Christian rock: Glorifying or the Devil's Handiwork? Part 3- Rhythm

Hopefully you made it through part two. I know it was kind of hard to get through. Sorry! I am hoping to make today's post more enjoyable to get through. :)
If you need to catch up, click on the Christan rock label on my sidebar.

First, in order to understand that one of the main arguments against Christian rock or CCM comes from "rhythm" you must understand the three main components of music.

For my music students in home-school co-op I put it like this:
In order to make a lovely song, you need the right ingredients. You must follow the recipe:
Ingredient #1 is melody. Melody is simply one tone or note one after the other in a pattern.
Ingredient #2 is rhythm. Rhythm is sounds or silences that make up the timing behind the melody.
Ingredient #3 is harmony. Harmony is adding several more sounds to the melody in order that it takes on a fuller, broader sound.
There are 3 more ingredients, but these are the most important to what we are discussing right now.

I illustrate this by playing "Jesus Loves Me" on the piano. The first time I am demonstrating the melody. I play the notes one after the other with no rests, or holding notes.
The melody.

Then I add the rhythm and sing and play it normally.
Jesus loves me this I know (pause) for the Bible tells me so (pause) little ones to Him belong (pause) they are weak but He is strong (pause) yesssss Jesus loves meeeeeeee....etc.
The rhythm.

Then I play all the notes in the hymnal. The chords, the fill-ins etc. And it sounds the way you sing it in church.
The harmony.

These three things are essential for good songs of any kind. Otherwise you just don't have a song.

The Bible clearly mentions melody, but not how some would tell you.

Isaiah 23:16

Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.  (5059) nagan-to play a stringed instrument,  Jermusician;

Isaiah 51:3

For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. (2172) zimra-singing, song

Amos 5:23

Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (2172) same as last

Ephesians 5:19

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (5567) psallo-to sing hymns, sing songs of praise.

Here is a quote from a anti-Christian rock website...

But "what saith the Lord"? Does the Bible give us any indication to the type of music we should sing? Did the Lord God who made heaven and earth, who created music and sound, who put so much emphasis on music in His Word — did He forget to tell us what is Christian music?
Not hardly. Thank God — He has given us instructions for our music. Thank God — we can BURY "once and for all" the ridiculous LIE that — "the Bible gives no instructions on the type of music for a Christian to listen to. It's all a matter of preference and culture."
Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet MELODY, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. Isaiah 23:16
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; jothe d gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of MELODY. Isaiah 51:3
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making MELODY in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:18-19
The Lord God refers to music as — MELODYAccording to God — the emphasis of Christian music is the MELODY — not the BEAT! How is it, that the CCM world keeps "parroting" — "the Bible gives no instructions on the type of music for a Christian to listen to. It's all a matter of preference and culture"? Is it because they can NOT read 5th grade English? Or is it — they do NOT care what God says! I've shown many CCMers Ephesians 5:19, and nearly all coolly, reply, "Aw, It don't really mean that". In other words — "I don't care what God says — I'm gonna rock 'n' roll"!
I'm reminded of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he described some people, much like the CCMers, who "having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?"
17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neitherUNDERSTANDhave ye your heart yet hardened?
18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? Mark 8:17-18
So far we've seen:
1. MELODY is the main theme of music.
2. Rock music emphasizes the BEAT.
3. God defines music as MELODY. (unquote)
Well I am sorry, but God does not define music as the melody if you look into the Hebrew and Greek. If it is based on those verses he and I mentioned, then God "defines" music as singing or playing songs of praise and hymns.

Before this, he talks about part of what is wrong with rocky rhythm is that it has to do with body movement and a physical response.

If you are musical at all you know that any music can bring out a body movement and physical response. How many classical songs make me want to jump up and grab my husband in a waltz? Or even just sway along to a hymn? March to patriotic songs?
You have probably seen the rocking violinist or pianist...
Body movements and physical responses are a part of music. They don't have to be there, but they can be there for any type of music.

He claims that body movement are fleshly and carnal. But what about the dancing seen in the Old Testament?

2 Samuel 6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all [his] might; and David [was] girded with a linen ephod (3769) karar- to dance

Psalm 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! (4234) mahol- circle dancing, round-dancing

Ecclesiastes 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (7540) raqad-to skip, dance; to leap about, dance;

Jeremiah 31:4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. (4234) same as above

Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow (4234) same as above

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that all dancing is holy and for the Lord. 
In the New Testament that is shown clearly when a young woman danced for Herod and it was clearly a vulgar, inappropriate dance and resulted in the be-heading of John the Baptist.
What I am saying is that music evokes feeling and movement. Music is physical

Just because something appeals to the flesh doesn't make it sinful. Chocolate appeals to my flesh...I love it, I want it. Now in and of itself, chocolate isn't sinful. Eating chocolate isn't sinful, but when I eat too much. When I eat unhealthy amounts or it becomes a priority over God and my family...that is sinful.
I hope you don't find this crude, but let's talk sex for a minute. Obviously sex appeals to us physically. God created sex and wants us to enjoy it so it isn't a sin in itself. Outside of marriage in any form sex is a sin.

It is the same with music. Music of many types appeals to my flesh: CCM, Classical pieces, Irish music, Big Band music, lullabies, etc. It doesn't make them wrong or sinful.
However- if they are not in line with:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

then they would be sinful. ;)

If I needed to worship with music that my flesh didn't find appealing, I would be stuck worshiping with screamo, rap and R&B. No thanks. 
Somehow I don't think God is more pleased with us when we are unhappy. No, our purpose and His purpose is not for us to be happy-not even close, but our God is a God of joy and He gives us that joy in every circumstance-especially when we are praising Him.

I Chronicles 15: 23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be held in awe above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, O clans of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
30 tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Nehemiah 12:43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.

Psalm 33:1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.

Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalm 63:5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

Psalm 84:2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
        my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Psalm 92:4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

Psalm 95:1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
                 let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

         Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous                                  song and sing praises!

         Psalm 105:45 So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. 

         Psalm 126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

Anyway, you get the idea because there are plenty more.... ;)

The other main argument about rhythm is that it is not to overpower the melody. Since we disproved that God was not really saying "melody" I don't think we have to worry about that but I will say that if the rhythm is overpowering the melody than musically-speaking  it isn't a good song. Melody should always be predominant. 

Thoughts? Am I leaving out anything? If there is something I am failing to mention that you would like discussed, let me know!

More to come!

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