Is Today’s Christian "Praise" Music Okay? – Psalm 150

Had a wonderful bible study on praise this past weekend. I was thinking to myself, “oh, okay on praise.” I wasn’t too thrilled at first because I really wanted get into the “deeper” things of God. But the bible study leader is pretty consistent in teaching us these deep things of God so I remained patient.

I was not disappointed.

Psalm 150 was one of several scriptures used describing praising God, but this one I want to focus on because of its use of musical instruments, something that is sometimes controversial in the Church. But here it is with its entire chapter – all six verses of it!

Psalm 150

Let All Things Praise the LORD

1 Praise the LORD!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD!

Praise him with the trumpet, the lute, the harp, timbrel and dance, stringed intruments and flutes, loud cymbals, clashing cymbals! Wow, all instruments to God’s glory!

When I was young and went to grandma and grandpa’s church (we weren’t church goers in my home with dad an agnostic), I remember distinctively the talk of guitars and drums as being sinful. These days, that has been replaced with hip hoppers, rappers and praise dancers as being sinful by some.

But as I’ve glanced through some videos of today’s Christian rappers and hip hoppers they are using instruments in the praise of God. These days the instruments can even include the fascinating use of computers in music. Take a look from this scene in the “Fighting Temptations,” a movie that although wasn’t high on my list of good movies, but this scene caught my attention when it came to the mixture of old time gospel and modern synthesized hip hop music. Very interesting!

“To Da River” T-Bone, Lil Zane, Eddie Levert, Montel Jordan in Fighting Temptations

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Tonéx Has 4Gotten God

Those of us familiar with R&B, Jazz and Funk Gospel know Tonéx very well. I confess that I was a HUGE fan of his with at least three of his CD’s, until he clearly started going through some very confusing and ungodly episodes in his life – episodes expressed vividly in his music (The Naked Truth).

Because he is still showing hints that he’s still wallowing in ungodliness, I refuse to write Tonex’s name with what he calls the “new and improved” spelled “Ton3x” because he’s really not new and improved at all. This was evident in an article found in titled “Introducing the New and Improved TON3X.” (Aug 12)

The writer, Mandi, was barely into the interview with Tonéx when he let a four lettered expletive out of his mouth. He was explaining to Mandi his style of music (which is what I fell in love with when I first heard it – except with lyrics uplifting Christ) when he said the following:

I got exposed to Prince and Rick James and Parliament.” He laughs. “Upstairs was all the gospel stuff and in the basement [where my brother had his studio] is where I got exposed to the real sh*t, and it was like uh-oh.Uh-oh is right. What did he just say?

Well, he said it and although Mandi questioned his use of the word to herself, Tonéx himself wasn’t questioned by Mandi who goes on to describe Tonéx as being “the realest in the game,” and “He’s real. He’s an actor, a mogul in the making.”

Have Christians lost site of what’s truly REAL these days? Being “Real” appears to be measured by worldy standards to many. Being a mogul is what he’s being congratuled for pursuing to be rather than holiness which is what God wants us to pursue:

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14″

Mandi exposes more of her worldy adulation of Tonéx when she accepts his reasons for entertaining on a cruise for Black Gay and Lesbians later in October of this year. He was the only Christian singer that accepted their invitation (wonder why) and told her he knows he going to catch a lot of flack for it too but responds:

Yeah I’m going to catch a lot of flack,”. . .“But I’m going to catch a lot of record sales and new fans too. No one is condoning anything. I’m just saying that if they spend money they’re just like any other consumer. And if they need a breakthrough they’re just like any other soul.

He’s going to catch a lot of record sales and new fans too? They’re just like any other soul? That’s his concern about attending this cruise? Although Mandi claims she likes reading Charles Spurgeon, she had nothing but praise for Tonéx’s new album following his remarks for performing on this cruise. Where is the sisterly rebuke of this man? Tonéx was clearly in need of admonishment and not praise! Even if he had godly intentions of performing to Gays and Lesbians, what does the appearance of being on a cruise ship with them represent?

Now if Tonéx was truly trying to show a rebirth or a recommittment to Christ, why would he package his “sin” in the form of a profanity laced CD and sell it? This CD is still being sold in his store complete with a Parental Advisory label.

We never want to judge anyone for their past ungodly lifestyle and sins, but Tonéx is showing that he is still hanging on to the old. There is no new Tonéx at all, just a repackaging with the purpose of the goal of “making money” to be accepted by the world’s standard of success.

Many Christians are so enamored with this man that they are turning a blind eye to his current lifestyle and accepting nearly everything that Tonéx does as “genious” or even “spiritual.” Spiritual it is, but not godly spirituality.

If Tonéx remembers anything about God at all, he would remember these things:

  1. One does not glory in their sin – 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
  2. Profanity should not be a part of a Christian’s language - James 1:26, James 3:1-9
  3. Abstain from sexual immorality – Romans 1:18-32
  4. Do not love the pursuit of money – 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 1Timothy 6:9
  5. Do not get caught up loving the things of this world – 1 John 2:15-17
  6. Show Jesus real love by obeying Him – John 14:15, 21

There’s no doubt God loves Tonéx, but the real question is whether or not Tonéx loves God! Do the songs from his new CD prove his love for the Lord? If his songs do not match his actions, they are mere empty musical pieces.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Sadly, great music with scriptural messages is not enough. His actions will speak louder than his words and I’m praying that one day, the REAL Tonéx will have a walk that matches his talk and song.

See other articles by fellow Christians: (NEW: See Qualifications of Pastor)

Tonex’s Gay Church Gig – Pastor DL at Gay Christian Movement Watch
Tonex Claims That Michael Jackson And Benny Hinn Have The Same Anointing – Brother Job at Jesus Christology
Tonex’s Apology for the Naked Truth – (He apologizes and then sells a CD about it?) – added 8/15
“I’m Just Keepin it Real” – Brother Alan Wiggins at Real Christianity on Tonex’s language and gay friends – added 8/16. (also, check out his post on some godly hip hop musicians on the “Unashamed Tour London”)
Ex-Wife of Tonex: Gay Marriage Part of Satan’s Agenda – Pastor DL At Gay Christian Movement Watch – added 8/19
The Qualifications of a Pastor – Tonex calls himself Pastor. Here is a breakdown of what a Pastor should be.

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