The Instigator
pwhisper
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
2-D
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Should we allow Contemporary Christian music in our churches?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
2-D
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,749 times Debate No: 40031
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)

 

pwhisper

Pro

I'd like to open this by saying that I am very happy to be able to debate someone about this topic, and that I have the utmost respect for whoever does oppose me in this debate. If the opponent is a Christian, I thank God. If not, I pray sincerely that Jesus would open his/her eyes to the Truth.

The question that every young Christian asks at church: Why can't we play some contemporary music? Many traditional church-goers quote certain Bible verses to prove their point, but most of these are used incorrectly or modified for their own benefit. Some pastors are guilty of the same crime. Some would quote James 4:4, saying that by playing modern hymns, we are associating ourselves with the world. Unfortunately, this argument is based on the assumption that contemporary music is inherently evil. This, of course, is erroneous. Take for example, prostitution. Prostitution is defined as the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment. The Bible clearly states that this is sinful. However, sex in of itself is not. God created man and woman so that they could enjoy physical union in marriage. This is clear example of how certain objects, or actions, are not inherently sinful.

Returning to the topic of modern music, we can apply the precepts learned from our example. Music was made for God, in order to edify him. Instruments were created for the same purpose. Society, and man's fallen nature have perverted music to fulfil their sinful lusts. This however, doesn't mean that ALL music is corrupt. Some claim that classical music is not corrupt. I beg to differ. There were many operas and pieces written by baroque, classical, and romantic composers that contain subject matter that is sinful and immoral. Despite this, anti-contemporary Christian music (CCM) supporters will claim that hymns written in those eras are better, and contain more spiritual truth. While it may be true that the depth of Spiritual truth presented in older hymns may be bigger, modern hymns cater to younger audiences, who usually cannot comprehend ( and don't need to comprehend) the older English.

I would like to conclude by adding that I do not think that the older hymns should be removed from our churches either. I do indeed believe that they contain scriptural truths that are valuable to Christians.

Once again, I would like to thank my opponent for joining me. God Bless.
2-D

Con


Churchgoers are not a unified group that can be discussed like this. You didn’t reference a denomination and even within one denomination views vary quite a bit. For some groups it is unthinkable to even use musical instruments much less adopt modern music. This amounts to a debate over personal preference so I have no idea how you could meet your BoP.


Many denominations specifically oppose modern music as a tenant of their faith.


The Church of Christ for instance does not allow instruments in their church services [1]. According to their website they do not use instruments to remain faithful to the early church. They do not believe that the early church used instruments for the first 500 years and are trying to stay faithful to the original teachings. Since this is a major tenant of their faith contemporary music would be inappropriate in their services.


Hymns are too ‘contemporary’ for many denominations. There has been some debate amongst Presbyterians that only biblical psalms should be sung in church services [4]. They take their worship very seriously and the addition of contemporary music would be unthinkable for North American Presbyterians who still sing only biblical Psalms and are against hymns in their worship services.


Calvinists and Anabaptists follow a restrictive worship doctrine called the ‘regulative principle of worship’ [5]. This teaches that you should only allow worship that is specifically condoned in the bible. Many who follow the doctrine do not support the use of musical instruments or are strongly opposed to contemporary worship music.


Many denominations disagree with the doctrinal content of contemporary music.


There are around 800,000 Unitarian Universalists who do not share a common doctrine [3]. They cater to many liberal religious and to atheists and agnostics. Contemporary Christian music that largely accepts a literal God and afterlife would clearly be inappropriate at a church that is careful not to make such assumptions about their member’s beliefs. The many Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and other fringe Christian sects would also object strongly to mainstream contemporary music.


This is also true of many liberal denominations that do not take the bible literally. Around 11% of Protestants and 16% of Catholics believe the bible stories include fables and legends that are not literally true [6].


For many churches this is just a matter of preference


There are many churches that simply prefer more traditional music. Allowing contemporary worship music does not work for every congregation. Why should a church congregation that, for the most part, prefers traditional music allow a contemporary style they are not comfortable with? It’s not possible to establish a BoP when you are just advocating one personal preference over another. You cannot make this decision for other congregations.



[1] http://cconline.faithsite.com...


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[4] http://www.reformedworship.org...


[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[6] http://www.gallup.com...


Debate Round No. 1
pwhisper

Pro

I'd like to first thank my opponent for an excellent opening argument. Well done.

To be honest, I'd like to admit I forgot to include "Protestant" in the title of this debate, but nonetheless, my point stands.
I'd hate to end up using this topic to debate which denominations are right, but I feel at least a little clarification is needed.

I am glad that all of your facts are right. Indeed, The Church of Christ does not allow music. But then again, the stipulation was that music had to have already been played in the said church. Of course, the Bible does tell Christians to praise God using music, as seen in Ephesians 5:19, Psalms 104:33 etc.
As to your point about Presbyterians, you are correct, many of them denounce the use of "contemporary" hymns. I would know , as I attended a Christian High School run by the Toronto Free Presbyterian Church. However, you have stated that they do not condone the use of "modern" music without providing any evidence as to why "modern" music is unacceptable. Alas, saying that tradition dictates something is, unfortunately, a logical fallacy (appeal to tradition).
Similarly, in your point about Calvinists and Anabaptists, you have failed to mention WHY they do not believe musical instruments should be used (as in how the Bible says it isn't right).
When it comes to Unitarian Universalists, I must admit I'm a little stumped. It seems a little farfetched. I doubt any type of hymn would cater to "atheists" and "agnostics".

It seems as if I'm agreeing with you more than disagreeing.

It is completely true that it is up to preference. I never said it wasn't.

In my opinion argument, I never stated that a church should only use one type of music in their worship services. I never said that older hymns are less valuable than newer ones. I was simply stating that introducing CCM is not bad for our churches, and in fact could be good. You'll also notice that I never included the typical spiel about how modern music is "so inspiring" and older hymns are "boring". Both should be taken as great material to worship God with. Honestly, if it were up to opinion, I say go for it. I'm simply opposed to the idea that CCM is not "wholesome" and not as valuable as older hymns.

Great argument, looking forward to the next round.
2-D

Con

Thanks for the well thought out reply. I apologize for the hasty response I thought I had another day.


“I'd hate to end up using this topic to debate which denominations are right, but I feel at least a little clarification is needed.”

I don’t see how it would help you if you could prove that one denomination had a better biblical case for contemporary music. You have conceded that this is a matter of preference. If a congregation feels uncomfortable or that they would be drawn to close to worldly activity then that is their prerogative. If you had specified protestant you would still be left with many Calvinists, Anabaptists and Presbyterians that would not agree on strong principles of faith that CCM should be allowed.

This is the problem with your resolution it is too broad and recommends or obligates congregations to adopt one preference over another.

Bible does tell Christians to praise God using music

This does not obligate or recommend that Christians use music in worship and you cannot interpret the bible for them anyway. Ephesians 5:19 NKJV says, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” and does not mention music anyway. Since, church of Christ is primarily a New Testament early church denomination they are justified not using music if they prefer.

Again preference, not an Appeal to tradition

It is not an appeal to tradition to say that one church prefers to follow their traditions. It would be an argument from ignorance if I said that it was correct for them refrain from contemporary music because it is tradition.

you have failed to mention WHY they do not believe musical instruments should be used (as in how the Bible says it isn't right).

The bible is your gold standard for behavior not mine. Many Christians add quite a bit of outside dogma to the bible to interpret and inform their behavior. Catholics for example, who are the slim majority of Christians, rely heavily on Church teachings to interpret the bible. With 41,000 denominations [7] and hundreds of distinct Christian belief systems who could know the, “right,” interpretation to a matter of personal opinion.


“When it comes to Unitarian Universalists, I must admit I'm a little stumped. It seems a little farfetched. I doubt any type of hymn would cater to "atheists" and "agnostics".”

Yes but Unitarians are considered a Christian group. They are free to use inspirational songs or some do not chose to sing at all. Many of these churches avoid anything that suggests there is a correct literal way to interpret the bible.

“It seems as if I'm agreeing with you more than disagreeing.”

Yes and thanks.

“It is completely true that it is up to preference.”

This is basically what the entire debate boils down to. Why would you make a strong recommendation or imply that there is an obligation or duty by saying contemporary music should be allowed in all Christian Churches. How can you establish your burden of proof for an issue like this? There are no potential benefits to a church that strongly prefers a more traditional style.

You resolution mine as well have been, “Donuts should be served in all Christian Churches.” You have not established that there are any strong benefits to contemporary music that should override each churches opinion on the matter.

“Honestly, if it were up to opinion, I say go for it. I'm simply opposed to the idea that CCM is not "wholesome" and not as valuable as older hymns.”

Well we agree here, I don’t think that all CCM or virtually any is not wholesome although I disagree with a lot of the content. Your framing here would make a better debate topic but even then this is just a matter of opinion.

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
pwhisper

Pro

Responding to the first rebuttal:
Again, I have not stated that the churches MUST play CCM, but rather that it is allowed. The real issue at hand is that many Protestant churches look down on CCM as unwholesome. I do not uphold that ALL CCM is perfect, but the possibility of playing CCM in churches should at least be considered.
You say that certain denominations would not agree with me due to strong principles. Unless I am mistaken, Protestant churches hold that the bible is their standard of truth. Considering this, they have absolutely no reason to completely disallow CCM in churches.

Responding to the second rebuttal:
Just like before, I never said they HAVE TO use CCM. Just opening the possibility of using it. I'd like to point out again, that if it were solely up to preference, there is no problem in not using CCM. The problem is that most churches that do not use CCM do so because they believe it is wrong to do so.

Responding to fourth rebuttal:
Again, I offer my sincerest apologies in not stating Protestant in the proposition.

Responding to fifth:
See above.

Responding to seventh:
See my response to your second rebuttal.

I would like to thank you once again. This debate has been of great benefit to me.
2-D

Con


"Unless I am mistaken, Protestant churches hold that the bible is their standard of truth"


You are assuming that there is one correct interpretation of the biblical worship and that it is yours. There are many thousand denominations because the book has many ambiguous interpretations. Even if you can establish that the bible does not prohibit contemporary music (you haven’t ) then why shouldn’t they be allowed to disallow CCM simply because they don’t like it?


You have already conceded that many Calvinists, Anabaptists and Presbyterians (all protestants) don’t agree with you that the bible allows CCM. Why should they follow your conscience/interpretation and not their own doctrine?


You absolutely need to stick to your original resolution in a debate; you asserted that all churches should allow CCM without qualification.


You have essentially conceded your case. You agree that the many Christians, who feel uncomfortable with CCM, feel it would cause them to sin or simply prefer hymns should not allow it. Your resolution does not make such allowances and asserts that all Christians Churches should allow it in their services, which is simply a flawed position.


Your original argument was not that CCM is not biblically wrong. I certainly would not have accepted that debate. It was also not that Churches should try CCM.


Should is a strong word that, in context, indicates someone is obligated or likely to perform an action [7]. You did not add a single qualifier to your resolution. For instance CCM should be allowed in churches where the majority of the congregation prefers it etc.


"The problem is that most churches that do not use CCM do so because they believe it is wrong to do so."


I don’t agree with you and you certainly haven’t established this. How do you know that the majority doesn’t avoid the music out of preference? It would not matter because if they believe it is wrong they certainly shouldn’t allow the music in their churches. Why would you impose your beliefs on Churches who feel that this is a sin or would cause them to sin?


"Again, I offer my sincerest apologies in not stating Protestant in the proposition."


No need to apologize, the point is you didn’t. You can’t backtrack on your resolution like this after I have already accepted the debate. You have conceded that contemporary Christian Music should not be allowed in Unitarian Universalist, Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness services all of which are considered Christian but have atypical dogma.


-


You have conceded that there are many reasons to disallow CCM in various Christian Churches. Your resolution is far too broad and assumes that all churches should accept your interpretation of biblical worship and your personal preference. You have tried to back track and avoid your original position but I accepted the debate under your original conditions that you have conceded were inaccurate.


[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


Debate Round No. 3
pwhisper

Pro

pwhisper forfeited this round.
2-D

Con

Well I'll take that as a concession. Pro presented respectable position and recognized the flaws in the resolution as the debate went on. I would recommend a resolution that cuts to the heart of the issue that was important to Pro say, "CCM is not forbidden by the bible and is consistent with biblical worship." That's a strong position and what Pro likely intended to debate.

Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
Thank you for pointing this out Ragar, I've made this mistake before thinking of a concession as a more polite way of giving up on a debate. I often award conduct and arguments for a forfeit since arguments are often dropped. For a concession I would award only arguments, maybe even give conduct for the concession. I was trying to give Pro, who was very polite, the benefit of the doubt but this was not communicated clearly.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
fuckthisworld
night
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
More than anything else. Good night.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
fuckthisworld
aiight. and i know that lol u love the internet dont u?
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
I will read it. But not tonight tho, I'm seriously ready for bed. The Internets never sleep tho fyi.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
fuckthisworld
btw i could post my article here when im done if u wanna read it :)
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
No, sometimes a beer wakes me up. Just keep on living and lean into the problems, Internet always wins.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
fuckthisworld
is it weird that i drink coffee and i get sleepy? lol
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
ummm, we're on the same page? To the original question yes! Lets just agree that the internet wins.
Posted by fuckthisworld 3 years ago
fuckthisworld
seriously? that is a douche.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
pwhisper2-DTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Would have given conduct for the forfeited round, but con tried to insist it was a concession; which without verification of such intent becomes a decent strike against cons conduct. (might review other categories later, but entering university dead week)
Vote Placed by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
pwhisper2-DTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Pro was very polite, but dat forfeit.