The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ARE HYMNS BECOMING PRECIOUS MEMORIES?

Very good article by my brother in the Lord Paul Proctor


ARE HYMNS BECOMING PRECIOUS MEMORIES?







By Paul Proctor

January 16, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Something strange happened a couple of years ago in the music business here in Nashville. At the peak of his career, a country music superstar went into his producer's studio to record a CD full of songs that he had pulled from a Baptist Hymnal, mostly because his mother had been requesting it for years.

According to Alan Jackson's wife, Denise, who recently authored a book titled It's All About Him, chronicling their once-troubled marriage, and how the Lord had miraculously reunited them after a difficult separation, recounted how he finally kept his promise to record that Gospel CD - and upon completion, surprised his mother with it one Christmas morning.

It was a very simple and sparsely produced project - just something special for his momma. In fact, the cover photo for it was provided by Alan himself - nothing more than a distant shot of him sitting on the steps of an old country church with his guitar. It was an understated work by an understated man.

Denise had this to say about it in her book:


We made additional copies of Alan's Gospel CD and gave them to extended family and friends. Then, to our surprise, the record label executives decided that our little family CD needed to be released commercially. It was an odd decision. The album wasn't slick or professional. The label wasn't planning to promote it. And they knew that the country radio stations wouldn't play it. In other words, releasing it made no commercial sense. But they did it anyway.
To everyone's surprise, the Precious Memories CD shot up the charts and stayed there. Released in February 2006, it spent twelve of its first nineteen weeks at the top of the Country, Christian and Gospel sales charts. It was the first Gospel album ever to debut at #1 on the Country music charts.

Long story, short - it went platinum.

She went on to quote Reuters News Service as saying, "Sometimes it's the simplest, purest, creative expressions that resonate most powerfully with consumers."

I couldn't agree more. And so it is with the Gospel of Christ - a pure yet powerful expression of Divine love that's so simple a child could understand.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16



But the strangest thing of all about the hymns Alan sang is that you hardly ever hear them inside a church anymore. For many of us, they've truly become precious memories.

Why do you suppose that is?

Could it be there's too much theology in them - too much humility and holiness - and not enough sensuality and groove for today's "Christian" consumer who fancies rhythm and romance over reverence and repentance?



That said, isn't it ironic that folks outside the sanctuary can't get enough of them?

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." - Colossians 3:16

© 2008 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article. I love the fellowship that I attend in a well known city in the South, but I do wish we had more of the hymns. I've noticed when the Spirit seems to move the sweetest is when part or all of some dear favorite hymn starts being sung--interesting, don't you think? Thanks for letting me share a thought. Sincerely, Teri

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shout to the Lord on American Idol
As a pastor and professional musician, I find American Idol interesting on a number of levels. It’s fascinating to see how a simple idea can capture the attention of millions, how people respond to evaluation, how people can be so misled about what they actually sound like, how ordinary people handle massive fame, the difference between gifting and hard work, and more. I also appreciate how some of the contestants have used the platform to bear witness to their faith in Christ. Melinda Doolittle, from last season, stood out for her humility, modesty, and joy.

Yesterday, I had started a post on my response to Wednesday night’s program. It was American Idol’s “Give Back” show. You may know (or maybe not) that it was a two and a half hour mix of music, comedy, and humor, with the expressed goal of raising as much money as possible to aid those who live in poverty, both inside and outside the U.S. A worthy goal.

I was working at my computer under headphones for most of the show, but as it ended, I caught the eight remaining Idol contestants stepping forward and belting out the worship song classic, “Shout to the Lord,” by Darlene Zschech. Only they replaced “My Jesus” with “My shepherd.” I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Isn’t there a disconnect between shouting to the LORD on American IDOL?

But before I finished this post, I saw the beginning of last night’s show as the entire group of Idol contestants sang “Shout to the Lord” again. Only this time, the name of “Jesus” was clearly proclaimed.

I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. What is going on? Is this an advertisement for Hillsong Church? Who chose this song? Do they even know what they’re singing? Who made this decision? Worship has hit the big time! What made them change “Jesus” to “shepherd” the first night and bring back “Jesus” on the second tonight?”

After the dust in my mind cleared, I had two thoughts:

It’s amazing that this happened. My next thought was, it’s concerning that this happened.

Lest you think I’m schizo, let me explain.

The Bright Side
In the positive column, someone watching”Shout to the Lord” on American Idol might be led by God’s Spirit to download the song, or even to start going to church again. They might hear the Gospel and be gloriously converted, all due to hearing “Shout to the Lord” in one of the most unlikely places. For that potential, I praise and thank God.

One blogger pointed out that there are many countries you’d never hear a clearly biblical, Christian song on prime time TV. Instead, you’d be persecuted for even mentioning the name of Christ. That’s reason to give thanks, and to pray for those less fortunate. Also, hearing a Christian song on American Idol might remind a Christian that they don’t have to be shy about their faith. It could provide an evangelistic starting point around the water-cooler or at the lockers. It’s also possible the producers of Idol recognize the Christian contingent to their fan base, which may lead them to include other Christian references and more “all-contestant” worship songs.

On the Other Hand
But there’s a dark side. There’s something paradoxical about worship songs being sung on prime time TV by people who don’t know why Jesus came. Does the world see any difference between what’s taking place on American Idol and what we do on Sunday mornings? Has worship become part of the entertainment culture? It’s unsettling when Christian songs or worship leaders are acclaimed by the masses. Jesus said in Luke 6:26Luke 6:26
[26]"Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for
so their fathers did to the false prophets. (ESV)This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV., “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” He also said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mt. 15:8). Both verses temper my unbridled enthusiasm.

American Idol, for all the good the show is seeking to do, will never be a platform for worshiping a crucified Messiah. The Gospel has to be gutted of a bloody cross to find a place on prime time TV.

It’s doubtful that most people who heard or sang along with Shout to the Lord were aware of its implications. The Savior they were singing to was crushed for the sins of every person who would ever trust in him. He is Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and the One who gave his life as a substitute to pay the punishment for our transgressions against a holy God.

Two Responses
So I had two more thoughts. First, we need to do everything we can to sing and promote songs in the church that clearly, biblically, passionately, and faithfully proclaim the one and only Savior - his work, his words, and his worthiness. Along with songs that express our love for the Savior, we need to sing songs that “teach and admonish” ( Col. 3:16Colossians 3:16
[16]Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching
and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your
hearts to God. (ESV)This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.), that celebrate and rehearse the foundations of our faith and fill out our vague conceptions of God with clear, theologically informed biblical truths.

Second, we we need to live in such a way that it’s clear being a Christian is more than giving money to worthy causes and being emotionally moved as we sing songs of every genre together. We want to do all we can to ensure that those who walk into our meetings see clearly that we’re not a local version of American Idol.

A Reason to Pray
Hearing “Shout to the Lord” on American Idol is an opportunity to pray that God would use this event for his glory and fame, for the advancing of the Gospel, and the building up of his church. It also motivates me to pray for purity, discernment, and holiness in the church, and that we would reach out to those who don’t know Jesus without embracing worldly values or godlessness.

Would it be great to see more Christian worship songs sung on American Idol? Sure. But when a Christian song receives national attention or reaches number 1 on the charts, it’s no clear sign one way or the other that the Gospel is advancing or the church is having more of an influence on our culture. It can just as easily be a sign that the church is being swallowed up by the culture because it’s indistinct from the world.

Still, God is sovereign, and I know he will use this for his glory and purposes regardless of what the Idol producers intended.

Finally, my prayer is that we will be known more for lives lived worthy of the Gospel than our songs. May God’s Spirit work through us to enable those around us to turn from their empty idols to serve the only living and true God ( 1 Thess. 1:9-101 Thessalonians 1:9-10
[9]For they themselves report concerning us the kind of
reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from
idols to serve the living and true God, [10]and to wait for
his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus
who delivers us from the wrath to come. (ESV)This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.).

10:32 AM  

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