PipeChat Digest #4593 - Monday, July 5, 2004
 
RE: Patriotic music in  Christian worship?  (long)
  by "Mari" <mreive@tampabay.rr.com>
RE: (no subject)
  by "Mari" <mreive@tampabay.rr.com>
Re: Need Track List Help
  by "mack02445" <mack02445@comcast.net>
What to play?
  by "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com>
Re: Patriotic music in  Christian worship?  (long)
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net>
Re: Flags in Church (off-topic)
  by <ContraReed@aol.com>
Re: Flags in Church (off-topic)
  by <RMaryman@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: RE: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long) From: "Mari" <mreive@tampabay.rr.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 07:19:00 -0400   Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long)Do you mean Reinholt Niebuhr? Mari -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Karl Moyer Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 11:43 PM To: pipechat Subject: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long)     This is a sticky and ultimately theological discussion.   For starters: =93My kingship is not of this world, else my servants would fight=94 Jesus told his listeners. (John 18:36) But Christians have long struggled to understand just what =93the kingdom of God=94 really is,= or more broadly, what the relationship is between God/the Lord/Christ and the world/early or transitory life/the =93culture,=94 etc. The discussion gets= a real workout in a classic by Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture, and it is =93assigned reading=94 for anyone seeking to understand this subject and th= us 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 =93harvest,=94 i.e., perhaps, =93the last day=94 or =93j= udgment day.=94 That=92s hardly a guide intended for training farmers, of course, though it=92s true that pulling up the weeds will destroy lots of good whea= t 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=92t make it up, Je= sus did.   St. Augustine=92s classic City of God, City of Man finds a parallel i= n the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the kingdom of God, i.e., the =93Right Hand of God,=94 versus the kingdom of man, i.e., =93the Left Hand= of God.=94 Luther, of course, was an Augustinian monk and more than likely k= new Augustine=92s great work well.   The Church =97 capital letter C fully intended here =97 is the earthl= y expression of the Kingdom of God, the =93right Hand of God,=94 and Christia= ns have brotherhood in Christ which transcends race or color or nationality. The =93one, holy, catholic Church=94 is the church of all times and places= and races; indeed, our music should thus reflect this catholic diversity intentionally and unashamedly. We pledge =93primary allegiance=94 etc., t= o 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 =93Left Hand of God,=94 persons= who by God=92s 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=92 lesson about the two sides of the coin, and thus they do render to =93Caesar=94 what is Caesar=92s in taxes. Bonh=F6ffer and the =93Confessi= ng Church=94 railed against the greater number of German Christians who could not keep these distinctions clear and thus ended up getting snookered into Hitler=92= s =93camp.=94 The Barmen Declaration of 1934 (=93Die theologische Erkl=E4run= g der Bekenntnissynode von Barmen,=94 vom 29. Bis 31 Mai 1934) is so important a statement about the defection of the Church to the =93State=94 (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 Sachsen= s, i.e., the =93Lutheran=94 hymnal in Saxony, including in Bach=92s two main c= hurch in Leipzig, Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche.   Richard Niebuhr lists five relationship of Christ to the culture. He discusses Bonh=F6ffer=92s stance and, indeed, the implications of Jesus=92 statement quoted above in terms of =93Christ and culture in paradox,=94 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 =97 see Luther=92s On Whether a Sold= ier, Too, Can Be Saved =97 yes, the soldier can be saved! -- BUT would NOT prope= rly admit matters of the state into the life of the Church. For example, Luther=92s introduction to his marriage order states clearly that marriage= is the business of the state, NOT the Church, but that =93if they ask us to pr= ay over them, we should do so=94 -- those are not the precise words, but they= are 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 =93My kingship is not of this world,=94 etc., etc., the Church= ought 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 =93take sides=94 about one nation versus another, much as Jesus= did not =97 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 =93God Bless America.=94   In America we have peculiar problems with all this. Indeed, within the 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 =93fundamentalists=94 claim that the growth in power of Israel is an import= ant 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=92s easy to mix Christianity with patriotic fervor and come out with a =93Folk Religion of =91God Bless America,=92=94 (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 =93the kingdom of this world=94 into =93the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,=94 as Handel us= es 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=92t bother with what=92s= 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=91t make this up!)   Calvinism falls into this =93Christ transforming culture=94 theologic= al 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 =93Christians=94 who insisted that the American government establish var= ious =93Christian=94 ideas into the law of the land. (As a friend of mine said= quite 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=92 ideas, based on Christian scriptures, rather than the= se 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 =93debt of gratitude=94 lea= ding 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=92s 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 =93milks=94 religious principles in government here at home =97 well, so lo= ng as they are principles the fundamentalists will find acceptable =97 and expect= s 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 with patriotism; we have not yet learned that lesson. What=92s 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!!   All this to say final that we have good reason for making NO recognition of patriotic observances in public worship AT ALL, short of bot= h 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=92 statement in John 18:36. The American prayer books= had no such idea until the =9128 BCP, by which time American patriotism had bec= ome 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 =93God Of Our Fathers,=94 a product of its own era and specifically of the rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Brandon VT =97 a= nd we sing it to the music by the organist at a larger, more famous St. Thomas Episcopal Church, NYC =97 only touches very lightly on ideas offensive to Muslims, atheists, etc. But for Lutheran readers here who refer to Luthera= n 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 tha= t the hymn I discuss here is NOT in the =93hymnal=94 section at all but, rath= er, in the =93patriotic songs=94 section.   Hymns praising the country belong in patriotic observances, matters having to do with =93the Left Hand of God,=94 much as does saluting the fla= g, etc. (Watch what you say here: I am an ex-sergeant and am ADAMENT about folding our nation=92s flag in the correct manner!! Indeed, when the boy w= hom we hosted this year as a forieng exchange student received an American flag at graduation which had flown over the nation=92s capitol but which was fol= ded 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=92s too easy to get caught up in emotion, feeling, sentimentality, even 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.   Very difficult in America at this point: the various ways in which our inclusion of =93God=94 in official coinage, documents, etc., has gone unchallenged. One way of seeking to =93explain this away=94 is to say th= at these references to =93God=94 are not really religious statements, only cul= tural euphemisms. That=92s HORRIBLE to the sincere Christian who does NOT want h= is God watered down to a =93cultural emphemism,=94 for it weakens our referen= ce to 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=92s more, it denies that God is not simply an idea (whi= ch is the heresy called =93Modalism=94) but is one God in three Persons. As s= uch this Trinitarian God cannot be reduced to a cultural habit.   My apologies to those who think this discussion has gone on MUCH too long!   Cordially,   Karl E. Moyer Lancaster PA  
(back) Subject: RE: (no subject) From: "Mari" <mreive@tampabay.rr.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 07:23:29 -0400   The American military DID NOT win WWII alone!! True, without them the result would've been different but they did not do it alone! What an = insult to the UK and the Antipodes. Mari -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of Swedish5702@aol.com Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 12:50 AM To: pipechat@pipechat.org 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: Need Track List Help From: "mack02445" <mack02445@comcast.net> Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2004 08:45:36 -0400   My thanks to Larry Chace and Matt Rhodes for providing the information I was requesting on the Biggs Album.   These lists are a real resource.   Cheers, Mack   > >    
(back) Subject: What to play? From: "Robert Lind" <lindr@core.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 08:19:45 -0500   Later this summer I will be visiting an old friend who has an 11-rank = Estey, spec below, who wants me to play a recital, keeping in mind: "we really prefer the Baroque, Early American stuff, the great hymns of the church, etc. We hope you'll favor us with at least a half hour of music."   <continue quote> It's an Estey, 1926, 11-rank plus chimes. Fully duplexed (all ranks can be drawn from either manual). The Crescendo pedal works, NOT the Swell, as there are NO swell shades (we made the conscious decision to DISPLAY the organ workings to the audience). Stops are:   MANUAL Muted Viol 8' Viol d'Orchestre 8' Viol Celeste 8' Melodia 8' Flauto Traverso 4' Gross Flute 8' Open Diapason 8' Saxophone 8' Vox Humana 8' Chimes   PEDAL Bass Viol 16' Bourdon 16'   <end quote>   I'd greatly appreciate suggestions on what might work convincingly on this type of instrument. TIA, Robert Lind        
(back) Subject: Re: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long) From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@swbell.net> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 09:06:37 -0500   Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long)No, Karl is right, Helmut = Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962) was the one who wrote "Christ and Culture." = He was the younger brother of Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), and we are = very proud of them in St. Louis, since they both once taught at Eden = Theological Seminary here.   John Speller ----- Original Message -----=20 From: Mari=20 To: 'PipeChat'=20 Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 6:19 AM Subject: RE: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long)     Do you mean Reinholt Niebuhr? Mari -----Original Message----- From: pipechat@pipechat.org [mailto:pipechat@pipechat.org]On Behalf = Of Karl Moyer Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 11:43 PM To: pipechat Subject: Patriotic music in Christian worship? (long)     Richard Niebuhr lists five relationship of Christ to the = culture. He discusses Bonh=F6ffer's stance and, indeed, the = implications of Jesus' statement quoted above in terms of "Christ and = culture in paradox," 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 - see Luther's On Whether a Soldier, Too, Can Be Saved - yes, = the soldier can be saved! -- BUT would NOT properly admit matters of the = state into the life of the Church. For example, Luther's introduction = to his marriage order states clearly that marriage is the business of = the state, NOT the Church, but that "if they ask us to pray over them, = we should do so" -- those are not the precise words, but they are = accurate to what Luther writes. (I could write a whole essay here on = the implications of THIS as regards wedding music!)=20    
(back) Subject: Re: Flags in Church (off-topic) From: <ContraReed@aol.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 10:37:42 EDT   In a message dated 7/5/04 12:36:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time,=20 Swedish5702@aol.com writes:   << What the heck is wrong with the ELCA and their fixation on separation of=20 Church and State? >>   Didn't I learn this in social studies in the sixth grade?, that there is a=20 separation of church and state written into the constitution? =20 << The Methodists...Baptists...UCC...Roman Churches all proudly display the= =20 flag. Plus, the Crystal Cathedral has the largest indoor American Flag.>>   Every single Methodist church, every single UCC church, every single Roman=20 Catholic church? The Crystal Cathedral may have good points, but IMHO, ther= e is=20 a lot there that is merely entertainment. =20 << President ronnie's funeral in the National Cathedral was all pomp and=20 reverence and proudly displayed was the two flags mentioned above. >>   Could that be because this was the funeral of a 'prominent' American=20 politician, and the funeral was also somewhat of a state function? =20 << Come on ELCA get with the program. >>   It seems that 2 of the churches you mentioned in South Williamsport are=20 already with=20 the program, the other 4 need to re-assess the meaning of worship.   For the 'official' ELCA position, click on the following:(I've also pasted i= t=20 below if the link doesn't work)   <A HREF=3D"http://www.elca.org/dcm/worship/faq/worship_space/flags.html">Cl= ick=20 here: ELCA : Worship : FAQ : Are Flags Appropriate in Church?</A>   FWIW, in my congregation, the 4th of July was mentioned in the sermon,=20 announcements, & bulletin, but the actual worship service was celebrated as=20= the=20 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, with its attendant readings. There was quite=20= a=20 lively discussion in the adult sunday school class about the meaning of the=20 readings, and this did help those who attended gain a deeper meaning of what= =20 they meant when there were written some 2,000 years ago, and what they can m= ean=20 for us today.   Musically, the hymns were:   Eternal Ruler of the Ceaseless Round (LBW373) Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace (LBW 416) O God of Every Nation (LBW 416) - sung to 'Lancashire' America, the Beautiful   We also had a guest brass 5tet (one of the trumpet players is a member of th= e=20 congregation), and their selection of music was typical and appropriate for=20 our worship service.   Richard Spittel Baltimore, MD former member of the United States Army Field Band, Washington, DC   ******** Or if you'd rather read it here: =20 Worship > Frequently Asked Questions =20 Are Flags Appropriate in Church? One of the most frequently asked questions directed to the worship staff of=20 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor church bodies= =20 has been whether it is appropriate for congregations to place flags in the=20 worship space. The recurring issue is not flags themselves, but the national= flag=20 of the United States of America. Flags are not a required element in a=20 Christian worship space.   This question touches many important issues. The American flag is a powerful= =20 symbol of this nation. It carries enormous emotional meaning, especially for= =20 veterans and for families that have sacrificed loved ones in wars and armed=20 conflicts under that symbol. It can also carry great political significance=20= for=20 those who see it as a symbol of what they consider amiss with our nation.=20 Anyone who doubts the power of the flag as a symbol might consider the publi= c=20 scandal caused in Chicago when a student artist at the internationally known= Art=20 Institute of Chicago chose to display the American flag on the floor of an a= rt=20 gallery. Public demonstrations followed the opening of the exhibit. The use=20= and=20 display of the flag remains a sensitive issue.   Some Christian churches are identified with nations or states (the Church of= =20 England is Anglican; the Church of Norway, Lutheran; the Church of Sweden,=20 Lutheran; and so forth.). Sometimes these churches display flags as a part o= f=20 their national identification. In the United States, of course, we have no s= tate=20 church. Yet here, too, many Christian congregations have traditionally=20 included an American flag among the items used to furnish their worship spac= e or=20 displayed elsewhere in their building. In many congregations, it has been=20 customary for the American flag to stand to one side of the altar and the so= -called=20 Christian flag to stand on the other. Perhaps when the Lutheran church was=20 primarily an immigrant church, the need to display a clear loyalty to the ne= w=20 nation and not to the mother country was very important=E2=80=94especially w= hen worship was=20 in the mother tongue.   When considering what should appear in our worship space, Christians will=20 always want to ask what symbols we can use to help us focus on what is centr= al in=20 our faith: Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord. Of course, the cross=20 or crucifix has become the preeminent symbol of Christ across many cultures=20= and=20 nations. There are other symbols that focus the community on Christ: the=20 altar where the Holy Communion is celebrated; the baptismal font where Holy=20 Baptism is celebrated; the pulpit or ambo where the Word is proclaimed in re= ading=20 and preaching. Christian art that represents Christ and the teachings of the= =20 testaments in sculpture, stained glass, painting, and other artistic media a= re=20 also powerful visible symbols. All of these are appropriate to the worship s= pace=20 because they help both individuals and the assembly focus on Christ. The=20 focus of everything that appears in the worship space, not just flags, ought= to be=20 considered. Anything that does not direct us to Christ can easily become a=20 distraction from Christ.   The flag of the United States is a national symbol, not a religious one. It=20 is as at home in a ball park as in church. Christians balance their national= =20 loyalties with their loyalty to Jesus Christ and Christ=E2=80=99s church. Th= e Christian=20 church includes many individual nations and states. It calls Christians to=20 transcend national divisions, and thus to observe their baptismal unity. As=20= Saint=20 Paul says: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on=20 Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, the= re is=20 neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians=20 3:27-28). The worship space of the congregation is not the best place to dis= play=20 national flags, for such display honors neither the integrity of the flag no= r the=20 sovereignty of the Lordship of Christ. In reality, national interests and th= e=20 commitment of the Christian to Christ can come into conflict.   A responsible alternative to putting the flag in the worship space would be=20 to display it prominently place in other suitable places. Placing flags in t= he=20 fellowship or community hall, the gymnasium, or other large meeting room use= d=20 by civic groups such as scouting organizations or for civic functions such a= s=20 voting, allows the flag to carry out its symbolic function for the nation=20 without competing with the central symbols of the Christian faith. Congregat= ions=20 that have war memorial chapels, plaques, or books of remembrance and the lik= e=20 and which desire to display the American flag might want to consider placing= =20 the flag near those places in their building rather than in the worship spac= e.   The so-called Christian flag seems originally to have been an emblem=20 associated with the international Sunday school movement. It is not identifi= ed with=20 any particular church body, is superfluous in a space where the cross or=20 crucifix is the central symbol of the faith.   Whenever the American flag is displayed publicly, it is very important to=20 follow with great care the rules of protocol that have been established by c= ivic=20 agencies governing that display. It is possible to give great-unintended=20 offense if these rules are not followed. A local veterans group or military=20= post=20 usually can supply these rules on request. These protocols apply wherever th= e=20 flag is displayed, indoors or outdoors. Proper placement, lighting, care, al= l=20 need to be considered carefully.   Revised December 2002   Copyright =C2=A9 2003 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America   This document may be reproduced for use in your congregation as long as the=20 copyright notice appears on each copy.  
(back) Subject: Re: Flags in Church (off-topic) From: <RMaryman@aol.com> Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 10:41:47 EDT   In a message dated 7/5/2004 10:38:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ContraReed@aol.com writes: Didn't I learn this in social studies in the sixth grade?, that there is = a separation of church and state written into the constitution? this is really OFF-TOPIC...but if you want to discuss this offlist, I will = be happy to give you my opinions on this subject.   Rick in VA