Tuesday, July 25, 2006

MY FIRST TRAVELS AND MAYBE EVEN FIRST REAL CONSIDERATIONS!

Why is it that when you need to do a lot of travelling and you have no air con, the weather is steaming, and at the point when you can have a nice lie down in the garden, the thunder arrives?! Ah well, such is life!

I had a lovely meeting and chat with Rev Brian Hoare yesterday. For those that don't recognise the name, he's Methodist minister, ex-President of Methodist Conference and hymn writer, amongst many other things of course! We discussed my many ideas for my research, and agrees that there was just so much to look at it's incredible.

One of the main issues we raised was that of the extent to which someone can be saved through music. We agreed that as much as we can understand a person gaining an experience of God, and even be brought to a knowledge of God through music, surely, it is not possible to understand the full revelation of the gospel through this. For this to happen there must be greater explanation, this therefore must incorporate lyrics and/or some form of talk. Still this leaves me wondering as to whether the possible spiritual response had during an instrumental, or completely secular concert would lead anyone to a faith in the God that we as Christians believe to be single and true, or would this simply raise an awareness of the spiritual world, unguided, possibly a dangerous and easily misfooted path.

So I guess the question therefore is, musically, what part does music play in the salvation process? Is it merely an aid, or can it really have a greater impact on bringing people into the presence of God? When people hear Handel's Messiah and are made aware of an experience of God, is it because the words of scripture are just so powerful, or the music is so emotive that it moves us to contemplate God, or is it truly a combination of the two?

Hmmm...well...my thoughts are beginning to muddle due to tiredness, but please, comment and let me know what you feel on this topic. I'd be especially interested to hear from anyone who is themselves a musician, and also those for whom music has played a key part in their faith journey (any style and genre, I'm not picky!)

Bless you in your musings,
R x

2 comments:

AndyB said...

Ruth,

I have a close friend, who was a non-christian until earlier this year... Incredibly he started having dreams where he was talking to Old Testament prophets, and started feeling God's presence in his daily life as well.

As a very rational and analytical sort of guy, at first he worried that he was having a breakdown, but one thing he said that 'sealed the deal' for him was when he went on an unplanned trip to Cardiff, happened to go and see a full performance of beethoven's 9th choral, and during the concert he had a profound experience of God, and could see angels in the rafters.

I believe God can and does use all gifts and situations, and I think music can be much a part of teh salvation process as anything else.


On another note (hah hah!), I don't know if you'd call me a musician, but I play drumkit ;), although I haven't had much chance to play in worship lately.. however on at least one occasion when we were playing at an evening service, some youths who were hanging around outside actually came in partway through the service and stayed while we were playing... They probably weren't saved there and then, but who knows what effect that had on the seed of salvation planted in their hearts.


God Bless,
Andy

Moo said...

I'd just agree with andyb's latter point about music drawing in non-christians. While doing Easter People in Llandudno several years ago we (the 11-14 venue) were based in a secondary school gym in a rather ...erm....rough (can I say that?!) part of town. [As an aside, I'll tell you that the school was closed down and the building condemned shortly after our visit....nothing to do with us of course!]

Anyhoo, during the evening events, there were a gang of youths from the local estate who would wander in, sit at the back and listen to the worship, but when anyone stood up to speak, they drifted back outside. They never went far, but wouldn't have heard any of the soeaking bits........but we prayed and prayed that seeds would be sown.

Thinking about it, we had two lads this year in Scarborough who did exactly the same thing....tho we did get them staying for some of the session towards the end of the week.

So to sum up, I guess seeds can be sown by music, but I would have thought more would be needed than notes...........my thoughts anway x