Someone once asked me whether the people in a certain religion sing during their worship services. I had to stop and think about it. Music and song certainly does exist in the cultures where this religion is prevalent. In fact, they enjoy a rich heritage of religious music. Nor, is their musical tradition obscure. It has had a major influence on the music of other cultures. The thing which stumped me is whether music or song has a role in their formal worship services. Chanting is certainly employed. Some of it may even be considered musical. Perhaps one could say that these chants are songs. However, something which is beyond question is that you will never encounter any musical instruments within the walls of their places of worship – certainly during their times of worship. Some sects of this religion go so far as to totally ban all forms of music whether secular or sacred.
Is God cruel or loving?
People have trouble enough dealing with the dilemma of why an all-powerful and loving God allows evil. Yet the Old Testament stories make it clear that God, not only allowed but, was very much involved in the events recorded there.
One mistake people make when reading the biblical accounts is to assume that just because God permits something, He condones it. However, if God allows free will, it follows that people will sometimes choose to do things which are outside His will. Not everything which occurred during this period had God’s blessing. He often rebuked people for what they did.
Though that is true, to a certain extent it begs the question. The fact is that God often, not only condoned but commanded massacres and genocide. What kind of God would do that? What sort of God would sanction bloody civil war, the destruction and looting of defenseless villages and the forced marriages of captive women?