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Whats so wrong with christian music???

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Maxel's issue concerning replacing hymns with CCM is relevent, in that most evangelical churches have done so, to a great extent. Furthermore, our church leadership (Assemblies of God), for the most part, is encouraging this shift. Then again, 30 years ago, we might sing one or two hymns, and two or three choruses. Our reasoning is that hymns are primarily "sermons set to music," whereas choruses (whether CCM, or the part of the hymn at the bottom of the page) are meant to drive home a particular idea, and to be memorable enough that the worshipper can sing from memory, and allow God's Spirit to anoint during the singing.

Thank you. I did not know the exact method of how some churches are replacing hymns with CCM's. Your explanation of hymns and choruses also helps me understand the situation better.

There is a place in corporate worship for both hymns and worship choruses, regardless of the era in which they are written.

Personally, I still stand by the idea that music in any worship service should ideally follow the 'traditional' style of hymns- not because such a style is traditional, but because it is proved effective as a means of evoking the spirit of God in listeners. Also, when I say 'traditional' I mean a style of music that is reflective, quiet, reverent, and passionate.

Further, that a hymn is 120 years old, versus 5-10 years, is not necessarily and indication that is is holier or more sanctified.

Good point. I guess my own ideas about 'what makes a good worship song' might exclude some older hymns that I am not aware of. In this matter, age does not generate sanctified holiness- the style of music does. CCM's patterned after contemporary musical styles will, by definition, contain musical characteristics of the style they are fashioned after. The very nature of much of popular music excludes it as ideal worship music, either by its tempo, lyrics, tessitura, presentational style, etc. Popular music is made to entertain; ideal worship music (which the prototypical hymn is) is made to calm and cause the listener/singer to reflect on God's nature and mercies. There is a pithy difference that cannot be overlooked or excused based on lyrics. That's the heart of what I'm trying to say. Thank you for pointing that out, PC.

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Protestant children are encouraged to learn bass, drums, and guitar so they can play in the church band on Sunday. Mormon children are encouraged to learn piano so they can play hymns at church.

Honestly, this is one thing i'll miss. Back at Western Wa Univ I used to go to "The Inn" (evening church geared towards college students) and they had something once a month called JAM (Jesus At Midnight).... just two hours from 10PM-Midnight of worship. I really can't express in words how it felt.... I distinctly remember one evening where the pastor talked about repentence, and then cloncluded with an invitation to pray for forgiveness.... during the prayer, a song based on psalm 51 (create in me a clean heart...) was played. It was probably one of the most moving tearfull experneces I had there.

So don't get me wrong- we sang God Bless America or something at church last weekend and it was good (for my first day at an LDS church I wasn't quite expecting that one...), but I will always miss the bass, guitar, drums, and awesome vocals :)

"Jars of Clay- Faith Like a Child" will always be on my playlist.

Edit- for your listening enjoyment, i've uploaded an mp3 of the song I mentioned from JAM.... recorded at the INN some tuesday evening years ago. Sure, it doesn't sound as awesome as I described, but I think it's one of those "you had to be there" moments :)

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I love music and I strive hard to listen to clean uplifting music. Its something that is very important to me. Alot of the musid I listen to is Christian music. Uplifting music that is by musicians who are not LDS generally. I've had alot of member tell me I shouldn't listen to it because its 'apostate' but I completely disagree! Its unfair to call it 'apostate' cause these people don't even know what the apostasy is! I've come across some amazing songs that really have incredible messages...why should I disregard what they have to say simply because they don't know the whole story? Alot of the times I find they write songs about things they don't even fully understand things that so strongly apply to the gospel. I embrace it and I've been told I really shouldn't. What do you guys think? I would really like to know your thoughts and feelings about this.

Christian music is ok i guess ; as long as one never tires of hearing the same statement over and over and over and over again. And for me it "never" induces spirit.:(

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As the song begins, the people are ushered into God's presence with a united theme. We want God! Eyes shut, hand raise, outstretched in the universal gesture of asking. That sweet presence of the Holy Spirit begins to raise down. A weary mother, at wits ends, begins to weep softly. Perhaps two or three nearby sisters will place hands on her shoulders--the might even pray for her. A bewildered, perhaps slightly wayward teen looks around in amazement--these people really believe they are in contact with God!

Sounds awesome. As I stated before- this is one thing i'll miss a lot- I'll have to sneak away this summer for a concert or something ;)

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Honestly, this is one thing i'll miss. Back at Western Wa Univ I used to go to "The Inn" (evening church geared towards college students) and they had something once a month called JAM (Jesus At Midnight).... just two hours from 10PM-Midnight of worship. I really can't express in words how it felt.... I distinctly remember one evening where the pastor talked about repentence, and then cloncluded with an invitation to pray for forgiveness.... during the prayer, a song based on psalm 51 (create in me a clean heart...) was played. It was probably one of the most moving tearfull experneces I had there.

So don't get me wrong- we sang God Bless America or something at church last weekend and it was good (for my first day at an LDS church I wasn't quite expecting that one...), but I will always miss the bass, guitar, drums, and awesome vocals :)

"Jars of Clay- Faith Like a Child" will always be on my playlist.

Edit- for your listening enjoyment, i've uploaded an mp3 of the song I mentioned from JAM.... recorded at the INN some tuesday evening years ago. Sure, it doesn't sound as awesome as I described, but I think it's one of those "you had to be there" moments :)

I visit a non-denominational church Saturday nights 2-3 times a month so I can enjoy contemporary worship. And I go to a Book of Mormon Believing church on Sunday mornings.

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Christian music is ok i guess ; as long as one never tires of hearing the same statement over and over and over and over again. And for me it "never" induces spirit.:(

Quite the opposite for me, I've felt the Spirit very strongly during contemporary worship several times. I think it's peoples "this isn't the true church" mentality that blocks the flow of the Spirit.

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Christian music is ok i guess ; as long as one never tires of hearing the same statement over and over and over and over again. And for me it "never" induces spirit.:(

I am bothered when I hear the words Jesus...jesus.....j e s u s...in a constant beat in a Christian song. For me, this drives out the spirit when I hold this title sacred to a man whom I do look up to and honor.

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I can listen to Pink Floyd [few songs] and be uplifted. It has nothing to do with a specific genre label since I do listen just about everything from A - to - Z and can find songs that were inspiring that are not included in the Christian genre. Now, I have yet to find anything bad with the church's choir either. ^_^

I've never found Pink Floyd uplifting, maybe I'm not listening with the right spirit? I have found the Sex Pistols good for my more thoughtful moments though :P

I think contemp. Christian music can be good, in it's proper place. Nothing wrong with drums as long as you make time for the quietude needed to hear the still small voice. I think our society as a whole is losing the ability to be still. Between texting and internet and 24 hour television and reality shows our brains are going ADHD out of sheer self-preservation.

That being said, don't you just love the Newsboys?

*wanders off singing 'Shine'*

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When I'm listening, it sounds strange, disrespectful when they don't say Thou when speaking directly to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

It's odd that you should think that: In the 16th. C, the "you" pronoun was deferential while the "thou" pronoun was familiar. Consider Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 2:

Lady Macduff: Yes, he is dead; how wilt thou do for a father?

Son: Nay, how will you do for a husband?

The mother "speaks down" to her child, addressing him as "thou", while he replies to her with the more respectful "you". The modern use "thou" in religious contexts has almost reversed this convention.

Edited by Jamie123

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It's odd that you should think that: In the 16th. C, the "you" pronoun was deferential while the "thou" pronoun was familiar. Consider Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 2:

The mother "speaks down" to her child, addressing him as "thou", while he replies to her with the more respectful "you". The modern use "thou" in religious contexts has almost reversed this convention.

What's stranger still... in modern times, in Spanish speaking missions when addressing God you are supposed to use the familiar form instead of the formal. It would be like using "you" instead of "thou". But in English it's done opposite.

When did King James English become the language of God anyways?

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When did King James English become the language of God anyways?

Since... 5 minutes ago. :lol:

You and Jamie122 both bring up interesting points, though, that I hadn't known before. Perhaps it's one of the instances where tradition isn't bad and is preserved for traditions' sake (for instance, ties being worn by men during church services). However, I still believe it is done, at least in part, to preserve the formal air with which we should approach God. Frankly, I cannot address God the Father in the same way I address my earthly father- there are many relevant differences between the two. Perhaps the language is meant to reflect that. Whatever the original use of the phrasing, it is undeniable that nowadays the usage of 'thou' and 'thine' and similar phraseology represents and retains an air of traditional formality. Contrast that truth with the remarkably intimate wording that Christ used when praying to the Father- calling him 'abba' (a word akin to 'daddy') in the Garden of Gethsemane- and you'll find the real answer somewhere in the middle.

Edited by Maxel
clarification

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Sorry I got back to this so late.

I put my own feelings first to show my general opinion and be perfectly honest with everyone. My personal tastes in music are not 'closed minded'- I don't like some CCM for sundry reasons.

The impression you gave me was that you hated CCM because of the hypocrites who listened to it, not because you didn't like it for sundry reasons.

Also, a tacit reason I stated my experience was to give an example of what I said. Someone rocking out and 'worshiping' Christ through listening to CCM and then having orgies is not an example of someone feeling the Spirit of God- yet they exhibited the exact same behavior as witnessed in many Protestant churches. I guarantee you they would not be listening to hymns- any hymns- in the same manner.

I don't know exactly what goes on in Protestant churches. But I do know that at Church hypocrites can feel the Spirit with others listening to the same talk or singing the Spirit of God, and then go home and engage in horribly sinful activities. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the person giving the talk or with the hymn. The problem lies in the hypocrite.

From the mouth of President Monson:

Of course, he was only echoing a former President of the Church, who stated:

Who, of course, was only echoing another former President of the Church- Boyd K. Packer. The belief that 'specific genres of music' are not bad only in my own eyes 'just because they don't fall into my own personal category of spirituality' does not originate from me, nor did I think of it on my own. I learned it from the modern prophets.

Yes, music CAN drive away the Spirit. There are lots of things I don't listen to because it drives away the Spirit and even mucks with my ability to think. It has to do with the specific characteristics of the band or songs. It doesn't have anything to do with the genre.

I'm sorry... there is no truly uplifting rap or metal music, as I understand the genres. They're too intense for feeling the spirit. In fact, if we want to get down to brass tacks, there is little music that, by its own merit, is truly conducive to the Spirit of God. Like you said, it's what people bring to the music that really counts- it's a person's personal connection with the music that might invoke the Spirit of God, and different styles of music drives away that ability to make that connection. If a person feels the spirit when listening to those types of music, it is highly doubtful that the music itself brought on the spirit.

Too intense? "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning." Does that count as too intense? I ask because I find some hymns to be rather intense.

What about Mormon Rap? There's a section at the Mormon book store filled with it. Granted, most rap music is full of sex and violence, so finding the good stuff is a pain, but rapping is not evil.

From wikipedia: Rapping

"Rapping (also known as emceeing, MCing, spitting, or just rhyming) is the rhythmic spoken delivery of rhymes, wordplay, and poetry. Rapping is a primary ingredient in Hip Hop music, but the phenomenon predates Hip Hop culture by centuries. Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Stylistically, rap occupies a gray area among speech, prose, poetry, and song. The use of the word to describe quick speech or repartee long predates the musical form,[1] meaning originally "to hit".[2] The word had been used in British English since the 16th century, and specifically meaning "to say" since the 18th. It was part of the African American dialect of English in the 1960s meaning "to converse", and very soon after that in its present usage as a term denoting the musical style.[3] Today, the terms "rap" and "rapping" are so closely associated with Hip Hop music that many use the terms interchangeably. For purposes of clarity, this article focuses rapping, as a technique or activity. For more info on the music genre see Hip Hop Music."

So, how is that evil?

I tried; I couldn't listen to any of them. My computer blocks YouTube, and reading the lyrics without hearing the music is useless in this case.

You can always try playlist.com.

I too have felt the actual Spirit of God when listening to a wide variety of genres of music. Doesn't mean I feel they should replace hymns- nor does it mean I condone the entire genre of music. I said before, I find little wrong with the bulk of CCM- I only condemn the kind that is hypocrisy incarnate, which I cannot cite examples of.

Of course not. Hymns are vital. It's very sad to me that any church would disregard traditional hymns in favor of more modern music.

Of course we should not condone everything given within a genre. If that were so the Church would sing every hymn ever created. But we don't. We sing the ones that are doctrinally correct.

There's great uplifting music in every genre, but all of it is certainly not that way, and some genres having very little in the way of uplifting music.

Think about that- it's telling a person to use satanic practices (rebellion) against Satan himself. How on earth is that the promotion of godliness? Also, are you seriously suggesting I take this example of a Christian band that uses 'Hell' as a curse in the title of their song as an example of a band that invokes the Spirit through unconventional means?

It's called reverse psychology. Instead of rebelling against God and doing evil, rebel against Satan and do good. It can be very helpful when dealing with teenagers or with people who are on the fence about whether or not they want to follow God's commandments. It's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction and anything that helps someone make righteous choices is good.

I say all pornographic websites are evil; I daresay all extreme heavy metal is evil because of the parameters a piece of music is required to meet before it fits the category. Pornographic websites must have pornography of some form; heavy metal must (traditionally) have 'loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals' (Heavy metal music).

Extreme metal? What do you view extreme metal as?

Pornography uses imagery of beautiful women in its content. Does that mean all images of beautiful women are pornographic and therefore evil?

These secular groups and Christian bands may not have all the truth but God will use whatever he can to help His children, including using the metal genre.

Each person operates differently. For example, I have a sister who could not feel the Spirit while I played the song Let Go by Frou Frou. To accomodate her I would only listen to it on Sundays with head phones or not at all.

I have a brother who introduced me to What I've Done by Linkin Park. While listening to it, I realized what the song was about. I started saying, "hey, did you notice-" He interupted and said, "Yeah, it's about repentence." It was a spiritual moment for the both of us.

You do not find rap or metal to be uplifting at all but find other music that you enjoy to be uplifting. There's nothing wrong with that.

Genres must be defined by certain musical characteristics, and certain musical characteristics are inherently evil (in the sense that they drive away the Spirit of God). Combine those certain musical characteristics in ways required for certain music to be placed within a certain genre makes that combination of characteristics wholly evil.

So you think that rapping, as defined above is evil? You think that dense bass and drums are evil? That loudness in music is evil (metal is traditionally loud)? That these individual musical characteristics you've listed are evil and should never be used in music? The notion is baffling to me.

Satan gets us all worked up over evil things, using our own beliefs against us. Then we start making blanket statements and in so doing offend people. We need to not be offended, BUT we also need to not make blanket statements. To avoid this we need to think beyond our personal preferences, assumptions and fears.

Music is a very subjective and personal thing. To say that all music in a particular genre is evil is to say that anyone who listens to that genre is evil or dabbling in evil. You may not think that's what you are saying but it is what is heard by the person who enjoys the genre that you profess to be evil. This hurts, offends, and puts that person on the defensive. It shuts people off who like supposedly evil music. They stop listening to you. Let me give you a real life example.

I remember sitting in Young Women's listening to a leader speak. It was about looking for good things out in the world. It was great, I was feeling the Spirit, and then I wasn't anymore because she told us that rap was not of God and should be avoided. I must say that at this time I had no interest in rap. I didn't like it (was only exposed to "gangsta" rap at the time.) I must also say that I am the sort of person who looks around at other people while listening to, and looking at, who ever is giving the lesson. I knew that others were feeling the Spirit as well. I also knew that some of the other girls listened to rap.

The moment this leader spoke out against all rap, the spirit receded from me, much to my surprise. I looked at my fellow young women who enjoyed rap. Their body language changed. They were sitting with arms folded, legs crossed and sitting back. Their expressions were closed expressions. I knew in that instant they would reject much of what this leader had to say to them.

On the other hand, take my older brother for example. He was totally into metal (he still likes it but is rather selective about it). My mother, in her wisdom, would sit down with him and listen to his music. She would say things like, I like this because and tell him why, I don't like this one because, I don't like this band because they swear far too much or they're very negative, etc. Because my mother did not outright reject my brother's taste in music he was far more likely to listen to her. Sometimes he wouldn't, as all teenagers do, but what she said was always there with him and had an effect on the musical choices he would make. This in turn affected my older sister and me and everyone else in my family. It made us aware of not only the music itself but of the lyrics as well. We discovered that you can listen to something that is musically beautiful but the lyrics were not.

Which approach do you think is the more righteous, more helpful, approach?

Edited by ruthiechan

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The message gets overly repetitious in Christian Rock sometimes, so I find I get more out of the songs that have more substance to them than, "Praise God" though those are also fine.

The trouble I have is that for most of my life I've been an incurable Heavy Metal junkie. I always found myself saying, "I don't care about the lyrics, I just like the way that it sounds." So why should I have a problem with accepting the switch from "Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll" to "Praises to God and Christ and Encouragement to Believers?" It was just the guitars and drums and overall sound I liked to begin with after all.

The Christian Heavy Heavy Metal is a little bit to odd for me though, but the Christian Rock suits me fine. There is a lot of it that I find that I like a lot. I had to fish around a bit, but below are links to some of my current favorites:

free to be me music video -francesca battistelli

Jeremy Camp 'There Will Be A Day' music video - MusicRemedy

Big Daddy Weave 'What Life Would Be Like' music video - MusicRemedy

Jars of Clay and others are also very good. The reason the LDS Church doesn't produce these sorts of bands is not because there is anything inherently bad or unrighteous about them. It's because the Ward you grow up in doesn't have a rock band. When it comes to music, the Church will do as the Church has always done: They will maintain a very conservative direction and it's not wrong for them to do so.

So many LDS members are in the same mode that the other Christian churches PC described in the 80's were like. Many are still not sure what to think of putting songs of praise together with electric guitars, drums, rap, and modern sounding music. Don't be too surprised if you start seeing LDS rock bands performing LDS rock music in the near future. There already are some. Hudson River School, for instance, has a rock version of "We'll Bring the World His Truth."

Hudson River School on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

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I'd like to throw in my two cents as someone who listens to a great deal of "ungodly" music. I see where you're coming from, Maxel. My parents hold views similar to yours when it comes to music. It's important to note, however, that different people find strength and positivity through different means. I'll freely admit that a lot of the music I listen to is very crass and obscene. However, I also listen to a great deal of music that gives me genuine feelings of encouragement and strength. While it may not accommodate the presence of what you would call the Spirit, I nonetheless find a lot of punk and hardcore music to be very uplifting because of the positive messages in the lyrics. Hardcore in particular puts a lot of focus on personal strength, integrity, and perseverance in the face of adversity. As I mentioned earlier, there are Christian bands that take those themes and implement their religious beliefs into it. Yes, it's brash and offensive to the common listener, but it's very uplifting and positive to those who may not normally enjoy a strong presence of the Spirit (or no presence, as in my case). It may not fit the traditional definition of "lovely, virtuous, of good report, or praiseworthy", but is really that bad if it promotes the same message that more listenable (for lack of a better word) bands and artists are trying to send? The Spirit may not be there, but the positive feelings and and sense of upliftment that are commonly associated with the Spirit still can be.

I think Bad Brains said it best: "Hey! We've got that PMA! (positive mental attitude)".

Edited by Godless

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wow I like all the discussion that this topic has caused! I will admit there is some supposed christian music that I avoid because it doesn't give me a good feeling. the times I feel the spirit the strongest is yes in our churches or the temple and there is no riffting guitars involved but still I don't see whats wrong with enjoying contemporary christian music for entertainment...its better then listening to the increasingly filthy music that is out there.

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I'd like to throw in my two cents as someone who listens to a great deal of "ungodly" music. I see where you're coming from, Maxel. My parents hold views similar to yours when it comes to music. It's important to note, however, that different people find strength and positivity through different means. I'll freely admit that a lot of the music I listen to is very crass and obscene. However, I also listen to a great deal of music that gives me genuine feelings of encouragement and strength. While it may not accommodate the presence of what you would call the Spirit, I nonetheless find a lot of punk and hardcore music to be very uplifting because of the positive messages in the lyrics. Hardcore in particular puts a lot of focus on personal strength, integrity, and perseverance in the face of adversity. As I mentioned earlier, there are Christian bands that take those themes and implement their religious beliefs into it. Yes, it's brash and offensive to the common listener, but it's very uplifting and positive to those who may not normally enjoy a strong presence of the Spirit (or no presence, as in my case). It may not fit the traditional definition of "lovely, virtuous, of good report, or praiseworthy", but is really that bad if it promotes the same message that more listenable (for lack of a better word) bands and artists are trying to send? The Spirit may not be there, but the positive feelings and and sense of upliftment that are commonly associated with the Spirit still can be.

I think Bad Brains said it best: "Hey! We've got that PMA! (positive mental attitude)".

I've likely listened to a lot of the same music. Here's one that took me by surprise. Inspirational lyrics of sorts from none other than Tool:

PARABOLA

We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment,

We are choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside

This holy reality, this holy experience.

Choosing to be here in

This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in

This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal

All this pain is an illusion.

Alive, I

In this holy reality, in this holy experience. Choosing to be here in

This body. This body holding me. Be my reminder here that I am not alone in

This body, this body holding me, feeling eternal

All this pain is an illusion.

Twirling round with this familiar parable.

Spinning, weaving round each new experience.

Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing.

This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.

Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal.

All this pain is an illusion.

Now if you want to find a lot more inspiring and uplifting stuff, the rest of Tools work isn't going to do it. Exactly why this song always surprised me. It's like it seems out of place.

I really do love this particular song, in case anyone is curious.

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I still can't believe someone actually tried to tell you what music you should or should not listen to. Wow.

For what it's worth, when I was investigating, Adrian and I would listen to Slayer on the way to sacrament meeting. I know, I know....but it never prevented me from feeling the spirit in church...hey, I joined didn't I? (:

On the other hand, there was a while after getting baptized where I just could not listen to Led Zep...reminded me too much of the "good ole days." Sometimes you are what you listen to if you can't control your emotions.

Last time I tried to jam out to Christian Pop on the radio, it turned out to be a part of some show where they were bashing Mormons...hating on the Mormons...so those people running that show were idiots, but I could never assume every band on that sation is a hater.

Christian music though...blehh...I have never enjoyed any of it, including contemporary LDS artists...sorry!!!!! I'm sort of a snob I guess...it's just a matter of taste....I just think it's bad music. IT all sounds the same to me, just like top 40 mainstream.

Anyway, as a musican I have never wanted a chosen audience. Hey, next time you feel like listening to Calvary 103 or whatever it may be...you do it, and if you love the music, you call the station and tell them that you are a Christian music loving Mormon...who also happens to be a Christian!

Music is the universal language right?

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I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this as I haven't yet read the whole thread but something occurred to me - have the people who tell others not to listen to non-LDS Christian music stopped to consider the fact than some of the hymns in our LDS hymnbook were written by non-Mormons?

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Is it a coincidence that today I was asked to speak at a stake meeting on the importance or religious music in our lives? Guess I better not mention Slayer in my talk. Oops.

Read the preface to the hymn book. It is awesome.

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My head is much more clear than it has been for a while. Looking back over our conversation, ruthiechan, I'm not quite sure how I ended up defending a position that I don't truly espouse- that is, that certain genres (here I use 'genre' in its most broad definition) of music are inherently evil. I guess it was in response to my statement 'certain styles of music invite diabolical influences to the mind despite its lyrics. Heavy rock/metal is one of them'- a statement which I stand by, but needs more explanation for it to accurately reflect what I meant to say at the time. Seeing where this thread has gone, however, I'd much rather just let it die.

My apologies to anyone I may have offended.

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ok slayer rocks :] ..... but back to the subject when I was going to a Pennicostal church I learned a song that I love, that brings me comfort and helps me re- focus in times I need it. It is just a simple verse from the bible but so helpful to me.... Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his rightiousness and all these things shall be added unto you aleleu aleleuia.....The melody and words are simple but the message is huge.. :}

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