Presentation on theme: "LLC Longview Summer Services Youth Discussion July 4, 2009 Keith Waaraniemi."— Presentation transcript:
LLC Longview Summer Services Youth Discussion July 4, 2009 Keith Waaraniemi
Music A Gift of God and a Tool of the Enemy Music = “a language which portrays various tones of mood with the help of tunes and words.” Luther Music has been implanted in all creatures and nature for “nothing is without sound or harmony.” “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.” “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming the Word of God through music.”
A Tool of the Enemy The enemy of souls also uses music. He weaves such a fine net that the dangers of being snared are not so readily seen. Increased interest in music among North American believers in recent decades. 1980s and 1990s – a time of “enlightenment.” Has the line between wholesome and unhealthy music become blurred?
Luther understood music’s power “Whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate — and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good? — what more effective means than music could you find?” Good music ennobles emotions and feelings, but bad music awakens sensuality and carnality and wears faith away.
Evil music wars against faith Evil music can awaken the lowest and most shameful human instincts and wars against faith and good conscience. God’s children reject music which embodies ungodly life: Rock, Heavy Metal, Hip hop, Rap, and Country. Performers with synchronized lighting and other technology make huge crowds of people wild over their music. Their followers emulate their behavior, hair and clothing styles, morals, and values.
Luther instructs to reject the devil’s offerings “Take special care to shun perverted minds who prostitute this lovely gift of nature and of art with their erotic rantings; and be quite assured that none but the devil goads them on to defy their very nature which would and should praise God its Maker with this gift, so that these bastards purloin the gift of God and use it to worship the foe of God, the enemy of nature and of this lovely art.”
A mix of good and bad The enemy disguises good forms of music together with bad: Serious and light, religious and secular (Christmas), patriotic and country, children’s music and rock, classical and rock, new age, etc. Enemy disguises such music with good words or in other cases with an innocent or familiar melody. Does this music draw us to the world and away from the path to Heaven?
Love not the world! The Internet has provided the possibility download music and clips of live music performances. What do you feature on your Bebo, Facebook site? Music that awakens fleshly thoughts, images, and desires is a danger to faith.
Seek the path to Heaven The Apostle writes, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15). Seek that path which leads to Heaven: “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”(Gal. 6:8).
How do we decide what’s good and bad music? When considering the acceptability of various forms of music, the believer asks: Why would I select this music? What feelings does it engender? Will it lead me away from the path to Heaven? Am I able, as Luther said, “to taste with wonder... God’s absolute and perfect wisdom” in this music? Am I comfortable listening to this music in a gathering of older and younger believers? “He that hath an ear, let him hear...” Grace teaches!
Drive the enemy away with good music! Luther has encouraged the young to cultivate the gift of music: “You, my young friend, let this noble, wholesome, and cheerful creation of God be commended to you. By it you may escape shameful desires and bad company.”
Songs of Zion most dear! Luther has written that “it was not without reason that the fathers and prophets wanted nothing else to be associated as closely with the Word of God as music. Therefore, we have so many hymns and Psalms where the message and music join to move the listener’s soul.” These songs refresh faith, teach, and comfort the child of God. They are a gift of God and a weapon against the enemy. Like The Book of Psalms, our song book or hymnal contains songs of praise, sorrow, and penitence (Ps. 137, Ps 147:7, Ex 15, 2 Chr. 5:12-15).
Sing, O people of the Lord! In our homes and in the gatherings of God’s children let’s teach and admonish “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in [our] hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).
The music of Heaven In faith and hope already here on earth we sing of Heaven where our hymn will ring “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder... and the voice of harpers harping with their harps...a new song before the throne” (Rev. 14:2,3).
Discussion points How can we battle in our hearts against bad music which we can’t avoid hearing? What is good classical music? Is all patriotic music acceptable? Can you share a personal experience when music became a problem for you in your faith? Can you share a personal experience about singing or hearing a song of Zion?