I am W.L. in a very liberal church while my own views are very conservative. How do you feel about working with those who disagree deeply with your own view of scripture?
In a previous church there was also a divergance of views over the prosperity gospel. The preacher was all for it and I thought that Jesus was always broke.
Does the presence of the musician endorse the teaching from the pulpit?
I would not work for a pastor with whom I 'disagree deeply'. Disagreement is something, deeply disagreeing is different.
To answer your last question, I'd say yes.
Most of the time, righteousness and truth lose out in favor of "tolerance" in those situations. Unless of course someone insists on truth over "tolerance". If you don't agree with the teaching from the pulpit, you don't need to be there - especially if that teaching is washed out and compromised.
I agree with both Billy and Stevo. Don't compromise your values for the sake of playing music, even worship music.
It's tricky. If there's a difference of the finer points of theology then you can work through that. If you feel the leadership is endorsing unrighteousness and sin then (regardless of whether he really is or not) then for your conscience sake you need to move on.
> Does the presence of the musician endorse the teaching from the pulpit?
Yes, absolutely. IMHO, while your job is to lead the congregation into a point of worship, you "report up to" the lead pastor of the church. Or to say it differently, you are "under" the leadership of the lead pastor.
So if you're not theologically aligned with the basic theological teaching of the church there, you have to ask: Did GOD put me here? (YES): open your ears, start listening to what you're supposed to be doing / learning. (NO): ask God to use you, wherever. But be ready to bloom where you're planted.
How did you end up there? Either it is a place where the kingdom of God is being worked out (in which case, you've got to be less classically conservative than you are giving yourself credit for), it's just a job (in which case, are you sure it is any better than being a strip club manager or a hedge fund gambler?) or you must have some strong relationships with people there (probably back to suggestion one - a place where the kingdom of God is being worked out).
I think there is plenty of room for honest disagreement about theological details and practice but I don't think I'd want to pour out my talents in a place that should be the centre of my Christian family but where I just turned up for the music.
Thanks to everyone for their input. To answer some of the questions raised, yes I was called to this church. I belong to a quietly charismatic evangelical Church of Scotland in a village called Torrance which has grown so much that we had to build a new sanctuary and now the Lord has filled it to overflowing. We have musicians, administrators, lay preachers etc to spare so we work with various inner city congregations who lack such abundance. A few years ago I awoke from a dream where the praise band had been split up with the words,'Chosen for the poor,' in my head. That night I got call from an inner city church who were looking for an organist. When I got there it was the building I had seen in my dream. That congregation self destructed to the point of old age pensioners fighting one another! The Presbytry closed down that church and I was offered a job with a neighbouring and more civilized congregation. I still feel I am in the right place but it is not a comfortable place. Your prayers would be appreciated.
It sounds, then, that you are in a place where the Kingdom of God is being worked out. For worship leading, I imagine one of the challenges will be finding songs which captivate people across the theologies of the congregation. For example, I wonder if one of my favourites, The King of Love (by Paul Oakley) might work? This recognises that Jesus is present as the King of Love and that this holds wonderful promise for things like "troubled minds" knowing his peace and "captive hearts" being released, which both Liberal and Evangelical hearts can rejoice together in as they consider the Kingdom mandate: "The spirit of the Lord is upon me ..." (Lk 4 / Isa 61).
I will pray for you in your wrestling that it will work out as team mates strengthening each other and not opponents aiming for each others defeat.