Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Between Castle and Cathedral

December 27th, 2011

 One day in December, while walking between the Castle and the Cathedral of Milan, we heard some very elegant electric guitar music echoing between the stone walls.  There he was sitting on the ground playing Imagine by Lennon.   Short's remembered in MilanHe played slowly with delicate finesse.   Then, while admiring his instrumental work (because the lyrics are wanting), I looked down to see he had no legs (uhm).   His gift was undoubtedly despite his severe limitations.   Again, recently, in the cavernous chambers of the Metropolitana, I heard Mozart being played by a gifted violinist.  We understand such beauty when it comes to music because of the immediate feedback.  But, sometimes in the cause of Christ there are no immediate overtures or encores.   But, we believe that one day things will resolve when the books are opened.

The great Luciano Pavorotti said, “I think a life in music is a life well spent, and this is what I have devoted my life to.”  Brooks remembered in Milan We understand that not long after the Italian tenor said those words he passed on into the great hereafter.    Someday, perhaps not long from now, we may like Pavarotti reflect back on our life and muse about what our gift has been.   And, like the music of Pavarotti, though he is gone, his music plays on.

We recently came across an anonymous line which we dedicate here and now to those of you who have left your gift between the Castle and the Cathedral of Elizabeth and Doug remembered in MilanMilan (Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:11).   “Some people come into our lives and quickly go.   Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.   And we are never, ever the same”  

“Why Don’t You Use Music?”

May 4th, 2008

“…singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart…”

(Ephesians 5:19)

Notes from a presentation by Robert M. Housby, April 20, 2008 during the P.M. assembly, Cape Girardeau, Missouri church of Christ. This message was delivered from within the context of the Letter to the Hebrews

Introduction: Frequently, someone from one of the denominations asks, “Why don’t you use music?” What they mean is, why doesn’t your church use a piano, organ, or some other form of mechanical music in worship? The following is a scriptural response for those who seriously desire to know.

I. Christ qualifies us to worship; it is a privilege (Hebrews 9:11-14)

A. only in covenant relationship (Hebrews 9:15)
B. and, only according to the covenant (define: covenant and authorization)

1. Hebrews 12:28 – acceptable worship
2. Hebrews 13:21 – that is, according to “his will”
a. pleasing him (Heb. 11:6)
b. not necessarily pleasing us (though certainly possibly; Heb. 10:7)
3. Hebrews 13:15 – singing is endorsed worship (see also 2:12!)

II. If God orders worship (and he does, Heb. 9:1) then, not everything that is offered to God as worship is acceptable worship (Hebrews 12:28= principle; 11:4 = example). Either all worship is acceptable; No worship is acceptable; or, Some worship is acceptable. The latter is most certainly preferred.

III. The Hebrew writer is concerned about reverting back to the Old Testament as religious authority, and earthly forms of worship (Heb. 8:8,9,10; 10:28-39; 10:9!)

Conclusion:   Since mechanical music as worship is first traceable, at large, to the period of Pope Vitelian (about 650 A.D.; see Schaff’s Church History, Vol. 4, p. 439), and singing is authorized Christian worship, let us proceed in faith by pleasing God according to his will (see Hebrews 13:20-21; 15-16; 2:12).

Categories: Bible, Hebrews, music, New Testament Tags:

Church Music: Joyful Noise Or Joyful News?

April 1st, 2007

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD”

(Psalm 100:1; compare Psalm 150)

“…but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart…”

(Ephesians 5:18-19)

The Old Testament placed emphasis on instrumental music in certain instances. The classic example of this is 1 Samuel 16:14-23, where King Saul would call for David’s lyre to soothe him from a recurrent evil spirit (depression?). The nature of the Old Testament, itself, was but a shadow of the better covenant to come under Christ (as predicted by Jeremiah, 31:31-34; Hebrews 9:1; 10:1; especially see 9:11).

But, New Testament worship would be different, as prophesied, and as implemented, under the doctrine of the apostles (Acts 2:42). In this regard, we may see a shift away from mere carnal sacrifices and offering to more spiritually based worship. For example, instead of incense—prayers; instead of animals—Jesus; instead of mechanical instruments—the heart (see Ephesians 5:19).

The kind of music that God desires today, that is, what he has ordered for church worship, is specified by Paul—“I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Cor. 12:15).

– Robert M. Housby