Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Contemporary Christian Music, a.k.a., Ay Ay Ay! Apparently Confusion Runs Amok Even in "Christian" Circles.

My head is spinning right now. I decided to Google the lyrics of "One World" sung by TobyMac. Little did I know that right on page one of the results would I find a blog post asserting that TobyMac and DCTalk "sing the devil's music in the name of Jesus." ?????!!!!!????? Yep! So I looked because I was curious. Yeah. The writer of that post, well, let's just say that from what I have been taught, there is NO passage of Scripture that says that a Christian can't use the rhythm and style of hip hop, rap, country, rock, etc. to glorify God and spread the message of the Gospel. Is there really a such thing as "the devil's music?" Can't prove it by me. What makes music right or wrong when it comes to the controversy of that old and stiff Southern Gospel (no offense, I'm only 33 and most of the Southern Gospel was written BEFORE I was born) and CCM?

Music, in itself, is not good or bad. God created us to sing and dance for Him. Rap is not good or bad. Where you have to ask about the quality is what is the message? IF a Christian is using his words to glorify God, encourage others, edify the church and speak the truth in love, then regardless of the music style, it is good. However, if the lyrics tear people down (race and gender included), curse God, and promote violence and hatred, then it is bad. It's not the music; it's the lyrics. So, here's my stance: Give me my TobyMac music. His music, his lyrics have helped me through some tough times of late. Between him and Casting Crowns and Tenth Avenue North, I have been able to find God. Am I where I want to be yet? No. But I thank God that there have been some people whose music has reached through my bubble and brought me back up for air.

On another note, the aforementioned post writer has apparently been a subject of controversy over some things he has apparently done. And, well, he has no way to contact him as he claims he has health issues such to the extent that he cannot read or answer e-mails. Hmmm.... No offense, but sounds fishy to me.

Secretly I kind of hope that TobyMac sues that man for defamation. Basically calling Toby the devil. Really?

Okay, I am going to go sleep over my topic of my first piece of writing that is not going to be written for publication. I might blog about what I learn along the way. God's great name/names of God. I can start it officially after the Gluten Free Expo this Saturday. Praying for good weather, more volunteers and that plenty of doctors and nurses attend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

WHY Are There So Many Versions and Translations of the Bible?

So a Facebook debate ensued when a friend of mine posted a question on a good version (other than the KJV). It was an intriguing debate of which my own curiosity has been piqued. One point brought up on the pro KJV (King James Version) was that modern versions rely heavily on something called the Critical Texts and thus have a lot of omissions and make God impersonal. Of course, this is debatable based on some of the out-of-context verses that were being used as a defense. And I need to do more research on the matter as well as ask my pastors and other friends who have seminary degrees to help explain things. The pro modern version (NIV, ESV, NASB, HSCB, etc.) side of the debate concentrated on the antiquity of the language used in the KJV, which if you think about when it was written (1600s) as opposed to now (text talk and more of a street language), really this is a good point. In the Westminster Confession, the group that wrote it believed the Scriptures should be made available to ALL people in THEIR language. The history of the KJV centers on how it came about in an attempt to put God's Word into the hands of the everyday, common person who was not necessarily educated in the Hebrew, Greek and Latin. But today, no one I know uses "thee" or "thou," thus making the KJV, in all its poetic beauty, quite antiquated. Not to say it's irrelevant, just that it's old.

In this debate, I learned that even the modern language versions are different. The NIV is more contemporary and topical. The ESV is very literal.

Let me clarify though that I am referring to versions as opposed to translations (NLT, The Message). Not that translations are bad in themselves, but they are more like a writer's interpretation rather than a language translation.

Another thing the Confession points out is that ONLY THE ORIGINAL manuscripts are the actual God-inspired Word. All versions, as a result of differences in interpretation, typos, not having EXACT translatable words, etc., have potential for error. BUT, this does not detract from the deeper, most crucial message of the Gospel and the need for salvation.

So if you are looking to take the message of the Bible to everyone, you use a version that is in the language of the majority of the people in a given area. Sort of like how you adapt a message to fit the majority of the audience. A pastor might speak on a child's terms if his audience is mostly children. He might take the same message and use more details if talking before a lot of doctors and attorneys and other pastors. Or he might shorten his sermon if he has a lot of youth and college students. Or use a simpler message for homeless people who might not have a lot of education.

Which version do I like? Well, ESV is what my church uses and my pastor stands behind. And it's very easy to understand.

And if anyone reading this has gone through seminary, I need to hear from you. What is your view and insight on this area?
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