they? It is impossible to completely compare them like-for-like with music. Some books are sources of information – and a vital form of communication between people. However, to an extent, the same biblical principles apply – I mean, it should be obvious that Harry Potter books aren’t exactly books which a Christian should be reading!

  12. James September 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    I’m not interested in a Harry Potter debate although I think they are well-written and God-glorifying through the skill of JK Rowling.

    You state your disagreement with my exegesis of Ephesians 5:19 but fail to provide an arguement which shows that Paul meant anything other than Psalms in this verse. I am not trying to convince you of exclusive Psalmody I am merely showing you that you cannot use this as a proof text to argue that we are to shun what you regard as non-christian music.

    I think your figure of 90% of U2, Snow Patrol lyrics being about lust is greatly mistaken. I know that is not the case on albums I own of their work. I agree with you that we should not listen to lustful songs or music that seeks to rebel against God.

    Just because someone doesn’t have any intention of glorifying God with something they are creating doesn’t mean God isn’t glorified by it. God is glorified by human excellence in all fields (science, music, literature) as it shows that we are made in God’s image and reflects a little of his creativity. It is wrong when humans try to claim the glory for themselves but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t glorify God.

    My comparison with books obviously doesn’t work for all books but i think it works with pieces of fiction. I presume from your arguement that you don’t read anything by a non-christian writer?

    Thinking of other parallels. Does not Shakespeare’s poem “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day” bring glory to God on the basis that it is a well-written poem displaying the great God-given gift of linguistic skill despite having a non-christian author who had no desire to glorify God?

  13. whereisthechurch September 19, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Brother, think what you will about Harry Potter… but if you want to believe that a book that glorifies witchcraft is God-glorifying in any shape or fashion then you REALLY need to examine yourself.

    Yes I disagree with your interpretation of Ephesians 5:19 – but I did not provide and argument because I did not need one. If you believe that Paul is talking about Psalms only… then that’s fine – but how does it take away from the fact that the verse is instructing the Christian about music?

    I do not think the figure is mistaken. If you say that these artists are not talking about lust, pride, materialism or other ungodly things…. then what are these lyrics talking about? They sure aren’t praising God anyway!

    Can God really be glorified by man’s vain inventions that are worth nothing to him? If you read Ecclesiastes you soon discover that man’s self-centred accomplishments are outrightly condemned as being vanity.

    ” I presume from your arguement that you don’t read anything by a non-christian writer?”

    Again, the subject of books is a complex one – are you talking about fictional novels or books of general information?

    If we start saying that people who show their talents, skills or abilities give glory to God – then on the same basis, one could argue that a whore is using their God-given gift of beauty – or an evolutionary scientist is using their God given gift of intellect?

    All man’s labour or display of skill is vanity. Utterly meaningless to a Holy God unless it is designed for the distinct praise and glorification of his name or cause. All Shakespeare’s writings will be consumed by burning fire and Shakespeare (if he was not saved) and his talents will be forgotten by God and his saints in eternity.

    Why would a Holy God be interested in man’s vain, worldly, self-centred achievments? How can fallen, unrepentant, rebellious, sinful, wicked, decaying men glorify God in their abilities?

  14. James September 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    As I feel we are going round and round in circles in this discussion I wish to bring this debate to an end. I think that we agree on the wider principles involved but differ over what exactly is acceptable for a Christian to be listening to. It would appear to me that it is a little extreme to make sweeping generalisations regarding genres of music or certain artists and condemning a fellow believers taste in music is rash. This is an issue that each christian must consider for themselves as they examine the contents of the songs which they listen to. Just as we must all be constantly putting to death the sin in our own lives. Thank you for your participation in the blog and I hope you continue to read it.

  15. whereisthechurch September 19, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    That’s no problem James – it’s your blog and your rules.

    Thank you.

  16. whereisthechurch September 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    On a side note James, could you plesae correct one of my posts? In post #13 I said “Yes I disagree with Ephesians 5:19 ” – Obviously, I meant to say ‘I disagree with your interpretation of Ephesians 5:19’

    Thank-you.

  17. James September 19, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    No problem, typo fixed. I presumed that was what you meant rather than you were scribbling it out in your Bible!lol.

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