We've seen some great songs over the years from well known Christian artists who have later changed, fallen into sin, rejected the faith or even been deceptive. Some artists that spring to mind are:

  • Vicky Beeching (now embracing a lesbian lifestyle)
  • Jennifer Knapp (same as above)
  • Ray Boltz (now embracing a homosexual lifestyle)
  • Kevin Prosch (admitted to a string of 'affairs')
  • Michael Guglielmucci (wrote the song 'Healer' while faking cancer)

We all know that the Bible's greatest songwriter, David, was by no means perfect. He was both a murderer and committed adultery yet penned many amazing Psalms.

Some questions that spring to mind:

  • Where should we draw the line when deciding to listen to or use songs to lead worship?
  • Should the history of the songwriter even come into the equation?
  • Or is it all about the lyrics and whether they are biblical?
  • What about if the songwriter is no longer a Christian?
  • Should we only use these songs in private so we don't come across as endorsing the songwriter's behavior?

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Hi Lorraine, do you mean they're a member that visits sometimes (without posting) or they just signed up some years ago & don't come here? I remember Phil being all excited about the Getty's joining, but I don't recall them ever posting - no connection to sinning BTW, but just an example of a well known member who wasn't active.

Hi Toni,

You mean to tell me that 'not posting' isn't a sin? ; )

In answer to your question... the person signed up some years back but I don't think has ever posted.  Still on here though, at least when I last looked a few days ago.

Please excuse my ignorance, but who are the Getty's?

Modern hymn writers - see http://www.gettymusic.com

They've produced some fantastic songs. In Christ Alone, co-written with Stuart Townend, is one that I know particularly well.

Wulf

Wulf has it.

Not posting is only a sin to those who need to boost site usage. ;)  It might be worth the new site owner going through the membership list & sending out a reminder that the site welcomes new posters etc. Then deleting non-responders after a few months.

Wulf, thank you for your reply.  I've looked the Gettys up and I too use 'In Christ Alone', it is a wonderful song.  I remember years back a preacher (can't remember who) used the words of this song as his theme.

Toni, I guess I'm not guilty of this particular sin then!  When I welcome new members to the site I try to encourage each and every one of them to become involved but it doesn't seem to have much of an impact.  Apart from new posters, I also miss the oldies, you really got to know them well and I right looked forward to reading their posts.  I remember many things but what I'm sitting laughing about whilst writing this is David Bull's 'Old and Wrinkly' group and the limericks discussion :)  Come back David, all is forgiven ;)

Nathan, what do you reckon to Toni's suggestion then?  

Yes, I need to send out more regular emails to that extent... and also get some feedback from the newer users. I know some come to just read and pull from content... but do not interact themselves. Some will always do that. The site has been pretty dead for quite a while. We're starting to see some re-birth so that is good. Just have to keep it rolling.

I was quite impressed to see you ask such an insightful question which is seldom if ever addressed. My opinions on your questions and the course of action that should be taken are:

* If the artist is unrepentant or is/was in a habitual sinful behavior where there was no attempt to over come the grievous sin and it is common knowledge, then it is probably in the best interests of the church/Christian organization to avoid using their music for possibly as long as 40 years later when most of the people now are dead or forgot the person's sins. The music leader needs to consider the level of stigma associated with the music. Highly stigmatized music should be avoided.

* If the writer has rejected the faith, I would consider that as something with a significant stigma if it is common knowledge about their unbelief and wait till forty years has passed before using the music or not using it at all.

* Pastors could confirm that a believer and artist who has been a Christian for perhaps 40 years or more is highly likely to have done some things they would rather not say given the elapsed time, whereas a younger musician starting out will have much less baggage hopefully.

*When the artist/musician gets on a stage, we hope they practice what they preach but if they don't because they are telling lies before a crowd or committing some other grievous sin, then Gal 6:1 which says to gently restore a brother who sins needs to be applied. 1st Tim 5:20 says rebuke publicly those who sin. Before you do something like that, there needs to be a prolonged effort by the accuser with firm confirmation the sinner has actually done the sins you claim they are doing. You need to be sure you have made every gentle effort and turned over every stone to get this person to repent. You need to remember many believers struggle for many years with certain sins before they actually over come them so we do not want to condemn a struggling repentant believer. If a writer has certain sins from way back or before they were saved, there should be only a few sins that should discredit them from having a public Christian ministry with music.

*If the lyrics of any writer are just merely spirituality with a Christian veneer, in other words they don't really quote the bible make reference to a well known Christian concept, or are ecclesiastical in their content, their songs should be avoided. There are those Christian writers where if you played their music in a bar, no one would be offended so the writer needs to include much more ecclesiastical content so at least some of the ungodly would be offended or highly disinterested.

* If you find someone who is sinning and needs the help for victory over sin, consider the bible's teaching that love covers over a multitude of sins so every believer needs to be an expert in their understanding about the bible's teaching about love along with being able to quote a lot of 1st Cor 13:4-7. The believer needs to make sincere attempts to carry out the fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22,23 which will then give them victory and the power over the sins described as deeds of the flesh in Gal 5:19-21. I don't think a particular sin has to necessarily be mentioned in the list as a deed of the flesh in order to get victory over it after attempting to do the fruit of the Spirit.               

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