FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: Man’s Sinfulness.

VERSE : Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

25 January 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Lee Hock Chin (The Wisdom of God, 1 Cor 2:6-16)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Colin Wong (Honour the Lord with your Substance, Prov 3:9-10)

1 February 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Colin Wong (Spiritual Immaturity, 1 Cor 2:14 - 3:4)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Ho Chee Lai (God’s Loving Reproof, Prov 3:11-12)

* * *

Life Bible-Presbyterian church Music policy: philosophy and principles (part 1)

Introduction: Music in the Church

God is the Creator. Together with His creation, He also created sounds and music. There is no new sound that can be invented by men. David said that it was God who put a new song in his mouth (Psalm 40:3); the implication that there was an old song before his conversion. The new song is the song of the redeemed person.

It is natural for the joyful heart to sing; there is no song greater than the song of salvation, no message greater than the message of redemption; no One more worthy of our praises than our blessed Saviour.

In the Old Testament, the worship of God was always accompanied by music. The Book of Psalms is the national hymnal of Israel. David, the man of God (Nehemiah 12:36) is also a composer of songs, and inventor of musical instruments (Nehemiah 12:36; 1 Chronicles 23:5; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 29:26; Amos 6:5). David also organised the Levites into musicians and singers (1 Chron. 15:16) to provide music for the worship of God.

In the New Testament, music was also used in worship. In the Gospel of Mark, we read that our Lord Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn as they went out into the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:26). The Apostle Paul encourages us to admonish “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). Paul also advises us to “sing with the spirit, and…with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).

In history, the church had been the patron of the arts including music. Much of classical music was sponsored by the church. However, under the Roman Catholic Church, church music was strictly limited to the clergy. Only priests and nuns sang; the worshippers merely listened. In other words, they were deprived of the opportunity to praise God. The 16th Reformation which returned the Bible back to the people also restored congregational singing. The greatest revivals in church history are often accompanied by the compositions of hymns. The great preachers of the Gospel often partnered with great hymn-writers. Example: D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey; John Wesley and his brother Charles.

All things are created good. It is depraved men that pervert the good; and so it is in music. The instrument of music which is meant to praise God is now used to promote men; instead of drawing sinners to the Saviour, it is used to make sinners feel good.

Music is vital to the Gospel ministry and the life of Life Bible-Presbyterian Church (LIFE BPC). However, with the great variety of music styles, we at LIFE BPC must therefore be spiritually discerning in choosing the music for our church. In carrying out the music ministry, we believe that the Bible is the “Word of God, the Supreme and final authority of faith and life.” Accordingly, we at LIFE BPC believe that the philosophy of our music ministry must also be derived from principles set forth in Holy Scripture. 

The Philosophy of LIFE BPC’s Music Ministry

We believe that music is a gift from God ordained for the purpose of glorifying Him. Throughout the Bible, the redeemed are repeatedly exhorted to express our love for and worship of God in songs (Psalms 13:6; 30:4; 33:2-3; 57:9; 66:4; 68:4, 32; 71:23; 95:1; 96:1-2; 98:1, 5; 104:33; 105:2; 147:7; 149:1; Isaiah 12:5; 42:10; Jeremiah 20:13; Romans 15:9). For the purpose of this policy paper, we will consider Psalm 40:1-3:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

From this portion of Scripture, we note the following:

1.  The Music in LIFE BPC Must Extol God and His salvation.

The psalmist sings because God had delivered him out of the miry clay, and set his feet upon a rock. The primary purpose of music in LIFE BPC is to praise and worship God for Who He is (our sovereign God and Creator) and what He has done (our loving Saviour). As such we sing unto our Lord alone, and Christ is the theme of our songs.

2.  The Music in LIFE BPC Must be Rendered by the Redeemed.

The Psalmist sings because he has been delivered. We believe that no man can sing of God’s saving grace without having a personal experience of that grace. As such, we believe that our music ministry is best accomplished by the redeemed. While we recognise that the world has its offerings of musical talents, the music at LIFE BPC is entirely rendered by our church family.

3.  The Music in LIFE BPC Must Bear a Definite Distinction from that of the World.

It is interesting to note that the phrase “horrible pit” (Psalm 40:2) describes a pit of noise. Perhaps the Psalmist had in mind the noise that Moses heard as he came down from Mount Sinai – the noise of worldliness and idolatry (Exodus 32:17,18).

At LIFE BPC, we believe that when God saved us, He also saved us from the world’s music, and we have no desire to adopt the musical genres and styles of the world in our church services. Just as it is inconceivable that church music would be heard in a dancehall, it should be equally inconceivable for worldly music to be heard in the church.

At LIFE BPC, we are aware of the great variety of Christian music that is available in the market. While we do not want to judge the musical choices of others, we believe that church music that honours God must bear a clear distinction from the world’s music in its style, lyrics, and presentation.

4.  The Music in LIFE BPC Must be Dynamic.

This means that we at LIFE BPC are not static in our music choices. We do not sing exclusively from the church hymnal. The Psalmist says that God “hath put a new song in [his] mouth” (Psalm 40:3). The “new song” is not a reference to songs that have been recently composed or have the contemporary/modern sound. The “new song” is a reference to the song that the Psalmist now sings in contrast the “old songs” that he used to sing before he was saved. It is a “new song” of salvation. It is a “new song” of the redeemed.

Having said that, it does not mean that we reject all spiritual songs that have been written by composers who are still living. There is great value in the old hymns. There is also great value in some recent ones. We recognise that God continues to work through the talents that He has given to His people to produce music that is both biblically sound and spiritually edifying. At LIFE BPC, we will strive to be dynamic in our music ministry by introducing new compositions when they meet the biblical principles. Dynamism, is however, not to be interpreted to mean acceptance of inappropriate, worldly styles of music.

5.  The Music in LIFE BPC is an Offering to God.

At LIFE BPC, we believe in making a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 66:1). Just as we avoid the musical styles of the world, we would also strive to avoid the secular way of music presentation. As such, we render our music in a way that would honour God and not the musicians.

It is interesting to note that the Psalmist says that when his new song is rendered, “many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3).

The Psalmist understood that music presentation is a seeing art as much as it is a hearing art. At LIFE BPC, we ask ourselves, what do the people “see” when they hear the music in church? And when the people have seen and heard the music, do they fear and trust in the Lord?

Music as a sacrifice to God also means that we strive to serve with the best of our abilities. The Bible refers to the “sacrifice of praise” (Jeremiah 33:11; Hebrews 13:15). Any sacrifice made to God must be the best. God-honouring music under-rehearsed and badly and slothfully performed is just as bad as music that dishonours God. While we are not professionals, we strive to do our best for our Lord and Saviour.

6.  The Music in LIFE BPC Seeks to Edify the Faith of the Worshippers.

The Word of God exhorts believers to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians3:16).

In other words, the music presented at LIFE BPC must serve to reinforce spiritual truth. We recognise that there are hymns that teach a particular spiritual truth (e.g. Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise); there are also hymns that serve to warn us against sin (e.g. Yield Not to Temptation); yet there are others that remind us of God’s promises and encourage us in the Christian walk (e.g. Does Jesus Care?).

We also recognise that the lyrics of some hymns are taken from Holy Scripture (e.g. The Lord is My Shepherd), and there are also songs of testimony of what God has done in our lives (e.g. Love Lifted Me). At LIFE BPC, we strive to include all these types of songs and keep them in balance.

(Note: The above music policy was approved by the Session in November 2008. Part 2, which will be published next week, consists of the Principles of Life BPC’s Music Ministry, and Guidelines for the Implementation of the Music Policy.)

* * *

1) Membership Roll Update Exercise: If you are a member of Life B-P Church, please fill the form and put it in the box at the church entrance.

2) Online registration is open for Life B-P Church Camp 2015, which will be held from 15-18 June 2015 at Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan, Indonesia.  Dr Carl Martin will speak on the theme “Changed into His Image.”   Come and join us for a time of sweet fellowship and feasting in God’s Word!

3) Missions Awareness Seminar will be held on Saturday 14 March 15 from 3.00-5.45pm at Beulah Multi-Purpose Hall. Please E-register via LBPC website at www.lifebpc.com/missionsaware.htm

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Life Chinese Service, 11 am. Rev Wong at Life Evening Service, 6 pm.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25