As a child brought up in an Old Roman Catholic family, though my mother had a first prize for piano of the Conservatoire de Paris and we all learned to play piano at home, this was only to be for personal entertainment in the house circle.
When I gave a voice of my wishes to become a ‘musical star’ I soon felt the slap in my face to bring me on other thoughts. My artistic choice would bring me in a big patriarchal battle and even when I got older, but not being considered an adult yet by law (at that time still 21 years), I missed some very nice contracts with major companies, because my father did not want to sign the contract.
Next to my artistic choice there was the difficulty I had in the Catholic Church with all their worshipping of statues and different so called holy figures. Already as a six year old boy I made it the priest very difficult with my questions about the Holy Trinity and about the many actions I noticed in church which looked more like pagan worship than like, described in the Bible, the way it was we should do.
As an acolyte I was very active in the Catholic Church but did not find my thing in it and with the priest I felt best at ease for the way he did mass, my father did not like those services at all because they looked to protestant for him.
Also the sorts of music and music instruments which were allowed where often subject of debate. After some years of church shopping I became a non trinitarian Baptist and enjoyed the free spirit, the singing and ‘yes’ the ‘dancing‘. There song and dance was not considered something of the ‘devil’ like in the Old Roman Catholic Church.
But when the Southern Baptist Church Union won ground all over the world and many non-trinitarian Baptists felt pushed in a corner, many left the Baptists to go by other non-trinitarian groups. For a long time I wanted to be faithful to those many Baptists who had been killed for their belief in Only One God. But the presentation of more trinitarian Baptists made it impossible for people not associating me with such a trinitarian organisation, so I also had to follow the thousands of ex-Baptists and go to an other denomination.
In those many non-trinitarian groups I again encountered people who were against their members having a job in the theatre or show business. But like in the many trinitarian groups people can find different opinions in one and the same denomination. So also in the denomination were the people believed the same things I could find in the Bible, which we should follow and believe.
Though I must confess I miss the joyful singing and dancing we had at our Baptist services. It would take years before certain attitudes can be changed.
Concerning dancing outside the ecclesia or church there is no problem by lots of Christadelphians. I do agree like in any denomination you shall be able to find more conservative or more fundamentalist groups. But even in the for some ‘conservative England‘ and in the United States of America Christadelphian Care offers dancing to the elderly.
In the States you may find people who bring more health to others with the art of movement.
For 35 years, dance and movement therapist Donna Newman-Bluestein has gone into classrooms and institutional settings to spread the joy of movement. She sings and two-steps, greets everyone by name, shaking hands. Newman-Bluestein’s dance engagement is not just fun for cognitively-impaired seniors she works with, but provides physical therapy. Newman-Bluestein is a senior lecturer in Lesley University’s graduate school, a performer with the intergenerational dance company Back Pocket Dancers, and the spokeswoman for the American Dance Therapy Association.
You may find an interview with her at: Engaging patients through dance, movement.
She wants to rouse the people around her because human beings are meant to move.
Once a person’s moving, the more they want to move, getting the circulation and respiration going, building flexibility, strength and moving the lymph system, which is the house of our immune system. Hormones are released, new neuronal pathways are built.
In many cultures there have been different periods how people looked at the use of sound and movement.
As Teegan Clark writes:
Since the ancient times the people tabooed this or that sound sequence, musical instrument or song. Of course the taboos of various epochs were defined by the whole variety of social factors, since accepting the sounds as music is the purely social phenomenon.
One of the main reasons for the objection of those art forms, according to me, is that they can influence people more than any words or actions undertaken by other human beings. It is not just because people of those previous times, who forbid music and dance, supposed music is able to change the mind of a human being and make them carry out the orders of the musician. It was a fact which they could measure experimentally. From ancient times it was also notated on many papyrus rolls, stones or paper, how music and movement influenced the human being. It could go deep into the soul (the inner being).
It was the fear for the intricate consequences of hearing certain sounds and their influence on the body and way of thinking that made people react so heavenly against those art forms. Certain musical instruments were banned and selected music was allowed to play only during the most important ceremonies like birth, funeral or wedding.
Teegan Clark may rightly say:
The communist or strict monarchy regime leaders were afraid of revolutions and assassination attempts. It was clear that the right music may inspire the people to carry out a revolution. That is why in Soviet Union such music as jazz or blues was prohibited. It was supposed to immoralize the Soviet youth.
Today the people all over the world have the great possibility to search and listen mp3 songs, store, playback and listen to any type of music.
But though it may seem that all over the world people are free to use any instrument or sound, practice proofs this is not so and in case we are not careful we can move again to an era where there would be people prohibiting certain sorts of music.
Yesterday I chatted with a Nigerian about the fights in their community, in the Abia State, because tins or cans were not any more allowed for making music. Also the natural wind instruments made from the available material in the environment were not allowed any more to be used.
We should always be alert that the freedom of the voice, the sound, music and dance can stay vivid.
In this world we shall have to face more than the music or the dance taboo. One of the greatest taboos we learned when we where young was that you could not speak about politics or religion in public. such subjects still are no music in the ear of many and bring forth many taboos.
Please do find the article of Teegan Clark: Music Taboos
Also of interest:
- Performing music
- Sacrifices to be made
- Dance halls and Theatres Open Monument Day 2012
- Feel-good Factor?
- Feeling-good, search for hapiness and the church
- Icons and crucifixes
- Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
- Music and young people in Christadelphia
- A small rant…music, young people and Christadelphia
- Singing gift from God
- What Jesus sang
- Called Christian
- Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
- Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah
- Only One God
On an other taboo:
- What’s the Difference in Christian Denominations? (familyandfaithmatters.wordpress.com) claims that there is not much difference between the Christian denominations, but she overlooks that there are very great differences in most of their teachings which can deviate a lot from the Biblical teachings, certainly by the trinitarian Christians. Though non-trinitarians often may find that there are lots of differences between their denominations, they have more in common than all the others in Christianity.
- Who is the Church? by Linn Marie Tonstad (feminismandreligion.com)
While most were thrilled, a few posts noted that, even if Pope Francis is in fact (which is not proven) walking back Benedict XVI’s language of “intrinsically disordered,” the church’s policy has not and will not change in any significant way. What was missing in all but a few instances was attention to the pope’s comments in the same interview on women, and the deep theological problems with the assumptions contained in those comments. And while I, as a queer theologian, would never wish to downplay the struggles of LGBTQI people in the Roman Catholic church, there are rather more women than queers in that church (as elsewhere!). What’s more, it is arguable that it is the sexism and heterosexism of what Marcella Althaus-Reid memorably termed “T-Theology” that underlies condemnation of homosexuality in Roman Catholic theology.
More depressing yet (and intentionally performed in the preceding), though, is the equation between ‘the pope’ and ‘the church’, and the attention given to his statements from so many different directions. The Roman Catholic church consists of many figures other than the pope – many women, many queers of all ‘kinds’, many fighters for justice, many feminists, many activists, many theologians fighting the logic identified above. It is patriarchy too that teaches us to forget them while remembering and discussing him.
- I do not believe that we all worship the same God says the writer of Religions (kblakecash.wordpress.com) who wants to look at ‘religion’ but gives more the impression he means ‘Christianity’ with that. But Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism all are just some forms of religions but not religion in itself. In the many religions there are in the world several are also looking for the reasons that we are here and who or what is behind it.
But not all may be seeking the same and what we choose to believe and how we want to define God can be exceptionally or totally different. What we believe God wants from us, and how we should praise God, are often diametrically opposed to other people who profess a belief in God. Not everyone would agree that “God is Love”. There are even people who either believe or not believe in god but do blame God for the evil in our world.
He further writes:
There is nothing genetically or psychologically different from any other sample of humanity as a group. So when I hear people say “Christians are this” or “Religion is responsible for that” I feel the need to correct them. People do things, there are good people and bad people, and those people may belong to a religion, or they may not. Since thirty three percent of the world is Christian, it would seem natural to expect Christians to be responsible for about a third of the bad things out there. No religion is a monolith.
- Doctrianity (happilyheretical.wordpress.com)
In today’s “Christian” world it is odd how one must either be a trinitarian or an anti-trinitarian. Any uncertainty about the doctrine of the Trinity, such as voiced by David, is automatically considered an heresy and given one of many labels, such as Arianism, Modalism, etc. Anything that doesn’t fit the trinitarian definition has to be classes into some counter-definition. Definition is the all important thing in a religion who’s main focus is doctrines, rather than Christ.
- Brazilian Religion and rituals (agacuya3.wordpress.com)
Brazil boasts an array of religious ideals and affiliations. In recent surveys conducted in the country at least 90% of the Brazilian population subscribe to some religious ideals, making it more religiously inclined than any other South American country.
- How (not) to argue Catholic vs. Protestant issues (Photos) (examiner.com)
- Is God an angry ogre? Presbyterians and Baptists debate – Articles (wilmingtonfavs.com)
The dispute over dropping a beloved Christian song from a new Presbyterian hymnal has widened into a multi-denominational tussle, with Baptists joining the fray.
At issue are various Christian doctrines of the atonement, which attempt to explain why Jesus died and whether his death satisfies God’s wrath over humankind’s sinfulness. But some Christians warn that emphasizing these doctrines may have the unintended consequence of turning God into an angry deity who had to be appeased by shedding Jesus’ blood.
That’s the view taken by the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song. The committee removed the hymn “In Christ Alone” from the new Presbyterian Church (USA) hymnal after the song’s co-authors, Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, refused to change a line about God’s wrath being satisfied.
- Returning to a Trinitarian Government (blackstoneinitiative.com)
Each of us has gifts and talents given to us by God. They are all not the same, and we are not all the same. Whether we exist in a church, a business or a family, we function best as any group of people when we give of ourselves and use our gifts for the benefit of the group.
- Trinitarian Panentheism (eclecticwheel.wordpress.com)
the Big Bang was the beginning of time and space. We can speak of nothing before time, but I prefer to think of it as a primordial chaos. The source of the universe would seem to be itself — no energy is created or destroyed. Yet in the universe we can detect consistent patterns in its behavior, at least on the macroscopic level, which we then codify into scientific laws. These laws are abstract in their nature, yet we treat them as though they exist, a transcendent force expressed in the behavior of matter.
- Choose Your Enemy Wisely (theywillknow.wordpress.com)
We’re not supposed to be allies; we’re supposed to be one.
I think Churches in general, at one time gave more preaching to the topics of the Devil and the dangers of Hell, something that has fallen out fashion so-to-speak. Despite the advantages of this there is a draw back too. While many live as practical atheists, I think many Christians live in practical disbelief of the devil. Forget losing any healthy fear of sin, not that that’s not a big deal, but it also radically changes how we see our own Church. This isn’t something immediately obvious but it’s really there.