Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Weeping Musician

Have you heard of the weeping prophet?  Jeremiah wept over the judgment and destruction of God's people.  I have to confess I have not wept, but my heart is bleeding over something that is very personal to me: today's Christian music scene.  

Leviticus 10:1-3 says, "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace."

This is my personal blog, so I want to share some personal thoughts of mine. My heart is grieved over the culture when it comes to Christian music.  I know there are more serious things in the world going on right now, particularly with Israel and the world of politics.  I believe the Lord's coming is nigh at hand.  But we are to occupy until He comes, and because I am a musician and music teacher, as well as an author/singer/songwriter, music is one of those things I am passionate about.  

I get accused that I worry too much over issues.  I keep trying to save the world, and really I should be focusing on my day to day activities and let the things of the world take care of themselves, or let someone else deal with it.  That might not be said in those exact words, but the meaning is there.  I also get accused of being too judgmental.  People will say, "Yes, I agree with you, that is wrong, but..."  Then fill in the blank.  "but...it's not your problem."  "but...there's nothing that you can do about it."  "but...mind your own business."

Music is one of those very personal, intimate things that often becomes a god in people's lives.  I have to watch out for that myself; I live, breathe, think, and sleep music - it's a part of my soul, and I have to make sure I never put it in higher esteem than the one and only TRUE God.  Those who know me best know how much I love music.  And yet after experiencing four separate events in which music was misused and/or used inappropriately, I actually felt like I hated music.  Strange coming from me.  I felt like I didn't even want to hear any music anymore because it's gotten so corrupted in Christian circles, and I felt like if I had to listen to that in church every week, I would stop going to church.  Really, I would find a different church, but in that moment, I was turned off to Christianity in general as I put myself into that culture that was presented to me through song.  Not only did I not feel like worshipping God as I watched praise teams "jiving" up on stage putting on a show, but I was repulsed by it.  I'm sorry, but I do not want to come to church and watch a show and see people moving their hips and singing as if they were the main attraction.  He must increase, we must decrease.  I'm there to hear the still, small voice of God.  Get the distractions and the hype out of the church.  We don't need hype; we need the Spirit of God to indwell us.  When did "worship" become "entertainment?"  Why have people come to expect that in a church?

Now, I do totally understand that humans have different preferences and tastes when it comes to music.  Some songs will minister more to some than others, and some are not bothered by heavy drums and rock beat because they are used to it.  I know that some people are more sensitive than others.  There is music I like that others don't like and vice versa.  I'm not referring to styles, per se.  I'm talking about a disconnect between the words and the music behind those words.  I've seen concerts in which they said wonderful things, but then the music contradicts what they just said.  I've heard Jesus Christ's name in a song that is hard rock, heavy metal, and that is a disgrace, maybe even blasphemy, perhaps a form of taking His name in vain.  Where is the reverence for God?  How and when did it disappear from the house of the Lord, or even a Christian concert?  Are we offering up strange fire?  A Christian concert can be fun without being worldly and secular.

I'm grieved because why is this going on?  Why aren't more people speaking up against it?  When I was saved, I was taught that you forsake the things of the world; old things are passed away, behold, all things become new.  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  God places a new song in our hearts.  God was so upset when He was giving Moses the Ten Commandments because He heard His people singing war-like music while worshipping a false god, the golden calf.  He stopped everything and sent Moses down there to break up the party.  There was judgment for that. Why didn't Aaron stop that? What is going on with our leadership today?  Why is rock music and hip hop and heavy metal tolerated in Christian circles and churches and Christian universities?  It really doesn't take much to realize that is not music pleasing unto the Lord, but something that is carnal, fleshly, worldly, that we are embracing.  I see the movements of the body that go along with these supposedly God-honoring songs.  I see people who listen to Christian rock very easily transitioning to secular rock, having it at their wedding receptions, games, etc.  The words are often not even clearly heard or understood.  The music is so loud that people are having to cover their ears in order to protect their hearing. Talk about quenching the Spirit by harming and injuring God's temple.

Listen, we need to get serious about the holiness of God.  Reverence Him!  Take those same songs and lose the drums and the electric guitars, unless you can play them reverently.  You can take any song and play it appropriately or inappropriately.  I'm thankful that so many songs have words that are honoring to God, but the whole package is needed - God honoring words and music to match those precious words.  

I will tell you this clearly: Christian music does not require a heavy, driving beat to get through to people's hearts and minds.  Church is not a venue for entertainment.  You don't have to deafen the audience to have an impact on them!  People should not have to wear earplugs to a concert or church service.  You are being deceived if you think you have to act like the world to reach the world.  NO WAY!  Lift His holy name up, and He will draw all men to Himself.  Don't slam that precious name in the wretchedness of the world's lost condition.  Rather, elevate and edify people up toward the holiness of God.  There should be a difference in our music that makes people hungry for more - hungry spiritually, not physically.  It is so disappointing to see wonderful, talented Christian artists mimicking the secular world's system.  

Think "acoustical version", and you will probably make great strides at turning your songs into God honoring messages that are consistent with God's Word and His demand for holiness and reverence.  Leviticus 11:44: "For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy."  God, help us in this generation of apathy and carnal living to set ourselves apart unto you, and to put away the old man. Ephesians 4:22-23: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

Yes, we shouldn't be judgmental, looking down our noses at people and thinking we are better than everyone else.  But we better be judges of things and actions, and use discernment.  We better look around at our culture and separate ourselves from worldliness and deceitful lusts.  We better reverence God Almighty with humility, and make judgment calls of things to see if they are wicked or good.  "Abstain from all appearance of evil."  1 Thess. 5:22.  It's apathy and cowardice to look to issues and say, "Oh, I can't do anything about it, so I won't get involved; I won't say anything. Besides, what good is one voice?"  Hey, you have one voice! Use it! The more people who speak up against inappropriate, irreverent music, the more chance that it will get the attention of those who do have the power to make decisions that will impact our culture. It starts with you!

Certainly we can't personally attack every issue out there, but it takes a team effort.  There are people actively fighting against abortion and saving lives of innocent unborn children.  There are people actively trying to defend Israel.  There are people actively trying to fight world hunger.  They have their daily, personal needs as well, but it takes a concerted effort to make change in this world, and that's not being a busybody, that is being an activist.  That is making a difference by getting out of your comfort zone and use what God has given you...a voice, talent, ambition, prayer, convictions.  Speak up!  Make change!  Things didn't go in a wrong direction over night, and neither will fixing those things, but with God's help we can make positive change in one church, one organization, and one life at a time.

Get rid of the strange fire before God sends judgment.  I realize that many don't even recognize it. I've seen eyes open, and all of a sudden they see it. Please pray and self evaluate.  Maybe your music is fine, and your church's music is fine.  Praise the Lord! Spread the word, and continue to set a good example to those around you.

Click on this for a great study on the holiness of God by Dr. R.C. Sproul.

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