Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Dilemma pt. 2

So I’m going to Nashville to talk with HHI.

A sister network of TBN has told me if the production value is good (obviously) they are almost guaranteeing me a spot on their network.

I’ve pulled several other networks into the fold and am checking with them to see if they have exclusionary clauses in their contracts and to see if they would consider airing the show as well.

Right now GBN is a moot point. They are going to hold out on any project no matter what just because of HHI. For as much as it pains me to do so, because I think they are right on so many issues, I have to move past them. (yes there is a struggle there too…)

Lets pretend that HHI gives me the money I need to make a show. I’ve gone wherever and shot what I needed and I’m sitting at my computer cutting together content when I realize my next problem, music.

Watch a good TV show or movie and listen to each time they have music under a dramatic or comic moment, that’s what I need. The term for this is “bed music.”

Music that is a cappella that will be useable in this production is going to be near impossible to find. The closest I’ve come is some cool Bobby McFerrin and Ladysmith Black Mambazo but the rights to use that music will blow me out of the water financially.

Now I could, and will, contact various universities and such (including Keith Lancaster’s Acapella group) and see what they have and ask if they could let me use their performances but I don’t need large choral arrangements of It Is Well With My Soul. I need something that comes close to sustained yet textured “aaahhhh’s” and humming. There will be times were I will need well performed songs but choruses of white students isn’t what I need.

I can buy instrumental bed music packages that will give me every imaginable style and range of musical “emotion” that I’ll need, including indigenous tunes. If I go a cappella the shows will have to have original music created or I’ll have to buy licensed music from a major music publisher and each of those two paths will cost a lot of money.

So my dilemma is this. This project is a work for God. It’s my little step into trying to spread the word of God. If it turns into a full time job of service, so be it. In doing so, is there ground to use instrumental music in the show or should I stick to a cappella music and increase the cost and stress of producing the show? The show is a work of praise to God and the people doing his work, specifically in the c.o.C. The show it’s self is not worshiping but is my work a form of worship and should it be under the same guidelines of what I consider "acceptable for worship."

We show Veggie Tales in Children’s church and no one fusses over that. We also show or support various other “instructional” and “learning” videos that have instrumental music and no one says anything and these things would not be designed to be shown during service.

Braly and Sipper sing praise songs with instruments, so is making a TV show with accompanying instruments wrong too?

Throw it down ya’ll.


bigsip said...

So, your main issue is music...

When dealing with something you want to identify as coC, it's always going to be an issue.

If you use the instrumental stuff, you run several risks, the greatest of which are 1) You lose your coC base, 2) you don't identify coC to the masses accurately.

This is just my opinion, but I think it's valid.

My opinion is also that your prod value will suffer if you don't have "appropriate" music for your show. In this case, "appropriate" means "dramatic" or "leading."

It's truly a dilemma. But, you might just have to go with the prod value and make it the best you can.

So, are you going with GBN?

Guess HHI wasn't gonna "fit the bill"?

Hope it all turns out, my friend. It's a dilemma, to be sure.

I certainly don't have any answers; just more questions.

Jamison said...

dude... i work for a school that isnt coC based... im not sinning...

You arent producing worship services. You are prodicing shows that focus on religious subjects. Using Alice Cooper may be bad taste, but id hardly call it a sin.

if you lose your coC base, who cares? they arent watching that channel anyway.

If you are doing this for money and to further your career (of which I see nothing wrong with) then go for it! I mean, you could probably be making pornos, this is at least better for society.

I think the new work would be good for the kingdom. If you are a shinning light, you can do more good there than at GBN.

However, in nashville, the conservative c of Cers pretty much look like the libreal lunatics the rest of us are used to...

bigsip said...

I agree with Jamison. I just don't really know what your purpose is.

I'd be a little leary of using religion for money, though. Remember Simon the Sorceror?

But, if you're trying to make something that will bring people into contact with Christ and ultimately, Christ's blood, then you're on the right track.

Do you have a mission statement? An overarching definition of your product?

Lay it on us, brother!

Jamison said...

dont preachers and youth ministers use religion for money? Otherwise, they'd work for free...

I dunno. I am to the point to where I feel like I have feared alot of "invented" sin my whole life. Sin that we c of Cers just make up out of thin air.

Don't get me wrong, I am as conservative as the next guy. We just got a projection system in our church, and while I think it is cool, I still hope they don't overuse it (like your preacher does, Mullins...). One guy wants to instal wireless internet in the auditorium... i was thinking "why on earth...?"

But, at the same time, I still think we almost TRY to find sin in everything we do. Mullins, you have to make a living. You have a talent. You could use your talent in anyway on earth to make a living. Choosing to focus it religiously is a good thing. Just dont convert folks to the other side, bring them to our side.

You are going to be producing things that you, as a NT Christian, and producing things that you feel with further the cause of Christ. If false teachers are paying you to do it, then they are the suckers.

bigsip said...

I was really talking about huge, personal gain.

It's easy to get off on the wrong path.

The mega-church phony who wrote the "Purpose Driven..." stuff is a multi-millionaire. He also leads people into some of the nutso-religious dimension.

I agree that we make up sin sometimes. But, I think you have to be careful at all times when dealing with matters of how the word s spread and the purpose behind it.

Do I think Mullins will purposefully take a wrong road? Absolutely not!

But, sometimes it's hard to see the path when the leaves have fallen. You could soon find your way into the deep forest with no way home.

I'm just advocating the "safe road" concept...

Use the Word as your guide and you won't get lost in the woods in anything in life. The path will always be clear, my friend!

mullinz8 said...

Mission Statement: Into All The World
“The purpose of this ministry is to serve Christ and obey his command to spread the Gospel unto all the world. This is done in a supportive fashion using the “worlds most pervasive media” to share and amplify the stories of those entrenched on the spiritual battlefield. By chronicling various missions Into All The World creates a unique platform for others to begin their walk by hearing and seeing the Gospel in action.”

This is the statement I’ve come up with. It’s simple and that’s how I want it. My main focus is to support the c.o.C ministry groups and their various missions, what ever they are.

I think “real” music will carry the message a lot further than scrapping and sacrificing for a capella tunes that just don’t fit. Still I don’t want to exclude those of the body who don’t think it would be right. Then again this is not a “worship assembly” it’s a work dedicated to serving God, just like everything we do (work, rest, living, praising) should be a glory to God.

The money thing is a bit odd too. For this first project I might run in the negative and have to foot some of the bill on my own because I’ll be buying 10K worth of gear along with the regular production costs. If the project can continue past stage one then the gear, GFX, music licenses, and various other elements will be paid for.

Out of the gate it’s a lot of money and then the expenses should drop by half. It’s designed and budgeted to sustain its self and the yutz in charge of making the product, me. I’ll be doing the work for free but I’ll be paying myself for the travel and time away from my family. Each week long shoot is also budgeted for an assistant that would get paid $1000 per trip plus travel expenses. It ain’t much but it’s something for the extra hands I’d need to have with me.

I don’ t mind making some money doing this because I think in this day and age it’s the right thing to do even though I constantly remember the passage about JC calling the 70 to prepare the way and telling them to take nothing with them and basically to expect nothing in return.

bigsip said...

I like your mission statement!

Making money as a means of support is great and you'll be doing a great work, too.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your labors, man.

I think you'll have a great product!

Jamison said...

TO be honest, if I had a problem with anything in your plan, the music would be the least.

bigsip said...

Yeah, it's still tricky no matter how you slice it, though.

I don't really care either way, A Capella or instrumental/vocal.

But, it's gonna be hard to gauge who will take exception.

Rachel said...

Go with the instrumental music. Where in the Bible does it say or even imply, "Thou shalt not use instrumental music in connection with anything remotely Christian"? If you were filming a worship service where they used instruments, that would be one thing. But background music? I personally have no problem with it.

bigsip said...

I'm more concerned for what other folks will think about the music.

Again, I really don't care, but some, perhaps even many, will.

Then again, perhaps no one will.

It's always uneven ground when broaching these subjects, man.

But, you gotta go with what will probably bring about the success you need for this.

Jamison said...

If it bothers you this much, consult the advise of an older man that you know well. Someone you know to be a religiously sound man.

Id steer clear form the elders at your church though. If they disagree, you dont want them looking down on you each Sunday.

mullinz8 said...

My grandfather, who is a progressive 78 year old, who with my grandmother, just drove to central Florida for a month, would tell me to use the instruments and forget about all that a cappella junk, “it’s too stuffy.”

The thing for me is that I would like the body of the church to accept this project and want to feel compelled to utilize it for all their missions. In doing that I’d hate for instrumental music to hold them back. I would like to think they could see past it and I think in the next decade they will but for now it’s still an issue.

I guess I’ve got a ways to go before I have to figure out the finer points but I’ve still got to know how to deal with these things and have an answer for the people I talk with in support of the project.

When I talk with HHI they might not even think of music being an issue but their placement within the c.o.C is also under consideration. Being a un-elder supported, renegade, fringe movement like they are maybe they won’t care, maybe they will. I’ll have to ask them.

bigsip said...

You posted it twiwce...I took care of it.

Man, it must be scary going into something like this. I hope it works out well. Keep praying about it.

God will take you where He wants you to be if you'll follow.

Where ever that might be will be a wonderful place, though!

Jamison said...

Ah. Now if you are trying to garner the support of the church, thats a different issue.

I would spend some time finding projects that some sound churches do support, and see if there are any similarities (or secular music) involved. If so, you've won your case...

mullinz8 said...

Last night I was getting ready to read the Bible and I was praying that I would get what I needed from that reading and I got a feeling of understanding that making this show without GBN would be fine.

I’m not all charismatic and whatever but things seemed to “open up.”

Reading Luke gave me a few moments of realizing that I always need to be sure I was doing the right thing and keep my focus very clear and also that Christ was getting ready to leave the Apostles in charge and they had no idea what he was actually doing.

Sometimes God gives you the foundation or destination you need and lets you figure out the best path to get there.

Other examples of the c.o.C supporting “progressive ideas” seem to be followed with the term disfellowshiped. Max Lucado has written scores of books that help Christian and non Christian alike and because he doesn’t seem to follow traditional routes he is considered to fringe to be ok.

I don’t know all his theological positions but I can’t think he’s that bad. I think in the end I’m going to run into the hard line “old school” conservatives that think anything different than tradition is wrong.

Sipper thanks for fixing the double posting.

Jamison said...

max has said on national radio that baptism is not necessary for salvation...

midnitcafe said...

Some people are going to hate what you're doing because you're doing it via video. Others will hate it because its on TV and not just some old fart reading his Bible. No matter what you do some folks will say its rotten and even heretical.

At my folks church, years ago, a minister got slammed because he used a video in worship that had some instrumental background music. It was CofC produced and they were doing just exactly what you're talking about, but some thought it was wrong.

What exactly are you producing again? TV show right? Drama? I forget the details. With instrumental music some churches won't touch it. Many others will though. Some just for a bible class, others for help in worship once in awhile.

Use what fits best, if that includes instruments go for it. Unless its a worship show then I'd say its fine. Just out of curiosity how will you pay/obtain instrumental fill?

bigsip said...

You're welcome, Mullins...

When I have a feeling that something might be the best thing, I tend to back up from it and consider it more fully.

Feelings are often misleading. You have to research and back up the feelings with facts in order to make any sort of sound judgement.

I'd encourage you to ask more questions, read more Bible, and pray more before making a final decision.

I don't know what your timeline is, but if you can give yourself a month or at least a couple of weeks to think it over, that would probably give you the time to make a wise, informed decision.

Prayers and blessings, Mullins.

tnmommieof2 said...

thank you all for your prayers of support for matt. he is really torn about this whole deal.

i know he is dying to create t.v.
its what he loves to do. but i don't want him to compromise
his beliefs to "get it out there"

he knows that i have a bit of a problem with him going the route of the pink haired lady channel
or even an affiliate of them. but
i also want to be a supportive spouse and the like.

i just wish there was a clear cut
solution to all his doubts.

but i also feel that if he is having this many doubts, then, well
maybe it's not meant to be.....

keep prayin ya'll....i know i will

Jamison said...

I think Roxette said it best when she said:

"Listen to your heart, when he's calling for you. Listen to your heart, there's nothin' else you can do. I don't know where you're going, and I don't know why. Listen to your heart, before you turn him goodbye."

I think it is sad that I know those lyrics...

bigsip said...

Jamison, I'm officially embarrassed for you...

We'll keep praying, Julianna. We've been considering selling some life-altering things lately, too.

It just takes time and prayer and a firm foundation of what God says in His Word to make these big decisions.

We're with you, but God always is. Take comfort in that.

mullinz8 said...

Then Max is a bit off kilter isn’t he.

I pray everyday for direction and guidance and I believe all this is happening for a reason. It could be that I go to Nashville and talk with HHI and they decide they don’t want to do this, if that’s the case then the whole thing closes down for a time.

I read the Bible looking for guideposts to help me understand where I am vs. where God wants his people, me, to be.

I’ve been working, reading and praying on this project for over a year. I’m getting to the nuts and bolts where I will have to start to act on the idea to make it work.

I’ve got no time line yet and that’s fine because there’s still a lot to get figured. I hope music is the least of my concerns when it gets down to it.

mullinz8 said...

I do love my wife…

Truth be told I have problems with the Pink haired religious freak and all those like her.

What I think this show could offer is the complete opposite of what they do. This show would actually show real people doing wonderful things and not asking for money hand over foot.

It would be the dirt and filth of the field against the gilded golden thrones of “meeting our financial goal.” Which I think is a model for the c.o.C anyway. Conservative, fundamental, strict scriptural faith is a lot tougher than the come one, come all, I’m ok, and you’re ok motto of others.

Each of the featured missions would be c.o.C based and there would be a time in the show where if the viewer would like more information on supporting the field mission then they will be directed to their website.

It might not be meant to be; if that’s the case then I will trust in Gods will and direction and move on.

Jamison, sad, very sad…

Jamison said...

I know what you mean Mullins.
I see these people on TV sitting there talking to each other about how great God is and how great it is to do His work. All I can think is "Then why arent you getting off your butt and doing it?"

I dont know what channel it is, but one of them has Kirk Cameron and a brittish fellow on it. These guys go to the streets, they go to the outside of bars and strip joints and talk to people going in and coming out and ask them if they know what they are doing is wrong and talk to them about the Bible and Jesus. One time, the britt went to Isreal and started talking about Christianity on teh streets! Some jewish man starting spitting on him and telling him to go away that he is in the wrong part of the world for that stuff.

They may be a little off in their beleifs, but that is what I see a true, sacrificing Christian to be; someone in the trenches.

Mullins is right. I dont watch religious channels. But when I see that kind of stuff, I always stop and watch. The "sitting around and talking" stuff (much like what GBN is wanting) bores me to tears.

bigsip said...

Wow...that's wild!

That's the kind of show that would get some viewers.

You should come up with a reality show, too.

Call it "Converts". The contestant to convert the most folks by the end of show wins 2 tickets to paradise...

Jamison said...

reminds me of yet ANOTHER 80s song by Eddie Money

bigsip said...

Won't you pack your bags?

We'll leave tonight...

mullinz8 said...

There are two shows that air on TBN that are really awesome. The first is called Drive Through History and the second is called Travel The Road.

Each of these shows are actually doing something or telling an important story. Each are very cutting edge and informative and are basic models for what I’d like my idea to be like. Mine would focus more on actually doing stuff rather than spending the last five minutes working as in TTR.

Drive is a historical and Biblical narrative of the time of Christ. It takes a location like Rome and covers a world of Biblical topics in a very factual and fun manner. Making the locations of the Bible real rather then read. It’s very well written and doesn’t get into denominational issues, just the facts of what it was like to live in OT and NT times. http://www.coldwatermedia.com/drive.html

TTR is two guys who are “missionaries” that are going to really remote places to spread the Gospel. The last episode I saw of theirs they were in Central America and lived with some villages for a while. They eventually bought some shoes and gloves for some kids working in a rock quarry who had little more than the clothing on their bodies. http://www.traveltheroad.com/

The guys are a bit dorky and pray with a lot of “In Jesus’ name I rebuke… Through him I command… The Hole Spirit exalts me to…” They are actually in the world “working” and convincing people all you need to do it say I believe once and you’re locking into God’s grace and on the narrow path.

The Kirk Cameron show is a bit weird but they are laying their faith on the line which is what we should all do when it comes down to it. I commend their boldness and honesty though their center of faith is a bit off, again there is a lot or rebuking, Holy Spirit commanding and on the spot saving.

This Saturday evening try and check them out, I triple dog dare you. They should air at 10pm central time. It’s eye opening on a lot of different levels. Putting something “sound” in the middle of these programs is something I think I could do and something I think that could be helpful for others as well.

tnmommieof2 said...

thanks for the 80s flashback jamison...i'll be singing that roxette song all day now....

Diana said...

Matt, if it really bothers you to use instrumental music, why not put a disclaimer at the beginning of the show.

"Allthough we use instrumental music in this show's production, the producers don't approve of using instruments in worship." That doesn't sound very elouquent, but you get the idea!

Jamison said...

I would assume if he did that, the people willing to buy the show would laugh in his face (since they arent c of C-ers) and tell him to go sell his stuff to some "cavemen" somewhere...

of course, i could be wrong...

mmullinz8 said...

Not that I don’t trust you guys and love you to death but I took this to the next level today. I spent over an hour talking to the preacher at Highland View and have come to some conclusions.

First of all, Jamison this guy is not the one who was there on your last visit. Curtis McClane is from MI and an excellent preacher and very knowledgeable.

Curtis was very supportive and encouraged me to understand that the people who would knit pick an eldership and music were most likely not the people who something as innovative would click with.

He made a comment that groups operate without the guidance of an eldership all over the place are very accepted within the body of the church. He had done some research on the folks at GBN and knew many of them. At one point he stated, “Matt, I wasn’t going to say anything because this was something you needed to know on your own but I don’t think you would have had a good long term experience with those guys anyway.” He further alluded to the fact that anything I did for them would be under their complete control and subject to their subjective opinions on what they think is right. This train of thought ended on the idea that the GBN guys believe that they are the ones holding the knowledge of salvation and if you don’t do it their way, you’re going to be lost.

On the subject of music Curtis recalled a recent study done through out a number of c.o.C universities. Some five colleges were surveyed on a number of topics relating to various teaching of the c.o.C, over 70% of the students polled considered instrumental music a non issue in their worship. He followed that with more signs of this attitude stating that some c.o.C’s are featuring special activities that are not part of the assembly where music is incorporated or supported. He mentioned rock bands for youth groups and functions and I thought of bluegrass pickers (wink).

WE covered a lot of topics from balancing the doctrine of the multi-faith TBN beside my own walk and how I can eventually begin directing viewers to local congregations within the c.o.C. In the end he was totally supportive of using real music and following any network that would be willing to show the program irregardless of the featured mission having an eldership to lead them.

He saw how much this whole thing was taxing me and we closed with a great supportive prayer. So Thursday morning I’ll be off to Nashville to meet with Healing Hands International. If all goes well I’ll have a tentative agreement to go somewhere and shoot something for God.

Throw me some prayers because tomorrow it’s bang or bust.