LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Sound of Silent Music

nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
(1 Timothy 1:4 – ESV)

You might be looking at the verse above and wondering what this has to do with music. Well it is a verse that in context is one of many sections where Paul admonishes church leaders to keep sound doctrine at the fore. When observing and studying the “pastoral epistles” of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, we see that Paul continually speaks of sound doctrine, of correction, rebuke, exhortation, public reading of scripture and truth before feelings. They seem to be silent on the style and content of music. In searching through the pastoral epistles you will notice he doesn’t tell Timothy (or Titus) to make sure they have a great praise band!

So Paul wasn’t concerned with music. Or was he? Indeed he was; if Paul continues on and on about doctrine, then the means of which it is delivered must also adhere to his strictures. By his silence Paul isn’t saying anything goes, especially if it is loving, has a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. No he is saying that good doctrine will lead to those qualities in truth, which would lead to good music choices. He isn’t saying anything goes he is saying anything that goes must go according to his doctrine. When he says doctrine he means Gospel.

He isn’t implying that music isn’t important but he is obviously intending to say that music is secondary, it is an instrument for doctrine, doctrine first, and music as a means of delivery of doctrine. By concentrating on doctrine Paul doesn’t say don’t do music he is saying that all our music should be doctrinal leading to devotional. Right devotion is informed by right doctrine.

Music teaches us something, not just by what it says but also by what it doesn’t. If it is only fluff with no meat it is teaching us that doctrine doesn’t matter. It obviously does to Paul and to God since the NT focuses on teaching, and so obviously the content of our songs of worship must be doctrinally rich if they are to be biblically sound. Paul doesn’t downplay worship with music; he exalts it by exalting the Bible! First things first: in keeping his students focused on doctrine, he is keeping them focused on the content of their worship. It isn’t that “worship” is unimportant, but that it is, so much so that it needs to be seen in the right order. Focusing on the Bible will help us to focus correctly in worship.

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Blogger Daniel said...

Except for drums. Everyone knows that drums are of the devil, especially jungle-rhythms.

Great post JD.

November 02, 2007 7:50 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

"it is an instrument for doctrine, doctrine first, and music as a means of delivery of doctrine."

Thanks for that!

November 02, 2007 8:33 AM

Blogger Even So... said...


(cue music)?

November 02, 2007 12:16 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

CCM music???

November 02, 2007 12:40 PM

Blogger James Lush said...

If music is to be doctrinal, or if doctrinal preaching and teaching is to lead to music that is biblical and contains many an element of doctrine, then the church is in a sorry state today as most of the chorus' and vineyard "biddys" which we hear today contain about as much doctrine as a thimble. For instance her's a popular chorus -

Hold me close
let Your love surround me
bring me near
draw me to your side
and as I wait
I'll rise up like the eagle
and I will sore with You
Your spirit leads me on
by the power of Your love.

Maybe it's just me but somehow I don't see any deep doctrine in this song. I agree whole heartedly that music must be an instrument for doctrine first and I hate to repeat myself but It ain't being done today in the churches

Resting in Him

November 03, 2007 6:37 AM


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