PipeChat Digest #4591 - Monday, July 5, 2004
 
Patriotic music in  Christian worship?  (long)
  by "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu>
Re: How to explain the un-use of Patroitic music
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
Re: Patriotic music in  Christian worship?  (long)
  by <Innkawgneeto@cs.com>
(no subject)
  by <Swedish5702@aol.com>
RE: (no subject)
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: (no subject)
  by <Swedish5702@aol.com>
Re: (no subject)
  by "Roger Brown" <roger2@rogerbrown.no-ip.org>
Re: (no subject)
  by "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au>
RE: (no subject)
  by "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz>
Re: Happy Independence Day!
  by "Scott" <montre1978@yahoo.com>
 

(back) Subject: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long) From: "Karl Moyer" <kmoyer@marauder.millersville.edu> Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 23:42:55 -0400   This is a sticky and ultimately theological discussion.   For starters: =B3My kingship is not of this world, else my servants woul= d fight=B2 Jesus told his listeners. (John 18:36) But Christians have long struggled to understand just what =B3the kingdom of God=B2 really is, or more broadly, what the relationship is between God/the Lord/Christ and the world/early or transitory life/the =B3culture,=B2 etc. The discussion gets a real workout in a classic by Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture, and it is =B3assigned reading=B2 for anyone seeking to understand this subject and thus the relationship of patriotic music to the Church.   Consider it side-by-side with the parable of the wheat and the tares, how the wheat and the tares (weeds, whatever) shall be permitted to grow together until the =B3harvest,=B2 i.e., perhaps, =B3the last day=B2 or =B3judgment day.=B2 That=B9s hardly a guide intended for training farmers, of course, though it=B9s true that pulling up the weeds will destroy lots of good wheat as well. (The parable came before the days of modern spray-based weed control!) But there is something there about NOT insisting that every bit of evil be done away with, NO MATTER WHAT!! Hey: I didn=B9t make it up, Jesu= s did.=20   St. Augustine=B9s classic City of God, City of Man finds a parallel in th= e Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the kingdom of God, i.e., the =B3Right Hand of God,=B2 versus the kingdom of man, i.e., =B3the Left Hand of God.=B2 Luther, of course, was an Augustinian monk and more than likely knew Augustine=B9s great work well.   The Church =8B capital letter C fully intended here =8B is the earthly expression of the Kingdom of God, the =B3right Hand of God,=B2 and Christians have brotherhood in Christ which transcends race or color or nationality. The =B3one, holy, catholic Church=B2 is the church of all times and places and races; indeed, our music should thus reflect this catholic diversity intentionally and unashamedly. We pledge =B3primary allegiance=B2 etc., to this one God in three Persons across all lines which divide Christians over other issues but which do not divide Christians from this most basic belief= ..   The State is the kingdom of man, the =B3Left Hand of God,=B2 persons who by God=B9s grace live in a particular country and who hold that country in greater or lesser respect, affection and dedication. Anabaptists (Mennonites, Amish, and a few related such groups) are particular in their down-playing of allegiance to any earthly country, though they DO understan= d Jesus=B9 lesson about the two sides of the coin, and thus they do render to =B3Caesar=B2 what is Caesar=B9s in taxes. Bonh=F6ffer and the =B3Confessing Church=B2 railed against the greater number of German Christians who could not keep these distinctions clear and thus ended up getting snookered into Hitler=B9s =B3camp.=B2 The Barmen Declaration of 1934 (=B3Die theologische Erkl=E4rung der Bekenntnissynode von Barmen,=B2 vom 29. Bis 31 Mai 1934) is so important a statement about the defection of the Church to the =B3State=B2 (Hitler, the Nazis, the Third Reich, usw.) that this document appears in many of the German hymnals; my immediate source is at No. 810 in the Evangelisches Gbesangbuch, ausgabe f=FCr die Evangelisch-Lutherische Landeskirche Sachsens, i.e., the =B3Lutheran=B2 hymnal in Saxony, including in Bach=B9s two main church in Leipzig, Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche.   Richard Niebuhr lists five relationship of Christ to the culture. He discusses Bonh=F6ffer=B9s stance and, indeed, the implications of Jesus=B9 statement quoted above in terms of =B3Christ and culture in paradox,=B2 something which rather closely parallels the parable of the wheat and the tares. This stance would call for churches and church people to pray for those in civil authority, for soldiers =8B see Luther=B9s On Whether a Soldier, Too, Can Be Saved =8B yes, the soldier can be saved! -- BUT would NOT properl= y admit matters of the state into the life of the Church. For example, Luther=B9s introduction to his marriage order states clearly that marriage is the business of the state, NOT the Church, but that =B3if they ask us to pray over them, we should do so=B2 -- those are not the precise words, but they ar= e accurate to what Luther writes. (I could write a whole essay here on the implications of THIS as regards wedding music!)   Thus in this understanding of Christ and culture in paradox, in the sense that =B3My kingship is not of this world,=B2 etc., etc., the Church ough= t to proclaim the Law and Gospel and their implications TO the world, esp. through those Church folks who go out into the world as servants of the world (i.e., who exercise their Christian vocation properly), but the Churc= h should NOT =B3take sides=B2 about one nation versus another, much as Jesus did not =8B and thus should not get involved in patriotic matters in public worship. God does NOT bless American any more than He blesses Iraq, despit= e the implicit feeling of many who sing =B3God Bless America.=B2   In America we have peculiar problems with all this. Indeed, within th= e last week or so we have read that the GOP has tried to get churches to encourage their members to vote Republican. Interesting, too, that a Southern Baptist statement has condemned this attempt by the GOP!!! But Christian ideas form the basis for American support of Israel, since =B3fundamentalists=B2 claim that the growth in power of Israel is an important step toward the Last Day, the Rapture, etc., and thus that Christians in America should support Israel, Jewish or no, since this is likely to hasten the Day Of the Lord. (Hmm: Some Americans are so confident of how the Lor= d needs their help!!)   But it=B9s easy to mix Christianity with patriotic fervor and come out wit= h a =B3Folk Religion of =8CGod Bless America,=B9=B2 (FROGBA), as one current theological writer puts it. So in Lancaster county PA some churches actually replaced the cross with the American flag, and a number of friends sent cards or e-cards showing the American flag draped or wrapped around the cross. Yes!! It happened.   Many of those folks think that they can make =B3the kingdom of this world= =B2 into =B3the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,=B2 as Handel uses the text from Revelation, never seeming to understand what that text MEANS in its context in Revelation!! But it sounds good, and, frankly, it gives some American a feeling of POWER; and so they don=B9t bother with what=B9s wrong about it. And after the invasion against America in Sept 2001, lots of American went for whatever feelings of power they could find, including bigger and bigger vehicles, even civilian versions of Humvees!!!! More than one social psychologist analyzed it as a reach for POWER real or imagined, but people did it, gas-guzzlers or no. (No, I didn=8Ct make this up!)   Calvinism falls into this =B3Christ transforming culture=B2 theological stance, and more than not, Calvinism and certain Calvinism-derived theologies have tended to rule the day in America most of the time, including in the present day. Thus, for example, comes the big drive for civil law to carry out a particular CHRISTIAN viewpoint on any number of issues, including marriage, despite the claims at handy moments that Americ= a does not establish a particular religion. Try telling that to lots of Mormons 100 years ago, whose religious freedom got badly trampled under foo= t by =B3Christians=B2 who insisted that the American government establish various =B3Christian=B2 ideas into the law of the land. (As a friend of mine said quit= e some years ago, he was all for Bible reading in the public schools until he moved his family to Utah.) Thus, Calvinist-based groups now call for the civil government to make into law an idea about marriage which carries out certain Christians=B9 ideas, based on Christian scriptures, rather than these folks preaching and teaching as best they can against what they consider si= n where certain sorts of marriage are involved. It is from those folks, of course, that the GOP is now trying to rake in a =B3debt of gratitude=B2 leading to the November election. Note, too, that religious groups who try to get the government to carry out their ideas for them are not unlike the growing number of parents who now expect their children=B9s schools to carry out certain parenting responsibilities which the parents do not accomplish, eve= n to the extent of feeding many of them their breakfast!!   This is all the more interesting when one considers the Bush/American push in Iraq for a constitution and government that straddles the various warring fundamentalist religious factions and have a government that commit= s itself to none of them in particular. Yet, the same Bush administration =B3milks=B2 religious principles in government here at home =8B well, so long as they are principles the fundamentalists will find acceptable =8B and expects them to vote for Bush et al. The longer you think about it, the worse it gets! (A public declaimer here: I have been a registered Republican since I was 21 years old.)   The Germans learned their lesson the hard way about mixing religion wit= h patriotism; we have not yet learned that lesson. What=B9s more, the State Church relationship in England, of which ECUSA (Episcopal Church In the United States)(formerly the Protestant Episcopal Church) has a historic state-church connection, complicates this whole issue in America in yet a different manner!!=20   All this to say final that we have good reason for making NO recognitio= n of patriotic observances in public worship AT ALL, short of both thanking God for those in civil authority AND praying that they may lead with wisdom= , justice, etc. To glorify the State in the life of the Church is to offend Jesus=B9 statement in John 18:36. The American prayer books had no such ide= a until the =8C28 BCP, by which time American patriotism had become a W. W. I issue, especially in German-background churches but also in the strong anti-German feelings which took along with them the Germanic-bred music of John Knowles Pain, George Chadwick, Horatio Parker, etc.   How can we do handle prayer for our country properly within the Church? The hymn =B3God Of Our Fathers,=B2 a product of its own era and specifically of the rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Brandon VT =8B and we sing it to the music by the organist at a larger, more famous St. Thomas Episcopal Church, NYC =8B only touches very lightly on ideas offensive to Muslims, atheists, etc. But for Lutheran readers here who refer to Lutheran Book of Worship, 1958, it is important to know that the book in question is divided into three categories of congregational song, apart from liturgy music: 1. Canticles 2. Hymns 3. National songs (see the table of contents, p. 5= , in the front of the book. Then it is important to note that the hymn I discuss here is NOT in the =B3hymnal=B2 section at all but, rather, in the =B3patriotic songs=B2 section.   Hymns praising the country belong in patriotic observances, matters having to do with =B3the Left Hand of God,=B2 much as does saluting the flag, etc. (Watch what you say here: I am an ex-sergeant and am ADAMENT about folding our nation=B9s flag in the correct manner!! Indeed, when the boy who= m we hosted this year as a forieng exchange student received an American flag at graduation which had flown over the nation=B9s capitol but which was folde= d square, I immediately taught him how to fold it correctly.) Hymns, etc., praising the country do NOT belong in the worship life of the Church, which is the work of the Right Hand of God ALONE!   It=B9s too easy to get caught up in emotion, feeling, sentimentality, eve= n patriotic fervor here, as though excluding patriotic hymns, displaying the flag, etc., in the church is somehow un-patriotic. Fundamentalists seem simply unable to keep this issue straight, scripture notwithstanding. Indeed, one of the most patriotic things we can do in America is to keep th= e separation of Church and State clear and strong, so that a full measure of religious freedom will reign for everyone, unlike how it did NOT reign for certain Mormons, for just one example. That means keeping the State OUT of the Church. =20   Very difficult in America at this point: the various ways in which our inclusion of =B3God=B2 in official coinage, documents, etc., has gone unchallenged. One way of seeking to =B3explain this away=B2 is to say that these references to =B3God=B2 are not really religious statements, only cultura= l euphemisms. That=B9s HORRIBLE to the sincere Christian who does NOT want his God watered down to a =B3cultural emphemism,=B2 for it weakens our reference t= o and ministry for God in every other moment, at least as the general culture sees it. We should NEVER admit to God being only a cultural matter, for that in itself confuses what Richard Neibuhr so clearly analyzes in Christ and Culture!! What=B9s more, it denies that God is not simply an idea (which is the heresy called =B3Modalism=B2) but is one God in three Persons. As such this Trinitarian God cannot be reduced to a cultural habit.   My apologies to those who think this discussion has gone on MUCH too long! =20   Cordially,   Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA  
(back) Subject: Re: How to explain the un-use of Patroitic music From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 11:45:15 +0800   God is our Strength and Refuge to the tune of the Dambusters March is in = the new Australian Hymn Book (Together in Song) also.   There are a number of other popular and folk tunes used as hymn tunes in = the same hymnal - the Ashgrove and the beautiful folk tune O Waly Waly. are = two examples.   Bob Elms.     > >The other day I used a hymn from our 'modern' book [New Hymns & Worship Songs] entitled "God is our strength and refuge", which has been set to = the tune 'The Dambusters'. > And it works darn well as a hymn, too. I've used it a number of times = and > the congregation love it. > Ross    
(back) Subject: Re: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long) From: <Innkawgneeto@cs.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 00:06:37 EDT   Very eloquently written.   Being somewhat fundy, but way more moderate that most, I have no quibble = with most of what Karl expresses.   However, my view is: separation of church and state, though important and right, does not mean "absence of God from State."   Yes, I played "Stars and Stripes Forever" for the postlude today. And, I = did an quiet improv (rhythm purposefully altered to prevent "singing") on "God =   Bless America" during communion. Did I feel heretical? Yes, somewhat. = But it felt right to do today, for some reason.   I am not of the opinion that when we sing "God Bless America", we are = asking God to bless our country to the exclusion of others.   Ok, I'm done.   Neil by the Bay  
(back) Subject: (no subject) From: <Swedish5702@aol.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 00:36:13 EDT   Question?   What the heck is wrong with the ELCA and their fixation on separation of Church and State?   Don't they realize if it wasn't for the U.S. Military, America would be either slaves or dead if we hadn't won WW2?   My local ELCA in South Williamsport refuses to put the American flag and = the church flag in the sanctuary.   The Methodists...Baptists...UCC...Roman Churches all proudly display the flag. Plus, the Crystal Cathedral has the largest indoor American Flag.   President Ronnie's funeral in the National Cathedral was all pomp and reverence and proudly displayed was the two flags mentioned above.   Come on ELCA get with the program.   Best, Craig Johnson US Navy Journalist assigned to AFRTS!  
(back) Subject: RE: (no subject) From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 16:45:30 +1200   >Don't they realize if it wasn't for the U.S. Military, America would be either slaves or dead if we hadn't won WW2?   You didn't win WWII. You were part of a team.   >My local ELCA in South Williamsport refuses to put the American flag and the church flag in the sanctuary.   As I would, here. Heck, our churches don't even have flags, mostly.   >The Methodists...Baptists...UCC...Roman Churches all proudly display the flag. Plus, the Crystal Cathedral has the largest indoor American Flag.   And that Crystal Cathedral is an awful example of "The Gospel"=3D = $$$$$$$$$. Horrible.   >Come on ELCA get with the program.   What programme is that?   Ross   --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.714 / Virus Database: 470 - Release Date: 2/07/2004    
(back) Subject: Re: (no subject) From: <Swedish5702@aol.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 00:50:23 EDT   THE AMERICAN MILITARY WON WW2 and is doing it all over again in saving the =   world from these Nazi terrorists. Get real...friend!  
(back) Subject: Re: (no subject) From: "Roger Brown" <roger2@rogerbrown.no-ip.org> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 15:06:15 +1000   On Monday 05 July 2004 2:50 pm, Swedish5702@aol.com wrote:   > THE AMERICAN MILITARY WON WW2 and is doing it all over again in saving = the > world from these Nazi terrorists. Get real...friend!   Last evening I listened to the phone-in discussion on BBC World Service concerning America's place in the world ('America' in this context = apparently meaning the /United States of America/)   One particularly *knowledgeable* 'American' emailed the program to state = that "America was thegreatest military power in the world, it could easily = conquer the rest of the world and that we (the rest of the world) were all lucky = that America was on the side of the good guys and did not choose to do so!"   I wonder just who it is that should 'get real'?     -- Roger Brown roger2@rogerbrown.no-ip.org http://rogerbrown.no-ip.org  
(back) Subject: Re: (no subject) From: "bobelms" <bobelms@westnet.com.au> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 13:19:39 +0800   I don't quite know what this has to do with pipe organs but I would = point out to our friend that the actual Japanese advance in WW2 was = stopped by the Milne Bay Force which was almost wholly Australian. Now = back to pipe organs??? Bob Elms. ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Swedish5702@aol.com=20 To: pipechat@pipechat.org=20 Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 12:50 PM Subject: Re: (no subject)     THE AMERICAN MILITARY WON WW2 and is doing it all over again in saving = the world from these Nazi terrorists. Get real...friend!
(back) Subject: RE: (no subject) From: "TheShieling" <TheShieling@xtra.co.nz> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 19:06:05 +1200   >THE AMERICAN MILITARY WON WW2 and is doing it all over again in saving = the world from these Nazi terrorists. Get real...friend!   Yeah, right. This being the only expression where a double positive means = a negative. :-)   Ross   --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.714 / Virus Database: 470 - Release Date: 2/07/2004    
(back) Subject: Re: Happy Independence Day! From: "Scott" <montre1978@yahoo.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 02:11:40 -0500   You must have talked with Bob Schafer, and that is a very nice two manual but the organ is in real need of releathering and regulating the action. Too bad, beautiful acoustics too and no money for the organ.   Scott Montgomery 619 W Church St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.390.0158 www.scottmontgomerymusic.net