A modern-day Pharisee???

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A couple days ago I stopped by the music store to pick up a book for one of my students to play from for the Christmas recital. Naturally, they had to order the book. I decided that while I was there I would browse a little bit and see what other Christmas music they had in stock.

I found a book.
I liked the book.
I decided to get the book.

Since I have an account there, they scanned the book and I will pay for it in a month. It seems like lately many of the music books I pick up for myself are too jazzy or modern for my tastes, so eventually I just started previewing them. If I don’t like the book, no problem. I just return it, and I don’t have to worry about having to pay for a book I don’t want.

I will be purchasing this book, though. It’s wonderful! I already have 3 Christmas solo books that I use (rather extensively, I might add), but this one is a little unique. Each carol is set to classical music. It’s absolutely beautiful! Here’s more information about it:

Classical Carols II Arranged by Carolyne Taylor. For Piano Solo. Christmas. Music Book. Composed 1994. Published by Lillenas Pub Co. (MC-278)
See more info…

Anyway, I sat down to play through some of the rather advanced arrangements. I played through one and I thought, “That was a weird arrangement. I like it!” (It was an arrangement of Carol of the Bells with some really unique harmony that I just loved)

Later, I was telling Stephen about that particular arrangement, and how I love unique (and yes, sometimes weird) arrangements of songs. His answer? “You always have.”

That really made me think. Much of my classical music collection is “different” – basically meaning that I don’t have as much of the “typical” Bach and Beethoven and Mozart as I have lesser-known composers that write fun and exciting and different (and weird) music. Then I started wondering how it got that way.

Back when I first went to college, I used to listed to a lot of contemporary Christian music (which I’ll refer to as CCM from here on out). Unfortunately for me, though, it was not allowed at college. My response was to go buy classical music because I knew that I could listen to it. But when I bought the classical, I bought stuff that was really pushing the limit as far as the rules were concerned. Things that were too “upbeat” or “jazzy” that were still allowed (mostly) simply because the genre was classical.

Then it hit me. I’ve always bragged about how I never really went through a rebellious spell, but I did. I just never saw it for what it was. The entire time I thought I was complying with the rules, I was merely trying to find a way to do exactly what I wanted to do without getting in trouble.

Isn’t that a prime example of modern-day Phariseeism? Technically not breaking the rules, but still bending them to suit my own will and desires?


I’ve done that a lot in my life. I’ve even judged and condemned others for not following rules, and yet I was doing the same things; just without seeing it for the sin it really was.

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul disobeyed God by offering a sacrifice himself, when he was supposed to wait for Samuel to come offer the sacrifice. When Samuel finally arrived, here is what he said:

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

God has serious consequences in store for us if we don’t obey Him, doesn’t He?

As for me liking unusual music – that’s fine. But it was my attitude toward those in authority and their rules about music that was wrong.

I watch my son try to get his own way while still technically “obeying” me and it is a reminder. A reminder that I need to obey my Heavenly Father fully and completely.

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