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Anastasia1
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« on: October 15, 2011, 04:58:04 PM »

Can dancing to rap music be a valid* form of worship?

(*by valid, should I mention I am discussing with a baptist?)
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »

Generally the whole human life should be a worship to God, so yes. But no in liturgical settings.
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 05:11:46 PM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap, so neither do we in the liturgy.

Rapping in addition to that, why not?
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 05:12:21 PM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap, so neither do we in the liturgy.

Amen.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 05:42:36 PM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap,

How do you know?
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 06:34:11 PM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap,

How do you know?

My question, too.  laugh
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 07:32:36 PM »

I read that the expression "the language of men and angels," used at certain points in the Scriptures, was a poetic term for Hebrew. I bet a lot of stuff in Hebrew rhymes.  angel
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 12:34:37 AM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap, so neither do we in the liturgy.

Yes, but angels don't sing the same way the Byzantine rite chanters do either...in fact, chanters is a physical act, and they're spiritual

In fact, no one knows if they even do their own liturgies.  I think they just bless ours.  We can't imitate them.  We only give glory to God.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 01:07:34 AM »

We can't just agree and write that dancing to rap is not worship?

For your friend, Anastasia:
 Dancing to rap is not worship; it's dancing to rap.
 Dancing to rap and claiming it's worship is, at best, misguided.  More likely, it's fraudulently packaging 'cool stuff for the kids' as worship.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 01:27:40 AM »

We can't just agree and write that dancing to rap is not worship?

For your friend, Anastasia:
 Dancing to rap is not worship; it's dancing to rap.
 Dancing to rap and claiming it's worship is, at best, misguided.  More likely, it's fraudulently packaging 'cool stuff for the kids' as worship.
He is not my friend. He is an anonymous online poster who does not listen well to what I am saying and refuses to back down from an argument even when I want to call it a day (because apparently it is wrong to say that God is not utterly beyond any ability to describe according to him [I believe we can at least describe Him well enough to have and share some concept of who God is even if we can't describe everything about Him]). I mentioned that I wanted to hear Christian rap at a church event, and I like that I can dance to it. I suspect that he is interpreting that as saying that I want to dance to rap during service. I figure I can get some common sense here to direct my conversation and general understanding.

Ok, so what defines worship?
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 02:04:15 AM »

If worship is adoring God - which is all the highest definition of the word, why can't one do that through rap? If King David adored God dancing to Jewish music, why can't a rap fan do it through this modern medium? Ok, it's not formal worship, but since when did a personal expression of worship become prohibited?
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2011, 02:44:14 AM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap, so neither do we in the liturgy.

Yes, but angels don't sing the same way the Byzantine rite chanters do either...in fact, chanters is a physical act, and they're spiritual

Ahh, but when compared to God, even the angels are physical.
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2011, 03:09:25 AM »

If worship is adoring God - which is all the highest definition of the word, why can't one do that through rap? If King David adored God dancing to Jewish music, why can't a rap fan do it through this modern medium? Ok, it's not formal worship, but since when did a personal expression of worship become prohibited?

If its ok to worship God through rap etc. in our personal worship (as some claim here), then why isn't it ok to worship God using rap in public worship?
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 04:32:39 AM »

Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2011, 09:37:38 AM »

If its ok to worship God through rap etc. in our personal worship (as some claim here), then why isn't it ok to worship God using rap in public worship?

We already have codified ways of the public worship that are based on what the closest people to Christ taught their students. They must have known what God, Who was known by them personally, liked most.

I mentioned that I wanted to hear Christian rap at a church event, and I like that I can dance to it. I suspect that he is interpreting that as saying that I want to dance to rap during service.

I don't see any differences.
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2011, 10:14:16 AM »

If worship is adoring God - which is all the highest definition of the word, why can't one do that through rap? If King David adored God dancing to Jewish music, why can't a rap fan do it through this modern medium? Ok, it's not formal worship, but since when did a personal expression of worship become prohibited?

Save the overly broad definition; that's not what we're discussing.  Flossing your teeth is not worshiping, even if you're adoring God at the time.

No prohibitions mentioned (save in liturgical form, and I hope you aren't suggestion rap dancing  be included as a 'modern medium').  You inferred that from nothing.

Apart from my biased opinion about dancing to 'Christian rap,' it's really just not accepted as a form of worship.  We're not sufis or megachurch 'praise' folk.  The adoration of God while bicycling, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, dancing, etc. is encouraged, but those acts themselves aren't worship.   
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2011, 10:58:50 AM »

In the Orthodox liturgy, we join the angels' worship in heaven. They don't rap, so neither do we in the liturgy.

Yes, but angels don't sing the same way the Byzantine rite chanters do either...in fact, chanters is a physical act, and they're spiritual

Ahh, but when compared to God, even the angels are physical.

And yet they utter things that a man IS NOT PERMITTED to say.  So even if we do know what they do or say, we're not allowed. (2 Cor. 12:4)  I'm just exposing the weakness of Gorazd's argument.  Yes, angels are created, but that doesn't make my argument any weaker.
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2011, 11:05:34 AM »

We already have codified ways of the public worship that are based on what the closest people to Christ taught their students. They must have known what God, Who was known by them personally, liked most.

No we haven't.  The liturgical services we have are a dynamic evolution of centuries of additions and subtractions.  If anything, one can postulate that all the Apostles of Christ really knew were "Jewish rites" and used that to celebrate the liturgy in their times, and then their descendants slowly changed it more and more until what we have today.  The fact that we say "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth of full of your glory" is a remnant of that Apostolic rite that has been lost over the ages.
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2011, 12:06:41 PM »

I mentioned that I wanted to hear Christian rap at a church event, and I like that I can dance to it. I suspect that he is interpreting that as saying that I want to dance to rap during service.

I don't see any differences.
Even if it's before or after the Liturgy? Getting together to study the Bible is not part of the formal Orthodox worship service, but it can still be an edifying and God honoring thing for believers to do together. I think this is what she is referring to. In fact, I'd say the spontaneity of rap "free-styling" could be well suited as an on the fly activity at, say, an Orthodox retreat weekend.


I feel middle aged now after writing that...
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2011, 12:42:37 PM »

Cannot worship have more than one meaning, both a narrower one and a broader one? One type of worship is corporate, done in specific and more limited contexts; the other type of worship is personal, and can be done in many more ways. Worshipping God while flossing your teeth cannot ever be a part of corporate worship... but could it be personal worship? Sure, why not?  So to with rap as well, or jazz, or blues, or heavy metal, or classical... it is not part of corporate worship, but there's no reason it could not be incorporated into personal worship.
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2011, 12:46:55 PM »

u need to think what are the messages given by body language while dancing to rap. what movements are you considering?
i hope not 'shaking yr booty'! u see, a lot of modern dance is actually quite sexual (as is some traditional dance, eg. some types of ballet or bollywood routines) so if we are going to have liturgical dance it should be a tried and tested one that doesn't tempt the hormones.

if u look at the history or rap as a musical genre, a lot of it is about protest, not giving thanks or memorising the Bible. so we can use some aspects of rap which are helpful, but we should be careful just copying something from outside the church and expecting it to fit.

ethiopians and eritreans have some very cool liturgical and festive dances in the orthodox church, which don't involve bottom shaking or chest waggling. i would suggest you could try that instead. they also have drums, but no senseless repetition, head banging or gyrating.
 Wink
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2011, 01:18:42 PM »

Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.

lol, indeeed.
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2011, 01:23:39 PM »

So i guess another way to look at this could be: can Christian rock or rap music be spiritually edifying? I think so long as you can hear the lyrics, and the artist isn't pronouncing strange doctrines, probably so.

What about God though? Doesn't he have have a preferred method of worship? Further, do you think his "preference" would change over time?
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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2011, 04:00:45 PM »

I read that the expression "the language of men and angels," used at certain points in the Scriptures, was a poetic term for Hebrew. I bet a lot of stuff in Hebrew rhymes.  angel

This is a good point that is lost in a lot of translations.  Rap is easy to remember because it has a strong meter.  I remember almost all of the commonly used psalms in the daily prayers in Greek for this reason despite the fact that I haven't looked at Greek prayerbook in years.   
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2011, 04:38:24 PM »

awaiting rap-style english language psalms...
please use septuagint
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2011, 05:03:25 PM »

awaiting rap-style english language psalms...
please use septuagint;)

It all depends on how loosely you define "rap".  But if you mean vernacular translations with a strong meter, why not?
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2011, 05:12:22 PM »

Consider the words of Grandmaster Flash... their depth, their humble and worshipful tone, how he struggles with Christian theology:

A child is born with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smiling on you, but He's frowning too
Because only God knows what you'll go through

In just these four lines we see multiple topics surfacing, including the question of what extent the humanity of Jesus impacts what he knows, and how the mind of a God-man works, and what it means to attribute things like happiness and sadness to God, and how these attributions relate to our understanding of God's omniscience.  Also, notice the beauty and sophistication, how the text goes from the incarnation to the crucifixion in just four lines, and connects them so that they are not simply random and separate events but rather specific and profound events, intertwining and interpenetrating, in the life of Jesus. Thus does he explain the story of the life of the God-man for our spiritual benefit, using brevity like only a Gradmaster wordsmith can to magnify the key lessons to be learned from the Gospels.
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2011, 05:36:18 PM »

If worship is adoring God - which is all the highest definition of the word, why can't one do that through rap? If King David adored God dancing to Jewish music, why can't a rap fan do it through this modern medium? Ok, it's not formal worship, but since when did a personal expression of worship become prohibited?

Save the overly broad definition; that's not what we're discussing.  Flossing your teeth is not worshiping, even if you're adoring God at the time.

No prohibitions mentioned (save in liturgical form, and I hope you aren't suggestion rap dancing  be included as a 'modern medium').  You inferred that from nothing.

Apart from my biased opinion about dancing to 'Christian rap,' it's really just not accepted as a form of worship.  We're not sufis or megachurch 'praise' folk.  The adoration of God while bicycling, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, dancing, etc. is encouraged, but those acts themselves aren't worship.  

What exactly is your definition of worship?

As an English English-speaker I probably do understand the word more broadly than an American English-speaker. Adoration is worship. Honouring is worship. Showing respect in titles is worship. They are simply different degrees of the act of worship. Adoration is the form of worship offered to God and if one is adoring God while flossing their teeth all power to them. That's worship in my book. I don't see where adoration of God should stop simply because of a change of physical position.

Perhaps in formal settings we physically conform to what is the tradition of the Ekklisia, not our own personal modes. Rap dancing might be perfectly acceptable as worship/adoration in a non-Orthodox style of worship/adoration setting. I have seen footage of black congregations dancing to gospel music; they are worshipping God with their bodies, just as we do. We might be bowing, doing prostrations and making the sign of the cross, while they are dancing.

This broader concept of the word "worship" is more obvious England. A mayor of a city is referred to as "your Worship," and, in the older version of the Anglican Marriage service the bride and bridegroom exchange rings, saying “with this ring, I thee wed, with my body I thee worship,". In both instances honour and thus a lesser degree of worship is conferred though 1: the act of honouring a person with a title and 2: the physical act of giving one's body in love to one's spouse.



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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2011, 06:21:03 PM »

Being quite familiar with English English v American English, I agree that a difference of usage exists.  Still, within the context of the OP, it seemed clear to me that the question of worship referred to a specific act, of which I don't believe 'rap dancing' is recognized within Orthodoxy. 

Yes, plenty of congregations worship by dancing.  Folk like the Aztec worshiped by cutting hearts out of living people.  I'm not comparing dancing with human sacrifice, but there is an extremely wide array of acts considered to be worship.  Perhaps a better argument would be that rap dancing is not a form of correct worship (although I still think it's dancing accompanied by delusions of piety).
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« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2011, 07:33:08 PM »

Arguably, one of the forerunners of rap was an Ethiopian priest  Wink

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« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2011, 09:43:00 PM »

I dont see why it couldnt be...

Im also assuming that this "rap" music isnt talking about money and women "backing up" their backsides....
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