Putting secular music into a worship setting has been like approaching a wild horse.  There are many reasons to be afraid.

 

One of the first songs I did in worship was Van Morrison's Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

 

Another was, Willie Nelson's You Were Always On My Mind.  

 

These were informal worship meetings. The words were changed slightly.

 

There are a few other songs I have on my mind.  Sometimes you have to let that supertanker turn slowly and not try to force it.  There does come a point when your heart does come around to aligning with a secular song and owning it time before the Lord.  

 

Not all of these songs are precisely worship.  Some of them are about confession, which can be a valid use of worship time, even if the worship is mostly implied.  Another type of song is comfort for others.

 

Here is Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64QkD5pBWWE&feature=related

 

Have I lost my mind?  No, I don't think so.  I have to say, I suspicious of what happens in myself when doing these songs.  But, again, I know when I have fully come around to take something for the Kingdom and when I have not.

 

Consider this scripture:  

 

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  James 1:27

 

Elsewhere, we are commanded to comfort the afflicted (with or without the salvation prayer).

 

By this standard, How Great Thou Art can be less "pure."  Can be.  

 

Here is another song that is close to Holy, and capable of being brought into Holiness as a confession of relationship with the Lord.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXQYyKzyDaE&ob=av2e

 

Funny how I find myself in love with you
If I could buy my reasoning I'd pay to lose
One half won't do
I've asked myself
How much do you commit yourself?

It's my life
Don't you forget
It's my life
It never ends

Funny how I blind myself
I never knew if I was sometimes played upon
Afraid to lose,
I'd tell myself what good you do
Convince myself

It's my life
Don't you forget
It's my life
It never ends

I've asked myself
How much do you commit yourself?

It's my life
Don't you forget
Caught in the crowd
It never ends

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Sounds fun, but you technically can't change the words without permission. 

 

That being said, I'm in the same vein as you - I hear so many songs like "Love Reign O'r Me" by The Who or several Bob Marley songs that are near perfect - if only a couple of words were changed.

 

What I find myself reaching for is the pure, anadultered cry from the heart that one finds in a Bob Marley song vs. the formulaic/pop music writing that seems expected from so many Christian musicians.

That's weird, I just downloaded Love Reign Oer Me, which I might have heard a couple times in 20 years.  I have been meditating on that one to make use of it as you suggest.

 

Yeah, I think we want to take that ground back for the Kingdom.  The word in Hosea, a book about an anguished love for the worldly that is the heart of God Himself, is that people will fear His goodness in the latter days.  

 

I think we go in with the breastplate of passion for the Blood and love the World, because God so loved the World. 

 

 

I've seen this used in a number of different ways, everything from obscure blues tunes to Metallica.  On older songs, much of the rebellious meaning is lost in today's world - even on the generations that grew up with the music and really knew what these songs were about.


I love to see it used, just make sure you are legal.

There's a lot of 'spirituality' in music, often bendable to the will and spirit of the musician, sometimes not. It may be more of a problem if you know the origins of the song and the author - particularly if you care about such things.

 

In the case of Marley, I've read a little about him, and it made me feel extremely uncomfortable about listening to his music, despite having previously sought to use No Woman for outreach gigs. If the Holy Spirit within you is happy about it then go ahead, but I'd sometimes question why one might prefer to drink from a muddy puddle than a clean tap.

I don't know that much about Bob Marley.  The incredible disappointment of rastafarians when Hallie Sellasie visited Jamaica must have been overwhelming.  When your God shows himself to be human, that must be pretty rough.  

 

The muddy tap is a fact.  It is dangerous.   

 

Here is what a particular Christian stud did with it.  I can hardly believe the words this man utters about a pagan idol.

 

This is Acts 17

 

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: 

      TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

   Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood[c] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on thismatter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them

 

Paul flat out says that the pagan poets "get it" -- perhaps not to the point of salvation -- but, they get it.  They offer up real worship.

 

That blows my mind, frankly.  Romans 1 blows my mind.  I keep asking, how could God possibly be speaking and giving witness to all men?  Well, evidently He is speaking to all men, even the unreached.  

 

Now, Titus 1:15 says,

 

To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

 

Paul I guess was pretty pure.  But, what about the rest of us?

We could debate that one a long time, and you nicely mixed my words too for your own point.

 

But if you're going to start quoting scriptures at me:

 

26 And He has made from one blood[c] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

 

Paul wasn't borrowing someone's witty ditty that happened to rock their world to produce some 'edgy' worship. He was taking a fact and explaining to them the the reality of theology in an evangelistic context. He completely cuts across their beliefs in explaining that their gods are false, and that Jesus is the only means of salvation. Yes, to a degree men get it, because the Spirit of God is at work everywhere, but they also truly did not 'get it' because the god would not have been unknown - and there were certainly synagogues in Athens at the time.

 

Why would you not think that God speaks to all men?

 

And how does 2 Cor 6 14-18 fit with your approach?

 

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

   “I will live with them  and walk among them, and I will be their God,  and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, come out from them  and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

 

This passage is often used when talking about marriage, but there is no context of marriage either here or in the surrounding text. What fellowship can light have with darkness? Can you use a Cradle of Filth song in worship? Where do you draw the line? "Oh Bob wasn't so bad: he only did soft drugs and didn't knock his sexual partners around very much". Perhaps we can play Stairway To Heaven on Sunday - just change the words a little bit so they illustrate the need for faith in Jesus rather than money? Could our lead player cover the breaks on Knockin' On Heaven's Door - they're so sweet, that'll really bring people to worship the living God?


As for the Titus verse, I hope you did not mean that as the smear it appears. If you're going to quote then please quote in context:

 

10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”[c] 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

 

Was he talking about how we handle the world or was he talking about how we understand and behave in our faith? If you read Paul's writings generally you will see he recognises there is both holy and profane practice, and that we should cling to what is good while rejecting what is evil. To those who are pure, there is no such thing as pure adultery, pure idolatry, pure theft.

 

This is NOT a personal purity issue - this is a discernment issue. If the Holy Spirit living in you is in agreement then go ahead, but if He is not then at best you're flattering your ego and at worst you actively indulging in idolatry and leading your church in your sin.

I am not doing anything "at" you.

 

I had regarded as less of a debate and more of a fascinating issue.  Frankly, I think I will step back from this part of the discussion because of how your received it. 

The muddy tap is a fact.  It is dangerous.   

 Here is what a particular Christian stud did with it.  I can hardly believe the words this man utters about a pagan idol.

 

Maybe I misunderstood and this is not sarcasm? Can I just check, since this is an international forum, is English your native language?

 

 

Well, if they speak English in New York, yes it would be.  I won't guarantee that they always do.  ;)

 

Marley is "muddy."  Yes.

 

Paul was a "stud".  Yes, like great NFL quarterback or genius like Einstein.  Powerful.  Brilliant. 

 

Unlike me.  Meaning, I am not sure I can handle what Paul did.

 

I am still in awe of Paul turning around the Pagan idolatry and even their songs.  I will not claim to fully understand what he did or its application.  This guy was on another plane altogether.

Fairy snuff - I get where you're coming from (I think).

 

:-)

 

Language is an curious thing. Calling Paul a stud was interesting....

Stud among athletes is more commonly referring just to someone who is tough and very hard to beat.

I found that definition too, but I think it's relatively recent and not one I'd come across until I searched, or maybe it's US only?

 

I stand by everything else I wrote, though I apologise for thinking you were being sarcastic. Maybe New York English IS a little different. It's curious, because we've just had someone else join the forum recently, whose language is very difficult to understand.

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