Looking for some music for my choir, I came across an article warning against the inherent evil in "Patch the Pirate" music. That sort of thing galls me, for so many reasons. Two that come to mind: 1) this type of "Fundamentalist" thinking gives people a list of do's and don'ts and tells them that's how to be righteous. It grieved and angered me in Rome (the Catholic churches where pilgrims are promised pardon from any sin if they visit all 4 "big" churches), and in the lives of friends raised around Bob Jones University. NO!! ONLY throught JESUS are we made righteous!! The list either creates false hope or despair, depending on whether you do them or ont 2) because I love music! I've studied it, and throughout history "secular" music has been called sinful by one faction of the church or another...and then the age turns, and all of a sudden "Amazing Grace" is "the original tune" defended by old-timers, instead of being a contraversial tune to the textual composition of a questionable ex-slave-ship captain. How many "hymns-only!" defenders realize that hymns were scandalous when Watts wrote them-- "Psalms only!" was the conservative cry back then! Anyway, here is my response. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have:
To whom it may concern-
I just stumbled across your "warning" about Patch the Pirate music, and was physically sickened and at the same time incredulous. " The music would be right at home in a nightclub or a sleazy Broadway play and could easily conjure up such unwholesome images as that of a saucy woman sauntering across a stage."
Why would any child gets these images in his head? Where would they even get such ideas!? Any such association is, I'm afraid, a residue of Mr. Cloud's own sin-filled past, not a result of anything inherent in the music itself. ("To my great shame, I lived a very wicked and worldly life before I was saved, and I know as much about worldly music which is fitting for wicked environments as any other man.") I won't try to dissuade anyone of this "the Devil has a beat" position based on the hundreds of Scriptural and reason-based approaches, because my guess is that you are unwilling to consider them, and that better men and women than myself have tried to show you the sad, Judaiizer-istic errors in your this thinking. But I will say this: when Jesus saved Nicodemus, a Pharisee, do you think He would have warned him to now avoid anything that reminded him of his erroneous, pride-full self-righteous unsaved way of life-- to avoid anything smacking of Judaism? What about when He saved the woman caught in adultery-- would He have warned her to avoid anything that reminded her of her own tainted past-- maybe certain scents, certain sorts of fabrics? No... those saved from their own prisons of pride (legalism) now dedicated their desire for outward holiness and keeping of high holy days to the glory of Messiah; everything had new meanings for them now! For them, Jesus' blood redeemed everything that Satan had tried to twist to evil. Likewise, those saved from their prisons of license now dedicated everything once dedicated to self-indulgence to the worship of Messiah; one such sinner broke her box of nard to annoint His feet. Others surely married and enjoyed sexual intimacy (worship) with their husbands or wives, to the glory of the One who has bought all pleasure for His people.
There is nothing beyond the reach of redemption; not even a weak sinner's association with music he once enjoyed as a rebellious sinner. Sure, scars take time to heal, and some may do better avoiding certain "triggers." But they must be careful not to force the result of their weak consciences to label as 'evil' that which God created and called "good." Let the strong bear with those who are weak, until the weak can be taught and built up and be made strong, with consciences set free from condemnation, and bodies wholly dedicated to righteous living. (Rom. 15) In other words; let those whose consciences are weak and can't handle music that reminds them of situations where they sinned be helped along until they at least see that what led them to sin was sin in their own hearts (James 4:1) , not anything inherent in the situational musical soundtrack itself. "The world" is within our own hearts!! (Mt. 15: 10-20)
In Gospel bonds, and no other,
--Christina Szrama (Pre-K and Middle School Music Teacher)