Second Samuel 21:1-14 relates an account that seems to clearly show king David’s righteous “use” of guilt by association (GBA) in a forensic context.

Atonement through Divinely Approved Judicial Selection of Those Who Were Put to Death

When God judged His people with a famine, David inquired of Him and learned that it was because Saul killed some of the Gibeonites:

2 Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

David then consulted with the Gibeonites about the matter and asked what he could do to atone for Saul’s wrongdoing:

2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3 Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?

The Gibeonites told him that they wanted to execute 7 descendants of Saul. David agreed to do so:

4 And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

David spared Mephibosheth, who was lame in both feet, which makes it very unlikely that he had participated directly in the slaying of the Gibeonites:

7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD’S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

David handed over two sons of Saul and 5 grandsons of Saul to be put to death by the Gibeonites:

8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

God approved of what David as the king1 did by “being intreated for the land,” which clearly implies that He ended the famine as a result of what David had done:

2 Samuel 21:14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.

Discussion

The passage does not say anything about God’s revealing supernaturally to David which living descendants of Saul had personally participated in the unrighteous killing of the Gibeonites. The passage also gives no indication of David’s making a very thorough inquiry and investigation to make sure that he only delivered up descendants of Saul who were actually guilty by having directly participated in the wrongdoing.

Rather, David seems to have used guilt by association in selecting the seven descendants of Saul who were executed to atone for Saul’s wrongdoing.

Conclusion

As the Spirit has framed this account, it seems clear that David righteously “used” GBA in this forensic context to deliver over 7 descendants of Saul to be put to death by the Gibeonites.


1As the king, David was the supreme human judicial authority over the people in his kingdom (2 Sam. 8:15; cf. 1 Kings 10:9; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

First Corinthians 10:23 may be a passage that some believers may think supports holding that all musical styles are fit for worship because of what it says about all things being lawful for them:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Because of what this passage teaches, we can diagram what it teaches using the Venn diagram at the top of the post. In brief, all things are lawful, but because all things are not expedient, all things that are expedient is a subset of all things that are lawful.

Similarly, all things that edify is also a subset of all things that are lawful.

Furthermore, the diagram shows that there may be an unknown amount of overlap between the things that are expedient and the things that edify. That overlap would be all things that are lawful, expedient, and edify.

Application to Our Understanding about All Musical Styles

If one understands that the teaching about “all things” being lawful in this verse applies to our understanding about all musical styles, then the verse would teach that all musical styles are lawful. It is vital, however, to understand what else the verse would then teach about all musical styles.

Because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things are expedient, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles are expedient. Moreover, because the verse clearly teaches that it is not true that all things edify, the verse would then teach that not all musical styles edify.

We would then have divine revelation saying to us that not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify. Because not all musical styles would be expedient and not all musical styles would edify, not all musical styles would be fit for use in worship because only styles that are lawful, expedient, and edify can be used in worship.

Thus, even it were true that the Bible taught that all musical styles are lawful (it does not teach this), it still would not be true that believers could use all musical styles in worship. They would still only be able to use a lawful style (or styles) that both is expedient and does edify.

Conclusion

Because of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10:23, we know that it is not true that all musical styles are expedient, and we also know that it is not true that all musical styles edify. All musical styles, therefore, are not fit for use in worship.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Writing about ungodly people who had infiltrated the people of God, Jude declared the following:

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

In this statement, Jude pronounced a divine woe on these evil men for their sinfulness, including their having gone in the way of Cain. Clearly, this part of his statement thus makes known an aspect of their wickedness for which they had incurred this declaration of God’s judgment on them.

We must also not fail to notice that the Spirit inspired Jude to issue this condemnation of these people without defining in any way what comprises “the way of Cain.” In fact, we are not given any information in Scripture by which we can know what this sinfulness of these wicked people actually was that resulted in this inspired statement that explicitly associated them with the wickedness of Cain.

God clearly condemned these people for being wicked, and He did so by associating them with one or more unspecified aspects of the wickedness of Cain. This passage therefore certainly shows that Scripture does “use” guilt by association to speak about the wickedness of people without explaining or showing how their wickedness was the same or similar to the wickedness of another sinful person with which they were associated!

 

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Over several years of online exchanges with various believers who defend the use of CCM, I have encountered persistent claims that I believe are very mistaken and dangerous claims. What’s even more disturbing is that I have had several exchanges with believers who themselves are generally musically conservative but have fiercely made some of the very same claims that some of those CCM defenders have made.

The Claims of Some CCM Defenders concerning Addressing Music of the Occult

I have had some very intense exchanges with some supporters of CCM who have claimed that I must do the following concerning various musics of the occult against which I have spoken and written:

1. Show how and why it is demonic

2. Define the terms that I use to speak of it

3. Provide specific examples of it

4. Give detailed, specific information about it

Are these legitimate claims or are they very mistaken and dangerous claims? To address this matter, we need to look carefully at how the glorified Christ handled issues concerning the occult in a church late in the first century AD.

The Glorified Christ’s Confrontation of Issues about the Occult in a Church

The glorified Christ fiercely confronted believers in the church in Thyatira concerning issues about the occult in their midst:

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

In this passage, Christ reproached sinful people in a church who had allowed a false teacher in the church named Jezebel to have very perverse influence in the church (Rev. 2:20-23).

By striking contrast, Christ later spoke of people in the church about whom He said that they had not come to know “the depths of Satan,” as others in the church spoke of (Rev. 2:24).

Saying these things, Christ implicitly revealed that there were both people in the church who had come to know “the depths of Satan” and those who had not.

This key revelation about what some people in the church had come to know requires very careful treatment to address whom we should follow in our day concerning issues about occult music—various CCM defenders or the glorified Christ.

Notice carefully all the things that the glorified Christ did not do concerning what He implicitly revealed about certain people in the church having known “the depths of Satan.”

1. Having accepted at face value their characterization of whatever that knowledge was as being demonic, He did not argue for why it was demonic or explain how it was demonic.

2. He used their term for describing that knowledge and did not define in any way their term that He used to speak out implicitly against people’s knowing what these demonic depths were!

3. He did not provide any examples—specific or otherwise—about what these demonic depths were!

4. He did not give any detailed, specific information about what these demonic depths were!

5. He did not place any burden on those who had not known these demonic depths to do research and learn more information about what these demonic depths were!

Discussion

Applying directly how we see the glorified Christ Himself dealt with people in a church about coming to know about things of the occult, devoted believers do not have to show how or why music of the occult is demonic—they must accept as valid that characterization of it by those who use that music. They do not have to and must not seek to show how or why it is demonic.

Devoted believers are fully justified in using the terms that occultists use to speak of their music and in not defining those terms in any way. They must not seek to define for themselves what those terms mean.

Devoted believers must not provide specific examples or give specific, detailed information about music of the occult! It is fully biblical to reject music of the occult without doing any of these things.1

Conclusion

Devoted believers must not follow what some CCM defenders claim must be done concerning addressing issues about music of the occult; rather, we must follow the glorified Christ in addressing such things by holding as valid designations from occultists that their music is occult music.

Furthermore, we must speak only generically about it using their terms, not seek to define those terms, not provide any examples, and not provide any specific, detailed information!2

Finally, we must not seek any in-depth knowledge about music of the occult. Rather, we must reject all of it categorically!


1 Concerning understanding Jesus’ example as establishing these prohibitions, I believe that this approach applies specifically to things concerning the occult; I am not arguing that is necessarily the case concerning addressing other matters for which Jesus did not provide specific information, etc.

Furthermore, what Jesus did here is in keeping with the divine mandate not to even inquire how certain evil people worship their gods (Deut. 12:30-31) and the command to be simple concerning evil (Rom. 16:19) as well as the teaching of Ephesians 5:11.

2 For additional biblical support, see my article, “Is Defining Terms Vital in the CCM Debate?

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

On Sharper Iron, I am currently engaged in some very intense exchanges with some supporters/sympathizers of CCM. This thread concerns what I believe is an unethical campaign that has been waged against me for some time now by some SI users.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

The following table provides the latest information (as of 10:25 pm) for the total number of views on my blog for posts that have had 1,000 or more views. It is interesting to consider the varying subject matter of these posts.

Top Posts for all days ending 2021-06-30
All Time
Title Views
Nine Reasons Why Solomon Did Not Perish Eternally 28,359
The Ten Longest Chapters in Scripture (by Total Number of Words) 17,412
Did Solomon Repent Before He Died? 17,201
Home page / Archives 11,776
The Ten* Longest Verses in the Bible 9,040
Striking Parallels between Jesus and Stephen 7,888
The “Problem” of Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch? 7,692
‘God is My Judge’ 6,475
The Biblical Importance of a Proper Burial 5,445
Prayer for a Scammer 3,598
Did King Josiah Die Out of the Will of God? 3,123
25 Parallels between Genesis 1-4 and Revelation 19-22 3,043
The “Sabbath” Psalms 2,711
Beware the Temporary Pleasures of Sin! 2,448
The Autobiography of Dr. Frank Watson Garlock 2,420
Two Biblical Greetings That Are Worth Using 2,362
A Widespread, False Assertion about Corinthian Prostitutes and Paul’s Teaching about Head Coverings 1,796
Is God’s Blessing of the Rechabites for Abstaining from Alcohol Relevant for the Contemporary Alcohol Debate? 1,733
The Wilds Songbook: Eight Edition 1,608
The Importance of 1 Samuel 16:14-23 for a Sound Theology of Music 1,603
A Study of Whom God Refers to by Saying, “My Servant” 1,579
Will Jesus Raise You Up at the Last Day? 1,572
Twelve Facts about the Biblical Importance of Music 1,557
Christian Health/Fitness Quotes I 1,462
About Rajesh Gandhi 1,427
Did Boaz and Ruth Fornicate on the Night Before They Were Married? 1,401
Top Ten Bible Chapters by Number of Verses 1,286
Guitar Music for “Praise Him, All Ye Little Children” 1,176
“Play Skillfully with a Loud Noise”! 1,122
Speed Listening and Reading the Bible 1,081
Basic Greek Prepositions Pie Chart 1,036

I still am amazed that the most viewed post on my blog has to do with biblical reasons for why Solomon did not perish eternally! I never would have guessed that subject would elicit so much interest.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I recently finished reading “New Heart, New Spirit, New Song,” by Douglas Bachorik. It is well-written and provides much valuable information.

Having read several books, and many articles, and other materials from both sides, especially from those who are not musically “conservative,” I think that his book will be especially helpful to those who are already solidly convinced of the correctness of being musically “conservative” and want to expand their understanding, perspectives, etc.

It is one of the top books available that from a biblical viewpoint supports using conservative music. If you have not read this book, I encourage you to do so.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Many believers wrongly think that for something to be sinful, the Bible must tell us that it is sinful. At least 6 passages teach us the key truth about human sinfulness that in Scripture God has not provided us with exhaustive information about everything that is sinful.

Deut. 23:9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

Ps. 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Rom. 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Gal. 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Tim. 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Rev. 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

We must learn from the combined force of these six passages that it is not true that if Scripture does not say that something is sinful, it is not and cannot be sinful.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In my continuing research about CCM, I recently found two excellent articles about the dangers of music of the occult:

Music 6 – Hear That Long Snake Moan

Music 7 – Drumming at the Edge of Magic

These articles provide very valuable information and documentation about this subject.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

“Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart” is a moving hymn that calls upon the Spirit to minister to the heart of a believer. This PDF provides the melody in the fret numbers for playing the melody on the first string, the basic chords, and the first stanza of the song.

You can practice playing the melody or chords along with this mp3 audio of the melody:

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.