Why We Need to Stop Fighting about Music in Church

Pastor Marcos Torres and musician Maxwell Aka have teamed up to produce a series that takes an in-depth look at worship music in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In this joint interview, Marcos and Max explain why worship is more important than the mission, how divine mandates about music styles dont exist, and why it doesnt matter that a time-traveling Ellen G. White would despise the music they make.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11694

The song Chainbreaker was sung in PMC at Andrews University on March 19 and I was pleasantly surprised since I think it is a great song and would not have imagined it being sung in SDA churches. It was blessing for me.

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Chain Breaker is definitely a great song, especially the Zach Williams version…i can see this song being performed at PMC during a church service, and even at Calgary Central, which is Canada’s most conservative adventist church (my home church)…

i can’t see Dwight Nelson, or any adventist pastor, objecting to either the message or style of this song…my impression has always been that he tries to help people feel their religion, and Chain Breaker’s simple, intense message and music definitely does that…

Some hold that some types of music are inherently wrong, Others seem to say that ethical categories do not apply to music, that everything from a burp to Bach is equally acceptable from a moral point of view.

My own view is that ethical categories do apply to music but that they do so hypothetically rather than categorically. As such, they are secondary and derivative considerations.

Their form is "If you think it morally best to be a _______kind of person, then listen to _________ kind of music. The first order question, then, is what kind of persons we ought to be.

I think that this is an important question. I also think it neurologically indisputable that different kinds of music affect the brain differently. Lastly, I think that being balanced is one feature of a morally praiseworthy life.

This being the case, listening to only to one kind of music probably isn’t the best. Balance is a matter of integrating several things instead of favoring only one.

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