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Discussion in 'Worship' started by NaphtaliPress, Dec 2, 2010.
Scandalous for sure.
The Scandal of Pagans Leading Worship « Heidelblog
The practice of hiring or using unbelieving musicians, both instrumentalists and vocalists, is much wider than many would think.
I find it a deplorable practice.
Make sure you click through to the TGC site to read the answers from the four men also interviewed (two nays, two yeas).
Worship by the Book - Google Books
Well, all that respect for Keller I didn't have is gone. :/
Revolting is what it is. Next Keller will have a Hindu babe in a bikini doing sign language next to him in the pulpit.
Well, you see, we have to engage the culture, not run away from it. Duh.
We are now entering into one of the two times of year when a great influx of unbelieving musicians will be brought in to augment the instrumental and vocal music offered in many churches. I work with these people on a daily basis as a university music professor and performing musician. Most of my colleagues are unbelievers; very few will set foot in a church unless they are being paid to do so. Laying aside for a moment the question of whether the large "productions" for Christmas and Easter should be part of what churches do, and whether or not the practice of hiring these musicians is "deplorable," I do find myself praying that these individuals will hear the Word of God rightly preached while they are in these churches, and that the Spirit will give them a "heart of flesh" that they might repent and believe.
I don't think anybody wants them not to hear the gospel and believe. But then again, in churches where the pastor has no ethical qualms about hiring unbelievers to lead believers in worshipping God, I'm doubtful they'll hear the true gospel anyway.
I am opposed to the practice.
I think the practice is evil.
Amen. It's like hiring mourners for your funeral, people to wail and cry like a person who actually cared might do.
It's worse. Worship is for worshippers.
It's easy to bash Tim Keller because he doesn't do things the way you might prefer. But, his cultural situadedness is not yours. Without agreeing with him on the practice, you'd probably do best to walk a mile in his shoes before you criticize him so easily.
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Personally, it doesn't bother me when pastors do things that go against my preference, as long as my preference is just a preference and not mandated by the Word. I can name examples of things like that if you like. However, it is a grievous sin against God to pay unbelievers to help lead corporate worship, "cultural situadedness" notwithstanding. It requires those unbelievers to take the Lord's name in vain with their actions--nay, pays them to take the Lord's name in vain. I would hope someone in Rev. Keller's presbytery would approach him about this and similar things with a gentle rebuke.
It is God's prerogative to show grace and bring the gospel wherever he wishes. We must not do evil that good may come of it.
No, we should not, and if churches would simply follow the RPW and see that we have no mandate for large choirs, orchestras, praise teams, bands, etc. in New Testament worship, this situation would not exist at all. However, the situation does exist, and I merely meant to suggest that, given the lost condition of my colleagues and thus their profound need for the Gospel, rather than "raise a stink" about this every time these folks are hired for such work, since they are going to be in the churches anyway I pray that our Lord would use the seriously flawed efforts of these churches' worship to draw the lost musicians participating to Himself.
I am sorry that my earlier post inadvertently suggested that I approve of this practice. I do not. I do pray that our Lord would move in musicians' hearts in spite of the error which brings them into the churches.
Yep, and if you engage the culture, the next thing you know is that you'll be married to it.
Cultural situadedness doesn't dictate what is right and required by Scripture. Tim Keller is off the reserve in some areas and I wish someone would do something about it.
Based on your avatar, I believe you...........
The church is meant for the church. God can use the church as a means to reach unbelievers, but that doesn't mean they should be in your worship. Have the church be the church, then go out and reach the lost. (And having unbelievers, who don't want to worship, involved in worship, just doesn't mix)
Though I'm uncomfortable with the idea of brining in unbelievers to assist in leading the church in worship, as has been mentioned, I do still pray that when it happens God would use it to begin a work in their hearts...in spite of the sinful motives that brought them to the church in the first place. Fortunately for us, our shortcomings are not capable of hindering God from bringing about His will.
Boy, I'd best teach my kids about condoms and sex ed when they're really young. They're going to do it anyway, so I might as well resign myself to that fact and just make the best of it.
OR, I could take them to task when they trespass God's law on this issue and correct them. I think that's better.
I don't fully see the comparison. If it were my church, I'd have some say in the matter, be able to bring the matter up with the elders/leadership of the church, and if they either were to disagree with me or otherwise decide to continue in the horrible practice, I would then have the option of making the decision to remove myself from that church body due to its sin.
I highly disagree with churches that are hiring non-believers to lead worship, but if I'm not a part of their local body, I can't do anything about it other than condemn it as an outsider of their church body and pray that God will work in the hearts of the unbelievers in those services in spite of the faulty reasons that brought them there. I also pray that God would bring about correction in the hearts of the church leaders that allow this to happen in their churches.
However, even though I think this is a horrible practice, I understand that every church has sin in its midst. Because sin infects the very core of our being, we're all faulty, and those faults and sins make their way even into our churches. As has been said, a church is kind of like a hospital being run by the patients. I'm thankful that God has blessed us with the opportunity to be able to share the Gospel in spite of our faults, and thankful that he doesn't allow our faults, whatever they may be to hinder the growth of His kingdom.
While I am not against instruments, musicians or praise/worship teams in worship, I am totally opposed to bringing in non-believers to lead worship. We ask them not to partake of the Lord's Table, we don't ask them to preach, why on earth would we invite them to lead our worship?
This practice of bringing in non-believers to lead worship has bothered me for some time as I have been involved in music in worship most of my adult life. The problem lies in the fact that worship leaders and pastors treat music as an afterthought or a way to evangelize rather than a vital exercise of the corporate body.
From my experience, the worship leaders and pastors who allow non-believers in worship either promote fluffy, shallow music (the rock band mentality) or , more often, they promote high church music which requires a level of expertise in music. The fact is, you can't play Bach and Handel if you don't have a certain level of training. Because they want to promote "excellence" (which is the case with Keller--he is very short-sighted on this one IMHO), they feel they must pull from the outside community rather than from the congregation itself.
It has been my personal conviction as a church musician that God wants us to draw our musicians from those gifted and called in our own congregations as the Lord provides. Give me one "called" musician who leads with his heart, soul, mind and strength in praise to God over a whole orchestra of professionals. It does make a difference.
It was commonly received among the early church fathers, and is still commonly received among us that pagans make some of the funkiest musicians that God has given to this sad world, and that the Apostles John and Paul (and Ringo) were into disco-style worship
I'm sure the RPW is flexible enough to accomodate this. If not we should get the RPW to grow its hair, chill out, turn on and tune in, maaaan
Well put. Your comments are both thoughtful and challenging where needed, yet written with a kind and respectful tone. Thank you.
The attitude of some seems to be to make the best of the situtation since they are doing it anyway, and perhaps they'll hear the gospel and be converted and wouldn't that be great. But since the worship service is to be for God's people, they don't belong there. While your plan is valid, I am more concerned that if this takes hold as a common practise, liberal voices in the PCA will take this cue to follow suit (since there is no rap on Keller's knuckles from anyone at this point) and drag a faithful denomination down the path of PC(USA) Part II.