Christmas Albums as Proleptic Fulfillment of Isaiah 60

Paul Vander Klay

November 30, 2009

OK, maybe I’m naive, but shouldn’t the worship leader be a worshipper? Someone who understands and follows the leading of the Holy Spirit no matter what your favorite adjective is? Can someone who is an unbeliever (unbelievering?) lead a congregation to the throne if they neither believe there is a throne nor somone who sits on it? David chose the psalmist Asaph, not Balaam, to lead worship.

I agree with you on Christmas music albums. The church no longer owns the standard catalog of Christmas music, it has become an artifact of western culture and bears no direct relationship to spiritual worship. It is sung for profit by Wierd Al Yankovic, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Buffett, Green Day or anyone else who has access to a music studio (or as you put it, “debauched, godless artists”). And it makes money during the commercial Christmas season just as films like The Santa Clause or Elf do. As a Christian and a music fan, I can bring my faith and my musical skill appreciation to the listening experience, but that is not the same as guiding a congregation of believing Christians into spirit led worship. Actually, my favorite Christmas album this year is Bob Dylan’s. It’s a hoot.

The kings described by Richard Muow are believers every one. Why would they be coming to honor someone who does not exist? The Church’s worship leaders should also be offering their best to someone who exists and sits upon the throne.

November 30, 2009

wow, this has my brain spinning. I bet Mariah Carey has never been called 'proleptic prophet' before! I love it! 'When the Kings' is one of my favorite books of all time.

November 30, 2009

they're not believers, which is what makes the prophecy so amazing: it foresees Gentiles (the 'non-chosen' of that day) as full participants/recipients of the eschaton

November 30, 2009

These kings believe that God is and He is a rewarder of those that seek Him (Heb. 11:6). They worship God (Is 60:6). These are Kings from lands that trust in God. (Is 60:9) They serve God and the people of God (Is 60:10). They have praise on their lips (Is 60:18). They honor God (Is 60:9). Any nation that does not serve God has been destroyed (Is 60:12). They kiss the feet of the inhabitants of the city (Is 60:14). They call God the Holy One (Is 60:9).

These Kings may not be Jews, but they are certainly are believers, worshippers of God. Any King who is not has been destroyed.

My point was The kings described by Richard Muow are believers. Why would they be coming to honor someone who does not exist? The Church’s worship leaders should also be offering their best to someone who exists and sits upon the throne and is worthy of praise. Are you saying that somehow this is wrong?

November 30, 2009

But they do all of these things post-eschaton. It's like Philippians 2:10-11.

November 30, 2009

And so, because of the pre-echos of the post-eschaton (of Phillipians 2:10), it is proleptic fulfillment of isaiah 60 to hire worship leaders for your church who are non-believers or even atheists?

Or......because these future Kings in the distant millenium bring their treasures to help rebuild Jerusalem its now ok today to to hire worship leaders for your church who are non-believers or even atheists? (Even though these post eschaton kings are undoubtedly believers as the text clearly shows? After all, it says all that refuse to serve will be destroyed.)

Paul V. is clearly saying that the people are leading worship, not playing second violin in the string section. And yet these leaders are not Christians, do not believe in Jesus and may even be atheists. Perhaps that worship service is actually entertainment, simply a performance. Of course that is true of many big budget, high tech mega churches.

Perhaps we could hire pastors who are unbelievers or atheists, and pay them well if their preaching is skilled and entertaining based on proleptic fulfillment of course (Phillipians 2:11).

Just say “I dig Mariah Carey’s version of Joy to the World” and don’t try to justify it theologically.

November 30, 2009

We don't hire worship leaders at our church. All of our worship leaders are Christians, the church planter discussion is always regarding non-Christian vocalists, not the point leader. Just for clarification.

December 1, 2009


December 2, 2009

Let me get this straight: hiring non-believers to lead worship so that you can have a slick, entertaining service is "proleptic" of Isaiah 60?

I call it presumptuous.

December 2, 2009

Great! I’m glad you only have Christians on your worship team because I was wondering how you convince unbeliever or atheist to lead worship. However, isn’t it a subtle distinction to say you recommend unsaved or atheist performers for churches as lead singers of worship songs, not worship leaders? I would rather have a second rate worship band with spirit filled musicians that a smokin hot worship band staffed with unbelievers or atheists. Just sayin. Oh well, have a very proleptic Yule! I shall not worry anymore.

December 6, 2009

I started playing and singing at my church as a worship leader long before I actually cam back to Christ. It opened up my heart to recieve Him, and while I didn't mean the words I was singing at first, it made it all the sweeter when He showed me to worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Michael H
December 7, 2009

I met my girlfriend at church. She went to pre-school there (two years behind me), has been involved in our theatre arts outreach ministry for years, and attends, albeit irregularly, on Sundays--and always on Christmas and Easter. It wasn't until after we had started dating that I found out she wasn't baptized. (If I had known in advance, I probably would have refrained from engaging in this relationship. Now that we are involved, it seemed inappropriate, judgmental and wholly anti-Scriptural--see: 1 Corinthians 7--to "set her aside" for her spiritual predilictions.)

She is a music education/vocal performance student. A couple months ago, our church's worship team had all of their female vocalists on vacation by coincidence. Mixing (at the sound board) on Thursday night, I noticed that whereas the voices of our men were rich and meshed well, it lacked clarity and brightness; I informed our worship minister that I may have a female vocalist for him--my girlfriend. She consented to sing, and was a joy to listen to, and not just for me: her fellow worshippers/performers and members of the congregation complimented her. One even turned to me and asked "who's that new girl; she's good!"

Proleptic might be a good word for it--she has moved closer and closer to full involvement in the church, and has repeatedly sat with me and spoken about doctrine. The fact that she would offer her gifts in worship is appropriate; she did not speak or lead in prayer, only sang in concert with the group as a whole.

December 8, 2009

This is someone who has been involved in your church since preschool? Someone who has been involved in the Church’s theater arts outreach of the for years? Someone who lacks the formality of baptism but has shown a lifelong (though perhaps inconsistent) committment to the church? There is nothing in 1st Corinthians 7 that says she must be baptized to be born again. No wonder she was a joy to listen to, the Holy Spirit was working through her.

Paul vander Klay made it clear he was talking about someone who is not a believer as a worship vocalist in Church. He is referring to christmas albums today produced by “talented skeptics, seekers, agnostics, pagans, atheists.” As he says, “so get out there and find that Christmas album done by some debauched, godless artists and play it loud,”. That is hardly the state of your girlfriend.

John Z
November 15, 2010

God will use His prolepsis where He chooses, but for us to encourage the vocalizing or leading in song by non-Christians in a worship service simply waters down and nullifies the message. It is a way of saying that the song doesn't mean anything, if you can sing it without believing it, and knowlingly being endorsed as a singer or singer-leader by those who proclaim to believe it. It places the songs on the same level as "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" or Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer". It makes it nonsense.

December 14, 2010

How about Michael Buble singing O Come O Come Emmanuel--Maybe he's already done it!

December 15, 2010

My fav Christmas albums are Bruce Cockburn's "Christmas" (1993-ish) and The Chieftains' "The Bells of Dublin". On the latter is Jackson Browne's "the Rebel Jesus" and Elvis Costello's "St. Stephen's Day Massacre" both engaging tunes and lyrics; the killer though is Ricki Lee Jones singing "O Holy Night"---sounding drunk and slightly off-key, incoherent (or maybe how the listener would hear it, if in the bar, and in a similar state).
All among all the Irishy seasonal party music---

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