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About dtill359

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  1. I always find it interesting when people make this distinction when really, nothing anyone does with a piece of music can change its heart. No man can change another's heart, and to try to reinterpret the musical utterance of that heart is futile; it still is what it is, even if it technically sounds a bit different.
  2. It's interesting how we are not as imaginative as we might think; as you quoted from Solomon, "There is no new thing under the sun." This issue that you mentioned above reminds me of the account of Lot when he first moved his family to the plains of Jordan. While living in that area was not inherently sinful, he made the choice to go there without consulting God, and it eventually lead him to Sodom - and ultimately to the loss and moral and spiritual perversion of his family. Men can and do often overreact to things. I'm not saying our predecessors were wrong for accepting all the music they did, but neither am I saying they were right. There were undoubtedly many reactionaries that shied away from "new music" in the 18 and 1900's because they were suspicious of anything that was new. Being cautious is nothing to scoff at - as I'm sure you realize - but neither is examining and accepting that which is truly of God. I would say the same of the ones you've referred to as the "old guard." I have no doubt that there were a good amount of reactionaries involved there as well and again, I'm not saying that they were wrong to accept all the music they did, but neither am I saying they were right. The same applies to today. There are many reactionaries who are simply "reacting" to CCM because it is "new." They don't have any other reason for opposing it other than that it is "new." That is a faulty base premise for rejecting something - which you obviously understand. My point is that music's "newness" or "oldness" is not a relevant reason for using or not using it - in the church, or in our personal lives. The age of the music does come in to play when understanding the historical influences of the period the writer(s) lived in, but it is not a sound method for final-decision-making. Simply because music has been accepted "for years," or is "traditionally appropriate," doesn't validate its use. Yes, our predecessors may have accepted a song one hundred, two hundred, twenty, or two years ago... and if they used their own judgement to accept it, they may have been wrong. The true test for music is to be God's Word, not man's: I Thessalonians 5:21: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Romans 12:1-2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 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." You're welcome. Well, fortunately for the vast portion of Christians, you don't have to be a "musician" to understand what Godly music is - you don't even have to know anything about music theory. If we really want to know the truth about what God wants, He will guide us to that truth: John 16: 13: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." II Peter 1:2-4: "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." I think the best way I know of to explain what God-honouring music "looks" like is to take you back to the basic definition of music - the one I've set forth: "An expression of the inner man." As you know, no man can please God in and of himself - it's against his nature. Jeremiah 17:9-10: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Genesis 8:21: "And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done." Romans 3:9-11: "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. When a person is "saved" the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in him and that person receives a "new nature" - his inner man is changed. Colossians 3:8-10 (really the rest of the chapter, but I'll not post the whole thing for sake of space): "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: That new nature manifests itself in many ways: Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." James 3:17-18: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." Romans 12:1-2 (and the rest of chapter 12): "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.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." The inner man houses our beliefs - about God, life, ourselves, everything really. When a man's view/belief of God is skewed, the way he expresses his inner man will naturally reflect that problem - rather like having a crooked foundation for a building. So, to answer your question, Godly music is produced by an inner man that knows God and seeks to follow and obey Him the way God instructs him to in His Word. How is that seen by a layman? By looking at the beliefs and life/lives of the one(s) whose inner man/men produced the music. Matthew 7:15-23: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
  3. Oh, no problem. Can't say I'll be able to answer everything, but I don't mind fielding questions. I realized I was a sinner in need of a Saviour and that that Saviour was Jesus, who shed His blood for me on the cross. Quite true - thus why sacred (set apart) music must be "an expression of the inner man transformed by God." Otherwise we simply get the expression of an unregenerate heart. Yeah, "new" is unfortunately automatically viewed as "better" many places - not that "new" is not necessarily "better," but "old" is not necessarily "bad" either.
  4. I've done data entry forms - never for multiple different databases, but I have executed the more common FE-BE split with multiple FE's inputing to a single BE. Maybe I'm just not completely understanding what you said. It can be challenging at times... as I'm sure you know.
  5. Hi everyone. Hi swathdiver, thanks for asking. I was saved at the age of four and God has been teaching me more about Himself ever since. It's been a wonderful - though admittedly sometimes hard trip - but I would never trade it for anything. Well, to start, I have a very simple definition of "music." "An expression of the inner man." "Sacred music" then, is "An expression of the inner man transformed by God to reflect His Own heart." Wow, very nice. I've done a number of just plain databases, though I have had the occassion to create one for a small business - that was an... interesting experience to say the least, but I'm happy to say I learned a lot by doing it.
  6. Sorry if I was unclear before. I wasn't referring to just music there. It was more of a general statement that included everything - even music. Jesus was pointing out that there will be many on judgment day that protest God's judgment on them with the excuse that they did much good in His name. Many "musicians" do a lot of what they would consider to be "good," but if their heart was never right with God to begin with, the end results (when eternity comes) are heart-breaking. Basically the point with this portion of my previous post is that people do many things in God's name that God is not really a part of. This is a common problem in a lot of church music situations where the wrong music has crept in. Music pastors and congregation members have justified using a piece (pieces) of corrupt music because "the words are good" or even from Scripture, but in fact, God is not reflected in that music because it was prduced by a heart that was not in tune with God in the first place. Yes, they knew how to write good words, but they ignored the most important part of music - knowing God.
  7. Hey everyone. Not really too much to say about myself other than that I love sacred music and Microsoft Access. I found this site through a Google search for something totally unrelated. I heard about this place several years ago through a relative, but never actually visited until now.
  8. Apologies in advance if this is too far off topic, but it seemed an observation worth addressing on this thread. I've always found it interesting how so many people who know so much about so many things get so defensive when someone challenges one thing - their music. Truthfully, the most defensive individuals in the situations I've had, seen, read about, or heard of are those who are in some position of spiritual authority - as though the threat against their music is a personal attack on them (which, in a way it actually is when you understand the nature of music). A lot of people think that music is an expression (albeit a very powerful expression) of emotion. While that is definitely true, it is not the core of what music is. Music is the product of the heart. What and who a person is is reflected - sometimes very specifically - in their music. To say that music (musical style/expression) is neutral (which is an underlying theme in a lot of arguments I've seen indefense of CCM - or any corrupted music style) is to deny the influence of the inner man on the production of music, and after twelve years of studying that very thing I just can't give credence to that idea. In fact, if music is truly neutral, it would have been abandoned a long time ago. It would be so useless that humans would never need it. To say that music is neutral is to say that it has no power. Furthermore, I would submit that no one truly believes in the neutrality of music. I've found that the "neutrality" argument is often used as a shield to protect that person's music from further scrutiny. Also, simply quoting scripture or naming God in your music - or in anything else you do - doesn't mean that God is your focus: Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" God can be named and then completely left out - which I'm sure you all realize. The words of a song are important of course, but their power is minimal when compared to the music of the song. Words simply tell us what is said, but the music, by its nature, holds the power to tell us how those words are said and it can even communicate the thoughts and heart of the author(s) very plainly. A man's theology can be seen clearly not only in the words he pens, but in the music his heart produces.: Acts 13:22b, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will." I Samuel 16:18 & 23, "Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him." "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." And though David's skill was important (if he didn't have any skill he wouldn't have been able to play for Saul in the first place), it was not his skill that refreshed the King - it was the music he produced, music that was a product of his heart being in tune with God's. "Musical style" - which I firmly believe is just a way of saying "my heart's tone of voice" - showcases the soul in a way that would stun many of today's worship leaders, performers, and laymen. When a man (or woman) sings, they open their heart and give you a detailed look at what's inside. A lot of people think that another person's heart is inaccessible (meaning that they say they can't see the other person's heart at all). I would respectfully disagree with that conclusion. While it is true that no man can ever read another's heart in the way that God can, every time we interact with someone, we see a piece of their heart (their inner man) - in that person's actions, attitude, speech, spirit, and even small things like word choice and tone of voice. All that to say: Is music a science? Yes. And no. It requires skill to create and execute, but it also requires a spiritual component that can never be taught by another human being. Is music an art? Yes. And no. It requires creativity and a sense of asthetics, but it also requires a sense of spiritual beauty and purity that cannot be instilled in any heart by a human teacher. Music - true music that reflects the heart of God Himself is not simply an exercise in techincal skill or compositional prowess; it is the creature's attempt to mimic his Creator in some small way - to communicate in a manner completely unquantifiable aside from the Holy Spirit.

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