Thursday, June 30, 2011

Church Music: Kevin DeYoung Offers Insight

The "music wars" in church are one of the most God-dishonoring activities that has plagued the Body of Christ over the years, and our era is not the first time it has been one of Satan's tools to divide us.  Psalm-singing Christians hated Isaac Watts' "invention" of hymns; those who sang without instruments have labeled organs, pianos, guitars, and every other instrument as "satanic" in church.  And we all know the disagreements that rage today among Christians about musical styles, instruments, volume, etc.

I was blessed to read Kevin DeYoung's articles on his blog at The Gospel Coalition website, "Ten Principles for Church Song."  The first is here, and the second is here.  These well written guidelines can and should provoke some serious reflection for all, and I commend them to you.

One of the best quotes in the articles was from John Calvin, who said
But because he [the Lord] did not will in outward discipline and ceremonies to prescribe in detail what we ought to do (because he foresaw that this depended upon the state of the times, and he did not deem one form suitable for all ages), here we must take refuge in those general rules which he has given, that whatever the necessity of the church will require for order and decorum should be tested against these.  Lastly, because he has taught nothing specifically, and because these things are not necessary to salvation, and for the upbuilding of the church ought to be variously accommodated to the customs of each nation and age, it will be fitting (as the advantage of the church will require) to change and abrogate traditional practices and to establish new ones.  Indeed, I admit that we ought not to charge into innovation rashly, suddenly, for insufficient cause.  But love will best judge what may hurt or edify; and if we let love be our guide, all will be safe. (Inst. 4.10.30)

Follow the links if you would like to consider this more fully.