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  • Re: re: Questions
    • PPB (no login)
      Posted Apr 9, 2006 9:17 PM

      Laughable? Really? And why would that be? Do you come from a church where the elders/deacons are put on pedestals and do not particpate in the service?

      Early church writings and writings from Roman citizens clearly state that the early church members did NOTHING without the okay of their elders/presbyters. Deacons could not baptize or accept tithing without the authorization of the elders. The size of the congregations were not extremely large at first and met in homes. There is much dispute that they ever met in the catacombs except when they were celebrating the dead. As the church grew, they began meeting in several homes - having to meet monthly as a larger group when possible. As the church grew in the first several centuries, they began to add more Elders and Deacons beyond the initial chosen ones. Because of their relatively small size, they did not have hundreds to chose from that were well versed in the scriptures. In the early church, the Elders determined who was to lead the teachings/readings/songs/etc. Most of which was given to the Deacons to do as the church groups expanded.
      For further information on the history of the early church, please feel free to read any of the early writings which you can find on-line and at large local libraries. There are also plenty of books available for purchase. D. Bercot has a great dictionary of early writings.

      You might want to check out the term "anitphonal", "liturgy" and "responsorial". Of course, the early Christian changed the process up a little but it was still closely related. Though there were some changes as the gentiles were added.


      Part of me doesn't really think I should provide you with the references, as it is important that you discover the TRUTH on your own. What's that old saying..."Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime"

      So, I decided to give you just a small taste of the tons of info out there on early christian music. Also, remember that hymns/songs/praises were considered "teaching tools" and not for entertainment. This is a long and complicated subject that can't really be addressed in this one posting. Suffice it to say, that it did change once the Gentiles were added and the Apostles continued to oversee the church.

      Just a few references on music in the early church:

      "Chanting and Music":
      "We have said that the chanting of 'songs and hymns and spiritual songs' was an essential part of Christian worship and was inherited from the Hebrew tradition. In spite of this demonstrated inheritance by the Church of Hebrew chant forms and traditions, however, there can be no doubt that here again after the fourth century a profound change gradually occurred. This was not a change or development in musical theory or technique, but a change in the function of the Church's chanting, its new place in the general structure or worship, its acquisition of new liturgical significance.

      "This change is best demonstrated by the peculiar duality in the place and function of chanting in our modern worship. On the one hand, a 'singing quality' has been assigned to almost every word pronounced in Church; Western rubrics still speak of the 'chanting' of the Gospel by the DEACON, and the manner of reading the psalms or parimia is close to being a form of chant. In using the term 'chant' ancient Ordos had reference to the entire service, which was thought of in all its parts as a singing of praise to God.

      "We find the same definition of worship as chanting in the New Testament. In Revelation the ELDERS sing a new song before the Lamb, and the Apostle Paul summons the faithful to 'teach and admonish one another ... by grace singing in your hearts to the Lord' (Rev. 4:9; 14:3, 15:3 and Col. 3:16). While not dealing here with the heart of the question, whether there was here a 'Semitic' concept of liturgical chanting, we may note simply that the first meaning of chanting in our Ordo and worship correspond precisely to this Semitic concept. This does not mean that early Christian worship recognized no difference between the various types of chanting and made no special provision for 'hymns' — i.e. for material written expressly to be sung (for example, the biblical 'song'). But their function was the same as that of prayers and psalms and litanies — all were to the same degree the prayer of the Church, all were subordinated equally to the general scheme of worship."

      "Music has evolved into an indispensable element of worship. It underscores the fundamental concept of community which was so vital and so real in the early Church, for it was the task of all present to sing, to participate in song, and to respond with one heart and one voice to the celebrant. It must be noted here however, that music was never understood as a private, or personal devotional service, rather its function was communal; it identified the popular element of liturgical celebration. It is for this reason that any music sung in the church which "focuses attention onto a particular person or group, which forces another group into becoming passive listeners and observers, is alien to the age-old tradition of the Church and to the literal meaning of liturgy: an act of the people." This is not to say that there were no soloists in the Church, because there were, however, their primary task was to lead and cue the responses from the assembled body of the faithful, and not to alienate them from the communal aspect of worship. Musical tradition suggests that simple melodies, ideal for congregations with little or no formal musical knowledge were used and many of the early written melodies that still exist today support this fact."
      Rev. Father Peter J. Orfanakos

      Drillock: The most widespread method for the chanting of psalms, however, is the second example noted by St. Basil, commonly called responsorial psalmody. One person (a leading chanter) begins the chanting of the psalm verse, while all the others respond, either with a verse selected from the psalm itself, or with "Alleluia." Such a practice was not only common at the time of St. Basil, but was a well-established traditional way of psalm singing, having its roots in the original poetic form and structure of many of the psalms themselves. An example of such a form is found in Psalm 135, where the second half of each verse of the psalm is exactly the same: "for his mercy endures forever."

      ERASMUS "We have brought into our churches certain operatic and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words as I hardly think was ever in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes, and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time learning these whining tones." (Erasmus, Commentary on I Cor. 14:19)

      EUSEBIUS "Of old at the time those of the circumcision were worshipping with symbols and types it was not inappropriate to send up hymns to God with the psalterion and cithara and to do this on Sabbath days... We render our hymn with a living psalterion and a living cithara with spiritual songs. The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument. Accordingly in all the churches of God, united in soul and attitude, with one mind and in agreement of faith and piety we send up a unison melody in the words of the Psalms."

      Christianity Today: "Much of the music of today’s church would have little meaning to those hardy saints of the early church. For them, music was the means for Spirit-led prayer and praise - NOT a pathway to an emotional experience.

      St. Ignatius, writing about 110 AD, said: "You must, every man of you, join in a choir, that being harmonious and in concord and taking the keynote of God in unison…sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father…"

      Singing was central in the early church because the powerful pattern for the worship of the church was the heavenly worship found in Revelation 4 and 5. (See Isaiah 6:1-4 and Ezekiel 3:12). Many early church fathers (leaders) speak of this connection in relation to worship. Because of this, the early church took a very consistent and conservative approach to music. For if a chant took them to "heaven", the treatment of the music of worship needed to be as "otherworldly" as possible."

      Leonard: "The New Testament does not specify who is to officiate in worship, or to administer the Lord's Supper, although prophets (deacons/elders)clearly had a role in corporate worship (1 Cor. 14:23-33)."
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    ...........................THE BOOK

    What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

    There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

    This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

    Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
    Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

    Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

    It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

    At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

    They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

    The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

    At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

    Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

    The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

    The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

    This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

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    Here is the list of players;

    5 Godly Elders
    10 Not so Godly Elders
    120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
    2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
    2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
    Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
    Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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