I moved previous content of this home page to a separate Hendrix page as I want this page to represent my musical identity. My criticism of, or more accurately, discernment concerning some ‘Nashville’ inspired musicians is echoed and clarified in a statement of Derek Prince: “I think the majority of Christians cannot distinguish between music that is entertainment and music that is worship, and much of the responsibility lies at the door of Nashville, because for the sake of dollars they commercialize religious music to the point where people look to it for entertainment. Worship is not entertainment. Entertainment is getting for yourself, worship is giving to God.” Worship in spirit and truth necessitates a sacrifice of the selfish desires of the human soul, which would gratify sensuality and appeal to pride. Another statement of Prince@ 9:35: “Worship is God-focused, entertainment says “Bless me, give me a good time.” As a matter of fact, it’s become quite fashionable to go to worship in order to get blessed. But it’s not real worship. Worship is giving of yourself unreservedly.” From Take Heed That You Are Not Deceived: “What appeals to your emotions may not touch your spirit at all. We have a lot of worship in the church today which is soulish. People worship God in order to have a good time, but the purpose of worship is not for us to have a good time. It’s for us to worship God, and we have to come to the place where we’re sensitive to the difference between the spiritual and the souliish.”
From Are You Spiritual Or Soulish? Part 2 of 4: Who Am I? by Derek Prince, on tripartite humanity (spirit, soul, and body) made in the image of the Triune God: “I’ve divided the soul…into three areas….The will, the intellect and the emotions. The soul is also the ego….The soul makes the decisions. When it comes to the will, the soul says I want….The intellect says I think….And the emotions, what do they say? I feel….And basically, unregenerate man is controlled by those three phrases: I want, I think and I feel…..The spirit has got to work through the soul….the body is what acts out the decision of the spirit and the soul in this present age….Normally the spirit cannot operate the body directly in this present age, it has to go through the soul….in the age to come our body will be spiritual, not soulish. Our spirit will control our body direct. We won’t have to bother with persuading our soul to do things….Worship is a function of the spirit….What is the corresponding activity in the soul to worship?…Praise….So, in the spirit we worship, with the soul we praise, with the body we kneel or bow. And prostrate ourselves, clap our hands, lift our hands [dance]….in order to follow Jesus you’ve got to do three things: you’ve got to deny yourself, your soul; take up your cross; and then follow Him….So how do you deny your soul? You say no to your soul. Your soul says I want. You say it’s not what you want that matters, it’s God’s will. Your soul says I think. You say what you think is not important, it’s what God’s Word says. Your soul says I feel. You say what you feel is not important, it’s the impressions of the Holy Spirit that matter….You cannot live for Christ and live for your soul. You’ve got to lose your soul to follow Him. But Jesus says when you lose your soul, then you find something….You cannot communicate Biblical truth in secular language. You cannot use the jargon of psychology or psychiatry adequately to impart spiritual truth. You have to use Biblical terminology….” The Spirit transforms mere entertainment to worship, petty criticism to discernment, unhealthy guilt to conviction, sympathy to compassion. manipulation to revelation, temporal happiness to lasting joy.
From Bible psychology: Spirit and soul- Volume 1: What God’s mirror reveals: “Triune man, spirit, soul and body. The spirit from above brought into being by the in-breathed breath of almighty God who is Spirit. The body, the clay from beneath. The soul, somehow the union of spirit with clay, and that’s why your soul has so many problems, because your soul is being pulled upwards by the spirit and downwards by the clay, and the soul is the decision making factor in you. The soul is what says I will or I will not. Your spirit has to get its way in this life through your soul. Your spirit has to persuade your soul….The soul is the point of union between the clay and the spirit. Your destiny is settled by the decisions of your soul. It’s your soul that is saved….When your soul makes the decision [to be spiritually saved] your spirit begins to come alive, and then you’ve got to learn through the realm of the soulish into the realm of the spiritual.”
I imagine that each of us is as Adam or Eve in the garden and we choose to use our body and/or our musical instruments to worship, praise, thank and serve God or to follow the world, the flesh and the Devil. Better to serve in Heaven than to reign in Hell. I am a spiritual person who worships the Christian Trinity, including the Holy Spirit; one of the fruits of the divine Spirit is humility. Satan is a created being who vainly sought equality with God. In contrast Jesus is the divine Son of God “Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.” (Philippians, 2:6-8) That’s my God.
The musical direction I’m going in consistent with my spiritual identity is country gospel. I thought Johnny Cash was pretentious, but now I have a CD of his in my car and I like it as it shows him to be a fan of Jesus, and so am I. I also started playing some cowboy songs, but that led to a dead end with songs about the shadow of the cowboy – Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, This is the Last Cowboy Song… My hero is Jesus and he wasn’t a cowboy.
I am using a thumb pick and am interested in the history of fingerpicking guitar beginning with early country musicians like Maybelle Carter, who was apparently influenced by black guitarist Lesley Riddle to play melody on bass strings and chords with a finger for strumming. Chet Atkins played in her ensemble and he learned from Merle Travis, who learned from a black guitarist in a style emulating stride piano. This fingerpicking style makes the thumb and fingers independent, so the guitar becomes like a mini piano. Unlike pianists, guitarists are able to directly contact the strings, resulting in many musically satisfying nuances. Tommy Emmanuel apparently plucks with calloused fingertips rather than with nails and I’ve adopted this approach. Some finger style guitarists, including Paul Simon and Bruce Cockburn, began using a thumb pick and later switched to using the bare thumb to get a more natural sound. I’ve found that arranging some contemporary worship songs for finger style guitar makes them sound less sentimental. Male Christian musicians are united with the risen Christ; their worship music should not sound overly sentimental, as though Jesus were like a spiritual boyfriend – a rather perverse thought – but that he is their King, Lord, Master, Saviour… This relationship to Jesus seems to me penultimate, for the union with Christ allows the believer to enter the presence of God the Father, so one is ultimately a younger brother / servant of Jesus and a son of God the Father. These seem to me to be practical relationships leading to acts of service, rather than sentimentality and/or passivity, and worship music should reflect this distinction. Worship music celebrates and participates in the new creation, of a new self anticipating a new incorruptible body and a new heavens and earth. Christians are the real progressives for we have a real and sustainable future, and that’s good news worthy of proclaiming. We love even our enemies for hate and hate speech are works of the flesh. Mt 10:22: “all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.” So many who play victim to perceived haters are projecting their own hatred. God have mercy on their hateful and discordant souls.
Global guitar is still relevant as I like to arrange a song with a meditative raga-like intro, play the song with a western cadence, get lost in the middle with Ornette Coleman’s Harmolodics, and find the way back to the song and concluding meditation. I am gigging in pubs, restaurants, and street churches, and even in parks with the Freedom Rally folks in an endeavour to find my voice, which may necessitate singing some old classics, like Put a Little Love in Your Heart / And the world will be a better place…
Larry Coryell on Breau in 1977: “It truly bore out the axiom that mentors and teachers have told their disciples over centuries: It does not matter how fast you play; what matters is can you reach into people’s lives and touch their most fundamental part of their existence? That’s really what music is about.” The Holy Spirit reaches into people’s lives. One should not worship music as a religion. Breau and Coryell were drug addicts at this time.
From Part 1 of 3: Exercising Spiritual Gifts By Derek Prince: “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you: as the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Now, I want to comment on that last verse that I read. The word that’s translated breathed in secular language is used of a flute player blowing into the mouthpiece of his instrument to produce music. The suggestion to me is not that Jesus stood at a distance and breathed at them collectively but that he breathed into each of them, and as he did so, said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”…Now, the word in Greek for spirit, pneuma, is also the word for wind and for breath. So when He breathed into them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he was saying receive holy breath. It was a direct person to person transaction between them. They became part of the new creation. Your mind goes back to the first creation when God formed a body of clay there in the garden, in order to make him a living soul, what did He do? He breathed into him the breath of life and he became created, he became a living soul. The new creation follows the same pattern but it’s not the Lord in the garden, it’s the resurrected Savior who has passed through death and come out of the tomb and who breathes into His disciples a life that is totally victorious. It’s a life that has conquered sin and Satan and death and the grave. That’s the inbreathed breath of the resurrected Savior.
[He continues] I personally believe that it’s a pattern for everybody who is to enter into new salvation. I don’t believe you can be saved without meeting Jesus. I don’t mean that you meet Him visibly as the disciples did, but I don’t believe there’s any way into the true church of Jesus Christ except Jesus. He said, “I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” So, I believe this is a pattern for the new birth for every person. We have to meet Jesus. Not just believe a doctrine or join a church, but have a personal encounter with the resurrected Christ and receive from Him the inbreathed breath of God which is the Holy Spirit, and become a new creation. We pass from death to life.
Doyle Dykes: “I always ask God to breathe on my music. If God can breathe into a clay figure of a man and breathe into Adam’s nostrils and he became a living soul, then God can breathe on the strings of a guitar and put life into it. And when he does that you feel His presence.” This quote from a YouTube video fits the theme of this essay. Essay means to try, so maybe this is more of a journal or a confession or a pilgrim’s progress. I’m exploring music and worship. There seems a trend in contemporary Christian worship music toward excessive emotionalism, perhaps a more feminine ethos, manifest in Jesus Image, for example. Dykes represents a southern gospel style that I’m exploring. There is joy and simplicity in this style. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty .” The notion of liberty may seem to contradict notions of human submission to divine Spirit and female submission to husbands, described below, but there is a paradox involved, which may involve the distinction between freedom from constraint and freedom to act in a civil context necessitating boundaries. Spiritual freedom exists in the context of a covenant freely entered into and based on trust. A spiritual musician has a covenantal relationship with a divine keynote. From this perspective Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic theory is a rebellious declaration of autonomy from this keynote resulting in social and spiritual dissonance. Coleman shares with many black American musicians, including Coltrane and Hendrix, an aversion or antipathy towards this keynote. I recently discovered the songs of Brook Benton, including Oh Lord, Why Lord, which wrestles with the tension between “equal rights” and “harmony”, which is hierarchical in nature. Paul McCartney’s lines, “Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony / Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?” may be in part a response to Benton’s song, which borrows its chord structure from Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D Major. This harmonic medium may be the message or answer to Benson’s query, in a mystical / music / metaphysical manner.
Apart from race, blackness and whiteness have been employed abstractly to represent contrary impulses of the human soul. For example, in God Breathed Himself Into Man – Part 2 of 5: From Time to Eternity, Derek Prince describes Plato’s “picture that he used of the soul of man. He pictured the soul of man as a chariot being drawn through the universe by two horses, one was black and one was white. The black horse was always pulling downwards. The white horse was always pulling upwards. Of course, that’s just an allegory, but it indicates, I think, the reality of this tension that there is in man, there’s something in us that’s very earthy, very, very earthy. It’s right downward in its inclinations. But we can never fully gratify that because there is something in us that says, “That’s not all. There’s something more. There’s something in me that belongs above.” And so many men go through their lives tormented by this continual inner conflict. Thank God there is a way to resolve the conflict.”
To avoid charges of racism it seems imperative to distinguish categories of black and white races from discussions of blackness and whiteness in spirituality, psychology, and culture. To eliminate or obscure the differences between blackness and whiteness in the spirit, soul, and music, for examples, is to invite chaos, anarchy, and confusion. For example, Western tonality is founded on a cadence separating a symbolically dark dominant seventh chord, housing a flatted fifth, from a symbolically bright triad. Malcolm X and Black Muslims complained that whiteness and purity were associated in Western dictionaries, but they are also associated in major world religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These faiths are also patriarchal. In Christianity and Judaism God is represented as a symbolically white father figure, who would therefore function as the keynote of sacred music in these faith traditions. Much contemporary popular music replaces this divine keynote, often with a celebration or worship of the self or glorification of sex. The global guitarist seeks to attune audiences to the symbolically white and patriarchal deity depicted in the Holy Bible. A sacred song should simultaneously express love for this deity while destroying rival keynotes, rampant in our present ‘post-Christian’ age of Anti-Christs. John 14:6: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” The Father is the destination.
Having written many essays about musicians, something I find appalling is the apparent lack of awareness or concern on the part of those who advocate for political correctness and multiculturalism. probably mainly for political reasons of theoretical egalitarianism, without seeming to have any regard for the spiritual consequences of these ideas/ideologies on musicians that are influenced by them. I’m referring to musicians who seem to have lost their souls, their salvation, by promoting and identifying with musical forms and cultures that I regard as spiritually dark and dangerous. I think of Lenny Breau, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and many others lost to discordant music, drugs, witchcraft, seductive spirits… Fans and promoters of these musicians and this kind of music seem to regard themselves as virtuous for replacing the symbolically white and patriarchal deity with what I see as repetitions of the fall, involving pride and idolatry of women, sex, self… This is the direction that the music industry seems to have taken. Bono describes the result: “the music business where never before have so many lost and sorrowful people gathered in one place pretending they’re having a good time.” (Walk On, xiv) Make music patriarchal again; praise the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
From Bishop Fulton Sheen Explains The Devil @ 5:10: “…the word diabolical. It comes from the Greek words dia and ballein. Dia ballein is to tear apart, rend asunder. Anything therefore that breaks pattern, that destroys unity, that corrupts gestalt, produces discord. That is the diabolic.” The third of “three powerful weapons against Satan….devotion to our blessed mother, for at the beginning, in the Book of Genesis it was the seed of a woman that would crush the seed of Satan….the blessed mother.” However, Don Stewart concludes, in What Does Genesis 3:15 Mean: “The Latin Vulgate version of the Old Testament has an unfortunate translation in Genesis 3:15. It changes the pronoun from the masculine his to the feminine. This unfortunate translation gave wrongful support for the claims concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. The idea that Mary was the seed of the woman has no basis in fact in the Scripture.” Sheen: “The essence of the Satanic or the diabolic is the hatred of the cross of Christ.” Islam rejects the cross, claiming that Jesus never died. Second Vatican Council describes “Muslims” as those who “together with us…adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” However, Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari 2476 states that Jesus would, upon his second coming, “Break the Cross”. Ahmadis interpret this to mean that he will “make plain the error of the creed of the cross”. From The Cross In My Life, Part 1 – Derek Prince: “Through the law we were married to our fleshly nature….On the cross our fleshly nature was put to death so that we are now free to be married to another – the resurrected Christ.”
Romantic music vs worship music: Romantic music is somewhat tragic as the performing musician is not presently experiencing the romance expressed in a lyric, but is merely expressing a memory or a desire. Worship or praise music transcends this limitation as the musician is able to experience Spirit and divine presence while performing. Also romantic songs often have a bitter element, like a thorn among roses, whereas spiritual music is free from jealously, triangles, quarrels, and so on. The romantic beloved is an imperfect human, whereas God is perfect.
Derek Prince traces imagery of whiteness in Scriptural images of dove and lamb, from Ministries of the Holy Spirit: “You’ve got to relate to the Holy Spirit as a person….He’s a very sensitive person….What is the dove [Holy Spirit] looking for?…The nature of the lamb….He [Jesus] was always in perfect harmony….Learn to be a lamb, because that’s the nature that appeals to the dove. The dove settles on the lamb….The lamb speaks of a sacrifice, of a life laid down, and it speaks of purity, and it speaks of gentleness. If you want to be friends of the Holy Spirit that’s what He’s looking for….God wants each of us…to be a temple of His Holy Spirit….The Creator of the universe is so humble that He seeks to dwell in the physical body of each believer. …Everything the Holy Spirit does glorifies Jesus….He only wants one person glorified and that’s Jesus, and if you want to attract the Holy Spirit in your life…glorify Jesus….He [Holy Spirit] is the administrator of the total wealth of the Godhead. If you want to share in that wealth make friends with the Holy Spirit.” From The Authority & Power Of God’s Word: “The supreme ministry of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and to glorify Jesus.” From The Cross At The Center, Part 2: “The only thing the Holy Spirit honours is the cross….When you make the cross central He says ‘Now that’s a person I’m interested in.’…To attract the Holy Spirit we need to exalt Jesus and preach Christ crucified.” From How To Cultivate The New Self: “The Holy Spirit works through the mirror of God’s Word….It [the Word, the Bible] shows us, first of all, what we are by nature: the old self, the criminal Barabbas, the one whose rightful place is on the cross. And then, if we will receive that and believe what God promises, the mirror also shows us what we can become by grace, the new self.” Charley Pride sang a song, He Took My Place At Calvary, and The Harmony Quartet sings I Am Barabbas.
Husbands And Fathers – Part 1, Derek Prince cites Mt. 18:19: “‘if two of you agree on earth, concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.’…the Greek word is ‘symphoni’ from which we get the English word symphony….The only way we can have harmony is if we harmonize with the Holy Spirit. And if two of us harmonize with the Holy Spirit, then that’s the will of God….God is a musician.” I intended to read Dyke’s book, The Lights of Marfa, and was surprised to find reference to this passage in it: “I also love the Amplified version where it reads, ‘Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by my Father in Heaven.” This reference is made in the context of a story involving a white rose.
Good News of the Kingdom, Part 2 – Restoration of the Message – Derek Prince: “Contemporary Western Christendom has the attitude that God exists for our benefit….As a result of the fall Man was imprisoned in self-centredness. Salvation…restores us to a God centred view.”
Fellowship – Derek Prince [on 1Jn 1:13] (How to find your place): “The gospel projects out of eternity into time three things that are inherent in the nature of God: fatherhood, headship, and fellowship, and I will show you a little later on that you cannot separate headship and fellowship; there is no true fellowship without headship….Fellowship follows headship. Fellowship demands order, discipline, and submission.” The gospel is “an invitation to join the eternal, perfect, unbroken harmony of the fellowship of the godhead. And Jesus prays in the seventeenth chapter of John that all believers shall be one exactly as he and the Father are one, in the same perfect harmony and fellowship. This is the consummation of the purposes of the gospel for the church: to bring all believers together into the perfect, unbroken harmony, unity and fellowship which has eternally existed within the godhead….All the purposes of God in time are born out of the fellowship of the godhead. This is true not merely of the godhead but it’s true of the people of God. The birthplace of God’s purposes in his people is fellowship. No fellowship, no spiritual birth.”
Ephesians 5:24-25, 33: “as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives….and the wife must respect her husband.” 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.” 1 Chronicles 16:33-35: Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.”