Thursday, December 10, 2009

Since Jesus Sang In the Church, Well....

I don't think that Jay Adams believes that the church started until Pentecost, like most Protestants as himself, so how did Jesus sing in the church, as seen in Hebrews 2:12? Jay Adams uses an example of Jesus singing. OK. He sang in the church. If Jesus sang in the church, then the church was existent when He gathered with His disciples during His lifetime. If we are looking to get our doctrine only from Scripture, sole Scriptura, then the church must have begun during Jesus' lifetime before Pentecost. Let's not make this more difficult than it is.


Terry McGovern said...


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct!

Charles e. Whisnant said...

How do you define church? You could say the Tabernacle was a church, or the Temple was a church. You could say the 5000 people gathered to hear Jesus preach was a church.

Then how do you define a New Testament church? I don't know if they were singing at the Last Supper? Or if they had a choir when Jesus was preaching.

Nevertheless, I still would say that while the form of the church idea was in the old testament, if you say the church is made up of believers. While the Church I believe as we know it today would have all the form at Peter's sermons after the resurrection.

d4v34x said...

Brother Brandenburg, I find it interesting that you focused your disagreement Adams on a point entirely tangential to his post. Nothing to say about his music criteria?

Kent Brandenburg said...


If you hear hoofbeats, you think horses, not zebras. If it says Jesus sang in the church (ekklesia), you think the church, not the OT congregation of Israel. This fits with other clear evidence.


You're right. He said nothing about Jesus singing in the church, even though it would have seemed he could have easily made that statement, since the verse makes that statement. However, it is implied in Adam's post, because he compares what Jesus did to what we do. I agreed with Adam's point about music, although what is the most controversial aspect of music, he decided to say nothing. I don't think you're going to have too many people disagreeing with him that music is going to be Scriptural. But he is ambiguous on what "singable music" is, wouldn't you say?

d4v34x said...

I don't really think he was intending to be ambiguous. I took him to mean that if it was generally melodic/singable it was acceptable weather the accompaniment was organ, violin, piano or pop (rock) ensemble.

He criteria might exclude rap and "heavy metal".

Interestingly, it might also exclude Ron Hamilton's "What is Christmas", which is a spoken word piece.

Claymore said...

Ambiguous is an understatement. Much of Southern Gospel (which is actually a form of Rock Music) is "singable" - see the popularity of the Gaithers (consorters with sodomites). One could also argue that easy listening is also "singable" but it too is a form of the contemporary music - more damaging perhaps because it opens a door to the New Age Music.

Music: from the word "muse" meaning to think, requires people to think. As such, if it discourages thinking, it is sinning against the laws of music. Rock music in all its forms (Southern Gospel, bluegrass, Country-western which is neither country nor western, heavy metal, disco, &c) all fall into that camp because the off-beat works as a form of hypnosis - preventing thought. Easy listening/new age music also does this through the opposite principle: relaxation. Some of this may be seen in the way that arrangers will add the softer sounds of "ooh" or "ooh-ahh." In contrast, classical music causes people to think better - that was one of the reasons that I would listen to Bach when studying for examinations - the other being that I wanted to stay awake in order to study and it is impossible to fall asleep while listening to a fugue. As the music is absolute, jazz (which is the music of existentialism) is also a sin against music, and the God of absolutes.

In choosing music, one should note what Moses and Joshua said at Mount Horeb - Joshua believed he heard war: pain, striving, groans, shrieks, and above all else: chaos and confusion. Moses recognised it as being the sound of Egypt's worship. Any form of contemporary music is chaos. God is for law, order, and design - not for chaos.

Charles e. Whisnant said...

Goodness, goodness Claymore. You must have attend the Bill Gothard Institute. Of course I did for fifteen years myself. I wish my spirit had the understanding that all these music forms are unable to bring glory to God because of the sound or form, but to be honest it doesn't.

Claymore said...

Actually, I was never exposed to Gothard or his teaching.

Joshua said...

Then now you have an opportunity to test the spirits Charles, because not every spirit is of God. If we had a dollar for every unscriptural practice and false teaching that was "confirmed true" by the spirit of men we would drown in money. I wish Rick Warren's spirit had an understanding that all these church growth strategies don't bring glory to God, but to be honest it doesn't look like it does. Does that then validate his beliefs?

The fruit of CCM is there plain for man to see. The history of music is likewise. Our God has revealed much about his character to us, and our music is not exempt from His perfection.

Claymore said...

Has anybody ever noticed that much of Counterfeit Christian Music is actually a parody from the secular?

Kent Brandenburg said...


I don't think that Adams means "ability to be sung" by "singable," but since we both took something different from it, it shows that he succeeded at ambiguity. I think that he means "singable" as in "appropriate to sing." If it is inappropriate, then it isn't "singable."


You and I are the same on this one. I believe it is the postmodern attack on what is true, good, and beautiful, resulting in profane, unacceptable offerings to God.

Reforming Baptist said...

Yet another IFB Pet peeve that must be answered. I have done so here:

Donn R Arms said...

I am not sure how you come to your conclusion about Jay's understanding of the origin of the church from his post. As an amillenialist Jay would see the church as existing in the OT. He marks the begining of the NT church in Matthew 16.

His blog was merely a dig at the regulative principle that is argued at length in Presbyterian circles. Nothing more.

d4v34x said...

Hi Kent, Not that it's something to argue about, but I don't see any reason to think Adams is using that word any other way than the dictionary and musical definition. He would be redundant/circular if he used singable to mean appropriate or proper since he said it would be proper if it were singable.

I would love to see a blog post from you at some point on music and your view from scripture. I am a non-CCMer, but at this point find it hard to "judge him that eats" since I don't see alot of scripture that directly addresses music as appropriate or inappropriate *in style*. We must apply various principles to arrive at our standards, and not many of us end up at exactly the same place.

I would be especially keen on hearing any examples you have from church history where a musical style was rejected as innappropriate that remained unnacceptable long term (i.e. conservative Baptists still regard it as off limits".

Yes, now it's blogging by demand! :^)

Kent Brandenburg said...


Fair enough. I do believe it makes sense that anyone would believe that the church started before Pentecost and Hebrews 2:12 fits that.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I've written a book on music that offers my point of view and I have written a lot here on culture, which you can see in the right hand column, special section as well. I would like to write a book on What Is True, Good, and Beautiful some time.

I still think that Adams is meaning it the way I'm thinking, but then again, I was also saying that Adams believed in a post-Pentecost church and Donn pointed out that error. He seems to be dividing into two criteria: the words and the music. The words must be singable, which would include appropriateness to him, which he just wasn't going to elaborate upon, obviously because of the controversy of singability.

I think I still owe you on a return email on something that I will relook at and then send back.

d4v34x said...

No hurry on that email. After asking all I've asked on that topic, I probably owe you the answers to the several questions on your standing list. Sometime after Christmas perhaps.

Claymore said...

If this post is to discuss when the church began, One thing that should be remembered is that Jesus said "I will build my church", which uses the future tense. If it was yet to be built, one might ask exactly when afterward it began. Are there any thoughts on this?

Kent Brandenburg said...


The future tense in Mt 16:18 is a good question. I believe the answer relates to the meaning of the word oikodomeo, translated "build." That word is translated "edify" elsewhere. That's the understanding of the word "build," not the sense of "construct" that many people give it. If we get in our mind Jesus is saying that he will "edify" His church in the future, it helps us understand what He is saying. How did He edify His already existent church? He added church discipline, the Lord's Table, the pastoral qualifications, and other New Testament instruction.

Thanks again for asking.

Claymore said...

Could the idea of "build" also have the idea of "propogate"? I ask this because of Rachel's words to Jacob: that I may obtain children by her. The literal interpretation is "that I may be built by her."

Troy said...

the late Gordon Sears: "Please bear with me in what I'm about to say. The gospel of Jesus Christ has never and will never be popular with the unconverted world. If the Christian's music is truly spiritual, it will not be received with the world! Mark it down: the only religious music the world will receive is the kind that appeals to the flesh."
also good commentaries indicate that Jesus and the disciples likely sang the 'hallel' psalms since it was the Passover: Psalms 113-118, including such verses as The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. (Psa 118:14)
Gill: This "Hallell", or song of praise, consisted of six Psalms, the 113th, 114th, 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th (m): now this they did not sing all at once, but in parts. Just before the drinking of the second cup and eating of the lamb, they sung the first part of it, which contained the 113th and 114th Psalms; and on mixing the fourth and last cup, they completed the "Hallell", by singing the rest of the Psalms, beginning with the 115th Psalm, and ending with the 118th

Anonymous said...


It's a little slow for once at the office so I thought I would check out your blog. I was interested in this post specifically because I have been studying the beginning of the church for myself. I guess I took for granted that you believed the church started at Pentacost. I recently had a discussion with Dan Lucente of all people (a whole nother story), but he said that he believed the church started with Christ and his disciples. So... if it makes you feel better you and Dan Lucente agree on something. HAHAHAHAHAHA. That alone should make you want to change positions. Just kidding.

Ok so here's my argument. First off... Hebrews 2:12 is a quote of Psalm 22:22. You know I have no "learnin" with regard to the original languages so I am hamstrung in that area. It appears to me that while verses 1-21 are prophetic (about Christ) they are present tense. I'm sure there's a fancy name for that but i don't know it. Verse 22 isn't present tense its future. Christ says "I WILL declare" and then vs. 25 "My praise SHALL be." Maybe I'm wrong (and I'm sure you'll let me know) but it sounds like Christ is on the cross suffering and looking forward to what WILL happen, not what has all ready happened.

Secondly. I think the key to this argument is 1 Corinthians 12:13. A believer becomes a member of the body of Christ by Spirit baptism, right? Christ said in Acts 1:5 that "ye SHALL be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Then Acts 2 happens.

Let me know what ya think!

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Caleb,

I think this is you by the personal stuff you've mentioned. I hope you can find this post, since it was a little bit of time ago.

I don't think that we can know the exact time during which Jesus is singing in the church, but it had to be before Pentecost, because He wasn't there. I think there is an argument for it being after His death, because He doesn't call them brethren in the gospels until then. That would jive with what you are saying, but it would still be a problem for you because of the fact that Jesus is singing with them in the church. I would go with plain meaning.

Regarding 1 Cor 12:13, I don't believe we have a grammatical basis for that being spirit baptism. Michael Sattler, in the Schleitheim Confession (1527), anabaptist, said that it was water baptism. Water baptism fits the context in that the only baptism in 1 Cor is water (see chapt 1 and 10). If 1 Cor 12:13 is spirit baptism, then it would fit the model of Mt. Mk. Lk. and Jn. Jesus is doing the baptizing and the Holy Spirit is the medium. That was fulfilled at Pentecost. 1Cor 12:13 would have the Spirit doing the baptism and Jesus being the medium. It doesn't even fit the model. Water baptism unifies believers with the body of Christ. It's about unity with diversity in that chapter. It's obvious it is a congregation. There's more on this in several blog posts I've written if you use the search function. 1 Cor 12:13 isn't a proof text for a Spirit baptism, which would be placing someone in an invisible, mystical body.

And then you are still left with Jesus singing in the church. That is another hard hit against the Pentecost view.

Thanks Caleb.