Hollywood or Holiness?
Who Gets the Glory?
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, Apostle Paul, Nebuchadnezzar, Bob Larson, The Day Music Died, Brahms, Debussy, Monet, Picasso, Dahli
The proclamation of the ancient pantheist, Nebuchadnezzar, after God rescued the three Jewish resisters from the furnace clearly demonstrates that God can inspire the unbeliever as well as the believer. Especially in our society that was founded upon and therefore is so inundated with the Christian worldview, we see a lot in the arts that reflect the Christian worldview regardless of the source. If God can speak through a pagan king He can speak through anyone. And a Christian musician can be as self-motivated and can bow before the music itself just as capably as the unbeliever. Christian songwriters can and have written music that carries in it the worldview of the pantheistic world as well.
In the end the real question becomes, Who gets the glory? Let us join in with Paul who proclaimed, For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen. (Rom NIV)
Praise to God and glorification of His Name is a responsibility that each of us has. No one can do it for us. Therefore, whether Christian or non-Christian, each musician has been gifted by God and is responsible for himself and to God regarding what he does with his music. If he plays for himself while worshipping and exalting himself to worship the creation rather than the Creator, then he is corrupt. If he chooses to give God the glory then he is blessed.
Though each musician will be held accountable for what he does with his gift and how the results of his musical efforts have affected others, the listeners of music are responsible for themselves and to God as well. They can choose to listen or not to listen. They can choose to worship the creation or the Creator who has given all artists their musical talent and thus has created music to be enjoyed. It is just as easy to worship wrongly while listening to Christian music as it is with secular. Likewise the Christian is welcome to receive and worship God for that which has been created regardless of whether the origin is Christian or non-Christian.
All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You; they shall sing praises to Your name. Selah. (Ps 66:4 MKJV) Stop and think about that. All the earth worships God. All creation comes from God with the specific purpose of leading people to worship Him. What does that say with regard to how Christians should view the things God has given us in the world He created and affirmed was good? (Gen 1) God has given us good gifts and we are to praise Him for it with an attitude of gratitude. That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. (Ps 26:7 MKJV) Those who do otherwise are just plain ungrateful.
While attacking the so-called demonic African beat during the 70s and 80s, writers such as Bob Larson basically castigated all secular rock music as being from the Devil while encouraging Christians to destroy their record albums. Therefore in his book The Day Music Died, Larson penned, It is probably incidental (though some might cite scriptural references otherwise) that the black man has fostered the music which at one time incited heathens to frenzy and cannibalism. Broad statements such as these were intended to equate an entire musical style with Satanism. Yet this misconnection demonstrates ignorance of the nature of music itself.
In his book Rock, while pretty much banning any form of popular rock from the Christian home because of one objectionable theme or another, Larson wrote that it might be wise to check your childs record library now in order to still fear in parents. Then there was the whole back-masking hysteria where Christians thought for sure that they heard calls to worship the Devil when records were played backwards. Many actually came to the conclusion that these hidden messages would defile their kids. The results of this hysteria resulted in some amazing behavior in the church.
For example, one pastor made it a regular
habit to gather his congregation together for the purpose of burning recordings produced
by contemporary non-Christian and some objectionable Christian musicians. His
contention was that anything except for worship and praise music is of the Devil and
should immediately be discarded. The question becomes at that point, "What can you
listen to? Do you need to discard all of the symphonies of the Romantics such as Brahms
simply because they used their music to worship nature? Do you throw out the music of
Debussy because his music was based upon the philosophies of the French humanists? Do you
discard the entire litany of 20th century music because it emanates from non-absolutism?
And what do you do with the art of Monet, Picasso or Dahli in that case? And to make it
closer to home, what do you do with the entirety of rock music whose base is in the
heathen cultures of
Now there is a bunch of stuff out there that is outright violent, hateful, blasphemous, arrogant, rebellious, profane and directed specifically towards Satan worship. I dont see how God can be worshipped by those who listen to that crud. However, that aside, those who choose to worship God as they are enveloped in music because they recognize the giver of musical talent and Creator of everything are worshippers indeed. Music is a wonderful gift to those who give glory to God for everything.
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