The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

Blowing Off Steam

with 11 comments

I do not wish to be judgmental about how my friends have church. It’s their church. I am just a passerby.

I’ve just left Starks, LA and the wonderful church pastored by my dear friend. Bro. Jeremy Shields. But the memories of the sweet worship and Old-Time Pentecostal songs still resonate in my ears. Going to Starks was like going back in a time machine. It was like going back to when I got the Holy Ghost in 1958. I loved the worship!! (Thank you Pastor Shields for keeping the Old Songs alive.)

Calvary Apostolic Church, Starks, LA

A few churches today still have songbooks, most don’t, and many use the overhead projectors. I am not going to argue that here. I guess you use what works for you.

(My step-father-in-law, Bro. Howard Davis, says,” If you want to keep from going Charismatic, just use the old song books.”)

Here is the heart of my complaint. The Bible does say, “sing a NEW song” unto the Lord. Great, SING IT! IT”S BIBLE SAYS TO SING IT.

But just because we obey THAT scripture doesn’t mean we have to throw away all the OLD songs. Please don’t stop singing the Old Songs.

Old Songs.
Songs that made you weep with conviction,
Songs that made your heart rip right out.
Songs that drew you closer to God.
Songs that melted your spirit.
Songs written by someone wanting to know God better.
Songs not written by someone just to get enough money to make a bus payment.

I love songs that make me shout too. I am very demonstrative. But rhythm for the sake of rhythm is very shallow, at best. Some songs that a little more than a drum beat, make my legs tired, but my heart is still empty.

I have gone to District Camp Meetings and General Conferences and watched a new generation lift their hands and worship and talk about what a awesome move of God.
The 7-11 songs blessed them to no end. (7 words, sung 11 times) Like at the new Temple. Young folks Shouted, Old Folks Cried.

The problem was, I DID NOT feel what they were feeling. Many of Today’s songs are about Him being HOLY or WORTHY.

Well, He absolutely is!! I love it. Yet it strikes me funny that most I see singing these NEW songs about Him being HOLY can’t see the importance of being holy themselves.

I preached this year in a church where the pastor asked his frilly little music director to sing a certain old song during the service. The music director said “oooh, that’s OLD School.” He would not play it and the pastor didn’t sing it. I was ANGRY.

That little idiot would have been off the keyboard and had his pink suitcase packed before morning, if I was his pastor. That’s the problem, neighbor! Too many churches have their entire worship service guided and directed by a leader who, although gifted, does not have an ounce of consecration, or sensitivity to the Holy Ghost, or submission to his pastor. Come on pastor, YOU are the pastor of the church. Thank God if you have good help in the music department. But you are the Pastor. You call the shots.

In reality, some pastors are not pastoring (leading) the church. The Music Dude is… Don’t let him!!!!

While you are at it, don’t give me this mess about it being a NEW DAY. EVERY generation since Adam has had that excuse at their hands if they so chose.

(Lord, that felt good!)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

Posted in Worship

11 Responses

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  1. I’m delighted to see this post, Cuz. You have a wonderful way of making people say, “That’s what I think but I sure couldn’t have said it that way!”

    Clayton Brown

    December 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  2. Well, it might just be family replying, but I gotta tell you I miss the old songs. I so agree with everything you said. I cannot worship to these contemporary songs…..don’t know how God gets any glory out of them whatsoever. Thanks for telling it like it is….don’t ever quit!!!

    Carlene Branham

    December 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm

  3. Well, I’m not family but long time connected! This is the cry I’m hearing from our pulpit at home and all over the country. We are in a fight to perserve Apostolic worship. We were at a meeting many years ago and my husband asked your father, “What do you think about this?” Your father replied, “Well son, it just doesn’t have that old Jerusalem ring does it?”

    Elizabeth Herion

    January 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

  4. Bro. Ballestero:
    I agree with you 100%. I love the old songs.There is just something about the words that really say something. I like some of the new songs but we need something to stir and change us not just some hyped up music. Don’t ever quit preaching it like it is,Bro!
    God bless.


    January 11, 2010 at 5:32 am

  5. Absolutely!

    Give me those old songs that had meaning and brought the Lord’s presence ever time. Dad preached a message one time “Do you know the difference between noise and worship.”

    Let’s not forget the sound guy. He’s right next to the music dude. Wait a minute that’s me.

    Michael Buie

    January 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  6. Just newly aquainted with your site but I am relieved to know that someone is still clinging to the Apostolic Way. I refuse to call it “old” because this is about mercy and God says it is “New” every day. I love the gospel music that would an still does move your soul to greater heights in Him. I wondeer how many who responded to this message are young people. I am. At 67 yrs. old I still fell young in the Lord. Bless you for having these sites. Love, Bro Anderson

    Tom Anderson

    January 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  7. Elder I guess we are ‘dated’ the old songs of depth and meaning are lost in the jingles that are shallow and trendy. I just listened to your good parents sing and bathed in the memory of that annointed ministering singing that took you right into His presence. Thanks for speaking my heart.

    Steve Epley

    January 18, 2010 at 6:22 am

  8. Amen! There is no substitute for the ‘good old songs
    of glory!”. We saw a difference in our bus ministry
    singing when we brought back “Oh, how I love Jesus”
    instead of the 7-11 songs that have no annointing .

    Faye Walton

    February 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

  9. Bro. Marty,
    This has bothered me for a long time.
    I wish I had read your article before I posted a note on fb on this very subject.
    If possible I am going to post the link to your blog.
    You have a way with words, and know how to get the truth across in a way that people can understand the very heart of the matter.
    Thank You & God bless

    Ruthe Virgil

    March 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

  10. Dear Brother,
    We have a young worship leader in our church. And we do use more contemporary styles of music, but nothing really radical. Most of our congregation is very young. But they have learned the importance of words being more important that music or musical style. I have to approve every song that we sing and over the last couple of months, every song that has been presented to me for approval is a song that the young are very excited about because it is rich in theology and doctrine, something that even they recognize is sadly missing in the contemporary writing of most musicians today. What’s funny is that ALL of the songs are old hymns re-done to a more contemporary style of music. They wilt a little when I say, oh, that’s an old hymn, but I think they are getting the point.
    I was reminded that in the Asuza st. revival a prophecy was given about out time. It said that we would worship a God we no longer pray to. That is so true. And we know that true holiness only comes through the effects of spending time in the Word and prayer, seeking after God with our whole heart. It is disturbing to to me that holiness has become a dirty word in Charasmatic churches. Although we do not belong to a denominiation with Pentecostal in it’s name, we are, by definition and practice Pentecostal in the old sense of what being Pentecostal means. Our Pastor has a spiritual heritage that goes all the way back to Asuza st., and he understands what they believed and practiced. Another thing I see is that people idolize the “greats” of Pentecostal history, but quite honestly if you stood up and preached a sermon by one of their “heroes of the faith”, they would all get offended and leave!
    Great blog! Thanks!


    March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

  11. You wrote this blog six years ago and it still has the same meaning today. I’m new to being Apostolic but the old songs mean so much more than the newer ones. I struggle during worship service and altar call because most of the time the words of the songs just don’t reach me. They’re beautiful and fun to sing but I want a song being played that has me so full of tears that I can’t sing, all I can do is cry and pray! Awesome words Bro Ballestero, I pray this hits the heart of all our pastors and song leaders. In Jesus name!

    Sis Jennifer

    September 15, 2015 at 12:21 pm

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