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Nope. Everyone in a ministerial role at our church is held to the same standard, from our pastor to the musicians to the nursery workers. We wouldn't accept musicians playing in a club any more than we would accept our pastor working as bartender. The only professional musicians on our praise team work for the church.
Mark Petereit - iOS Development Team Leader
Family Worship Center, Florence, South Carolina
I know that there have been people on our worship team in the past that play in bars, I think there is still one guy on the worship team who plays at bars and restaurants. There may be others that I don't know about though... We have a number of people on our team that play jazz music, and I would imagine from time to time, they have played in combos in a bar. In my mind, that should be part of the interview/audition part of being on the worship team. Obviously, whatever they're doing needs to be clean/wholesome. It's definitely a fine line to walk, but I personally don't think that playing in a bar should disqualify them from being on worship team.
Evanston Bible Fellowship
The bar/club is not the issue, it is the band they are in. Those gigs can be the most significant ministry that comes out of the church. But if the band itself isn't one that honors God, then there is an issue.
I agree with Petereit in that it does look bad.. but then again I think that it would depend on the type of environment it's in. For instance, we have clubs and bars in my area that are really restaurants that are licensed to serve alcohol.
We have had a couple of our musicians perform at one place in particular which is more oriented around food and family and it's not exactly the kind of place where the performer is required to tell the audience to go to the bar and buy a drink.
AVOID VIDEO THEFT! Convert over to Betamax!
I am on staff at church (TD) and fill in regularly running sound at a local bar. Here is the only con I can think of, it looks bad to other Christians that I would be in a bar. I don't drink when I am there so they can't say I am getting drunk. I do enjoy the music so they may not like that. For a band member it is tough to swallow they need to promote drunkenness with a little creativity though they could probably turn this into a positive.
Here are some of the positives I have seen
I have gotten to know one of the bouncers there. He was surprised to find out I also work at a church. We have had several conversations about different things that I can at least give him positive God honoring advice, I however have not been presented the chance to share the gospel with him directly but I have changed his view that all Christians think they are better than him.
I have had people in bands ask what time our church services start, I have not seen any of them in church, they hear I am a paid tech person at a church and are very interested in checking it out since it sounds very different from there view of a church.
I count the opportunity to work there a blessing and in answer to prayer, I needed a little extra money and something a little different from Sunday morning to keep things fresh. I actually met the guy I am working for through church sound stuff. He is a sound volunteer at his church, however he is also an over the road truck driver that pulls him away from home most of the week. He needed the extra cash after closing his own business a couple of year ago. When I met him he was having a rough time getting someone he could trust to run everything so he could spend sometime with his family since he was hired to provide tech support every Friday and Saturday night.
Now I do have some restrictions I put on myself when I am there. I don't drink while I am there, I don't go around telling everyone I know I work out there to prevent causing them to stumble if it is in issue for them, and I make sure I am always looking for a way to witness and I am not shy about telling them about my day job.
To me it really only looks bad to other Christians. I am very comfortable in saying God is pleased with what I am doing and will continue to bless me with opportunities to bring glory to his kingdom.
Jesus spent a lot of time with sinners. You can't expect the people that are at the bar on a Saturday night to just walk into church Sunday morning.
If you haven't heard where and how Bluetree wrote God of This City read this, http://www.titletrakk.com/music-inte...ng-feature.htm
They have played in bars and if given the opportunity they probably would every week.
2nd Chronicles the second chapter says that Solomon (in obedience to God) purposed to build a temple to God. In addition to men from Israel, 150,600 aliens (non-Jewish) men were involved in the preparation and building.
Soloman solicited Phoenician King Hiram of Tyre to supply cedar, cypress and algum logs. He also asked King Hiram to send craftsman/artisans who were masters at working in gold, silver, bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who had great skill in engraving to work side-by-side along with the skillful men of Israel. These were not solely construction workers. These were artists of the highest degree. These were technical artists who as a result of their personal exercising of their skills and collectively as a group created together great works of art (in honor and glory to God).
Not only did Soloman solicit a non-believer king from a heathen nation whose population worshipped baal and other gods to supply building materials and craftsman/artisans to build God’s temple but he also promised to pay the craftsman/artisans well, citing “twenty thousand kors of ground wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.”
So, for those who question whether it is OK for a Christian to play music in a bar I would ask is it any different than a heathen being hired to create the very works of sacred art which would adorn God’s temple.
I believe that for many who have a problem with Christians performing in secular venues the struggle eminates out of a distorted view of art and the Bible. Some Christians after all think that Christians should not be involved in the arts at all. Didn’t God command, “Make no graven image” ?
What is the place of Art in the Christian life? Doesn’t the Bible say very little about art? Some say, “yes, the Bible has some poetry in it … but that poetry is always about God, no?” What about the other fine arts? Music, sculpture and painting are those in the Bible? Is a Christian’s pursuit of these arts only a way to bring in worldliness into the Church? Then what of the popular arts? Novels, photography or rock music? Or the technical arts for that matter?
Doesn’t the Bible say, “make no graven image?” (Exodus 20:4-5). Isn’t man forbidden to make likenesses of anything? And if yes, that certainly leaves no place art. Or is God merely saying that which is repeated in Leviticus 26:1, that the issue and God’s prohibition is against the worship of carved images. Is God not really saying that art when worshipped is bad? Is not the worship of anything except God bad. If so, when is art good?
As evangelical christians it is all too easy relegate the arts (fine, popular or technical) to the fringe of our lives. We hear about the Lordship of Christ without fully understanding that His Lordship includes Lordship over the whole of man and the whole of the universe. As a result we have denied to ourselves the riches which Christ has freely given. The Lordship of Christ over the whole of life means that there are no platonic areas in Christianity, no hierarchy or dichotomy between the body and the soul. After all, God made the body as well as the soul and when he redeemed me His redemption applied to not part but all of me.
Consider that God created man in His own image and God created many other things as well, all for His pleasure. Man also, in God’s image also creates. We mortals cannot speak things into existence (other than our thoughts), however each time we take the resources which God has provided (sound, light, color, etc.) and create something which did not previously exist in its new form, we participate in an attribute of God resulting in what can be commonly called “art.”
Look also at the Tabernacle. At the same time when God gave Moses the ten commandments he also gave Moses instructions to build a Tabernacle … filled with art. God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the Tabernacle including the very artistic patterns (Exodus 25:9 & 25:40). God was the Tabernacle’s architect, not man. Over and over again the Bible says, “And thou shall make” meaning that God was telling Moses what to do in detail. These were commands. Commands from the same God who gave the ten commandments.
Let’s look at some of these commands which describe the art of the Tabernacle. In describing the very Holy of Holies God states, "And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work” (Exodus 25:18. God commanded a work of art, representational art of statuary of angelic beings was to be placed in the Holy of Holies. This, such a sacred place that only once a year, one man, the High Priest would go. But some will say, “but this is no ordinary art, this is of angels, its religious subject matter, its not representing things on the earth!” True, but just outside the Holy of Holies lampstands were to be placed. “You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its [ornamental] knobs, and flowers shall be [of one piece]. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls [shall be] made like almond [blossoms] on one branch, [with] an [ornamental] knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond [blossoms] on the other branch, [with] an [ornamental] knob and a flower--and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. (Exodus 25:31-33). So here we have another work of art, not with representations of angels but with representations of nature.
Later in Exodus we see a description of the priests garments. “And upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around” (Exodus 28:33). Here we see a description of works of art commanded by God to be on the garment of the priest entering the Holy of Holies. This work of art is not only a representation of nature but transcends nature (blue pomegranates) showing that we have the freedom to create things which not only exist in heaven, or earth, but also things that may exist in neither.
It is easy as well to forget that art requires certain technical details and when God commanded these arts works be made He Himself did not create them but skilled artisans were needed to fashion the works of art to God’s specification. “He made two cherubim of beaten gold; he made them of one piece at the two ends of the mercy seat: one cherub at one end on this side, and the other cherub at the [other] end on that side. He made the cherubim at the two ends [of one piece] with the mercy seat. The cherubim spread out [their] wings above, [and] covered the mercy seat with their wings. They faced one another; the faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.” (Exodus 37:7-9). As the golden cherubim did not fall out of the sky someone had to get their hands dirty. Someone had to work out the technical problems. The very issues a modern artist wrestles with these artists wrestle with. Form, scale, perspective and more all needed to be worked out.
Consider then that the Bible goes on to describe more works of art in the Temple but does not stop there but chronicles in great detail the great works of art on Soloman ‘s throne and home. These, not sacred works of art but “secular.” The Bible does not stop there but also contains many songs of a secular nature and poems of love between a man and a women.
In all this we see that God is our whole redeemer. He, our Lord of all. Expressions of our creativity, our art, are not limited to angelic beings, or naturally occurring creation, sacred or secular topic and are in fact limited by no factor other than we are slaves of Christ with His easy yoke and light burden.
So, in my opinion can a Christian perform in a secular venue? Of itself, yes. Can a Christian perform secular art? Of itself, yes. And can through the expression of either of these can the Christian bring pleasure to his God? Of itself, yes.
New York City by day & Monmouth County, NJ by night
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