I have recently come across some very disturbing news concerning Kirk Talley (here as well). It seems that for some time now he has admitted to be a homosexual and more than that, he is ‘reaching out’ to others.
I like Southern Gospel, and have sung (in a style that I frame as ‘butchering’) such songs as ‘Step into the Water’ which was written by Kirk Talley. As a matter of fact, I like a good many of his songs, but I’ve come to find out that they were all written by a homosexual.
So where does that put us? Just how honest and sincere is the Southern Gospel industry? When you read a bit about Talley’s ‘journey’ you will discover that his sister has not spoken with him for many years. (since the mid to late 80’s I believe) So, if his sister knew, and his ex-wife, then how did the rest of his family not know? The rest of his family being the Talley’s, presently the Talley Trio. Or what about the Cathedrals? Or Gaither and his consortium?
My issue arises when we begin to sing these songs written by people who lead immoral lifestyles. Can I rightly sing ‘Step into the Water’ again knowing that a homosexual wrote it?
I think about the Book of Daniel when the King misused the gold and silver from the Temple of God. Simply, when he began to abuse those things that were devoted to God, he erred and was not given a change for repentance. Would not the pulpit or sanctuary that was devoted to God be considered the same thing?
Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians,
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (7.1)Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. – 2Co 6.14-18, 7.1 KJVA
We are commanded to cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of this world. We cannot associate the things of God with the things of this world.
Further in Paul, we read, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord, (Col 3:16)” and “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph 5:19).”
Most understand the word ‘psalms’ to refer to the Book of Psalms, which were sung by the Jews for centuries in their devotion to God.
‘Hymn’ (ὕμνος), from Strong’s, “Apparently from a simpler (obsolete) form of ὕδέω hudeō (to celebrate; probably akin to G103; compare G5567); a “hymn” or religious ode (one of the Psalms).” Whereas ‘spiritual song’, (πνευματικός) again from Strong’s, “Non-carnal, that is, (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious: – spiritual. Compare G5591.”
The old Presbyterians follow something called the Regulative Principle (and here). This is similar to what the Churches of Christ state in their creed of ‘We speak where the Bible speaks and keep silent where the Bible is silent.” This removed musical instruments from worship in the CoC and modern hymnody from the Presbyterians. Why this is not applied to doctrine, I am unsure; however it has kept the old Presbyterians from bringing in songs by adulterers and homosexuals, and others who celebrate immorality, into their worship services.
Here are a few resources sent to me by Mr. Davis of Ad Gloriam Dei (which I greatly appreciate).
And he has suggested this book for those wishing to sing the Psalms.
At issue, again, is whether or not to continue to sing these songs written by avowed sinners. We know that Paul commanded us to sing to the Lord songs of praise that were religious (spiritual). Can any real bible believing Christian stand to say that a song written by a homosexual or other unrepentant sinner, should be sung in Church? Do we do away from giants like ‘Amazing Grace’ or ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ because modern the modern songs are written by unrepentant sinners?
We are commanded not to touch the unclean thing, and yet we willingly sing songs penned by the unclean?
What would Christ sing? Paul? Peter?