Revival Sermons

Lifestyle & Contemporary Issues => Issues in Contemporary Worship => Topic started by: ColporteurK on May 20, 2015, 08:38:20 AM

Title: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on May 20, 2015, 08:38:20 AM
 
   The Mohl family ( Don and Donna) is an SDA family from Missouri. They play stringed instruments and sing blue grass music and hymns with a contemporary approach. They write some of their own songs. The words carry a good message. They play harmonica, Dulcimer, other harp type instruments as  well as electric guitar. There is no aerobic activity in their performance other than foot taping by Don.
    I observed their performance a decade ago or longer and again the other day. I'm not quite sure what to think of the music. The guitar while not sounding quite like a drum, tends to be similar. I don't think the beat is syncopated but it is a peppy beat none the less. The music is something that tends to invite the people to get up and dance; at least that is the inner effect. It reminds me of something one might hear up town while passing an old fashioned dance hall.

Apparently the music is controversial as Don spoke of when they toured California and an SDA church there was not sure they wanted their music in the church. It is a soft but bump music with a bit of swing however the performers are restrained in the way it is delivered. In other words, no antics, swinging, and such but a very subdued stalwart  delivery. They are a very sweet couple. Their children used to join them and all played stringed instruments.

They do refer to the "stage" they do not ask that the people not applaud.

     My concern is the electric guitar that sounds much like a drum and carries some kind of a dun don don dun beat. It is typical blue grass.  Has anyone hear heard this couple sing and play ?

You can google them and play a few sound bites of their music.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: newbie on May 21, 2015, 05:37:02 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDu_6zgYd38

just watched and listened to this one and it seems okay to me...
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on May 24, 2015, 12:38:57 PM
 On the CDs it sounds different to me. I don't know if some back ground music has been added or if it sounds different coming through speakers in the car. There is an amplified beat on the CDs. It is not offensive for volume but it is pronounced. This may be eliminated in churches on Sabbath. Not sure what instrument makes that sound if it is a cello that is plucked or something recorded.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: newbie on May 24, 2015, 03:20:01 PM
On the CDs it sounds different to me. I don't know if some back ground music has been added or if it sounds different coming through speakers in the car. There is an amplified beat on the CDs. It is not offensive for volume but it is pronounced. This may be eliminated in churches on Sabbath. Not sure what instrument makes that sound if it is a cello that is plucked or something recorded.
sometimes the arrangers will put in a drum beat that was not there originally.... not good
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on May 25, 2015, 11:07:59 AM
 I have watched this group years ago when they were with another family. The gentlemen in the other family plucked something like a big deep sounding cello. It sounded like a soft drum and pepped up the music. That one instrument alone gave the music something in common with music from my past, a soft rock, country, or so. It is a bit of an enigma to me.  Words are very good. People seem humble. Other instruments sound nice. Delivery is reserved but with some pronounced toe tapping.

The subtle and attractive tone of this one instrument pumps up the music and invites toe tapping, body movement, and applause. In my mind it invites dancing and I know that the same thing that stirs in me because of the music stirs in others and even more so in some, as I have observed it. That concerns me because it seems to feed a carnal side of people. Yes, the people like it. For liberal people they would roll their eyes and say, give me a break, that is tame, if not dull." For moderate people they would say, that there is not a thing wrong with it, it is not drums, and drums are not intrinsically evil anyway. For more conservative people concerns may arise.

Years ago we had an LE campmeeting. This family performed there. I was new in the faith and a new LE. During one informal song out on the grass a friend and I locked arms and started to do a can can type dance. You know, with one leg up and then the other leg up. Don said, " we better tone this down."   My point is that even one instrument can change music and tend to pump people up. It does not need to be a drum however there are instruments that produce the same effect and it is easy to interject background music that adds a pump to the music.  Often music will begin fine and in the middle of the song things change and a rythmatic  pump or pick me up is bridged in. The listener usually does not even know it has happened. All he knows is that he is now really getting into the music. This bridge ALWAYS involves a beat. The plucking of a deep sounding cello or an electric guitar can create the same thumpy, bumpy ,rocky sound as soft drum.

Some of music the Mohl family plays  (at least in some settings and on the CDs) is very much on the edge in my mind. A few might say that it is over the edge. Certainly not the dulcimer and almost all of the musical instruments. Again, it is the effect of whatever it is that sounds like a drum that is the concern. The music is just what it is said to be, bluegrass, mountain music. The truth for me is that there is a side of me that likes/loves it and another side that says woe, this needs to be reigned in. The example you played Newbie is such that it does not really portray my concern.

The reason I bring this up is to see what others think. If my most conservative friends say, " I don't see any problem then I tend to think I am over reacting. If they too have a concern then I consider that. Unfortunately my friends will probably have to have heard this music either  on a CD or in a secular setting. The Mohl family plays at fairs and in non SDA churches as. To hear them there, would probably give a better indicator as to where they are at with this.

Perhaps a good sounding board would be to send Ivor Myers or  Christian Berdahl as CD and get their feedback. They are pretty sensitive regarding music on the church. It seems to me that some of the music I refer to on CD is either on the edge in terms of being conservative or a bridge to music that ought not be in the church.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: newbie on May 26, 2015, 02:52:40 PM
Quote from: Cp
Perhaps a good sounding board would be to send Ivor Myers or  Christian Berdahl as CD and get their feedback. They are pretty sensitive regarding music on the church. It seems to me that some of the music I refer to on CD is either on the edge in terms of being conservative or a bridge to music that ought not be in the church.
Go for it!
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: V. Hahn on May 28, 2015, 08:33:01 PM
I personally am partial to bluegrass music.  Learned to love it at Southern Missionary College.  At Michigan Camp Meeting last year they had a group that played Christian hymns in bluegrass style with the banjos, dulcimers, etc., and Michigan is very conservative.  I loved it, but I can see the concern. 

Yes, it would be good to hear from Berdahl and others who might have some "inside information" on this type of music.  With the rhythm, how is it much different from some of the contemporary songs we hear and don't approve of?  Food for thought.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on May 28, 2015, 09:07:51 PM
Quote from: Cp
Perhaps a good sounding board would be to send Ivor Myers or  Christian Berdahl as CD and get their feedback. They are pretty sensitive regarding music on the church. It seems to me that some of the music I refer to on CD is either on the edge in terms of being conservative or a bridge to music that ought not be in the church.
Go for it!

Ivor Myers asked me to send him the link. The problem is that links on the computer tend to sound quite a bit more reserved than music on CDs played through a speaker system. I have not sent him any links. Perhaps I will yet.

Christian has not replied. Usually he does but probably he is being bombarded  with questions over this topic and I know he is very busy.

 The Michigan Conference is conservative in some areas and while they are conservative compared to most other NAD conferences that is not saying much.

I have been dialoging some with a conference president further west from Michigan. When I post a concern he ALWAYS  skirts the question or concern  and replies something to the effect " we are not saved by works"  or " you can focus on sin if you  want but I will focus on Jesus."  When I reply, " yes, I know we are saved by grace and we are to focus on Jesus  that but what about the concern?" He does not reply. It is classic generic "Jesus All."

 I posted about this particular music because unlike just about all the other music I have heard it is a little gray area. I don't like gray area topics and tend to try to err on the safe side. This one has me puzzled.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: newbie on May 29, 2015, 04:52:45 PM
thank you...keep us posted...
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on February 12, 2016, 09:40:05 AM
Just received a church newsletter where a church concert will be held as a fund raiser to pay for expenses for a new pastor coming in from another country. It is said in the newsletter who all will be "on stage."

Sometimes we hear even about church services, the "stage" and the "audience."  Maybe I am too sensitive  but I don't even see a concert platform as "a stage."  A stage by its nature seems to indicate performance and attention given to the performers. It implies, as it were, a grading such as judges holding up score cards when the act is over. 

Did Mrs. White perform on stage ? Did Jesus have a stage act ? The language by its nature seems to misdirect attention.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: Raven on February 12, 2016, 03:24:23 PM
Somewhere in the Bible or the SOP is the principle of being in the world but not of the world.  That's what comes to mind when I hear stuff like this.  It's like when people applaud after special music, instead of saying "amen."  Using worldly terminology and methods sends the wrong signal when used in a setting that should be spiritual.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: Hounddog on February 12, 2016, 03:59:46 PM
It's like when people applaud after special music, instead of saying "amen."  Using worldly terminology and methods sends the wrong signal when used in a setting that should be spiritual.

I used to be anti-clapping in church, and still don't do it myself. But I read one writer's opinion on it and noted his Bible verses. I don't have them right in front of me but did find the following verses that mentioned dancing, clapping, and the raising of hands. I left out the ones where the one clapping was against the people of God and celebrating some victory over them. However, can the non-verbal of clapping be to praise the performer or to praise God, and how would you clap if it were to praise God?(All verses are ESV.)

Psalm 47:1

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalm 98:8

Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together

Psalm 47:1-9

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. ...

Isaiah 55:12

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Psalm 150:1-6

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! ... (Oops, drums were left out!)

Psalm 149:3

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

1 Timothy 2:8

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

Psalm 134:2

Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!

Nehemiah 8:6   

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 141:2

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: newbie on February 12, 2016, 04:32:40 PM
are we clapping our hands in celebration for God or for man?
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: ColporteurK on February 12, 2016, 04:46:55 PM
HD;

Some of that like the river or trees clapping hands is obviously figurative. This may be more of a figurative emphasis of exclamation rather than a mandate for physical activity. Or,.. I wonder if to clap one's hands  may be a single clap as in clasping one's hands together once rather than a repetitive action. I do not recall anywhere in the Bible or SOP where clapping was done as in the disciples clapping when Jesus performed a miracle.

The verse on "dancing"  in psalms is very controversial as to the meaning if it means dancing at all. Then there is the concept of marching as opposed to this free style body jerking that youth have done for the past 60 years. Again, I see nothing in the SOP that indicates the church pioneers  dancing in any way. Other than the one instance with David when bringing back the ark there is no example of dancing in the Bible. What David did is not likely comparable to anything we see today that would be called dancing. Even then, David was not always a model to follow.

Holding up hands kind of reminds me of greeting each other with a holy kiss. What exactly does it mean ?There is a denomination or two where the males kiss each other on the lips as a holy kiss. I think they are off base. Not sure about the hands but usually this activity is accompanied with a false tongues and other emotional antics. I do not think we ought to forbid it but I am very observant to what accompanies it.

I have heard the loud cymbals as a reason to have drums in the church. If I understand correctly the cymbals were not at all used like a drum but more or less as a timer between verses as such.
Title: Re: The Mohl Family
Post by: Raven on February 13, 2016, 04:40:22 AM
I believe our beloved pastor gave a sermon on the subject of dancing in the Bible, and the conclusion was that what David did was leap for joy, and in the verses about dancing (such as Psalm 150:4), the word translated "dance" should have been some kind of musical instrument.

Cultural context must be considered when studying this issue.  What did it mean when they clapped their hands in Bible times?  We don't hear of it in the NT church.  Whatever the context, it is clear that what is being done to day in the churches (applauding the performance of a musical number, or, worse yet, hooting, whistling, and clapping after someone is baptized) bears no resemblance to what was going on in Bible times.  They were not praising man, but God (or maybe even keeping time to the music).  In modern culture, applause is directed toward the one on stage.  And even if I were to claim that my applause was directed toward God, few, if any, would interpret it that way, because of the modern cultural context.  We have a commonly accepted method of showing our appreciation for music, points made in a sermon, prayers offered, or other things taking place in worship; and that is a hearty "amen!"