What Is Christian Music? Part 6

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What Is Christian Music? Part 6

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.”

Many people will say that Christian Music is one or more of the following responses: 

These responses are the answers from an article on got questions.org

– The song lyrics must reflect biblical truth.
– The song lyrics must directly praise God/Jesus.
– The song must mention God/Jesus.
– The song must be written for Christians and not as an evangelical tool.
– The lyrics must directly address God, not other people.
– The song must be completely new, not a cover of a secular song.
– The song is designed to be played in church, not outside of church.
– The melody must be paramount, and the rhythm subdued.
– The song must be written and performed by mature Christians only.
– The men & women who sing the song must live what it is they sing about.

This week we will address each of these individual ideas.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this devotional is not to tell you what type of music to listen to nor is it to tell you that your selections or choices are wrong. It is designed to give you a measuring stick to measure your loyalty and obedience to God’s Word. The choice is up to you. Your walk with the Lord will only be as strong as the music you allow to penetrate the channels of your mind. Trash in, trash out; God in, God will come out.

8. THE MELODY MUST BE PARAMOUNT, AND THE RHYTHM SUBDUED.

Our text, above indicates that the melody is upmost and should be upmost in any song! I cannot stress this enough. Many of you may begin to ask, Why is that? Well, look at the text: 

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.”

Notice that it says “Let the word of Christ”. This is in total contrast to the new evangelical mindset of more upbeat music attracting a younger generation. Why? No one goes away from a concert or a singing service humming the piano part nor do they walk away singing the overwhelming bass or guitar licks. They walk away singing the melody! This is consistent with Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Having articulated that truth there are three things that all Christ honoring songs MUST have. Unfortunately, you won’t find this, what you area about to read, in the halls of many churches. 

THE INGREDIENTS TO GODLY 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.”

Ephesians 5:19

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

II. IT MUST HAVE A MELODY

Last time, we spoke about the message of the song being the most important part of the song. The next part of the song is the melody of the song! If the message is the driving force of the song, then the melody is the vehicle that is driven by the message. The are both important and have significant power if joined effectively. The melody is the music that carries the message.

Here is an example of a melody:

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The notes, that are above the lyrics, is the melody that the listener or musician will play in conjunction with the words. The melody or musical message, forever identifies these words immortally. 

Here are a few things that a good melody must have in order for it to have a lasting effect on the listener:

II. MOST GOOD MELODIES HAVE FORWARD MOVING ENERGY AND AN IDENTIFIABLE CLIMAX

What does this mean? It simply means that good melodic lines have forward progress that pushes the musical idea forward. This means that the music starts somewhere and climbs to a climatic point and then resolves or ends. Think of this process as a car traveling up a hill and back down again. It takes energy to climb the hill but after one crosses the top of the hill it requires less energy. In this photo, you will see this process:

 

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1st Line:

The melodic line rises and falls creating forward progress.

2nd Line: The melody travels down.

3rd Line:

There is downward and upward movement

4th Line: 

This is in conjunction to the climax of the hymn.

5th & 6th Lines: Resolution of the piece. 

Many selections do not have such identifiable features. So you may ask why is this important it is just musical notes. Powerful lyrics written with a weak melodic line doesn’t give the message in the song the max potential. It’s like having a pick-up truck with the highest towing and hauling capacity but NEVER utilizing this feature. Music should be fully utilized so that it can invoke the highest emotional response toward God as we can. In tomorrow’s devotional, we will speak about just that! How artist and musicians convey an emotional response for the notes on the page to the ears of the listener. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie. 

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