Music itself doesn’t change us, of course, but God often uses music to work in us on our journey of transformation. It is a way through which we are continued and strengthened in faith.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 247
Neither worship music nor its style should be the primary defining mark of any church. Its real engagement with the living Lord should be that defining mark in both attractions and missional ways. While leaders must give loving guidance to and development of the musical style of their community, there is something more profound to discover: its worship voice.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 181
Even as the gathered assembly was a visible symbol of unity, the sound of singing is an audible symbol of unity.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 221
Pastoral musicians must learn to love the sound of a singing congregation above any other musical sound.
—Charles Gardner, “Ten Commandments for Those Who Love the Sound of a Singing Congregation,” in The Singing Assembly, 103 (quoted in Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 212)
As we gather for corporate worship tomorrow, we would all do well to remember that it is not a biblical necessity to enjoy the music—though it is not an outright sin to do so either—to which the truths of God’s word are set to melody, harmony and rhythm. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV) If the music or musical style does not suit your personal and private tastes, make it your spiritual aim to rejoice in message of the lyric, for that is much more important than the music.If you cannot rejoice in the message of the lyric, either the lyric must change, or perhaps your heart.
We may sign agreement to a doctrinal statement, but the doctrines we fully believe are the ones we sing. Church history has proven the power of music to shape our understanding of God.
—Jerry Foote, “Nearer Than We Know,” Moody Magazine January/February 1997, 16
The idea of limiting and censoring music is at least as old as the 4th century BC, when Plato wrote that in the Republic he envisioned, the flute and other instruments “capable of modulation into all the modes” would be banned. We don’t think of Plato as a totalitarian, but he shared the totalitarian rulers’ fear of the power of music to unleash the human spirit…It was no accident that Mao and Plato both wanted to ban certain kinds of music…
Glazov informs us, “The Taliban illegalized music completely in Afghanistan, and Ayatollah Khomeini banned most music from Iranian radio and television.” Lenin did not ban music, but he wouldn’t listen to lt. “It makes you want to say stupid, nice things and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.”…
—William J. Federer, Change to Chains: The 6,000 Year Quest for Control, 77