Archives For Music

In His perfect wisdom, God has provided us with 150 perfect songs in His inspired hymnal, the book of Psalms. Of those 150 perfect songs, God teaches us that 55 of them are eminently suited for church choirs because the Psalm either begins with the words “To the chief Musician” (54x) or has those words later in the first verse (1x):

Ps. 4:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.> Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Ps. 5:1  <To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.> Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

Ps. 6:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.> O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Ps. 8:1  <To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.> O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Ps. 9:1  <To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.> I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

Ps. 11:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

Ps. 12:1  <To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.> Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

Ps. 13:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

Ps. 14:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Ps. 18:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,> I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

Ps. 19:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Ps. 20:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Ps. 21:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

Ps. 22:1  <To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.> My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Ps. 31:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Ps. 36:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.> The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

Ps. 39:1  <To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.> I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Ps. 40:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Ps. 41:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Ps. 42:1  <To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.> As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Ps. 44:1  <To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.> We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

Ps. 45:1  <To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.> My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Ps. 46:1  <To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.> God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Ps. 47:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Ps. 49:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

Ps. 51:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.> Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Ps. 52:1  <To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.> Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

Ps. 53:1  <To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Ps. 54:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?> Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

Ps. 55:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.> Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.

Ps. 56:1  <To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.> Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Ps. 57:1  <To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.> Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Ps. 58:1  <To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.> Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

Ps. 59:1  <To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.> Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.

Ps. 60:1  <To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.> O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Ps. 61:1  <To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.> Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

Ps. 62:1  <To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.> Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Ps. 64:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

Ps. 65:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.> Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

Ps. 66:1  <To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.> Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Ps. 67:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.> God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Ps. 68:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.> Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

Ps. 69:1  <To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.> Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

Ps. 70:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.> Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.

Ps. 75:1  <To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.> Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

Ps. 76:1  <To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.> In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.

Ps. 77:1  <To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.> I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

Ps. 80:1  <To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph.> Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Ps. 81:1  <To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.> Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Ps. 84:1  <To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

Ps. 85:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.> LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

Ps. 88:1  <A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.> O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:

Ps. 109:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

Ps. 139:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Ps. 140:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

Because God has directed these 55 songs explicitly to the chief musician, we understand that they have direct, vital application to the choir directors of every adult church choir because it is only fitting that the chief musician in a church would be leading the adult choir of a church.

Because all 55 of these Psalms are divinely inspired songs, they are therefore 55 perfect songs that every adult church choir should learn to sing and should minister regularly to God in the corporate worship of every church!

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

Through the psalmists, God commands us at least five times to make a joyful noise to Him.

Ps. 66:1  <To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.> Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Ps. 81:1  <To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph.> Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Ps. 98:4  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Ps. 98:6  With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

Ps. 100:1  <A Psalm of praise.> Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Three times, He commands all the earth to do so (Ps. 66:1; 98:4; 100:1). He also commands that we would do so by playing musical instruments (Ps. 98:6).

Moreover, we are to do so with thanksgiving and we are to do so with the Psalms.

Ps. 95:1  O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Application

We only give God the full glory that we owe Him when we worship Him joyfully through making a joyful noise to Him gratefully with Psalms and with musical instruments. Let us do so and let us make known to all the earth to do so!

 

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.

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.

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.

“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.

Everything that God has ever said is right. Psalm 66:4 speaks of a future time when all the earth will worship God and sing to Him:

Psalm 66:1 <To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.> Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: 2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. 3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

All the earth has never yet done so. Whatever God says is going to happen will happen.

Someday, Psalm 66:4 will be fulfilled! All the earth is going to worship God and sing to Him someday!

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

Every guitar player should learn the main progressions in the six basic guitar keys. This PDF provides the chord diagrams and much more to play the I – IV – V7 – I progression in the keys of F, C, G, D, A, and E.

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

By examining what Scripture reveals about divine rejection of certain altars, an important truth emerges that must inform our understanding concerning divine rejection of certain instrumental music used in worship.

Divine Rejection of Altars

Scripture explicitly reveals to us that there were altars made by humans that God rejected:

Deuteronomy 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

God commanded His people to destroy these altars of the Canaanites as well as all their objects of false worship. It is important to note that the altars were not themselves objects that were worshiped; they were man-made objects that were used in worship.

Those altars were made by people who were made in God’s image. Although they were cultural products made by such people, God rejected those altars and demanded that His people do likewise.

Divine Rejection of Instrumental Music Used in Worship

Just as God commanded His people to reject the altars of those people, so His people were to reject as well the other facets of how they worshiped their false deities (Deut. 12:29-30). Because this divine mandate necessarily included their instrumental music that they used in worship, we see that God rejected their instrumental music used in their worship as well as their altars.

The fact that people made in the image of God made that instrumental music did not mean that music itself had to have been acceptable to God for use by His people in worship.

Discussion

In response to this line of reasoning, some claim that God created all music. Such a claim has no explicit biblical basis.

Even so, to arrive at that position, some say that God made people in His image and they are sub-creators so that He is the Creator of all music in that way.

By the same reasoning, we would have to hold that God is the Creator of all altars. Yet, we see that God demanded the complete rejection of pagan altars.

If one, therefore, yet takes the approach that God is the Creator of all music, then one would not have any basis to deny that there is also instrumental music that God created that He wants His people to reject. That conclusion, however, is precisely what many believers who reason in these ways will not accept.

Conclusion

Just as God has rejected certain altars, so He has rejected certain instrumental music used in worship. The image of God in man does not mean that God will accept whatever instrumental music humans have chosen to use in worship.

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