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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Musings for the New Year

My wife and I attended the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Concert for the New Year last night. The program was a pleasant variety of excerpts from old musicals [The King and I], jazz ala Louis Armstrong, marches [SuppĂ©’s “Light Cavalry Overture”] to “The Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” Over two hours of tonal delight.

I did notice that each of the more than sixty musicians in the orchestra had a music stand in front of them and they all had sheets of music on the stands and seemed to be paying attention to them. There was also a conductor who waved his arms. The musicians seems to be paying attention to him, also. I also noted that before they began to play, the concert master stood up, played an "E" his violin and all the performers played an "E" also, to see that all the instruments were in tune. There lies the tale.

What if every musician decided to do his own thing and play his own song? Or suppose each one played the music in front of him but played it to his own beat and pitch and whenever it suited him? I spent some time meditating on that while engrossed in the music.

Do you suppose that any musician who tried such a thing, no matter how talented, would last long in the symphony? I suspect he would be fired. There may be a place for him on a street corner with a tin mug, I suppose, but not in any organized body of musicians. He might make a good living as a soloist, if that suits him, but there would be no place for him in the orchestra.

I am sure that God has as much sense as the directors of an orchestra. Even the devil has more sense than that and will not suffer his kingdom to be divided against itself with each devil doing his own thing. At least Jesus seemed to think so. One thing that is certain in every great musical performance is the discipline of the musicians.

God has provided abundantly for his church, including the way decisions are to be made. They are to be made decently and in order by those who are appointed by Him for the government of the church. Defiance of those decisions is defiance of God himself. The Bible provides for how such officers are to be chosen and guides the church in their selection.. There are various interpretations among Christian denominations as to the nature of the offices and how they are appointed, but only chaos and cacophony results if the government is defied. No church or any other organization—including those of the devil—can survive, if there are no consequences for that defiance.

To change the figure, I remember a big strong boy who came out for basketball when I was in high school. He was the best basketball player in the gym and he expected that everyone, even the coach, would respect him for it. The trouble is, he wouldn’t do what the coach told him to do, so he was kicked off the team, much to his surprise and anger. His pride kept him from playing basketball that year. He learned that there was a difference between being a coach and being a coach-ee.

Even basketball players have to work together in discipline and unity.


Paul put it this way for the church, "submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God" [Eph. 5:21] and the writer of Hebrews: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." [13:7]
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