Music has charms to sooth a savage beast. Good music has the quality to calm, settle the savage beast, which is a hidden potential in all of us. The idea is not to let the beast out, to tame it.
Christian rock has been the subject of discussion over the years on Facebook posts. It’s also been written about on Faithwriters.com. Back in 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr answered a correspondent on Ebony magazine who asked if his playing rock and roll was consistent with gospel music and this 17-year old’s faith. Dr. King responded that the two were incompatible. He continued “The profound sacred and spiritual meaning of the great music of the church must never be mixed with the transitory quality of rock and roll music.” Dr. King said that gospel music lifts people up to God, whereas rock and roll degrades humanity.
Today, based on the music I hear from sources such as K-Love, the Christian music station, much of Christian rock is tame, uplifting. Some Christian rock I’ve heard live was much too loud, wild. I left a church in the early 80s for that reason. You don’t go to church to party, but to worship and honor God.
In any art form, form and content should match. In the case of music, the instrumentals and vocal quality should be an integral part of the message. They should not just be an add-on which stands on it’s on. Form and content should be in harmony. My late Dad used to play classical music while he watched a football game on TV. That was quite incongruent! It didn’t interfere with him watching the game; it was just funny. But having wild, blaring, screaming guitars in worship service is no joke. Some worshipers, I believe, can really get down and still get a Godly message, but I still think it diminishes, distracts from the message. I don’t go to church to be entertained. Recently, someone told me she plans to visit another church, because “I like the music.”
The idea is not to call attention to the music, the performers, or the preacher. Back in 1957, Dr. King urged his fellow preachers not to engage in showy displays. “We can’t spend all of our time trying to learn how to whoop and holler,” he said.
The focus should be on God.
Discipline is the key. Christians are disciples of Christ; they follow Him.
Since the 1st century, the church was challenged to stay on track, to preach and act in sync with God’s Word. As his disciples, Christians need to be challenged to walk in God’s ways. Salvation is immediate but sanctification, which some call “progressive sanctification”, is a lifelong process. Although the charges of sin against those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior are dropped, we still need to be held accountable.
When someone continues to engage in sin, a true church disciplines the offender, starting with gentle admonishment. Then a one-on-one meeting to try to get the offender back on track. Then meet with several witnesses. If all this fails, then the matter is brought before the church. Excommunication is a last resort when someone fails to turn from besetting sin. The Westminster Confession of Faith sees the three steps of church discipline as being “admonition”, “suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season” and then finally excommunication.
Church discipline is important. One member continuing in sin, unrepentant, contaminates the rest of the church. In today’s world where we lack absolutes, the church needs to maintain them – God’s standards. God doesn’t grade on a curve!
An outline of church discipline:
Ultimate authority resides in Christ, who authorizes the Church to use it as needed. (Matthew 18:17)
Corrective discipline is for:
- Troublemakers and those who sow discord. (Romans 16:17)
- The unruly and disorderly. (1st Thessalonians 5:14)
- Those who disobey the great doctrines of the faith. (2nd Thessalonians 3:13-14)
- Those who deny the great doctrines of the faith. (1st Timothy 6:3-4)
Procedures in discipline
- Arrange a private meeting with the offender. (Matthew 18:15)
- If a private meeting fails, meet with them and several witnesses. (Matthew 18:16)
- Admonish and warn them. (Titus 3:10)
- As a final resort, bring the matter up to the whole church. (Matthew 18:17)
- Remove their membership, and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
- Be ready to forgive them when repentance occurs. (2nd Corinthians 2:7)
Purpose of Discipline
- To maintain the standards of the church to a watching world. (Matthew 5:13-16)
- To keep sin from spreading throughout the church. (Joshua 7:3); (1st Corinthians 5:6-7)
- Help the guilty person find their way to God. (2nd Corinthians 2:6-8)
- To escape God’s judgment upon habitually sinning saints. (1st Corinthians 11:30)
Music is one part of worship. The music, the preaching, showing Christ’s love to others and being a good example of a disciple of Jesus all work together. Christians should not conform to worldly ways, but be salt and light in the world.
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires”. -Romans 6:23