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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Are Rock and Country/Western music wrong?


BrotherTony
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
4 hours ago, Bouncing Bill said:

Do you sing hymns that contain bad theology? Hymns such as:

  1. I'll Fly Away
  2. Bring Them In
  3.  He Lives
  4. Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling
  5. Away in the Manager

All these hymn I've listed I have loved. But I have grown and realize there is one or more theological problems with each hymn.

The one hymn I really do not like is: 

There is a Fountain

Years ago I had a friend who almost did not continue to attend church and become a Christian because of this hymn. The opening line, "There is a fountain filled with blood" almost made her throw up and there is no theological truth in that line. Indeed, it is an untrue statement. 

I do not sing hymns that contain bad theology. That being said, many people disagree about what theology is and isn't sound. I look forward to seeing a separate thread about this, because I'm curious to know what about some of these you say is bad theology. It's really baffling. 

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34 minutes ago, Musician4God1611 said:

I do not sing hymns that contain bad theology. That being said, many people disagree about what theology is and isn't sound. I look forward to seeing a separate thread about this, because I'm curious to know what about some of these you say is bad theology. It's really baffling. 

They all contain myths, untruths, and misleading theology. I will start a new thread.

 

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4 hours ago, Bouncing Bill said:

Music can be very  sensual. Music can change moods. Compare a funeral dirge with a a John Phillips Souza march. One is depressing the other makes puts us in a happy mood. 

What references in the Bible do you use to determine if the music is scriptural or not?

Music in the worship of God is not to be sensual...it's not supposed to arouse the flesh, but the spirit. Some of the verse used are

Ephesians 5:19  “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Matthew 26:30 “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

There are also verses that say that whatever we do should be done to the glory of God. I personally don't believe that one can use sensual, devil styles music to worship the Lord. It comes again to having just that little bit of leaven leavening the whole lump. There are numerous other points that could be made, but at the present I don't have time to present them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

Music in the worship of God is not to be sensual...it's not supposed to arouse the flesh, but the spirit. Some of the verse used are

Ephesians 5:19  “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Matthew 26:30 “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

There are also verses that say that whatever we do should be done to the glory of God. I personally don't believe that one can use sensual, devil styles music to worship the Lord. It comes again to having just that little bit of leaven leavening the whole lump. There are numerous other points that could be made, but at the present I don't have time to present them.

 

 

Sensual is not restricted to flesh. To me some sacred music is very sensual, uplifting my spirit toward God. I consider that very sensual and it is sensual in a good, positive way.

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1 hour ago, Bouncing Bill said:

Sensual is not restricted to flesh. To me some sacred music is very sensual, uplifting my spirit toward God. I consider that very sensual and it is sensual in a good, positive way.

Actually, sensual is restricted to the flesh. The definition of sensual is, "pertaining to the senses, as distinct from the mind or soul" (Webster's 1828). If it is distinct from the mind or soul, it's of the flesh. I would identify that your trouble in perceiving this subject is summed up in the phrase you keep repeating, "to me". When it comes to truth, opinions do not matter. "To me" doesn't come into play.

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9 hours ago, Bouncing Bill said:

Sensual is not restricted to flesh. To me some sacred music is very sensual, uplifting my spirit toward God. I consider that very sensual and it is sensual in a good, positive way.

It's a very different kind of sensual, and I'm pretty sure you're not obtuse enough to believe what you just stated. If you are, I feel sorry for you. Seems to me that all you want to do is argue. Proof? You've followed every thread I post on disagreeing with everything I have stated. I believe my interaction with you needs to be terminated for both our sakes. Have a nice day.

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2 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

It's a very different kind of sensual, and I'm pretty sure you're not obtuse enough to believe what you just stated. If you are, I feel sorry for you. Seems to me that all you want to do is argue. Proof? You've followed every thread I post on disagreeing with everything I have stated. I believe my interaction with you needs to be terminated for both our sakes. Have a nice day.

Sorry to see you will stop discussing with me. There is no reasons friends cannot disagree. I had a good friend where I worked years ago. We disagreed on almost everything, but had great times talking. I respected his intelligence as he made me think. He told me one time, "I feel around the edge of the cup of your beliefs trying to find a crack. But when I approach the core you clamp down and do not a bend."

It is no fun talking with only those who agree with me. Nothing can be learned when we talk to only those who agree with us. I enjoy rolling ideas, especially new ideas around in my head and at time have to modify my previously held opinion. 

In honesty, and I say this very gently and with respect, I believe you view is too narrow and refuse to entertain new ideas that may lead you to a deeper understanding. Now, I am old and have been around the barn numerous times. God has blessed me with extensive travel and interacting with numerous peoples and cultures has taught me that a broader view must be taken on many subjects to reach people. This does not mean compromise my religious beliefs. But it does mean being gentle with people. 

Blessings to your and yours. I wish you well in all you do. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bouncing Bill said:

Sorry to see you will stop discussing with me. There is no reasons friends cannot disagree. I had a good friend where I worked years ago. We disagreed on almost everything, but had great times talking. I respected his intelligence as he made me think. He told me one time, "I feel around the edge of the cup of your beliefs trying to find a crack. But when I approach the core you clamp down and do not a bend."

It is no fun talking with only those who agree with me. Nothing can be learned when we talk to only those who agree with us. I enjoy rolling ideas, especially new ideas around in my head and at time have to modify my previously held opinion. 

In honesty, and I say this very gently and with respect, I believe you view is too narrow and refuse to entertain new ideas that may lead you to a deeper understanding. Now, I am old and have been around the barn numerous times. God has blessed me with extensive travel and interacting with numerous peoples and cultures has taught me that a broader view must be taken on many subjects to reach people. This does not mean compromise my religious beliefs. But it does mean being gentle with people. 

Blessings to your and yours. I wish you well in all you do. 

BB, it's not the "disagreeing" that I have a problem with. It is that you disagree with everything I say, and seem to follow me around to do it. That's not a healthy thing. Seems like you intentionally do so, and that's called stalking. I don't like that kind of thing, and I won't put up with it. If you can come to your senses and stop being so obstinate, I can communicate with you. I'm not asking for total agreement. Opinions are like heads....everybody has one. I can handle that. But, as I stated, you're intentionally being disagreeable with everything I post. That's indicative of someone who's TRYING to be disagreeable. Get real and grow up.

 Otherwise, this is the end of my communication with you. The Bible tells us about communicating with people who act like this, and I'm going to side with the Bible over anyone's opinion. Period.

Edited by BrotherTony
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On 7/4/2021 at 1:34 AM, Hugh_Flower said:

Eh. I think this is an issue people become Pharisees about. I do not believe it’s good to listen to music purely devoted to romance, or drugs which is most music for time millennium  but also I do not think listening to slice of life music is bad. I do listen to mostly Christian music, but a good slice of life song is better than a bad Christian rock song or whatever is on the ‘Christian radio’ 

Do you believe the "slice of life" type music should be a part of the worship service? If so, how in the world does it fit in with the worship of our Lord and Savior. Believe me, I know that many can become pharisaical about this issue, not allowing anything with drums, guitar or other instruments into the church. I don't agree with that stance in any way, shape or form. I do disagree with it being taken to an extreme where it is so rocky or hyped up to appeal to the flesh over the spirit. Please, explain what YOU mean by "slice of life.: How do YOU define it. Seems very subjective to me.

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19 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

Do you believe the "slice of life" type music should be a part of the worship service? If so, how in the world does it fit in with the worship of our Lord and Savior. Believe me, I know that many can become pharisaical about this issue, not allowing anything with drums, guitar or other instruments into the church. I don't agree with that stance in any way, shape or form. I do disagree with it being taken to an extreme where it is so rocky or hyped up to appeal to the flesh over the spirit. Please, explain what YOU mean by "slice of life.: How do YOU define it. Seems very subjective to me.

I have no idea what is meant by "slice of life." Please enlighten me.

No, I am not following you around. I simply replied when I saw something interesting and we engaged in discussion. 

I can learn nothing if I do not ask questions. 

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13 minutes ago, Bouncing Bill said:

I have no idea what is meant by "slice of life." Please enlighten me.

No, I am not following you around. I simply replied when I saw something interesting and we engaged in discussion. 

I can learn nothing if I do not ask questions. 

Please re-read Brother Tony's post. He was asking Hugh_Flowers what "Slice of Life" meant. Hugh_Flowers will be the one you'll want to ask 

I can't speak for Brother Tony, but this may be why he feels the way he does about his interactions. 

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19 minutes ago, PastorMatt said:

Please re-read Brother Tony's post. He was asking Hugh_Flowers what "Slice of Life" meant. Hugh_Flowers will be the one you'll want to ask 

I can't speak for Brother Tony, but this may be why he feels the way he does about his interactions. 

I am curious to learn what is mean by that phrase. That is why I answered. Can you enlighten me?

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16 minutes ago, Bouncing Bill said:

I am curious to learn what is mean by that phrase. That is why I answered. Can you enlighten me?

Why did you quote me and then ask me after I mentioned to you that hugh_floweres is the one that used that term? How can I or Brother Tony answer your question when we are not the ones that used the term initially? 

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14 minutes ago, PastorMatt said:

Why did you quote me and then ask me after I mentioned to you that hugh_floweres is the one that used that term? How can I or Brother Tony answer your question when we are not the ones that used the term initially? 

I thought you might know the meaning of the phrase. 

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4 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

Do you believe the "slice of life" type music should be a part of the worship service? If so, how in the world does it fit in with the worship of our Lord and Savior. Believe me, I know that many can become pharisaical about this issue, not allowing anything with drums, guitar or other instruments into the church. I don't agree with that stance in any way, shape or form. I do disagree with it being taken to an extreme where it is so rocky or hyped up to appeal to the flesh over the spirit. Please, explain what YOU mean by "slice of life.: How do YOU define it. Seems very subjective to me.

Hey! Yeah, Of course it is, if we want to be literal it’s just a term I nominate over a certain type of music that I feel meets it threshold. I’ll give examples. 
A good song about a slice of life would be “Fish and Whistle” by John Prine. A bad slice of life song would be “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama. ( it’s good just very much a carnal song ) 

Now, these songs are not ever to be used for worship or church service, but I’d say on a long drive, I’ll put some songs like Fish and Whistle in my playlist that is full of Christian songs. I’d have no problem if a kid was listening to Fish and whistle, while humming along.

Now there is just two examples but they are perfect for an illustration of what I mean. I hope you know the two songs or listen to them to see what I mean. 
 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Hugh_Flower said:

Hey! Yeah, Of course it is, if we want to be literal it’s just a term I nominate over a certain type of music that I feel meets it threshold. I’ll give examples. 
A good song about a slice of life would be “Fish and Whistle” by John Prine. A bad slice of life song would be “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama. ( it’s good just very much a carnal song ) 

Now, these songs are not ever to be used for worship or church service, but I’d say on a long drive, I’ll put some songs like Fish and Whistle in my playlist that is full of Christian songs. I’d have no problem if a kid was listening to Fish and whistle, while humming along.

Now there is just two examples but they are perfect for an illustration of what I mean. I hope you know the two songs or listen to them to see what I mean. 
 

 

 

 

I can see some "slice of life" music being used for personal enjoyment. I know when I was attending Maranatha Baptist Bible College in 1982, Dr. Cedarholm allowed "North To Alaska" and one or two other secular songs. A lot of the music was starting to get raunchy during my teen and early twenties, and I could see his point in limiting what was acceptable. I was raised liking music from Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed, Elvis Presley, and many other Country and Western, and Rock singers. I have a few of those in my family's past and present. 😉  My little brother is an entertainer in the Cincinnatti area and has won "Entertainer of the Year" there three years in a row. He was with the Eden Park Band, and is a solo singer, songwriter as well. But, I still believe as Christians, being a part of a "royal priesthood" and "set apart from the world," that we should be ever cognizant of the Bible's lessons of "a little leaven leaventh the whole lump," and the command for us to be "unspotted by the world." It sometimes is a hard line to call.

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29 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

I can see some "slice of life" music being used for personal enjoyment. I know when I was attending Maranatha Baptist Bible College in 1982, Dr. Cedarholm allowed "North To Alaska" and one or two other secular songs. A lot of the music was starting to get raunchy during my teen and early twenties, and I could see his point in limiting what was acceptable. I was raised liking music from Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed, Elvis Presley, and many other Country and Western, and Rock singers. I have a few of those in my family's past and present. 😉  My little brother is an entertainer in the Cincinnatti area and has won "Entertainer of the Year" there three years in a row. He was with the Eden Park Band, and is a solo singer, songwriter as well. But, I still believe as Christians, being a part of a "royal priesthood" and "set apart from the world," that we should be ever cognizant of the Bible's lessons of "a little leaven leaventh the whole lump," and the command for us to be "unspotted by the world." It sometimes is a hard line to call.

I definitely agree! Discernment is ongoing and important.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Posted (edited)
On 7/5/2021 at 2:34 PM, Bouncing Bill said:

What references in the Bible do you use to determine if the music is scriptural or not?

Bill, it's been many years since I've studied this topic and my memory is not what it once was to give you lots of quotes.  But if you are interested, these are some of the resources I used and these are all available for free in .pdf format.

https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/what-every-christian-should-know-rock-music.php

https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/satanic_attack_on_sacred_music.php

https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/rock-rolls-war-against-god.php

https://www.wayoflife.org/pdf/Church-Music-Standards-and-Training-Course.pdf

Edited by swathdiver
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Posted (edited)

This is a book by my old college mate, Kent Brandenburg on the subject of music. I know I've used it in teaching about music. I don't know if anyone besides me has a copy, or if anyone here has even read this book...If not, they should, IMHO. I believe the subject of music in the church, and what type of music, is too important to just close our eyes to the infilatration of worldly styles of music into the worship services. This book is well worth the money.

The name of the book is Sound Music or Sounding Brass.

Edited by BrotherTony
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