World issues in the news, past history, health issues, and ongoing wickedness examined
in the light of the King James Bible

Steve Van Nattan







A piano tuner and pastor shares his
impressions, sad and/or blessed

By Steve Van Nattan



The Stamps Baxter School of Music has been teaching music to churched people for many years. They target three groups of people in church music, those who sing, those who accompany, and those who lead. So, I have used that format for this article. My observations come from many years of singing, leading, and tuning pianos. I cannot possibly be the expert on this topic, but here I am, and you are stuck with me until you find someone else who will try to tell it like it is. The problem in church music is that we seem to be plagued with leaders and accompanists who are far too tolerant of sloppy music.

Also, what passes for worship today, especially the music of worship, is often either vulgar and absurd, or is it so weak that the music adds nothing to the worship. Many pastors these days look on congregational singing as an interruption between the opening prayer and their fire breathing sermon. There are better things available to your worship if you will let the Holy Spirit have your worship back.

We also find that, in the modern Church, leaders have lost their doctrinal memory about the power of music. For example.....

1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Spoken to Lucifer: Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes (misical talents) was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

Music has power for good and for evil, and when churches and pastors allow their music to evolve with, and adapt to, the music of the world, only evil will result. If you think about it and consider local churches that have moved into sloppy doctrine, you will see that they often started down the road to heresy AFTER they let Satan have their music.

Church music is supposed to be part of the Church at worship. Church music is also a kind of fellowship that can be very uplifting. But, I am assuming one thing up front. CHURCH MUSIC IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE AMUSEMENT. Only that music that exalts God and the doctrines of the Bible is worthy of use in worship. Everything else is sloppy agape.

What I will talk about below will deal with many aspects of church music that can make, or totally wreck, Christian worship. I hope you will apply anything that the Holy Spirit shows you which you need to deal with.



Read all of this article so that you know what the others in music ministry may be doing.

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

That means you will not be singing love songs to Jesus. You will be praising him, exalting him, and singing doctrine from the Bible.

The Hebrew for this verse implies making melody. That implies that we need to learn to sing the four parts of music. When there is harmony, the melody has a great friend by which to exalt the sound of singing. Do the best you can, but try to contribute to the unity of four part harmony. Also, if you cannot sing on key well, and if you cannot read the notation, DO NOT stop singing. God wants you to be part of the music. Now, if you know you have trouble singing on key, you ought to decline when any thoughtless leader asks you to sing in front of a microphone. Otherwise, keep singing.

1 Corinthians 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

Pronounce the words distinctly as you sing so that people who are new to your assembly will hear the words and not just a fog of voices.

The leader is to be followed. It is not your job to do clever things to show your singing skills, and I do not care how well trained you are. Try to go where the leader wants to go in order to keep order in the singing.

Sadly, there is a sort of musical politics which develops in churches, especially in choirs. If some disagreement develops over what to sing or how to perform some music, try to be a peace maker. Do not take sides, but stick with the pastor and music director. If they start singing fluffy and silly songs, do not start a rebellion. Tell the pastor how you feel, and if he does nothing about it, find another church, or excuse yourself from the choir.

If you watched Part Three, you learned that the rhythm drives the body. This is why rock, Southern Gospel, and Urban Gospel music all cause the body of the singer or hearer to change and go into control of the libido. Just watch it on YouTube, and you will see for yourself that the singers quickly go into body language and actions found at the Hollywood Palladium dance floor. If you listen to rock and CCM, you CANNOT prevent your own body from wanting to adjust to the sensual. This is the beat and music of the Hebrew people who danced before the golden calf.

Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments:.....

When you whine and plead with the music leaders of your church to be allowed to sing and hear CCM, you are asking to hand your worship services over the Satan and sexual lust. Read that again please. It is often certain church members who beg the pastor to let them rock and roll at church. If you are one of them, and if God has not chastened you for it, you are a bastard, not a son.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.



You are not playing an instrument to show off your expertise. You are called of God to serve. When you set about to distinguish your skills and ability to improvise etc, you will distract from the worship. Also, the people will stop singing and be in awe of you. Play a straight forward tempo, no grand flourishes, no elaborate progressions, and no off tempo pauses for effect. Do fill in and transition to keep the music flowing, but do so modestly. Men, you are genetically designed by God to conquer. When you accompany, you must NEVER become a conqueror. You must SERVE. Ladies, your God given instincts will take care of this because you love to serve and nurture. A lady musician who has learned to be a manish conqueror is a pest if she is allowed to accompany worship singing. Worship is NO place to show feminist zeal.

Do not sway and bob your head for effect, and do not look around trying to make eye contact with people and grinning like a stuck pig. This is self-aggrandizement, and it is the opposite of the humility with which Jesus served.

NO SLIP NOTE FLOYD CRAMER STYLE. Leave that for the supper club.

Try to get the hymn list the day before playing, no matter how good you are. Practice it, and decide of it is keyed too high. If so, tell the leader you want to key lower. When the hymn is keyed too high, men who can only sing the melody will simply stop singing.

Learn to transpose and transition so that the last verse can be raised a step to inspire exaltation.

When playing for a voice solo or instrumental solo, you must lead but not dominate. Any improv should only be by the soloist. Fill in the blank spaces in instrumental performances with friendly transitions. Always practice before hand with those who will be doing special music. And remember, the special instrumentalist is not you. You are there to fill the sound and keep it flowing and four part based.

The bass is the foundation of the music. That is why piano soloists often have a back up of a bass vile and percussion. Make sure you keep the bass alive.

Keep the volume enough, but do not forte to dominate. I attended a church in the Detroit area where they had a Ph.D. for an organist. He was clearly full of himself. He slammed the volume pedal flat to the bottom and made the thing roar. I looked around, and almost all of the men in the audience were not singing, and some were chatting with each other. The idiot had destroyed the worship service, and the pastor was too much of a wimp to get his champion musician under control. Better to have Betty the beginner playing than Doctor Grosso Von Roarovich.

Follow the leader. Do everything possible to help the song leader keep control, and learn what sort of intro he likes. Does he want the last two measures of the hymn, or does he like the first bar or two completely? Do it his way. Serve. If a hymn is new or seldom sung, play the whole chorus, if the leader approves, so that the singer's memory can find the first line of the verse.

You cannot change people from the instrument. The leader must help the congregation learn to sing the way desired.

Read all of this article so that you know what the others in music ministry may be doing.



"Lead the singing." Note the word, "lead." If you are not comfortable leading, you should follow. If you cannot lead OR follow, you don't belong here. Every Christian should lead, follow, or carry ammunition. So, you are the leader, and how you lead will make all the difference in whether the worship is exalting to God or a lot of useless "preliminaries."

Study song leaders online and where you attend meetings. When the singing is great, take notes what the leader does to get this. Ask for help when you find a great song leader.

The man may seem a bit hoidy toidy, but he is teaching the patterns well. After you get the patterns with one hand, stand in front of the mirror, and use both hands in unison. This is needed where a large group is singing. Again, as the man says, stand up straight and get your hands up where people can easily see them. To practice, bring up congregational singing on YouTube, and lead as you listen.

Next, once you have the basic patterns for the three different time meters, bring up the Stamps Baxter Music School links below this article, and improvise by using their techniques. When you want a forte, or burst of volume or joy, watch the big gestures that they incorporate. Watch and lead in your own way. You do not need to mimic Cliff Barrows or Tom Powell of the Stamps School of Music. Mainly, get comfortable with what you can deal with.

Finally, add in facial gestures of joy, exaltation, seriousness, or majesty while watching Tom Powell of the Stamps School. Make them yours, not Tom's. WATCH TOM POWELL LEAD THE GROUP ACROSS JORDAN Do NOT get shy about communicating with your facial zeal and temperament. Please notice the rather creepy intro by Tracey Philips. This is calculated to give the scene of potential fear of crossing a dangerous river. Ask the musician to try to produce such feeling in the music according to the theme and lyrics. Notice the way Tom helps the group sing in a wave action, like the waves are coming in. Also, watch as Tom Powell seems to be almost preaching with his mouth movements. Sing like you believe what you are singing, and encourage the congregation to do the same. If you don't feel saved, sit down at once. If you openly confess Christ before men, leading hymn singing will be a great place to do it.

Be very sure to make arrangements with the accompanist what your starting down beat gesture will be and what you will do to give him or her the clue to hit the very first note. Do not lag with this. Behave THE SAME WAY for every hymn. Do not leave the accompanist unsure when to start. You may ask the accompanist to do the intro at their own pace, but when the first word and down beat is needed, DO NOT be late or early. A classic example of the need for communication is "For All The Saints." This hymn actually starts with an unsung down beat in the bass. Be sure you do not give the start gesture on that note. The musician must be asked to make that down beat bold in order to launch the glory of that great old hymn.

Encourage the congregation to try to sing the first word of a hymn. Absolutely demand this of a choir. What if Jesus had said, "John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.....? Would you wonder if he really meant it?

Encourage your accompanist to suggest the best key. Many hymnals are keyed too high, which I consider unforgivable when those hymn books cost so much. If you cannot sing the melody comfortably, key it down until you can. The people may never tell you that they find it hard to sing hymns pitched too high.

Do not arrange for the sopranos to sing a counter point in which they launch up another octave and scream. Even if they scream on key, screaming women really irritate some men. It is also showing off. If you have a lady in the congregation who does this on her own, you may want to put up with it, but ONLY IF she hits the high notes on key or slightly sharp like a professional. A high flat note screamed by a woman will drive some people up the wall. And, I know from experience that there are people with perfect pitch who are not musicians. It may be an old farm boy in coveralls, like the deacon in the Methodist Church outside of White Cloud, Michigan. He was the only one in the church who could tell the piano needed tuning, and the pastor depended on him to tell him to get it tuned. I do not care if you do not believe that. It is the truth.

In this case, it is boys whose voices have not changed yet. It is just as irritating as if women did it. Wait for the last verse for he screaming.

CONGREGATIONAL SINGING OF SAVED, SAVED, SAVED WITH A LADY SCREAMING AN OCTAVE HIGHER ON THE LAST SAVED. The lady does her trick on the last verse. The horror of this is that she is flat, seriously flat. The worst offense is that the song leader is encouraging her. If you do not find a diplomatic way to discourage this, all of your members who are into music will hear it and be disgusted with you for encouraging it. I have tuned pianos for 35 years, and it drives me insane. One solution would be to ask a voice teacher to counsel the lady and actually help her to be a blessing. If she rebels, get it over with at once..... ask her husband to take control of her or leave the church. Be gentle, but do not back down.
As regards church music, every Christian should lead, follow, or carry ammunition

In congregational singing, encourage people to sing by you praising God and letting your joy show verbally between verses. To enhance worship, pick a phrase in a hymn, and ask the people for a Bible verse that backs up the lyrics with doctrine. Forget theology and church creeds..... those are man made and suspect. I did this regularly in a church I pastored, and people soon volunteered verses to back up lyrics. Occasionally, some man would suggest that a line in the hymn violated sound doctrine, and we rewrote that line, or we censored the hymn. This sort of thing will bring out zeal and maturity in your fellowship as the people become alert to sound doctrine in all things. Never give your hymn book a higher authority than the Word of God.

Do not make jokes and jabber mindlessly. Fundamental Baptists are horribly guilty of this. Pastors and song leaders crack jokes and tell short stories about mongrel nonsense, and the people suck up because every worship service becomes a sacral version of Saturday Night Live. Try to get a mental picture of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum, standing under the huge menorah, tracking jokes about Moses in the bull rushes. Or, can you see Paul on Mars Hill wise cracking to the philosophers who need Christ far more than they needed amusement? You are in worship, not Bourbon Street. Do not get lost in emotional talk about when you were a child and sang some precious hymn. Emotion in worship must come from either the Word of God or the heart of the people. You are NOT the main attraction. You are there to lead.

If you have a man with a good voice AND a good testimony, ask him if you can occasionally ask him to spontaneously sing a verse of a hymn. Make it neither the first nor the last verse. The people must sing the last verse.

If a famous musician happens to visit your church some Sunday morning, take my word for it, DO NOT ask them to sing a special number. I was pastoring in the California desert, and one Sunday an RV stopped at our church, and a middle aged couple came in. I went to greet them before the service, and in the conversation, it came out that the lady was quite famous as a singer and performer. Totally in the flesh, I asked the lady to do a special for us. She gushed, and she was eager to bless us with her priceless talent. The song she sang was doctrinal rubbish. I did not feel right about cutting her off mid song because I had put her up to it. As she sang, I begged the Lord to forgive me to doing such a stupid thing. But, would the saints forgive me? After the service, I told my worship leader I felt horrible about what I had done. He said, "Don't worry pastor, I could see from you face how bad you felt. We all make mistakes." Do not learn this lesson the hard way if possible. By the way, pastor, this rule applies to famous preachers. Do NOT ask them to preach. They may be on their way from Michigan to Texas to shack up with a church house whore, like a certain preacher from Grand Rapids.

Pick a part, and SING along with the group. A closed mouth by you will invite dull singing. Try to sing the melody if it is not too high for you. Otherwise, bass or tenor. Do not sing the alto. That is usually for the ladies' voices.

Notice the left hand does not always mimic the right hand. He lifts the left hand up when he sings, "My soul shall rise to THEE." This brother is using straight forward song leading hand motions. If you are not comfortable with Tom Powell's rather extroverted style, try to find one of your own somewhere between this one and Tom's.

Whatever you do, ask God to give you zeal before you ever get near the pulpit, and then show that zeal in leading. If you have a dull relationship with Jesus Christ, you will show it in your leading, and you simply do not belong up there distracting worship with your dull Christianity. You need a little personal revival before you try to serve.

Encourage the people to sing the words distinctly and keep together. Anyone who sings out of the flow should be rebuked. Special music (trios and quartets) must be ONLY by people who have learned to sing precisely together and enunciate distinctly. Slurple burple singing will do nothing to enhance worship.

It must take no special effort by the hearers to understand the lyrics. That is how all music must be performed. For the record, I am not sure we can assume we all get a chariot ride to Heaven when we die, but otherwise they had some pretty sound doctrine.

Never ask a accompanist to transpose unless they really are that good, AND warn them ahead of time. Transposing up one step for the last verse can be uplifting for worship, but only if the pianist can do the transition, AND the people know it is coming.

Most accompanists will do a lot better if you give them the hymn list a day early to practice, no matter how well they play. If they are very good, then you can let the congregation select favorite hymns. I did this by asking them to tell me what hymn they wanted to sing before the service started, and I ran it by the pianist to be sure she could deal with it. If the pianist is really good, you can ask for favorites during the flow of worship, but do not push a pianist if this is at all beyond them. If a hymn request is unfamiliar to the accompanist, always allow her to opt out gracefully.

DO NOT RACE THE TEMPO. This is very common in southern US Baptist and Charismatic churches. When you rush the people singing, they do not think about what the words mean. Some will also give up and stop singing. But, do not drag the tempo too slow. A slow tempo results in a hymn taking way too big a piece out of the worship hour.

In a California church I pastored we had a lady pianist who had diabetes. She would occasionally cheat on her low sugar diet on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning she would go wild with a very fast tempo due to a sugar rush. I would suggest she slow the tempo a bit, and she would laugh and admit she had created on her diet. She had a good spirit though, and once I noted it, she slowed right down.

There is no glory to God in roaring. Encourage the saints to sing zealously, but demanding they "raise the roof" will not impress God if the thing gets to sound like a baseball game with some people yelling more than singing. There is no worship in a bunch of kids screaming "Power in the Blood" at the top of their lungs.

Being part of the music of the church is a social identity. Asaph was the choir director of Israel long ago. The singers were a special people, though they were not an elite. So, have gatherings for your music makers from time to time. Consult with them to talk about possibilities for the future. I mean, a full blown bar-b-que and singing jam session. Tell people to bring instruments, and make music together. Be sure to invite the pastor and a couple of deacons so that your people know you are not some secret society within the church.

Read all of this article so that you know what the others in music ministry may be doing.



1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

You, sir, must set the example of what worship music is. If you want a Las Vegas night club atmosphere, the people will follow your lead and become addicted to the show. If you worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, the people will follow.

I suggest you copy and paste this page into WordPad, print it, and give it to all you people in music, and to your deacons. You should have no secrets that you got from me. You need the whole church to be on the same wavelink as you. Also, how about getting busy, and prepare a Bible teaching series on church music with biblical evidences as the foundation of study?

Teach, teach, teach, and SING.

CAVEAT: I want to make this perfectly clear..... All of the suggestions below about enlarging your worship times are NOT because I am a closet Pentecostal of Holiness nut case. What I have experienced in worship is almost unheard of. It all came about because I got tired of dull worship which we used to call "the preliminaries." So, you may not have the comfort of tossing out my suggestions by calling me a Charismatic. In fact, Charismatics rarely have real worship either. They mostly have a three ring circus driven by the flesh and the devil.

My guess is, from years of experience singing in church, that you do not sing enough. What does God think about singing?

"The Bible never says, let those who can sing, sing, as if it were a spiritual gift. ... The Bible just says “Sing!” Over and over, dozens of times, we are commanded to sing: sing to the Lord, sing praises, sing joyfully, sing a new song. Come into God's presence with singing."

Christianity started as a singing religion. That’s one of the things that made it different and attractive in the pagan world. One of the earliest descriptions of Christians by a secular historian came in a letter by Pliny the Younger around 111 AD, asking a superior in Rome what he should do about these Christians. He said that they would gather early in the morning and sing joyfully to one another, singing “hymns to Christ as to a god.” It has always been so."
Steve Halloway

Pastor, do you really want to see your people filled with the Holy Spirit? If so, here is what the Apostle Paul says will be the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.....

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

If your singing is dull, you need revival.

Singing is not for the gifted or the trained singers. It is for ALL CHRISTIANS. So, when you sing only two of three hymns in a Sunday morning worship service, you are showing you do not have a biblical respect for the work of the Spirit of God. He wants to hear you sing, and you think the sermon is the main event. A little humility would be in order.

REPENT, preacher. Turn loose the power of God in your assembly with singing. Just take the time to sing more than two or three hymns. You will see a change for the better in the zeal of your people. I have proved this from experience. When I pastored in Grant, Michigan, in twelve years, there were at least two Sundays, maybe more, when the worship service was taken over by the Holy Spirit to the extent that I canceled the sermon and told the people we would spend the morning just singing and praising God. I AM NOT A SHUCKIN' AND JIVIN' PENTECOSTAL. That is not what happened. When I lead the worship, I ask people to come prepared to share anything in the way of victory in Christ from the past week. Also, I encourage the leading men (not ladies) to come with a word from their Bible reading last week. On the Sundays I speak of, this simply exploded in an orderly and intense atmosphere of God given joy. So, you now know I am not making it up when I tell you that you don't sing enough.

This TED Talk is an amazing discussion of the mental and emotional power of singing. DO NOT SKIP THIS.

If you want the full benefit of the video, stop it when text is posted, and read thoughtfully.
This is what can be done outside of Christ by good intentions. What do you suppose could
be done in a Bible based worship service where the Holy Spirit is the leader?

The longer you let them sing and praise God verbally, the more alert they will be when you start preaching. So, if you really claim to want to communicate the Truth from God's Word, you will increase the singing in your worship services. You will also make worship a participation event, not a platform event. I can tell you from experience that when I let go of total control and purposely turned our worship over to the Holy Ghost, our worship was totally transformed. We were a small church, but visitors from huge churches told us several times that they had never seen singing or worship like we had. I claim no credit for this other than that I let go and let the Holy Spirit take total control. I guess this all depends on whether you really trust the Holy Spirit or not.

Let the Shepherd have his sheep back, sir.


Practical Suggestions to Pastors:

Top priority: Have you gotten a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ from everyone in your music ministry in your church? I don't mean what you THINK about it. I mean a verbal eager testimony of salvation. If not, you are in deep trouble. Satan knows the power of music..... he was the Heavenly choir director before he fell. He also is a great deceiver, and he may have deceived you into believing one of his servants is born again. There is no more potent place for Satan to infiltrate your church than through music. Witness the power Satan has over Hillsong.

When I was at BIOLA College long ago (disclaimer of the school today), the school hired a new music director. His name is unimportant. He signed the faculty agreement in order to be hired. Once in charge of music, he seemed to do a great job of bringing Godly music to the college. In no way did he seem to create any confusion over music standards, and he was a stickler for excellence. All went well, it seemed, until he threw a party for music students in his home. Some students saw on his fireplace mantel a pipe wrack full of smoking pipes. One of the points in the faculty agreement he had sighed was that he did not use of encourage smoking tobacco. The students told college leaders about it, and they called him in to talk about it. In the process of the discussion, some leader finally asked the long neglected question..... Can you give us a testimony of when and how you have been born again. He at once admitted that he did not profess faith in Christ personally, but he assured the leaders that he would never undermine the spiritual teachings of the college. And, he had not. But, the man who was supposed to lead the college in Bible centered music was actually on his way to Hell. He was at once let go, and the college leaders admitted that they had egg on their face over the blunder.

I don't care how famous some musician is, nor what spectacular credentials he has, nor what Fundamental Baptist patriarch gave him a letter of recommendation, pastor, ASK FOR A PERSONAL TESTIMONY.

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC (CCM) “Contemporary Christian Music is built upon the premise that music itself is a neutral force and that only a song’s words determine its morality.
CCM therefore incorporates the full spectrum of modern rock/folk/jazz/rap/country music, believing that any style of music is acceptable to carry the Christian message and to glorify Jesus Christ.”
David Cloud

If you believe that, "God can use any medium to give the Gospel to men," I challenge you to put your teen age girls on the platform in bikinis, and tattoo John 3:16 on their tummies. Oh, that sounds revolting, does it?
Well how about this?
That drum beat is the same as I heard in Africa when I was growing up there. It is the beat of the libido. It is Satanic.

Forget the trap set and the guitars. If you add these, you will slide into Contemporary Christian Music. Sing the old hymns of the faith. Every person who participates in worship music must be told that there will be no 7/11 songs. Those are the ones where seven words are repeated eleven times. Also, no CCM. CCM will drag your worship into trendy and silly behavior and totally destroy the awe of God. CCM is for only one purpose.... amusement. Amusement: A-muse, or "against thinking." If you want a room full of hypnotized fluff heads, sing CCM.

No Southern Gospel. SG is straight from Bourbon Street as to the origin of its genre. READ HERE WHERE I PROVE THAT. No off beat EVER. The pianist must be totally submitted to your authority in all of this. A jive piano is the fastest way to put the whole assembly into a dance hall slump and the mindset of the groin.


Examples of where you MUST NOT GO:

This is all about affect by self-possessed show offs. Doctrine is almost zero, and the theme is a love song to Jesus that sounds a lot like a Rockabilly Nashville love song.

If you want the whole congregation to have a libido rush, this is what you want. If I paid for a ticket to a rock concert and did not get this stuff, I would be mad. When I want to worship my Lord, I never want to be offended by this mob of devilish mad men. Here are my boys from before I saw the light about Southern Gospel. You might think this is OK because they are not as wild. Wrong, and Jake Hess, the lead singer, with his facial expressions, used to make the girls in the front row scream like they were at an Elvis concert. Jake Hess is now wowing the ladies for Bill Gaither. SAME FACIAL EXPRESSIONS FROM SIXTY YEARS AGO. This showmanship is NOT like Jesus when he sang in the Upper Room.

This sounds like something we might expect from a night club in Havana, Cuba. Salsa is great on hamburgers and fried eggs, but NOT in your worship service.

These dear people are only 200 years away from the devil dances of West Africa. We might give them some slack for not getting it altogether right. But, you Anglo Saxons have had 700 years of worship music, and you have no excuse for dipping back into the sewer of Satan for your music.
Shakinah is NOT found in the Bible. Shakinah is the name of the wife of Elohim according to the Torah and the Cabala given by Babylonian pagan Rabbis long ago. If you believe God has a wife, this "worship" is for you.

CAUTION: No children watching this please.
I must admit that when I saw this I went into unbelief. I had to check the description text and make sure it was really Hillsong. I still find it hard to believe that men who claim the name of Christ could go so deep into a raw night club venue as this. I suppose the day will come, if Christ does not take us out soon, that Hillsong will have ladies stripping as the music plays. Brace yourself, folks. I must also note that this was not a thing that appeared ex nihilo. It has come as the end of an evolution from CCM that, long ago, seemed innocent enough. When you start buttoning your shirt wrong at the top, it will be wrong all the way down.

The minor key is for sadness, eeriness, and suspense. It is for the theater organ long ago when theater melodramas were played. When the music violates the words, simply avoid the hymn. I happen to like the music of the hymn you just heard, but not when talking about the deep deep love of Jesus. So, can anyone tell us an alliterative melody to sing this hymn to? SEND MAIL if you find one please.

Crouch had to know exactly what he was doing. This is demonic.
This will only be understood by any of you who are familiar with filthy street language. If you do not understand why I posted it here, do not worry about it. I don't feel comfortable explaining it in detail.
Here is a clue what Crouch was saying about Jesus.
Andre Crouch is a rock star Satan uses to call away Christians to the sewer of hog slop sensual music.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
On our honeymoon, we went to the London House in Chicago. The music that night was by Jonah Jones.
This is where this music belongs, not at the church house.
Jonah signed our menu and sent very kind wishes to Elizabeth, but there was nothing spiritually edifying about his music. It was only useful with a steak and baked potato.

This is totally sensual jive and honky tonk. The lady in the front row in black does not look like her joy came from the Holy Ghost. Compare that to the same genre, totally based in Hollywoof, of Oscar Peterson (red coat) and guest playing night club style honky tonk. The genre above is of the devil, and the alleged Gospel words are blasphemed by the spiritual bastard on the key board.


What is the standard, pastor?

Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Holiness does not come with an off beat. There is no beauty in boogie, no holiness in honky tonk. How the music makes you FEEL is not the standard for what is acceptable. To Hell with your feelings. How does God feel about your music?

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Do you seek wisdom in your music choices, or are you only trying to give the kiddies a rush? Teaching and admonishing, NOT amusing and charming one another.

What about doctrinally sound hymns written by heretics, or by sound men who became heretics before they died? There are two answers, and the first might well be called "situation ethics."

1. The only way a hymn will make a heretic of a Christian who sings it is if the writer is still alive and has a following. So, go ahead and sing it.

2. James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Heresy is heresy, and getting close to a heretic is dangerous, even if he is dead. His teachings are almost always still around in book form, and a gullible Christian may go looking for his works.

The obvious choice is number 2.

Examples: "It is well with my soul" and "Come thou fount of every blessing" were both written by Unitarians who did not believe that Jesus was God. Their history and teachings are still extant and available if searched for. When I learned this, it was a kick in the stomach, but that is the way of our adversary. He will use any trick to sucker us into compromise.

Remember, pastor, God did not promise us a perpetual Sunday School picnic. It should be no surprise to us that finding Bible based Christian music would not be immune from the spiritual warfare of Ephesians 6.


Only the best?

I have seen churches where the pastor and music leaders are obsessed with excellence. This makes the music, that should be exalting God, into a top end performance. It also will draw people to your church who are spiritually dead beats..... they only come because you have fantastic music. If Granny Jones used to sing solos long ago, and her voice is not as sweet as it used to be, still, let her sing once in a while. It is never wrong to honor the aged saints who served well in the past.

If you have a granny like this in your church, you are a blamed fool if you do not
turn her loose to bless your people.

Do not push young children forward to perform before they have learned to make melody and harmony. On the other hand, youthful musicians must be encouraged to practice until they master the music they are to sing or play on an instrument. I am not suggesting concert quality, but have them play the piece for you, and if they don't have brain farts and restarts etc, let them play. Do not fawn over anyone. Everyone who serves with their whole heart should be thanked publicly, but silly bragging and flattery is way out of line in a worship service. Musical heroes become ego driven pests. You deserve what you get in chaos and in fighting if you use flattery to motivate the saints.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Let the people choose some hymns. Ask the song leader to ask for a hymn with a theme, like Exalting Christ, The Blood of Christ, Hope of Heaven, or a Prayer hymn. Once people catch on to this, they will feel much more part of the flow of worship, and the Holy Spirit will use them to lead you along. I have done this for years, and I NEVER HAD IT GET OUT OF HAND. Your fear of letting go is why your worship is so dull. Do you really trust the Holy Spirit?

In a large congregation, you may have a piano and organ. Before allowing a musician to accompany singing, set a few strict rules.

1. The organ must not lag or lead. And, control the volume. The musicians are to lead by their gifts, NO SHOW OFF.

2. Tell them to play a straight forward melody. No elaborate rifs or progressions. You may want the piano to play the introduction, and the organ pick it up on the first word.

3. No extreme head wagging and body language. That is just showing off. No grinning as they play in a self-serving way.

Bad doctrine: Beware of hymns with lyrics which contradict sound doctrine, AND REJECT THEM. Or, if possible, change a word of two to come in line with the Word of God. Be sure to explain why you do this to the congregation. Once they catch on, you may find the people actually seeing doctrinal errors in hymns that you missed. Also, reject fluffy hymns or hymns that are mostly fantasy.

"I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown." Clinging to the cross reminds us of Catholics who make a fetish of crosses. Nothing in the Bible tells us to cling to Christ's cross. We are told to bear OUR OWN cross. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. In our assembly we switched the word "sing of" for "cling to." As to the last clause, show from the Word that there is no cross traded in on a crown in Heaven.



What should disqualify a hymn because of its source?

1. It’s recently come to light publicly that the composer of a song is living or has been living in unrepentant sin.

2. A composer is part of a denomination that teaches what you consider a distortion of the Gospel.

3. The song springs from a church or ministry that has theology or practices you conclude are unbiblical.

4. Is the song about Jesus, the Godhead, of biblical truth, or is it about me, me, me?

6. Does the song cause confusion? Do certain lyrics contradict other lyrics?

7. Do some lyrics have words that are vulgar today or have totally different meanings?
Brighten The Corner Where You Are....."Someone far from harbor you may help across the bar."
"The bar" This sort of nautical term is not commonly used today, and kids will think it is OK to go to a bar to witness. Explain that this is about the peril of entering a bar harbor. EXAMPLE It is the harbor master's job to keep watch on the sand bars which are always changing, and he makes maps for the fishing boat captains. Today, this is done by radio and computer so that the captain can download the latest sand bar configuration from his boat. While it is a beautiful word picture of guiding a sinner to Christ, never leave something like this to chance. Explain it. Many other archaic English words in hymns need explanation.

Fantasy song: In the Garden. The birds do not hush their singing when Jesus speaks. If they do anything, why would likely sing their hearts out. "And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known." That is a lie. No one has a patent on the joy of the Lord. Indeed, Jesus used the plural pronoun when he promised his joy to the disciples. John 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

Fluffy hymn: This is about as shallow as it gets. Is it heretical? Not too much, but it does not encourage the security of the believer. It is very telling that, when I searched Google for this one, all the results were by Hee Haw type idiots.

Children's choruses: Most of the choruses sung today with children in Sunday School are totally void of doctrine, and some are virtually heretical. It is YOUR job, pastor to check into this, and if a chorus is degrading to Christian truth, ask the leaders of the children to not use the choruses that fail the standard.


Satan is damned to Hell, and it is a waste of zeal to hate him. We are told to resist the devil.
Hollywood loves songs that have wretched doctrine. That is why 33rd Degree Freemason Roy Rogers sang it.


As to dress, accompanists must dress to the occasion.

Wear your best: One pastor had a lady accompanist dressed in Levi's and looking way too casual. He asked her if that was her best clothing. That was a tactful way to ask because he allowed that the lady actually might not have better clothes. The lady said, "Oh no, I save the best for special occasions." The pastor then kindly asked her to wear her best clothes to play for worship. She was offended, and as I recall, she went away mad. So be it.

If you have a man who is to accompany worship singing who looks like he just came from a baboon convention, kindly tell him he will have to change his appearance. Musicians with disgusting pre-salvation tattoos should be asked to wear clothes that cover them up. The answer may be, "I want to show other people what I was saved out of." Your answer should be, "We don't want to know." Also, a lady with a short skirt is out of the question. Sitting at the piano will make her doubly immodest and a temptation to men in the assembly. If even modest ladies have trouble with this, spend the money, and hire a carpenter to surround the grand piano with a modesty barrier. The Body of Christ must not be distracted by the body of the musicians.

Beware of the big screen monitors. They do get people to lift up their faces and sing upward. But, research tells us that reading a book is more powerful than watching a monitor. In other words, also have hymn books, and encourage the people to use them. With the book, they add tactile feeling with their hands to their reading and hearing. Also, if you invite the people to choose favorites the book will give them an index to find the number.

Finally, the accompanist must be told not to interrupt to give testimonies or any other distraction. They are to serve. I had a lady once who played the organ for our singing who would interrupt the worship to give a sickeningly sweet, or sour, testimony, complete with whimpering and tears. She was a total pest, and she believed she had reached sinless perfection. So, I had to finally ask her to sit with her husband, and we got along with the piano only. She took her little house husband and fled to the Nazarene Church nearby. The pastor there sent someone to ask me to take her back. Not a chance. He was the idiot who taught her she could become sinless.

Special solos and quartets:

1. Top priority..... the singers must have a well known and godly life testimony. If they are living in sin or have a nasty temper, you are a hireling, pastor, if you let them sing during worship.

2. They must practice if they are to be featured as "special." Spontaneous performances often go bad. And, the accompanist must practice with them.

3. Do not give them an introduction other than their name. Flattering the singer will destroy the work of the Holy Spirit. Exalt the Savior.

4. The singer must be cautioned about chattering and moralizing, especially ladies. Some women, sadly, become a bit aggressive when they get to stand behind the pulpit. If you sense this in a lady, set up a music stand somewhere away from the pulpit.

I am repeating this from my suggestions to those who lead above. Keep the volume enough, but do not forte to dominate. I attended a church in the Detroit area where they had a Ph.D. for an organist. He was clearly full of himself. He slammed the volume pedal flat on the bottom and made the thing roar. I looked around, and almost all of the men in the audience were not singing, and some were chatting with each other. The idiot had destroyed the worship service, and the pastor was too much of a wimp to get his champion musician under control. Better to have Betty the beginner playing than Doctor Gasso Von Roarovich.

One more horror to avoid. If you have two pianists or two organists, you are ripe for a war over the instruments. As soon as you sense ANY tension between musicians, especially over who gets to play and when, get them both together and rebuke them in love. If they are ladies, talk to their husbands. If the war persists, shop for another musician, and send both of the combatants back to the pew. I have seen this sort of thing tear a church to shreds. How is it possible for two warring saints to exalt God in worship while they are thrashing one another? But, do make a roster so the musicians know when they will be expected to be on hand. If you have a musician who shows very poor interest in anything but playing the instruments, that person needs to be replaced by a truly and totally committed musician.

What about musical professionals? If you have a trained musician who has a degree in music, or who teaches music in some institution, DO NOT let them take over the music program. Welcome them to make suggestions, and ask them questions where you may need wisdom. But, your church is not a concert hall, and perfection is NOT what you want. Your job, as a pastor, is to keep the sheep fed on the Word of God, and keep them worshipping God together..... all of them. If you let a professional musician dominate your music, you will soon find the people stop singing and watch the show. This means that you may simply not be able to satisfy the professional musician's lust for excellence and power. Your church should be known in the community, not because the famous Bach organists Dr. Weizenheimer goes to you church. You should be known as the people who love one another and behave like Jesus.

Psalms 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Parting shot:

Should you go off somewhere and sit still and make a strategy for music in your assembly in the future?

Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.



While I have never written music, all of my experiences with congregational singing, and performance music, have given me some insight into what works and what is distracting.

How the hymn feels, or how it flows or rhymes, are NOT the larger issue to God.

Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Give us doctrine. If you are a shallow Christian, very shy of knowledge of Bible doctrine, your songs will show it. They will be all fluffy with no depth to move the believer to think of the great truths of the Word of God.

Do not jump from one truth to another without finishing the thought. Some favorite hymns are a hodge podge of too many truths all tacked together. The singer sings eagerly, but they may mentally never make the connection of the lyrics.

Stop writing love songs to Jesus. Many of you writers give us songs with "he" and "you" all the way through. We don't know if "he" is Jesus or Buddha. Use the names of Jesus or God. Here is a song that is an old standard, but it deifies an attribute of God, Love, instead of God or Jesus by name. Stop trying to hide God and Christ from the singer. Some of these modern CCM songs are so devoid of the names of Jesus and God that they could pass for night club love songs.


The name of Jesus comes up once, but the chorus exalts one of his attributes, not him. In our fellowship in Michigan we rescued the hymn by singing, "Christ lifted me." One father told me that his teen age son sang the song all week long. These hymns that hide the name of Jesus or God are very popular in Nashville and sung by worldly honky tonk singers. Why? Answer: Because they can seem religious without speaking the name of Jesus.

Avoid difficult music progressions that require a professional voice and advanced musical skills to master. Write these complex hymns, and we will never sing them. You have NO business getting your nose out of joint because you have to write songs for ordinary people. Serve, or go write songs for the Nashville.

Do not key the hymn too high. This one applies to hymn book publishers also. You only make people miserable when you key too high.

Beware of vain repetition of the heathen. The following verse applies to singing also.

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

The way to learn to like CCM is to go to Bourbon Steet in New Orleans, sit in a night club, and watch the floor show

CCM is notorious for 7/11 songs..... seven words repeated eleven times. Repetition is vain. Some of the old hymns of the faith have no repetition, and they are loaded with doctrine. IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE.

Never use the off beat, especially in the genre of "stride," "rag time," or "boogie woogie." These, and other off beat melodies, are used in the world to move the libido of the listener. They have no place in church music. Southern Gospel may be southern, but it is not Gospel. READ MY ARTICLE ON THE ORIGIN AND REASON FOR SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC

When you write, start with a theme, a doctrine, a Bible truth, and then, only after you have studied that truth in the Bible for several days, write that truth into a song. Some sudden hook that pops into you head in traffic is NOT where sound doctrine comes from. It is in the Word of God, and only as you think deeply in some doctrine, can you be of any use to God.

Just because the Christian world picked up on your song does not mean you were in the Holy Spirit when you wrote it. A classic example of self-will by the hymn writer is the Gaither song, "The King is Coming." It is a treacherous mixture of two prophetic Bible truths, the Rapture of the Church, and the final Second Advent of Jesus Christ to set up his Kingdom. The main theme is about the King coming, but the refrain, "He's coming for me" is distinctly a Rapture phrase. When the King finally comes to rule in his Kingdom, he is NOT coming FOR the saints. The Bible says he will be coming WITH his saints the last time. The Christian singing that hymn will not be on earth to be taken anywhere. John MacArthur reported that, when questioned about this song in a letter by a believer, the Gaithers claimed that the song was given to them by inspiration, and no one had any business questioning their doctrine. Such arrogance is unforgivable. Get your doctrine right up front. And, when a believer suggests your doctrine is shaky, go back and prove all things all over again. You are not infallible.

But, do write us a new hymn please, for new songs appeal to God.

Psalms 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Read all of this article so that you know what the others in music ministry may be doing.




130 Stamps Baxter Music School singing class hymns.
Almost all are from the old Redbacked Hymnal from the Deep South. The group sings some verses in SO FA, which is singing the note registry names instead of the words. This is an old device of learning to sing based in what is called Sacred Harp singing. If the meter of the music is a bit too jived up for you, just click to the next hymn. The pianist is Tracey Philips who has won awards for her work in the Christian music world. If you accept ladies to lead choir and congregational singing, I suggest you ask them to watch this lady.

Great Joy in that City
Acts 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city.

A very good example of a song with a solid biblical foundation. Watch how Tom Powell gets his cardio exercise into the leading. His animation is meant to keep command of the singing of a whole room of singers. He keeps eye contact, he uses large hand motions, and he has the pianist in his total command. Notice the little grin when he holds suspense between verses and then hammers down for the pianist to hit the down beat. When you lead well, it is very satisfying to watch and hear the singing stay clear and zealous. Note the joy on the faces of the singers. Sour puss faces are a disgrace to the Lord. Also, notice the eagerness in the singers to be led. If you have a rebel singer who resists your lead, talk to them, and if you cannot bring them around, sack them. They will poison the whole thing. If you are the singer, FOLLOW. That is the best thing you can do to exalt God. The genre style may be suspect in this song. I used it to illustrate the leading technique.

Pastor, if you allow this rubbish to develop in your alleged worship service, you will be chastened by the God you claim to be serving. If you happen to be so deformed spiritually as to think this comedy exalts Jesus Christ, try to imagine Jesus putting on this slop hog clown show in the Temple in Jerusalem.


The power and precision in this college choir is a result of.....
1. Much practice
2. A patient but perfectionist leader
3. Singers who really show the love or Jesus and an eager spirit
4. In music, they display what is called "Attack"
Can you do this in your church on a back road in Kansas or Nevada?
No, but you have the same Holy Spirit they have, and he will do a lot more than you might expect if you give real diligence to your worship services.