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, September 03, 2013

Is Our Music In Church Pleasing To The Lord?

Well to answer that is easy but you will have to do that yourselves because you are the best judge of your individual church. Before I start the article I want to share a bit of background and information about myself. God has been very good to me in my career and jobs I have done in my live. Funny what’s out on the internet about you these days though. Someone earlier asked me if I worked in a lumberyard. Funny I had to laugh because I have never worked in a lumberyard in my life. Crazy what’s out on the net about people. I’ve been playing music all my life and have been blessed. I started out in the secular industry playing with Gary Lewis and The Playboys as well as many other famous oldies acts such as Chuck Berry, The Coasters, Steve Marriot and many others. I also come from a family of bakers and chefs. I was a chef as well as managed some full service places. My nephew Justin is a chef as well at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel. I stopped actively touring when I had my first child so I could be at home with my children to see them grow up. I still stayed active playing in theater pit orchestra as well as regular orchestra work. I also have a ministry to the troops which we get them free music; we are expanding that this year to help the Wounded Warriors project to get them free music as well. I recently went to London as well as Paris in April of this year and hope to get free music to our allies as well. I’ve been blessed to be taught and record and produce with the world’s best musicians. I received my credentials as a worship leader from Integrity Music's Worship Institute. I also am deeply involved with the travel and cruise industry and have an audience of about 40 thousand who read my articles on how to save money. I’ve been blessed to go on a number of cruises as well as have traveled most of Europe with my ministry. Funny again what’s out there on the web about people. But being in ministry you expect that and if your not getting attacked you probably should check your faith. I’ve debated Richard Abanes online as well as had shots taken at me from a spoof site called Biblical Nazarenes and unbeliever Greg Horton. Horton reflects the fact that there are unbelievers in the pulpit. Greg Horton makes no bones about being an unbeliever and was actively doing radio with Nazarene leader and pastor Jon Middendorf on a show called Wired Parish. Horton also taught at Jon Middendorf’s church. This should not surprise anyone since there are still many unbelievers in the pulpit today in the Nazarene denomination as well as the rest of the Body of Christ. So again nothing should surprise us and I really don’t have time to fight battles with unbelievers anyway. Ok so on to music in the church. I still play music in church as well and was researching a song called "In the secret” I want to know you more. I broke out my old WOW worship CDs which are now pretty dated. I listened to Sonicflood’s version of the song and was amazed at how much the hook sounded like a Spin Doctors song. Now I enjoy the Spin Doctors drummer and music but can’t we in the church do better at being inspired by the Holy Spirit instead of the culture? I also listened to a Maranatha Praise band song and it was a direct ripoff of both American Band by Grand Funk and Hot Blooded by Foreigner. Now again I don’t hate certain rock groups or anything like that but church, can’t we do better? Its a matter of history that the church used to set the standard for the world’s culture. Now it’s exactly opposite. And they are usually poor ripoffs. We know from the Bible that Cain did not present a sacrifice that God honored or accepted. Is there any hint in scripture when God no longer accepts the music we sing to Him during the week? Yes, it details this in the book of Amos. Amos 5:21-23 "I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them , Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. Amos 6:5-7 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed. (note-The ruin of Joseph may refer to the societal disintegration in Israel, or to the effects of the impending judgment.) This could also be in line with Gods judgment on His church which has strayed far from Him. There are many factors to address here. We know that Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable to God because it was not the right sacrifice. But in Amos’ day we see God not even accepting the right sacrifice because God’s people had their priorities out of line. Now the current praise and worship movement has only become a thing popularized in the 90's by companies such as Integrity music which makes a ton from all the worship seminars they teach all over the world. Integrity also bought out a bunch of world famous musicians such as Alex Acuna and Abe Laboriel SR to pair them up with their contracted worship leaders to give their tapes STAR power. Now I do believe that Integrity's heart was in doing the right thing. But was it the biblical way to do things? We now have salaried praise and worship leaders as a result in many churches across the world. Salaries range conservatively from 28 to 30 thousand per worship leader. Most are paid around 45-50 much more in the mega churches where responsibilities are often a very big load. Most medium level churches usually just need the leaders to put together a 20-30 minute set of songs. Usually practice is about 1 hour per week plus a run through before service. Most rehearsals include songs we have been playing forever because pastors are often afraid of making the congregation learn something new (this puts the congregation into a compromising level of laziness as well). Plus we have been feed the unholy mantra of Rick Warren who chooses not to honor God through music because of not wanting to offend unbelievers who of course do not understand what it is to worship God through music. I know from experience that most medium level churches (like the one I currently attend) have poor practice habits with singers rarely practicing with the band. And then there are people allowed on the platform with little to no talent. (Not talking about my church here where most musicians and singers are pretty good at what they do). There are however many exceptions where at the Sunday night service people just come up and sing, some who do not attend practice. Does the Bible state what level the musicians and singers need to be at? What was acceptable to God is plainly listed in the Old Testament. David was a skilled musician. And the Levites (the musicians and singers) were skilled at their craft as well not just hobbyist. By employing professional musicians (modern day Levites) you fulfill the principles established by King David when he formed the praise teams for the temple in I Chronicles 25. Let's consider King David's discourse with Ornan over a plot of land for an altar (see I Chronicles 21:24). David refused to accept Ornan's free gift of land for an altar of sacrifice because David would not submit an offering to the Lord which cost him nothing. In fact he insisted upon paying Ornan the full market value of the land. It truly was a sacrifice of praise by the Davidic temple when they employed skilled musicians (see references to skilled musicianship in I Chronicles 25:6-7 and Psalm 47:7) to lead worship. Because it did cost them something (see I Chronicles 21:24), they could truly consider the sacrifice of praise to God an offering from the entire temple. Had the musicians not been compensated for their part in leading worship, the sacrifice of praise would have belonged to the musicians themselves. We also have writings in the New Testament on the subject of the church body providing for those who work on its behalf. Now we have condensed this all into only paying the worship leader. This is not the biblical method and if you choose this route of don’t have good musicians; perhaps lead worship by everyone singing to taped music. This will not only be cheaper in cost but everyone on a CD will show up on time and always sing and play in key. Ask yourself this question-Why has the church been pressured into having a live band which is more often than not distracting for one reason or another (lack of skill or showing off). Again I bring up the secular ungodly methods fed to the church in Rick Warren’s book "Purpose Driven Church". An undiscerning church who's main focus was to fill the seats instead of filling souls through the Holy Spirit bought this hook, line and stinker. Here are some direct quotes from Purpose Driven Church. Each week at Saddleback, we remind ourselves who we’re trying to reach. . . . Once you know your target, it will determine many of the components of your seeker sensitive service: music style, message topics, testimonies, creative arts, and much more. (253-254). “The style of music you choose to use in your services will be one of the most critical (and controversial) decisions you make in the life of your church. It may also be the most influential factor in determining who your church reaches for Christ and whether or not your church grows. You must match your music to the kind of people God wants your church to reach. . . . If you were to tell me the kind of music you are currently using in your services I could describe the kind of people you are reaching without even visiting your church. I could also tell you the kind of people your church will never be able to reach” (280-281). “At Saddleback we categorize songs according to target. Songs on the crowd list are appropriate when unbelievers are present (at our seeker services). Songs on the congregation list are songs that are meaningful to believers but wouldn’t make sense to the unchurched (we sing them at our midweek worship service)” (286). “Use more performed music than congregational singing in your service for seekers. Visitors do not feel comfortable singing tunes they don’t know and words they don’t understand. It is also unrealistic to expect the unchurched to sing songs of praise and commitment to Jesus before they become believers. That’s getting the cart before the horse” (291). “The style of preaching that I use in our seeker service is very different than the style I use to teach believers. . . . When preaching to believers I like to teach through books of the Bible, verse-by-verse. . . . Verse-by-verse, or book, exposition builds up the body of Christ. It works great when you’re speaking to believers. . . . But what about unbelievers who are not yet motivated to study Scripture? I do not believe verse-by-verse teaching through books of the Bible is the most effective way to evangelize the unchurched” (294). [By the way, Saddleback no longer has a mid-week believers’ service]. If you buy into this you are unfamiliar with scripture and what Gods word teaches as well as the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. But again Rick does not rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance but relies on his own wits. Here is the kind of wisdom Rick Warren uses. James 3:14-16 "But if you have bitter envy and self–seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self–seeking exist , confusion and every evil thing are there." The real purpose that drives Rick Warren I believe is his own ambition. What about the Christian Music Industry we get our songs from. They are owned and controlled by the world who lets them sometimes uses the name of Jesus because at this point in time it is still profitable. We don’t see much evidence that CCM is influencing the world, but there is considerable evidence that the world is influencing CCM. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14) “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17). POINT: The worship team should play and sing skillfully for two reasons. 1) It is what God desires and deserves. 2) It can be an awful distraction to someone's worship experience when musicians make terrible mistakes. We want to keep the congregation in a vertical posture toward God's throne. The music serves as a vehicle for our praise offering to the creator of the universe, and thus it should not be a "blemished lamb." But how many of today's churches, in the good name of stewardship, use amateur volunteers or poorly compensated professional musicians to prepare the praise offering? David insisted on paying the full market value for his offering to God. Consider this, the sermon/message/teaching is a horizontal (i.e. man-to-man) event. The praise and worship is a vertical (i.e. man-to-God) event. God really tunes in when His people begin to praise Him. He actually inhabits the praise of His people (II Chronicles 5:12-14). May we seek to offer Him the unblemished sacrifice of praise that He desires and deserves. And may we offer it with a clean heart amidst musical excellence. NOTE: The principle of using only professional musicians remained in place as late as Mozart's day. The bottom line is that, as long as a Christian musician is a minister and not simply in it for the sake of entertaining, fame, etc., he/she should be supported by those who benefit spiritually from his/her ministry and those who will share in the credit, perhaps a church or group of churches, and individuals to wish to give freely as a "love offering" (Galatians 6:6). In fact, that being said, concerts should be paid for and hosted by churches, not ticket sales. Look at I Corinthians 9:18 about offering the gospel without charge. We have a lot to learn today with regard to the church and its relationship with true Christian musicians. When we choose to just use volunteers we should at least choose musicians and singers who are willing to sacrifice their time to give unto the Lord; not just take the scraps and leftovers who often crowd the platform in churches these days.

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