187 thoughts on “A Place in The Choir”

  1. I like the part where you have to ask permission/”discuss your decision” to leave the choir, for example. No, it can’t be that your life is just too busy or something, clearly it must be something worthy of deep discussion with the music director.

    1. Exactly. Reminds of the lyrics of a song they wouldn’t approve of, “you can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave.”

      I also liked the pressure placed upon your attendance. After being a part of the choir “regular attenders will begin to look for you in the choir.” Great. So not only do I have to have the pressure of keeping the MOG’s extra-Biblical rules, but now I have an entire congregation watching me? No thanks.

    2. Lol either you type BLAZING fast for you’re just to darn lucky. How do you get first AND have your full comments included in the winning post?! :mrgreen:

    3. First thought: Not a problem – instead of just dropping out, we SHOULD let the person in charge know when we are leaving something like the choir. On the other hand, there’s really nothing to discuss if you don’t have the time, so it should be a short meeting.

      Second thought: So, what if you don’t obey this rule? Do you get kicked out of the choir?

  2. to the creator/owner of this website, you belong hand in hand with the fundamentals you bash.
    you all are apostate and going to burn in the lake of fire of you do not repent and turn to Jesus.
    as a long time lurker, i have seen how you bash the obvious abusers, and then engage in the same kind of lying, misrepresenting, and apostasy they do you hypocrite.

    1. “and going to burn in the lake of fire of you do not repent and turn to Jesus.”

      Yes, that’s true of everyone. What’s your point?

      1. I may miss his point but I’ve got his point of view down. He views his fellow man as condemned to hell and to burn in fire, not as his brothers and sisters loved by God. He would rather fixate on the errors in peoples’ lives rather than the grace that gets people through the day. He thinks reaching out a helping hand is about telling you you’re apostate and about to burn rather than channeling love to his fellow man.

        In my case, he’s right; I’m apostate by fundy standards. But heavens how I appreciate Darrell and his ability to poke the bear with the fun stick. It is so very healing.

        1. I was always taught that the word “Gospel” meant “Good News” but the way they tell it it sure doesn’t seem like it.

          On the plus side however, he has a whole BUNCH of people he can put down on his Activities Report that he has “Witnessed to” this morning. πŸ™„

    2. Oh what a clever handle you have! :mrgreen:

      I repented and turned to Jesus on February 16, 1975 and tomorrow is the 37th anniversary of my salvation. The church I was saved in was not Fundy though it was Baptist. I spent 23 years in one fundy church, and almost 3 years in another with a pastor who was more in love with Jack Hyles than he was with Jesus. We left there last September and we are much happier now in our new church. It’s Baptist but not Fundy.

      It’s typical of Fundy’s to believe they are the only ones who really please God. I hope someday you escape. πŸ˜‰

      1. Hey, *I* was saved on January 13, 1975! Pretty close! Nice. I rejoice with you. πŸ˜€

        Oh, yeah, the tush with the clever screen name: go peddle your papers, boy, yer momma’s calling.

      2. I was chosen before the foundations of the earth. But I came to a realization of my salvation and repented of my sins about 16 years ago. Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact date. Sadly in the fundy’s view that probably means I am not even saved at all. Good thing I am not trusting my salvation to THEM.

        1. I accepted the gift of salvation in February 1984. (Don’t remember the exact date, either, Sims!) πŸ™„

          Happy re-birth day, Macushla! 37 years for you, 28 for me. πŸ˜€ I never celebrated my spiritual “birth” in Fundystan. Interesting that it’s more significant now that I’m out of that man- & works-centered mindset. πŸ™‚

        2. I know it’s supposed to be a Fundy thing to know the date and celebrate your spiritual birthday but I have always done so even if it pleases the Fundys. My husband doesn’t remember his date either, in fact most people I know don’t. But it’s special to me that I do. Whenever I see the number 216 I remember, and I use that number a lot in passwords, and try always to get that locker number at the gym. πŸ˜‰

        3. I remember the specific date and moment of praying The Sinners Prayerβ„’ when I was five years old. However, I believe that God finally called me His own over the course of several months about 15 years ago. During a several month period God brought me to the end of myself by showing me the wretchedness of my sin in the light of His holiness. I lay no claim to a date, time, or year, but rather that He miraculously He redeemed me at a time known only to Him.

        4. I Prayed The Sinner’s Prayer at a Gospel Rally when I was 13. I can’t give the exact date, I only know that it was a Monday in August, and I was dragged along by my parents because i would have rather stayed at home watching TV. I’m glad I went, though, because my God took me at my word.

          Still, the best reply to the question “when were you saved?” is “Two thousand years ago, at Calvary”

        5. I remembering praying when I was five or six but I didn’t really know until June 29 or 30 (I think?), 2002, when I repented. I was immmersed the next day, at a Sunday evening service. So I would say yes, I do deserve that fire and brimstone you mentioned, but for some reason I don’t understand, god saw fit to save me!

        6. I don’t remember the date either. I was high at the time actually. I never even really said a prayer in that moment. I just realized that I finally believed in Jesus as the bible testifies about him. I guess falling asleep at peace about 1 minute later was my sinners prayer. I knew I had what I needed even though I really didn’t understand much of what had occured in that moment. I’ve said a lot of prayers since then though. Life just moved in a different direction from that point on. πŸ˜€

      3. It’s typical of Fundy’s to believe they are the only ones who really please God. I hope someday you escape.

        It was a very happy day when I realized that my friends who claimed to be believers, but didn’t
        have a lot of “Makes me Holy” rules baggage, were right. And happy. And serving their Savior from their heart, not from their duty to avoid punishment.

        1. I meant for the first line to look like a quote. Since it is. I haven’t quite figured out how to quote someone yet.

          Any help from a smarter person?

        2. Hopefully this works…

          Either put it in italics by using <i&rt; before what you want set apart and </i&rt; at the end.


          Use <blockquote&rt; with </blockquote&rt;at the end of the quotation.

        3. Thank you. I’ll try the blockquote next time. I started to use the italic command, but tried something different. And wrong.

          I had noticed the bracket out of place, but wasn’t going to point it out. I’ve been out of Fundystan long enough to know I don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room. Since I’m often not.

    3. It is not a sin to first type your rants in a word processing program then run a spell-check and a grammar check. I am amazed by people who believe they are channeling god’s message, yet the some god can’t guide their spelling or grammar!

    4. By lurking here, aren’t you violating your views on separation? πŸ‘Ώ Especially since our condition is so obvious. πŸ‘Ώ πŸ™„

    5. Actually, you ARE someone we know. And people like YOU are why we are here.

      I would like you to specifically name the lie or misrepresentation Darrel has supposedly written here.

      And if you cannot specifically name whatever you are referencing, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    6. Hey look! It’s someone who isn’t God trying to send me to hell! Is there a scripture reference I can find somewhere that gave you that power?

  3. It’s all about the power. And control. They freak out when they don’t have power and control.

  4. because that “being an example to the believers” text was DEFINITELY talking about dress and coming to church even when you’re sick! πŸ™„

  5. Somebody over there is having a love affair with the word “vital.” In the first image “vital” is used 3 times. Seems every fundy pastor/assistant pastor/Sunday school superintendent/big shot whatever is in love with some particular word and you hear it a lot. One SS superintendent sure did love the word “mandatory.”

    Anyway I don’t remember ever seeing these choir or special music rules in print, they were often verbalized by the choir director though. We did not have to “call in sick” or anything with him though because the choir was big enough that they could handle the absence of a few.

    There were rules on dress of course, the church wouldn’t be fundy without that.

    I remember once a woman in the church told me that the congregation could see every movement the choir made which made me feel very much on display. No pressure at all!

    For the most part I enjoyed singing in the choir and I miss it. The church we’re in now doesn’t have a choir but a group of ladies are going to sing either this Sunday or next. Only we won’t be doing parts, just singing.

    1. Happy re-birth day, Macushalondra! April 13th will be 23 years for me. πŸ˜€ I also noticed the over use of the word “vital”. I had a good friend of mine in my car yesterday she attends my former fundy church and adheres to the music rules and I asked her if she wanted to hear a song, she knows I listen to ccm i.e. awesome worship music but I think she freaked a little and made a joke like I was going to play some “rock” music or whatever. So sad, and I know, I used to be like that way back 15 years or so ago. I played the song and she liked it but it was sad to see her cringe like I was going to violate her ears or something. πŸ™

    2. We had written rules we had to sign… in addition to what was printed was a list of things one was not supposed to do (attend movies, etc), AND a list of things we were to do (men were supposed to say “Amen” whether they agreed with a point or not, and to laugh at the preacher’s jokes, whether they were funny or not). We were also required to go soul-winning.

  6. Is there a way to make it bigger after you click on it because mine still isn’t readable. (But I used to sing in choir, so I probably already have seen and signed a few, even at FBC, Hammond.) So if I can’t see it, I think I still know what is in it.

    1. You should be able to click the picture that opens and have it enlarge. At least it worked on my Dinosaur Laptop.

    2. You can also hit “control” and the “plus” or “minus” sign at the same time to make your screen bigger or smaller. Hope that helps.

  7. “Soloists are asked to sing in a Singspiration before volunteering for a solo in a regular service, and to sing in an evening service before volunteering to sing in a morning service.”

    Love the overemphasis on “volunteer.” Kind of hides the fact that if you don’t perform in a way satisfactory to the music director, you don’t get to sing. But I am sure everyone who is on the MD’s naughty list can see that fact clearly though.

  8. I have only ever sung in church choirs that were fun. Even in all the fundy churches I have been “enchoired” in, I have NEVER seen something so asinine as this. Is this recent? The reason I ask if it is recent, are fundies getting WORSE, or did I just luck out, lo these thirty-plus years, with easy-going choir directors??? In fact, of the very few fundy staff people I retain happy memories of, the choir directors play a big part.
    (I note that I have ended more phrases, etc., with prepositions in this post than ever. I blush for myself. :oops:)

    1. I remember signing these things and feeling priveliged that they were “allowing” me to sing in the choir. It was mostly because singing in the choir was more of a grown up duty than bus routes. None of that stuff seemed oppressive after bus routes.

      1. Bus routes were like Green Beret bootcamp, I guess, or at least as much like it as Jim Vineyard, that racist pig, could make it. His whole life was as much like his beloved Green Berets as he could make it. I love and respect the Green Berets, but you and I did not go to HAC to be one. Now and then, an old friend posts to SFL whose life was almost totally destroyed by JV. His stories are hair-raising. πŸ‘Ώ

        1. It seems he may never have actually been a member of the Green Berets…only a wannabe. He was in the military during the Vietnam era and may possibly have been to Nam, but has yet to ever produce ANY official document stating this accomplishment.

          And no, it wouldn’t be classified. πŸ˜‰

        2. Why does this NOT surprise me? He boasted a LOT that every bone in his body had been broken, some twice, etc. What a liar.

        3. God, I LOATHE people like that. I’d like to lock him in a room with few real GB and have them teach him the error of his ways.

        4. He’s nothing but a crazy old loon now. I would have loved your scenario, though, back in the late seventies, when he was not only lying, but making fun of minorities, the disabled, women… You name it. Last stink he caused, whatever it was, when a TV news reporter interviewed him,he removed his teeth on camera. Yes. πŸ™„

        5. LOL! He loves to do that. He always tells a story about getting them knocked out in a boxing match. He actually did it fairly often as he thought about it. When you’re there you get used to all his idiosyncrasies. πŸ™„

  9. As professional (and even semi-professional) choirs go, about half of this stuff is standard fare: be on time, be in your assigned seat, dress guidelines for “performances,” and a time of proving you can sing with a group before you sing on your own. But yeah, the motivation behind some of those rules in this case seems to be law, law, law.

    1. As a former choir director and someone who has actually sung with Mounty in some of these groups, I agree with him. The rules regarding attendance aren’t out of line – it’s the baggage attached to them that creates a problem.

      As for the dress code, this is why choir robes are wonderful. The organist at one of the churches (obviously NOT Fundy) where I worked was 50 going on 17. She would wear leather mini-skirts to church, but the robe covered a multitude of sins, so to speak.

      It’s hard enough to get people to join a volunteer choir. I think I’d bail on one that put the rules like this, even without an interview with the director. πŸ˜€

    2. I have had so many conversations on this stuff it makes me vomit – its not the rules, I understand rules, dress codes, etc. and I have no problem with them, every institution has to have them and needs to have a care for their image, consistency, and order, but its the obsessive need to spiritually justify these things with “biblical” support and act like that is why these things are done (making it a spiritual matter that we must have such rules), as well as the high level of control over insignificant details and unrelated venues that then leads to a culture of performance based Churchianity – ha, George made me type Churchinanity, sometimes he is more correct…

      I remember the first time someone asked about my dress habits and I told them…”I wouldn’t be wearing a coat and tie if it wasn’t the required standard for the choir”…you would have thought I quoted from a Harry Potter book or something.

  10. It seems they left a couple more pages out which include not going to theaters, mixed swimming, consumption of alcohol, smoking, etc…

    Cause we all know that we need this form to keep us from doing any of those things while we’re not in choir practice. πŸ™„

    (Our choir/music forms DID include these things I mentioned)

    1. I half expected to see those items on the list. I guess they assume that any of the rules that would apply to the general membership would also apply to the choir.

  11. The closest I have ever been to the coir was being asked to narrate the cantata. (Yes–a Ron Hamilton someone dies at the end cantata)

    That having been said, I remember the choir as the one place of service that didn’t have multiple rules to follow if one wished to continue their volunteer service. As a Sunday School teacher, I had signed quite a list if rules to follow, as had children’s church workers, “greeters” and most other jobs. I always assumed the only way to get good singing was to compromise in that area. It was never called compromise, but I figured (as a much younger ‘not quite a cynic’) that since the music worship was so important, and that there were no “rules”, it was an unspoken compromise, just labeled in a way that we could say we really didn’t compromise.

    Maybe it was an entry-level church position. A place to begin rules training back at Fundy Baptist.

    1. I never had to sign anything for the choir like I did with Sunday school teaching. Part of the reason I liked singing in the choir was there were less “rules,” also you didn’t have to lay out any money to be in that ministry like you did for others. Since everything with the fundys comes out of your own pocket, (over and above your tithe, missions giving, etc) with some of those ministries you had to be well to do to participate. Then the choir director said he’d had a meeting with the pastor and from then on the choir was going to have to start paying for our music books. Luckily we had a lot of them already so we only had to purchase our Christmas contata song book, but I remember resenting having to fork over 6 bucks I think it was, and then turn it in after the contata was over. Since I’d paid for it I felt it was mine. πŸ‘Ώ

      Yes, all of our contatas were Ron Hamilton with very few exceptions.

        1. Yes “Born to Die” was one of the ones we did. I don’t remember the names of the characters in all of them. I remember thinking how unrealistic the stories in them were. One was called “The Greatest Gift” and had a little girl selling off all her stuff at a yard sale (even her kitty cat!) and then going door to door selling Christmas decorations to earn money to buy back her grandmother’s ring which the grandmother had sold to enable her widowed son and granddaughter to keep their house. How could she have time for her schoolwork plus all she was doing to earn this money without the grandmother finding out. The stories were sweet if sappy but unrealistic. I did like a lot of the songs though. πŸ™‚

  12. This sure takes the fun out of singing in the choir…For singing for the Lord for that matter. They stress too much importance on the show, and that all it is…a show.

  13. As a professional organist and church musician, this document drives me absolutely crazy! The rule of thumb for choirs is one hour of rehearsal for every minute of performance! You cannot properly build a choir on forty-five minutes of rehearsal a week! Diction, tone, and musicality go out the window for expediency’s sake.

    It’s this kind of idiotic leadership that has made “traditional” church music so banal and disgusting to many. πŸ™

    1. “I managed to take out the Tiger with an entire can of Mace, but the shopowner and his son were another matter, I had to beat them to death with their own shoes…It was not a pretty picture”

  14. Our (definately non-fundy)church had a letter that was posted on the bulletin board for a while about appropriate standards of dress for choir, but more importantly, the Praise Team. There was a young lady who was part of the praise team for a while who was a new Christian, and didn’t understand that on the platform you don’t dress to emphasize your assets. 😳 She’s no longer a part of our (or any) church. I don’t know if anyone had a quiet word with her before the letter came out, but it was a case of walking that fine line of assimilating a new Christian with many unwritten standards of dress and behavior.

    1. *grinning at memories* Back in the day, I had to educate a number of new Christians, almost always youngs ladies but a couple of guys, about how walking up steps and standing on platforms made a few concessions to modesty necessary. A couple of girls who thought I was a prig were finally convinced by a photograph of panties fully visible from beneath the backslit miniskirt while mounting the platform.

  15. Reading this makes the one I signed look anemic. But then it was a new church with only twenty to twenty-five members.

  16. The fundy church I left had a similar list of rules for the choir (the whole appropriate dress, no CCM, no alcohol, no mixed swimming was covered in the general membership “covenant” and you had to be a member to be in the choir naturally) but added this lovely stipulation, no singing in any group/choir outside of the church unless you had the prior approval of the music director πŸ™„ . Wasn’t at the church long enough to find out the story behind that little addendum.

    1. “All offertories will be pre-screened prior to playing them in the service”

      I was responsible for this little addendum at our old church. :mrgreen:

    2. Micro-managing every aspect of your life inside or outside the church building is what fundies are all about. πŸ‘Ώ

  17. My choir director Granddad had a story he told about rehearsals for the Christmas cantata. All through the fall rehearsal season (Wednesday evenings after the Prayer and Praise service), the choir was plagued by absences. There were absences due to illness, due to school sports, due to family vacations, due to business trips, on and on yada yada yada. Finally at the last rehearsal before the big Sunday performance there was just one person who had not missed a single session. And Granddad singled him out with lavish praise for his faithful attendance. He replied quite modestly, “Oh, it’s the least I could do…since I won’t be able to be there on Sunday.” :mrgreen:

  18. I was stunned to read that you should notify the choir director of planned absences by e-mail. Aren’t computers the Devil’s tool and a direct link to the Pit? 😳

  19. Can’t believe no one’s picked this one up yet… necklines etc are to allow “no question of modesty”. That means the ladies are all going to be wearing bikinis in the choir loft right?

  20. How in the world did Paul ever preach without a choir to prepare people’s hearts for the word of God?

    This is more of the Cult of Churchianity doctrine. Sheeple must be prepped in order to hear their god’s word. It is all about the experience of Church. The music must put you in the mood in order to have a positive Church experience. This is Gid marketing 101 stuff.

    If the word of God is not enough to convict hearts and change lives then all you really have is an emotional or qusi-spiritual experience based on a floorshow and guilt or euphoria by manipulation. The ones who can do it the best are usually paid the most. (follow the money)

    Oh what a pitiful, weak, frail, inept, god this presents. This god has to be helped by man’s devices in order for for his story to be effective.
    That is not the Godpel of Jesus Christ, that is not how to present the Creator God of the Universe. I agree that music is a powerful tool we have to use in our Worship of God… but the way this is presented it is a coersive, prison camp, “Arbeit macht frei” music. It is merely musical indoctrination preparing sheeple for whatever the M-O-g presents ex cathedra.

    1. george… Gospel of Jesus Christ. now apologize for fat fingering the keyboard while I apologize for not proof reading.

    2. And what REALLY emphasizes the truth of wha tyou posted here, is scroll up and read the accounts people have left here today of the day or time or season when they trusted Christ! First of all, it has blessed me beyond belief to read them, secondly, several of these events very obviously happened sans choir, and some, sans preaching, even! WHY DO FUNDIES THINK THAT GOD CANNOT OPERATE WITHOUT THEIR METHODOLOGY???? πŸ‘Ώ

      Thank you, everyone who told up there about when you came to Christ. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, indeed. What a blessing to read these today! πŸ˜€

  21. The actual rules they place aren’t really a big deal. But dude… why go about it like that?

  22. If you’re sick stay home. If you’re sick of it…stay home. This is exactly why I quit the choir…and by the way, I was the pianist. I want to serve from a heart that wants to serve. Why is that such a hard concept for fundies? Forced servitude is all they know.

    1. Guilt servitude. Guilt manipulation. How I loathe it! What do you mean you can’t afford it? You just don’t WANT to give for this cause! You don’t have time? Where are your priorities? After all Jesus did for YOU when He died on the cross for YOU how can you withhold anything from HIM? It took me a long time to separate between what God wanted me to do for Him and what the fundy guilt mongering preacher wanted me to do for him. Give me chapter and verse please, concerning this thing you want me to lay out my money for, as opposed to paying my rent and keeping body and soul together. Christians are to pay their bills aren’t they? Then they’d say we lived too high. Yeah we were living in a 10 year old dumpy trailer while they lived in a 3 story house and WE were living too high. If we had our priorities in order we could give more. Why did I endure that crap for so long?? πŸ‘Ώ

      1. My guess is, weeach have our own answer to your question, but more generally, there is a reason we are compared to sheep who need loving, truthful, leadership. Sheep pretty much go with the crowd. Add to that natural tendency on our part, the fact that most of us had wolves in sheep’s clothing for pastors. Hard to find a happy ending, there. πŸ˜₯

      2. Macushlalondra ~

        That is exactly how I feel too. For years I wondered why… All I can say is I look at God, church, Christians, and pastors much differently now and am protecting my kids from such brainwashing. I have grown a lot through this experience.

      3. I remember hearing the statement, “Jesus hung on the cross for three hours for your sins, and you can’t even wash the dishes?” πŸ™„ πŸ˜›

  23. HA! My former church, which was AoG, had a very similar document for choir membership under the regime that preceded me. Only it was a CONTRACT that had to be signed and rehearsals were, I was told, some three hours long–not because of strong musical work but because they had to have devotions and prayer meeting first. Sunday mornings and evenings included 30-60 minutes of rehearsal before each service.

    The choir died during a church split. When I started up a couple years later, a few of the old timers were blown away at how much FUN it was and how much they learned about MUSIC.

    Unfortunately, my leadership style was not spiritual enough for the powermongers, so it only lasted a couple of years. They wanted the absolute CONTROL they’d once had (from mostly behind the scenes) under the old regime. Oh, the joys of oligarchy.

    That was one of six times I was kicked out of music ministry in that hellhole.

  24. Years ago, I was asked to play the organ in one such church. They told me that I had to shave off my moustache, and I declined. They told me that it was a shame that I would let something so little as this hinder my service to the Lord, and I told them that it was also a shame that they would let something so petty to keep them from my talents. I also informed them that I have a life outside of their church, for which I spend most of my time. I will wear a necktie (something which is changeable) for them, but I am not going to alter my appearance (something which is permanent)for them.

    Rules are interesting. The church has a right to set standards, but it does not have the right to enslave me, compelling me to sit down for a formal interview if I want to leave the choir, and it does not have the right to do a bait and switch routine on me. If I join a choir, I join to spend the hour or so practicing. I don’t have the time nor inclination to attend anything mandetory that does not involve singing. I didn’t enter the choir to be preached at, to be required to paint the basement, or to spend hours pounding the pavement on some sort of cause.

    1. Yes, this. I cannot believe the rules set orth in this choir application. I have never seen anything like them. 😯

    2. In my case, they decided to fore-go my “talents” such as they are; I could not see spending 3 hours of my time on Thu nights trying to manipulate people into saying a prayer… without that, so service allowed.

    3. I loved your answer. I’ve always heard them say stuff like that too – asking why you’re so stubborn that you wouldn’t give up such a little thing for God. Well, that’s the thing. It’s not for God. It would be only to please people who have misplaced priorities and who do not understand individual Christian liberty. They have no right to put another believer under that kind of bondage to extraBiblical standards and then claim you’re being unsubmissive to God when you won’t give in.

  25. “The music at Thompson Road Baptist Church is designed specifically to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

    The implication – which actually is often stated clearly from the pulpit – is that other churches with contemporary music are NOT bringing honor to Christ. This implication is both unbiblical and uncharitable. They should not be impugning the motives or intentions of other believers.

    “It is meant to … [create] an atmophere of worship and evangelism.”

    But who defines what is an atmosphere of worship? Oops! I know! They do! And I find it funny that I’ve heard many IFBers attack the use of music to reach the lost and yet doesn’t this statement say that they are trying to create an atmosphere in order to reach the lost?

    “We seek to use only music that is of the highest quality and is distinct from worldly styles.”

    Like “The Church in the Wildwood”? While the “come, come, come, come” is fun to sing, I highly doubt this qualifies as “highest quality”. Again, who defines quality? And of course the irony is that once the organ was considered worldly and some believers today think ALL instruments are verboten.

    Thing is, this church has every right to have conservative, traditional music. What I dislike is the attitude that says, “Our music style is truly pleasing to God; anyone who uses a different music style isn’t really holy.” They go BEYOND Scripture when taking positions like this.

    1. Yep, I don’t know why “we do it this way” isn’t enough…it has to become “they shouldn’t do it that way” the confusion of those two has much to do with the problems in the small pond of Fundamental Baptists

    2. YES!!!! Yes yes YEEEEEES!

      The preacher at the church I am currently attending went on a 30 minute rant last Sunday, all about how evil these modern liberal churches are. You know, not wearing suits and ties to church, the pastor sitting on a stool to preach, the usual crap. Over and over he says WE are not going to do all that!

      His reason? Nothing biblical: in fact, except for the opening verses, he read not a single verse of scripture.

      No, his reason for using hymnbooks instead of a screen was THAT WAS HOW CHURCH WAS WHEN HE GOT SAVED 60 YEARS AGO.

      I swear to God, that was his reason. I almost died.

  26. Darrell, just looking at the title, I was sure this was going to be a post about that GOH “All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir”. It was on a PCC ensemble tape from a couple years before we were there.

    1. All God’s creatures got a place in the choir
      Some sing low and some sing higher
      Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
      Some just clap their hands – unless they’re in a BJU-affiliated IFB church because clapping makes us sound too much like Pentecostals or is giving the praise which only God deserves to fallible men or violates the verse “let all things be done decently and in order” (that one was used to forbid all sorts of things).

      1. Check my post up-thread for a link to Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem singing that. It’s quite lovely.

        1. Doggone it, George, that was supposed to go under Elizabeth’s post! Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem do NOT sing the part about the BJU-affiliated IFB church!

  27. And if I don’t meet for a formal interview before I leave the choir, what will happen then?

    1. They will HUNT YOU DOWN. Don’t you know that this is how your life becomes a shipwreck? You leave without that final interview/blessing and you will be killed in a tragic motorcycle accident with Guns n Roses blaring in the background.

      1. If the Final Destination movies weren’t rated R, they would seem to fit quite well with a lot of fundy visions of the universe: death is gonna GET YA!!!

        1. YES! And if anything bad DOES happen to you it becomes a sermon illustration or cautionary tale for the next batch of slaves/er volunteers. But if you go on with your life, and God blesses you in any way, and it is good, then you “Sold out” and probably aren’t even saved. {sigh}

  28. They mention that “even if you aren’t feeling your greatest”, you should appear for choir duty. Does that also extend to cases of laryngitis? ❓

    1. One of the pastors we had actually said if you are sick or have a cold and can’t sing you should still show up to choir practice or to the choir loft on Sunday just so they can fill it out. Yeah right, come even if you’re sick and coughing and sneezing on everyone making them sick too. Did it ever occur to any of these people that if you give someone your germs and they get sick they may have to take time off work for which they may not be paid? I would never do that, if I am sick I stay home, I will not pass my germs along to others. I’ve had too many people passing their germs on to me and getting me sick. Supposedly you are to just fake singing, who’s gonna know? Um, God? πŸ‘Ώ

      1. Standard fare at my ex-church… even if you’re incapable of singing, sit in your place so that the choir looks full, etc.

        All for appearance; disgusting.

      2. Gee, pretending to sing sounds…er…DISHONEST! Wouldn’t that violate the Commandment that forbids lying? ❗

      3. My hubby has chronic lung problems. Getting a simple cold can easily turn into an infection, landing him on his back for days. He could easily end up in the hospital with pneumonia too. Any time I see anything that encourages people to do things while sick, I cringe. To some of us getting someone’s cold can be very dangerous.

    2. Why can’t they just let people REST? If you’re sick, your body needs to recuperate, especially if you have to go to work on Monday.

  29. “The way you dress can also be a ministry to others.” NOPE, NEVER. Only Fundys think that other people are “blessed” by the way they wear their clothing. There’s a lot of self-importance floating around in that concept.

    1. Marlene Evans, first Dean of Women at HAC, loved to trot out a story wherein a lovely ladylike TTU student caused heads to turn by her modest attire. Comments were supposedly made about her dainty, modest beauty, all because she was NOT wearing “trousers.”. This was supposed to make all of us in Christian Womanhood class long to have those comments made about US. πŸ™„

    2. Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s quite a blessing for those around me when I wear a low-cut top! πŸ˜› πŸ˜†

        1. Tut tut, Don. You and Sims, I see, must be separated, otherwise you encourage each other in this debauchery. πŸ˜‰

        2. Now, Sims, to whom much is given… No, that is NOT a bosom reference! Stop picking on others, and remember how easily led astray we have always thought Don is, and behave. πŸ˜‰

        3. Heh heh heh *bosom* I forgot that one. I also didn’t think of jugs, hooters or bazookas (Not sure how I would have worked those into a meaningful sentence though.) But don’t doubt for one second I could have! πŸ˜€

        4. Sims, did you see what I posted the other day, about Sherri Melton imitating Miss Frye? Sherri would do the Frye’s donkey laugh, holding her ta-tas all the while. That is exactly how CF laughed, too. I mean, in front of gid and everybody, grabbing her own knockers… πŸ™„

        5. Maybe. I always figured she was sending a message, but was never sure to whom. When I had to go to her weekly dorm supe meetings, I merely averted my eyes. I was afraid eye contact would turn me to stone. 😯

      1. I have a few tops that cause blessings to fall upon all who behold. I hear tell that some people have even heard angels singing when I walk past in them. πŸ˜€

        1. *I’ll sneek this in*

          These perky posts have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, n’est ce pas? 😈

        2. Dude, I am a former HACer! My nose for judgment is finely-tuned! You cannot get one past me. Love how George, that SNEAK, found your post first. Look at it again. You’ll get it. One assumes your mind was on… Something else. Somethings else. Whatever. πŸ˜‰

      2. That’s very up-lifting! I can see where that would cause sagging spirits to perk right up! That is very Men-is-staring.

        *Ministering george, ministering…
        **yeah that too. 😯 πŸ˜‰

        1. HAHAHA!!! Yes, my cup doth overflow with blessings. I have racked my brain trying to figure out what to respond with, and when I did I nearly busted out in song. My favorite was the comment about Seen Enough having seen enough though… LOL.

        2. 😯 DON! Do NOT post your address here! sims, I will thank you to remember our glorious education at… Wait, that’ll have you buying a pole next… πŸ™„

        3. I like THAT! Here are you and Besmirch-My-ID-Boy, digging out the Roget’s for every simile for a boob that you can find, and *I* am going to get us kicked out? Sheesh. πŸ‘Ώ πŸ˜‰

        4. It is that shared HAC history, Macushlalondra. Our time there forced us to hone our sarcasm, cynicism, and general cussedness. Thank you. :mrgreen:

        5. I think if that were the case at least two thirds of the people here must have been there with us! It seems that way anyway.

        6. HEY! Don’t jump ahead of me missy! That was where MY comment belonged. And I thought Udderly was WAY too funny being I am a woman and should be offended and all.

        7. Sims, you are being extra cussed this evening. How many times have I told you not to call me Missy? Widder-woman is okay, but my preference, which you well know, is to be addressed as Mrs. Sean Connery. It is so great that HAC did not do any lasting damage. 😎

  30. I do sound for my church band, and funny enough, I was on tonight. I read this during some downtime, and had to laugh. I think my church band broke all those rules πŸ‘Ώ

  31. This list is nothing compared to the list for my former fundy church. If you were a member of the choir you had to follow all the rules at all times….even in your house or out in public. If you were scheduled to sing a special and you did not make your three scheduled practices, or if you were a few minutes late then you were not able to perform. If someone has ever sung a song before, then no one else is ever allowed to perform it except that person. I remember once I was looking through a book for a song to sing and every one I suggested had been “taken” by someone else. Finally, I suggested one last song and I was told, “No, the pastor’s wife sang that song three years ago.” From what I am told now, the pastor’s wife sings in every single special, every service. Seems like that would get a little old.

    1. That’s ridiculous. How could they remember one person singing a particular song 3 years ago so no one can sing it ever again? I thought the idea of the special music was to glorify God, for it to touch hearts, not to make someone famous with it so no one else can sing it again.

      Speaking of special music though, it does seem that some people become “stars” even though they’re not supposed to be doing it for the glorification of self. I guess it can’t be helped though. πŸ˜• πŸ™

      1. Ha Ha, I think that the pastor’s wife is afraid that someone might sing it better than she did! Not that anyone would remember after three years! Not to mention, she loves to be in control of the music department even though it officially belongs to the choir director.

  32. When I hear “music ministry” I think of the time years ago when a local Baptist church rented the auditorium for a free community Christmas concert. (I don’t know what kind of Baptist; I wasn’t aware of the nuances back then.) Local people were invited to sing, but every third song or so was the same very highly put together woman crooning and warbling into a mike on a cord while some guy in a tie put a synthesizer through its paces. I had never heard any of the songs before; a lot of them sounded like slow-dance music at a prom, so maybe they were CCM. The applause from a block of seats in the audio “sweet spot” (just back from center front) was enthusiastic every time and from everywhere else in the auditorium it was tepid. Also the thing was advertised as great fun for the kiddies, but it was three hours long. People had to leave because their kids just couldn’t take it anymore.

    Anyway, back on topic: My old ELCA choir didn’t even bother writing down the rules. The choir director just asked us to:

    *Attend all rehearsals if possible because people can tell when you haven’t practiced;

    *Tell her as far ahead of time as possible if we weren’t going to be at a rehearsal or performance;

    *Tell anybody who was “thinking about” joining the choir to just join already because they needed to rehearse;

    *Wear comfortable shoes for our own sakes;

    *Use mouthwash for the sake of our choirmates.

    See, she didn’t have to tell us to dress neatly and so forth because in the ELCA you are presumed to be a grown adult until proven otherwise. πŸ™„

  33. My favorite choir director (a very talented and knowledgeable musician) used to say that the requirement for joining our choir was that you had to have enough breath to fog a mirror when it is held to your mouth.
    That was his only rule.

  34. Ummm…. can we stop it with the smart azz comments about this whole “first” thing? Some of you just love to make fun of how anachronistic the fundies are, yet you are the same ones shouting “first” at every chance you get…..Ahhhh, the Internet’s been around since about 1969, more than 40 years ago! Granted, it was only used by academics and government employees back in those day. But come on, the Internet has been part of pop culture since about 1997 or so. It’s amusing that you make fun of fundies for being out of style, yet you still yell “first” and send joke emails like you’re partying like it’s 1997. Can we get with the times and just stick to the topic?

  35. I haven’t had written rules at the churches where I’ve been D-o-M, but when someone wants to leave the choir or other active participation, I do like to try to meet with them to find out why, and if there was some fault on our (read “MY”) part, so that it could be worked out, and any forgiveness asked/offered as needed…

  36. Is it just me or was every hymn Contemporary Christian Music at the at the time it was written? Just sayin!

  37. This makes me laugh a thousand laughs!!!
    Having attended this church a couple times when visiting in-laws, it is only fitting that there be a choir manual…that way we can make the choir show the best in town(in fundy-town that is).

    On another unrelated note…I found a Ron Hamilton song titled Just a Little Squeeze in our stacks at a Baptist College that I work at….somehow I don’t think this song fits with our no physical contact rule πŸ™‚

  38. I wrote a document on this subject once. Our choir was only 12-16 people. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts:
    Welcome to the Grace IBC Choral Ministry! We are glad you are here, and that you have chosen to praise the Lord with us. This document is intended to be part philosophical statement, part Standard Operating Procedure, and part planning document.

    Philosophical Statement
    Our goal is to bless each other, our congregation, and God. To that end, we need a regular commitment from each choir member. While most church ministries do not require a weekly meeting, choral ministry cannot remain effective without weekly practice. We have the talent to become excellent, and excellence must be our goal as we offer praise to God. But talent alone is not enough to achieve excellence. Excellence requires teamwork, and teamwork requires commitment and discipline from each member of the team. Therefore, we ask the following:

    Standard Operating Procedures
    1. Be here. When you know you will not be here, let us know in a timely manner so we do not drive to the church, find that the drive was wasted, and use the resulting wasted time planning dark, diabolical revenge against those who did not come.

    2. Be on time. Our practice times are not secret, so they should not take us by surprise.

    3. Be disciplined. The directors should never have to shout to be heard, unless we are singing and they are trying to cut us off. When we are not singing, we should be listening, not talking. We ALL need to think about this one. Our time is limited. We cannot afford to waste it.

    1. Music. The choir and ensemble directors have primary responsibility to select music that is excellent, that is beautiful, and that glorifies God. I will work with the directors to choose a variety of music with broad appeal that conforms to our general guidelines. The pastor has final authority on music. Suggestions are welcome, but we do not promise to accept every suggestion.

    2. Scheduling. We set our practice on Sunday evenings because we believed it was the best time for the most people. We can change if necessary.

    1. I like it. It’s not demeaning, it doesn’t make unreasonable demands, and it doesn’t make some sort of appeal to the Bible – instead, just an appeal to common sense.

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