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Praise and Worship and Today's Church

Holy Wars

Hollywood or Holiness?

Take it to the Streets

Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement,  Church growth consultants, worship leader, Long Beach State choir, Bach, to God be the glory, Frank Pooler, The Carpenters, Karen Carpenter, Good Night, The Beatles, Saul, Paul, Damascus, whole tone scale

Take it to the Streets

IBach -  to God be the glorys it true that those Christians who sing out in the so-called secular world are less spiritual than those who practice their craft in church? Not at all! In fact, idol worship is just as prominent among church musicians as it is in the world. Few have escaped the call of idolatry that Hollywood has inspired.

The admonition to all musicians who are Christians, therefore, is: “Who is being worshipped here?” Every musician is a worship leader and it is therefore the musician’s responsibility to use the gifts that he has been given for the purpose of worshipping the Creator. People tend to worship the musician. This has consistently occurred throughout the ages. No musician has received more adulation throughout the centuries than Bach. Yet to remember that to Bach it was “to God be the glory” is the key to understanding what the musician’s responsibility is. Fame can actually be a good thing if the resultant notoriety results in the glorification of Christ.

When thinking of Christian musicians being effectively used in the world I am reminded of my college years at Long Beach State. It was from the late ‘60s to the early ‘70s that I attended that institution. It was a time of political unrest accompanied by the rampant rise of liberalism in the colleges. In virtually every class, I heard about the virtues of free sex, drugs and liberation from the country’s puritanical Christian past. It was a period of great confusion for me that culminated in a philosophy class whose professor convinced me that Christianity was intellectual nonsense.

Fortunately I was a music major. The music department provided me with professors who did not hesitate to talk about Christianity. In the vast myriad of music history, theory and ear training classes we studied the progress of Western music which was founded in many ways upon the Christian belief. In our progression through this music, my professors would continually convey to their classes the rich Christian history that related to the study.

Frank Pooler with Karen and Richard CarpenterBut there was no venue that influenced me to the degree that the Cal State choir did. When in high school I was a pretty big fish in the pond and thought I was a darn good singer. That was before I stood in front of Frank Pooler during my Long Beach State choir audition as he sat at the piano subjecting me to various trying vocal exercises that I’d never heard before. The most memorable one of these was when he played some drawn out, bizarre and seemingly arbitrary whole-tone melody that I was supposed to repeat vocally. 1 I did what I was told, but to this day I have no idea if I replicated the sound bite or not. And I was certain I had failed the audition. Suddenly the big fish was taken down to minnow size.

But to my surprise I was invited to the first choral rehearsal. As it was, it was not a rehearsal at all, but even another audition. It was merely another opportunity to go through the whole painful whole-tone ordeal once again, but this time in front of the entire group.

Somehow I managed to make my way through the process and found myself with an assigned seat right in the middle of the baritone section. I still can remember the first time Pooler fired up the choir. It was just an exercise that we sang, but what I heard was the most stupendous thing I had ever had the privilege of being a part of. Suddenly and without notice I found myself surrounded by the most beautiful voices imaginable singing what seemed to be flawless harmonies blended perfectly together. I then understood that there was meaning behind the whole trial that Pooler put us all through as I sang among singers with voices that new how to sing and ears that knew how to hear. And so with each rehearsal and performance over the next four years I would step into that room in awe, well knowing that I was in a very unique and special place. It was there that I and many others learned the value of musical excellence. And, as many of Pooler's disciples have done, I have carried this quest after excellence with me as I assumed church musical leadership roles to the blessing of many parishioners.

paul damascusOne instance of particular value to me occurred as we were learning a choral piece entitled “Saul.” Pooler took the opportunity to explain the text, which described the conversion of Paul. Paul was dead set on going to Damascus to persecute Christians when Jesus appeared before him in the heavens, knocked him off his horse and blinded him. (Acts 9:1-5) It was this incident that the choral piece depicted in a very powerful way. The words of Christ were portrayed in the choral piece as, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” This text was repeated several times during the piece and concluded with it. It was these words that lead to Saul’s conversion. (Acts 9:6-16)

In the same manner, from that point on the words “why do you persecute me?” continued to ring in my head and remain with me this day. This declaration from the Bible, as introduced to me by a faithful Christian choir conductor, was of the utmost value with regard to my own conversion. For one day I found myself madly driving to the home of some Christians I had been arguing with regarding the existence of God. I was mad as could be and was heading back in order to deliver more of the arguments that I had formulated. My intent was to humiliate them. God had other plans.

You cannot see the mountains very often in Long Beach, but on that day it had just rained and the whole landscape was crystal clear. So there I was, gazing at the magnificent clouds that billowed over the snow-capped mountains framed in dark blue skies. Suddenly I could see God in His creation. It was as if I could hear Him say, “Don why do you persecute me?” God was speaking to my heart that He was real, He was true and that I needed to give my life over to him. I had been “witnessed” to several times previously and had many Christian friends. So I already understood the Gospel and turned my heart to God during that very drive. I sought to persecute. God sought to save. And thanks in part to the testimony of those musicians who instructed me at the university, I now know God.

karen carpenterPooler’s influence went further than just one individual. One of the baritones in the choir who sat nearby had an incredible amount of talent and Pooler would regularly use him at the piano to accompany contemporary music choral arrangements. Every time he played, the young choir member completely captivated me with his musicianship as he moved up and down the keyboard with skill and ease. Then one day Pooler brought up the young man’s sister to sing the Beatles’ song Goodnight while declaring, “Wait till you hear her sing!” The shy alto seemed to saunter up to the front of the choir rather timidly, but when she opened up her mouth I found myself completely captivated. I had never heard someone sing with such honesty, clarity and purity. The song reached right into my heart.

These siblings were Karen and Richard Carpenter and within a year from that day they were well on the way to success. The pop dual came from a solid Christian home and you could tell it by their music selections whose lyrics consistently reflected wholesome values inundated with virtue. Their hit song We’ve Only Just Begun rose up as a mainstay of weddings all over America and thus played an important part in the consummation of marriage – the most holy institution created by God. There is no ministry in church that could be more important than that. And it is incredible what can occur when Christians take their value system out into the world. This is what living worship is all about.

I therefore thank God that these fine professors chose to give of themselves in a way to proclaim the Gospel through music in the midst of an antagonistic environment. Quite frankly, this is Christian service at its finest and where Christian ministry really occurs. Hence Jesus proclaimed, “’Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’” (Mk 16:15b MKJV)

1. The whole tone scale is a progression of notes that go up the scale in full steps only (no half steps). The Impressionistic music of Debussy demonstrates the beauty that can be found in the use of this scale.

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free praise words, worship music, free hymn downloads, Christian mp3, Christian rock, contemporary praise music and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

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Wigtune Company believes that the current contention among Christian generations over church music is unnesessary.  One does not have to chose between the classic traditional hymn and the contemporary praise chorus and song.  Solomon declared that there is a place for everything under the sun. The worship musical material and the worship Bible study book offered at the Wigtune website support this theme. Vision Statement    Don and Vanessa Wigton share the vision of Wigtune Company.  Going to this page will inform the WEB surfer the circumstances that lead to the Wigtune offering of praise song and hymn along with the worship Bible study book that lends theology and history based support to the use of traditional Christian hymn singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.   Wigtune Story    The Wigtune Company free on-line worship Bible study book is a manual for the use of the pastor, teacher, music minister, Bible study group, sunday school and any situation where a theological and historical lesson regarding worship is desired.  The Bible study is presented in outline form with questions that require thoughtful answers to the biblical and history based information that is presented.   Free On-Line Worship Studybook   

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.  Free Praise and Worship Music Mp3s and Charts   Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Radio: Listen to Wigtune Worship Music on Live Internet Radio

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.    Wigtune Praise Worship and Hymn CD's

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Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.   Special Report: Christianity in Russia - Has Anything Changed?

Click here to view Christian WEB Ring links.  WEB Rings  Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.  

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