March 20, 2020

How to decide whether to use or not use a song?

How to decide whether to use or not use a song?

Question: Do we still proceed to use a "Good" Song with a Bad "Heritage"?

These reflections might help us consider the question: "Should we use a song which lyrics seemed quite all right on the face of it, but possibly came with a 'dubious background' of various sorts (its composer/musicians might have some issues extraneous to the song)?"

We might have to, like a skillful juggler, juggle these few balls skillfully with wisdom, without dropping any single ball to the ground:

Ball 1: Consider the time of writing of the song, was it before or after the composer turned rogue/for the better? Illustration: The song writer was all-right during time of composition. The song benefited many throughout the years, but the composer abandoned God just before dying.

Ball 2: The lyrics of any song should be judged on its own merits, i.e., "Why habour a prejudice against this particular song when there seems to be nothing wrong with it theologically when considered purely on its own"?

Ball 3: However, we won't use a song written by Satan, even if for this particular song, there is nothing theologically wrong with it. [Comment: (2) & (3) are in tension]

Ball 4:  Association/ endorsement/ use of one song from one theologically-wrong-most-of-the-time song writer might embolden followers/others to (unknowingly) accept other songs written by the same writer (this would send wrong signals). [Comment: (Ball 4) is the application of (Ball 3) but is in tension with (Balls 1 & 2). In fact, all angels (including Satan) were created good initially, but some of them later turned rogue]

Ball 5: There already exist many good songs/hymns/choruses for us to choose and use. Why not use this large available repertoire instead of 钻牛角尖?

Ball 6: There is no point to have divisions/disunity over song choices even before the worship starts! [Comment: Why risk disunity (Ball 6) when there are plenty of alternatives (Ball 5)?]

Ball 7: It might be better to write our own songs and live the holy lives ourselves. Contribute towards "The M Projects."  [Comment: this point avoids (Ball 3) and avoids self-disqualification from the Worship Team under (Ball 4) due to unholiness.  Avoid the pot calling the kettle black.]

Ball 8: We must rid ourselves of bias against the song writer or others using the song.  Be self-aware and get rid of our own prejudices.

Ball 9:  At the end, any juggler would get tired, and one of the balls would fall to the ground due to lack of time or due to the fact that a decision has to be made ultimately for that event: each song would have to be accepted or disqualified based on 1 or more of the previous Balls mentioned above.  Wisdom in juggling would help determine whether the axe on this particular song falls or not, or endorsed based on which particular Ball!

Ball 10: If it relates to S-Word worship team matter, please consult the MP!

[These thoughts are just work-in-progress. For the various team's further reflection]