First, I am writing this as the "newest pastor" in my town. I am looking for some serious thoughts as it relates to Christian musicians [worship team members] playing secular music outside the church. I have been asked by members of a worship team that I have played with to get together and play a benefit for a Catholic Church/School Fundraising event. At this event alcohol with be served [yes, at a church fundraiser] and the song list that I have received is all secular music. The music is mostly classic rock [ie: Jumpin Jack Flash, Jet Airliner, Already Gone by the Eagles, Can't Explain by The Who, etc...] with only one Third Day song which is Christian focused. How does one handle a situation such as this? On one hand I am playing with a great group of Spirit Filled Christian men who love God, and on the other, especially as a Pastor, I feel torn as to what kind of message this will send, as I am a leader in Christ's Church. You thoughts??????
There's a good book out there about Arthur Guinness called The Search for God and Guinness which covers how the early beer makers were heralded as saints because beer was a healthier and less devastating option than hard liquor. Much of the way Guinness ran his company was inspired by a sermon he heard preached by John Wesley.
When I first saw the title I thought it was going to be a map of pubs conveniently located near churches,
What? How do you choose your church/pub?! ;)
Same goes for me as to the normalcy of it, but there are still some sizeable pockets of anti-alchohol Christian folks in the US. Many of them feel that it's an outright sin. Hence my comment - "we don't drink in front of each other". (Never mind that the Bible associates wine with joy or that Jesus made the good stuff for the wedding.)
I think a lot of it stems from the original temperance movements that led up to the prohibition era over here. People hated what the stuff was doing to the people around them. I certainly don't condone the use of it to the extent that it becomes such a problem.
My friend from Hungary landed here during the cold war at the age of 17 and was somewhat surprised by it all. Some kids asked him if he wanted to go drink some beer. He said "sure". But their behaviour was odd, sneaking around and such. He finally figured out what was going on when they found a secluded place and started guzzling the cheap stuff. "Oh, you meant "do I want to get drunk"" he said. They laughed, "Well, yea, what did you think?" Note that he wasn't phased by the idea of drinking at 17 and that he didn't associate it with getting drunk as a general rule.
America's are known for drinking coffee. John Wesley did not approve of this. Having gone through withdrawal from caffine I now understand. I used to drink two jugs of kenyan coffee on a Saturday student paper marking session.
I still drink coffee but decaff, many an instant caffineated coffee once a week if nothing else available.
If I'm talking to a non-christian who has come to the pub with me to discuss faith I will enjoy A pint of lovely ale. However, if I'm gigging in a pub I drink orange juice or lemonade
Your so right about the younger generation. I call them "Generation Text." My son can be around kids that are drinking, smoking or whatever and stand strong, which I am blessed to see. In my day, the 80's and early 90's just being around it was a much bigger deal.
Hi everyone. I have been digging out of our latest snowstorm of another 14 inches........WAHOO! It is nice to have six boys in this case to shovel the bulk of the snow, shovelling builds character, unless your 16, then everything is stupid.
I am really amazed at all the responses to this situation. So, I first would like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts, views, and heart on playing an event such as this. I was wondering whether or not to even post it, but I am glad I did because you all have given me some great things to consider about living out this Christian journey, especially when it comes to being "in" the world. My personal style and idea of ministry is relational in nature, in that everywhere Jesus went He got involved with people and their situations. I have landed in a culture here that is older, and specifically views Holiness through and by means of legalism. My job in this case [as a Pastoral assignment] is to be the ever loved and adored "Change Agent Pastor." Oh, how everyone loves those ministers, YEAH! The culture I find myself in is one steeped in drugs and alcohol, socio-economic decline, high teenage pregancy rates, just to name a few issues in our immediate area.
This event is one that came my way becasue of the loving Holy and Godly relationships I have built with folks from another church, a church that has it RIGHT as far as reaching people for Christ. I have received more info on this event and it is being held at a local country club where alcohol is available for purchase, and there is a total of five bands performing with the cover charge being put toward the Catholic School this event is being held for. The lead singer took great care to pick and choose songs that do not reflect moral and/or ethical quandries for either believer or non-believer.
Rick, yes, all of you guys and gals make great sense, which is quite refreshing actually. I am planning on doing the gig with these guys becasue we have bathed it in prayer, re-worked the song list so as not to be a poor reflection on Christ and His church, and because I believe strongly that the only way my congregation gets it is when I live it out before them and remain Holy, righteous and true through and on the journey, which is what I, as a Pastor expect of all of them.
The Spirit goes before and prepares peoples hearts and minds, then we, servants of the Most High God get to share our Christian witness with others so that conviction to accept Christ comes to people we build relationships with. I defer to the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9,
"19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."
Hey! Okies aren't all bad!
My dad's Mark Smith previously from Heritage Baptist in Tulsa and then Fellowship Bible in San Antonio. He's now retired and is working full-time in a ministry to bring water to villages in Honduras along with other projects in Uganda, India and others. We should catch up soon...
The Gospel is always relevant and I think we should pray like Paul for doors of opportunity. Yet, I like how in I Thessalonians where Paul "lived among you for your sake". I think living in and from the Gospel - the resources of Christ from our union with Christ - is where it's at. If you can gig in a pub, in a Catholic church, then why not.
I agree, Lee, with your referral to Christ's indictment of the "religious leaders". Their self-idolatry - seemingly "moral" yet worshipping their self-determined righteousness - was the object of many of Christ's parable. I like Tim Keller's teaching in "Prodigal God" where the parable of the prodigal son was also centered on the older son and where his true heart condition - pride, idolatry - was indicted. And that indictment was what the Pharisees reacted to from the parable.
Grace is good...grace is good...particularly when God leads one from legalism into grace.
Why is 'secular' music distateful, or did you mean use of the expression.
Sure, gangsta rap lyrics are distasteful, but you could hardly describe Dvorak's New World symphony in that way (unless you hate classical music).