Persecution in the Church
Musicians tend to take some grief from within the church; especially contemporary musicians in the fundamentalist church, as do Pastors for that matter that see the benefits of contemporary music. But make no mistake, God planted us contemporary-minded folks in the traditional churches for a reason.
The following is a list of some comments that have been shared with me (some are my own experiences):
- A musician was once told by a Pastor that he was a good worshiper but a lousy Lutheran.
- A message in a church suggestion box stated that “all contemporary music is just telling us members what our itching ears want to hear.”
- A Vicar stated to a congregation that all contemporary music was “7/11”. Seven words repeated eleven times.
- Someone was told by a Pastor that all of their music was better suited to praise Allah than the triune God.
- There is a picture on a Pastor’s BLOG that shows a church guitarist as a “rat” playing a guitar in church. And the guitarist is mentioned by name.
- A member told the church guitarist that the guitar is the devil’s instrument.
- A musician was told that she was “wasting her gifts on the wrong instrument.”
- A guitarist was told that the guitar does not belong in church due to it’s association with rock music.
Some of the above comments may have been deserved, but others require a “get behind me Satan” response at best. This type of persecution from within the loving Christian Church is painful to deal with and difficult to remove from our memories.
Some people just need to realize that we are singing about and to the same great God that we do with hymns. In Jesus’ words, “Whoever is for us, is not against us.”
Mark 9:38-41 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
And it’s not just contemporary musicians. I visited a sister church this past Labor Day weekend. They have a dedicated women who plays the organ for two services every week. She is faithful and good at what she does. On this particular Sunday, this congregation had a young man playing the organ that normally would have been away at school. He is very gifted. I overheard one member telling their regular organist that she has no passion and that’s why she can’t play like the student. I was dumfounded and stupefied. Why do people say these hurtful things?
Our musicians need to know that these things happen because we live in a sinful and fallen world and that Satan would like nothing more than to rip our churches apart at the seams over musical style because when we are praising God through music it is like fingernails scrapping across a blackboard to Satan. Don’t give him the satisfaction. You need to tap into the Holy Spirit’s strength and defend your Christian freedoms which Christ won at immense and incomprehensible cost.
I do pray that if you have been persecuted, or if you currently are being persecuted for using guitars, drums, keyboards, or music written in the last decade that is solid and biblical, that your congregation and your Pastor see the light beaming from your lampstand and I advise you to put that lampstand onto the highest table that you can find and not to hide it because you are “a city on a hill”.
Matthew 5:15-16 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society
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