Remember the game show – Truth or Consequence? (That question , I think, just dated me). Are there any consequences today or is that term truly archaic?
So, What happened?
“He was brought up in a Bible-believing Baptist church and attended a college of similar description. He was like many in his youth group. The standards set by his elders had no personal meaning for him, and slowly, over the next few years, he rationalized the subtle changes in his moral code. What could have been a dynamic life, blessed with the gift of persuasion, leading many to eternal life became known as the infamous Jim Jones incident, responsible for a thousand deaths in Guyana. This is the potential when biblical standards are not taken personally.” (The following excerpt was taken from my book, Music Ethics: A study of Musical Ministry in the Church).
So, what happened? Jim Jones developed a code of conduct where he believed he could use people rather than serve people. We see that today. Where? Lobbyists and politicians readily come to mind. Mankind tends to be self serving in one degree or another so society puts up laws and guidelines keep people – us – on the straight and narrow. The more disciplined a society is, the fewer rules are needed.
Food for thought
But we are not a disciplined society any more. Proof? Just walk into a classroom where a teacher has lost control over the students. (We covered that a few discussions ago). It’s not just the students – remember the mayhem during the aftermath of Katrina? So we all need accountability.
I say, the more we push God out of society, the more chaos caused by our self-serving attitudes flood into the void. It’s either God or government. David, when given a choice of punishment for numbering the people ( as found in II Samuel 24:10) said, “ I am in a great strait: let us now fall into the hand of the LORD; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” Seventy thousand died as a consequence of David’s sin. If you were in church, the sermon would, at this point, summarize:
Actions always bring consequence
Consequences always involve more people than the transgressor originally thought
The LORD is merciful.
So this is “Holy Week” to many around the world. Let us take note the example Christ left us as quoted from Philippians 2: 5-11.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Gift of Accountability -& the Studio
So, a disciplined life is accountable to someone or something. When we know “the rules” we find freedom to life and progress by them.
How does this apply to the music studio? Every lesson has accountability built into it. We listen to the consequence of the student’s adherence to last week’s “rules.” We write this week’s “rules” in the assignment book. We may even show the student how to accomplish (live by) a particular “rule.” If a student did not abide by the guidelines set down in the book, we reassign the work.
If you want to string out the biblical application more, you could say the “final judgment” for a teaching year occurs at the yearly recital and tests. Tests? Yes, in Kansas, the KMTA puts on a program called Music Progressions. This event tests students on performance, keyboard skills, listening, sight-reading and rhythm aptitude and theory. This topic should be discussed more thoroughly the next time we meet.