Since we are exegeting the recent post at SOL and their most recent display of tearing down the fellowship of Christ’s blood, I’ll join in with another observation.

As an introductory aside the author (presumably Ingrid Schlueter since no byline is given) makes this comment: “You can forward past the out of tune guitar and singer…” This statement betrays the condescending and judgmental attitude of the author. If the thesis of the post was, say… “We should honor God by singing in tune…” then an out-of-tune guitar and singer would be a relevant comment. But that was not the point.

The only conclusion we can come to is that the author was not satisfied with just condemning what is perceived as an inappropriate method of delivering God’s Word (can anyone say “Let’s all focus on the externals”?) – Nay, she had to mock a fellow believer in Christ as he worshipped.

It’s one thing if Schlueter dislikes the style of another part of the Body… it’s a shame when she fails to look past stylistically determined differences and judges them based on an external criteria of her own preferences and culture… it’s just plain immature and a sin when she mocks and insults a brother in Christ, a fellow believer who is worshipping her (and his) God through her (and his) Savior – all because she feels his abilities are not up to her standards.

P. S. I thought the song sounded fine, guess that shows far I have fallen from our Lord as well…

UPDATE: Ingrid has said the criticism of the guitar player was a joke, so I’ll take her at her word (charitable reading).

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62 Comments(+Add)

1   Ken Silva
August 10th, 2008 at 11:24 am

What is “practive”?

2   Sandman    
August 10th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Practive or Practice?

3   Sandman    
August 10th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

While I don’t think it was necessary to disdain the man’s efforts, I do believe we should strive for excellence in all things as it reflects God’s perfect nature.

The church I attend auditions the musicians and singers for that reason.

Having said that, I’ve been to different churches where during the service Murphy’s Law seemed to rule and reign: the choir was flat, solists hit wrong notes, voices cracked under the strain of trying to reach a note just out of a singer’s range, and the only thing some of the people in the pews could manage was a joyful noise.

I’m not a musician on par with Ingrid and Tom, but I do have a good ear for music and in Ingrid’s defense, I tend to have a nails on chalkboard reaction when the sounds aren’t coming out as they should or as expected. If I were paying to hear an awful concert or musical, I’d be within my right to be critical of their abilities.

This doesn’t apply exclussively to Ingrid or the service in question. I think it’s a dangerous thing to be that mocking of people who are doing the best with what they have to give glory to God, especially when no one who could do better has stepped up.

I liken it the number of times we’ve all rambled, stammered and stumbled our way through a prayer, desperately seeking an answer and yet half expecting to be disappointed because it was felt the prayer wasn’t polished enough, and have God show up in ways beyond anyone’s imagining.

Or maybe that has only happened to me and I’m way out in left field.

4   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

A committed heart trumps a tuned guitar. I found that comment self serving and unnecessary. I have listened to a preacher named David Ring sing “Victory in Jesus” way off tune and with the words garbeled. He has cerebral palsy in his body, but his heart belongs to Christ.

I understand excellence, but I think musical excellence can be demonstrated by the unsaved, only the redeemed can sing the song of Zion. I believe God loves the sincere praises of His children regardless of the level of excellence. And I believe he resists the self righteousness of those who glory in their expertise.

5   Christian P
August 10th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Neil, I agree completely. I expect the judgments about the clothing choice of the preacher, but a comment like that has nothing to do with Christianity. It was rude, mean-spirited, and just plain evil.

You know, not everybody can sing well, or perform well. I would love to have a professional service, but in our small town in our small congregation, it just won’t happen.

Nowhere in scripture are we called to be polished and to speak/sing like the best of the best. We are called to be gracious, kind, peace-loving, forgiving, gentle (pretty much just loving).

6   Sandman    
August 10th, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Rick, very true.

I believe it takes a level of maturity to get past setting yourself up as God’s ears. Other cultures have worship styles that, based on the language alone, can be somewhat disturbing to foreign ears. But from what I can gather, there is no tongue that foreign to God, and since the songs should be directed toward Him in worship, not the other worshippers, I’ll leave it to God to accept and reject what He will.

It’s the whole speck and plank thing all over again. While I think it’s possible to become complacent and treat worship as a type of Cain offering, care needs to be taken that we make sure our own hearts and attitudes are in check about what we are offering instead of focusing on somone else’s.

7   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Sandman – I agree. I have heard Mrs. Schlueter criticize church musicians for being untrained and she mentions the hours her husband spends on his instrument. Not everyone has that time or calling, but everyone can praise the Lord with the talents they have been given.

If you heppen to be the greatest musician of all time, you will stille only be heard by the brokenness and worship of your heart. God listens directly from our hearts.

8   Ingrid
August 10th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Excuse, me, Rick. Where have I mentioned the hours Tom spends on his instrument on Slice? I’d like to see the quote on that and how it relates to anything here. If it ever was said it wasn’t said as a boast but rather a complaint. (If you’ve ever tried to sleep at midnight while someone practices the opening measures of the Great Gate of Kiev below in the basement, you’ll understand what I mean.) If someone makes a living that way, they’d better practice. The point is, the options are not singing/playing off pitch with sincerity or playing on pitch with a bad heart attitude. That’s a false dichotemy pietists are good at coming up with. You and everyone else seized on one line and ignored the rest of the post where I contrasted the pathetic song the guy was singing from Scrubs in what was supposedly a “worship service”. Not one person commented on the rich spiritual content of the hymn text I posted and the fact that my real issues is that this has been abandoned in worship today.

9   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Ingrid – did you not once post about untrained musicians in praise bands and mentioned the hours that Tom practices. I remember it distinctly and I believe I commented about it. I will do a search – I’m not good about searchings things.

10   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I believe it was before your big web crash so it is gone. I am not making it up, you suggested that anyone can play in a church band without any orlittle mucical training, and you mentioned the many hours Tom practices.

I do not dispute his hours of practice, and I listed to his solo you posted and as a trumpet player I was impressed, but I dispute the importance of that in God’s eyes. God looks at the heart about which I have nothing to suggest your husband is not sincere and playing to God’s glory. I assume you agree with that.

11   Ingrid
August 10th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

It’s absurd to suggest that I’d expect the average church musician to practice hours a day. The point is, we try to bring our best. Why did God even bother to gift some with musical talents if any old thing is fine? We could all just be really sincere, after all, that’s all that matters, right? Why even practice then at all for sacred music? I’ve also never stated that only “trained” musicians should play. The church where Tom is on both the Vimeo videos has lay musicians who sing in the choir and they do a great job. They do show up to practice, however, so they can do their best and so they’re not a distraction. That’s all we can ask of anyone in church music.

12   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Ingrid – I accept what you have just posted as a Biblical position.

13   Neil    
August 10th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

You and everyone else seized on one line and ignored the rest of the post where I contrasted the pathetic song the guy was singing from Scrubs in what was supposedly a “worship service”. – Ingrid

I reread the post and found no reference to Scrubs, maybe that was a different post.

Your correct on two points, I seized on one line (because it was so brutal and unnecessary) and no one pointed out the lyrics of the hymn you posted which are rich and beautiful… maybe because that beauty is such a contrast to the tone of your post.


14   Neil    
August 10th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Ingrid & Rick,

The issues of hours practiced, or worship styles of music and whether or not God likes mine or yours better, or professionals vs. amateurs, or even bringing our excellence to God – are all moot.

In a post that attacks the church over issues of style, Ingrid took a swipe at a brother in Christ, deriding him for being our of tune… it was improper and petty.

In a sense I have seized on a minor incident, and I could be accused of blowing it out of proportion… yet, I offer this, not so much as a sin itself, but as an example of the whole tone of ODMdom which seeks to ridicule and destroy the Bride of Christ.


15   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 5:48 pm


The preacher in the video tells us it was Scrubs, but neither SOL or TM did.


16   Neil    
August 10th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Jerry. I recognized it as the theme song, but Ingrid said she referenced it as part of a contrastive point in her post. I pointed out that she did not… her post is not about the song, if it were her condescension to the artist “may” have been less offensive. As it is, the swipe at the artist was a throw-away line that was little more that mean spirited criticism of his singing.


17   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

What is Scrubs?

18   Neil    
August 10th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

TV Show -

19   Ingrid
August 10th, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Good grief. I learned it was from Scrubs from the man in the video. I don’t watch TV trash and I didn’t claim to have addressed “Scrubs” in my post. You guys are unbelievable.

20   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

What is a TV? :lol:

Answer – That on which we watch Notre Dame football!!

21   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Ahh…Ingrid doesn’t watch trash either! Good for you Ingrid! That’s one more merit for you on your way to heaven! :)

PS–I don’t watch Scrubs either. It’s a stupid show. But I do enjoy Project Runway.


22   Ingrid
August 10th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Why do you make statements like that, as if I believe in works righteousness? That’s repugnant and a nasty, unfair attack. Neither confessional Lutherans nor the Reformed that I know believe anything close to merit by works. You’re not being funny when you write that stuff, you’re being personally nasty and dishonest. That would be an unhappy face, Jerry, not a happy one. :-(

23   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

OH, Ingrid, you know I was only joking. No one is going to hell because of a little joke between two siblings in Christ. That’s why there was a smiley face there! I don’t know what denomination you belong to anyhow. It’s Sunday Ingrid. Lighten up a bit! It was just a joke. My disagreement with you is based on your tone and content, not on confession and theology. Please.


24   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 7:10 pm


We are not saying the Lutherans believe that…. we are stating by your own words you are teaching this… that is the difference. Your judging and condemning of others is not in the spirit or ministry of reconciliation. It is under the OT law.

Or have you not read….

2 Cor 3: 4. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.
5. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
6. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,
8. will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
9. If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
10. For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.
11. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12. Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
13. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.
14. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.
15. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

When you use Jesus to judge and condemn others, you misuse Jesus, he did not come to condemn us for we were already condemned… he cam to condemn sin in sinful man and to save us.

Hope you had a wonderful Lord’s Day and a great week!

Always praying for you to receive God’s best and find the wonder of His grace overwhelming.


25   merry    
August 10th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

18 Like a madman shooting
firebrands or deadly arrows

19 is a man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.

–Proverbs 26:18-20

Ingrid explained herself, and now I think you guys are being unfair to her. To her, your “joking” is not really funny. Come on guys, this conversation is immature. Just stop giving it wood right now.

I am on neither “side”, just to let you know. I just want to know–with what intent was this article originally written? To encourage and build up the body of Christ, or just to point out Ingrid’s faults? If it was the latter, then this conversation never should have started. You know me; I don’t want to see anyone hurt on either side.

26   merry    
August 10th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Oh, and Jerry, sometimes . . . your joking really does come across as hurtful. Sarcasm is really funny in some situations, but in a situation with this and knowing the people involved, it just isn’t necessary. Just a friendly thought. ;) Thanks. God bless.

27   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 7:23 pm


I think you are mean like that “struggles” person on my mean ODM blog. = )

Sorry still can’t make fancy smiley faces….

that is Rick’s dept.


28   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:25 pm


i appreciate your concern, but i wasn’t pointing out Ingrid’s faults. i was joking and trying to lighten the sunday mood, i was hoping maybe we could have a laugh together. is there anyone who visits this blog that can discern a joke when they see it? did anyone see the smiley face i put next to the post? it was a joke. IT WAS A JOKE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. YOU KNOW, one of those things we laugh at?!? we would all do well to learn to laugh at ourselves. my goodness, it was a joke.


29   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I hate jokes! :evil:

30   merry    
August 10th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

All right, Jerry, calm down, I didn’t mean to sound so blunt. It’s just that we all have very different senses of humor, and what one person means as a joke, someone will find not funny at all.

If you want to joke, you have complete power to start a joke thread. I’d totally participate in that for a light Sunday mood and have a laugh with you guys! It’s just that you were obviously antagonizing Ingrid, which I didn’t want to see happen.

I love to laugh, just not at other people. (And even if you were trying to laugh WITH Ingrid, she obviously isn’t laughing, so . . .)

31   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Rick and Ingrid,

I also recall the article Rick brings up and found it offensive to all the “armatures” that give their talents to Jesus every Sunday. It did seem that you ranted against those “amatures” and raved about how great your husband was and how all should be like him.

Now, I am not stating your husband is not great, I am sure he is and is of a great caliber of musicianship, yet, in that sweeping generalization you put down many in the Body of Christ for not meeting your own personal standard… it was not edifying.

Now that is out of the way. Be blessed again to the full measure of God’s wonderful Grace!


32   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:39 pm


it’s all good. we’re doing vbs this week and tonight is the first night. i’m just a bit ’sunday-ed’ out that’s all.

Ingrid, i’m sorry if my joke hurt you. i was seriously only joking.


33   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

You want humor? OK:

Two believers meet on a bus stop. As they wait together, one believer says to the other,

“How are you doing?”

The other believer promptly slaps him in the face. With his face still stinging, the man asks the other believer:

“Why in the world did you hit me?”

The man replied,

“That will teach you to ask me such a man centered question!”

34   Joe Martino
August 10th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Hey Jerry,
All caps is something we avoid here. It comes across as yelling and except when we’re saying NOTRE DAMN FOOTBALL STINKS AS DO THE CLEVELAND INDIANS we typically try to avoid all caps.
Now, I’m off to look for that one joke I know

35   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:41 pm


’struggles’ is an idiot. i have met him a time or two and i find him to be a tasteless paper tofu wafer. you can tell him i said that if you like.


36   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 7:48 pm

One of the most powerful moments of pure worship was at a service where a man with a horribly out of tune guitar shared a song to Jesus with the congregation. I was brought to tears by his love for Jesus as he worshipped. I am a guitarist, so usually it is painful to hear a guitar out of tune, but I listened to the Spirit and heard the song as Jesus heard it… it was beautiful.

I also knew a woman who sang in the old country style really twangy. It is not my personal preference by far… yet, her was a older single woman who was not gifted in the looks dept, whose only desire was to be married and have children… which was never to be… who lived in poverty devoting service to Jesus and her 90 year old mother… singing, “I have a mansion in the sky…” it still brings tears to my eyes…

If one is only hearing things in the “natural” they will often miss the Spiritual worship that is present… the joy that Jesus has for the worshipper who is there to only please his Master with the little talent they may have.

To put down those who are not as talented, or may be having instrument failure is not edifying nor productive.

Now, noting that from what I remember I recall that you, Ingrid put down “illiterate” musicians…. in that article that Rick and I brought up…

Miles Davis thanks you as you have stated he was not as great as your own husband…

Ask your husband who he thinks is greater, himself or Miles Davis who could not read formal written music…

This again is the ministry of judgment and condemnation you promote and I am asking you to come to the ministry of reconciliation.

Again, my prayers are for God’s best in all He has for you…


37   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 7:49 pm




38   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:53 pm




39   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

No one got my little joke? That is because you are all man loving, pelagian following, humor less, man centered freaks! There, I said it and I feel absolved!! :cool:

40   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 7:57 pm


i got it. but who was the slapper and who was the slappee? i’m not sure you exegeted that joke properly.


41   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Of course the guy who got slapped was seeker sensitive, and the guy who slapped was reformed. Boy are you thick! :roll:

42   Ingrid
August 10th, 2008 at 8:05 pm

OK, Jerry,
The comment on Slice about the out-of-tune guitar was a joke!! Don’t you get it? Can’t anyone take a joke? Where’s your sense of humor? Man, people take themselves so seriously over here…IT WAS A JOKE!!

43   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

See Ingrid, that was funny! :lol:

44   Joe Martino
August 10th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

See, now Jerry, THAT WAS FUNNY. As for Rick not liking jokes, don’t let him fool you, I’ve seen his wardrobe.

45   iggy
August 10th, 2008 at 8:13 pm


LOL! Loveit!


46   Rick Frueh
August 10th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Joe – my wardrobe =

2 pairs of slacks and three Notre Dame shirts (Pierre Cardin)

47   Scotty
August 10th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

OK, Jerry,
The comment on Slice about the out-of-tune guitar was a joke!!

Ingrid, it couldn’t have been you didn’t put a :D at the end……

48   Sandman    
August 10th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I’m just hoping she didn’t hurt herself.

49   Jerry Hillyer
August 10th, 2008 at 10:12 pm


Thank you for laughing with us. Have a nice week.


50   Neil    
August 10th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

You’re not being funny when you write that stuff, you’re being personally nasty and dishonest. That would be an unhappy face, Jerry, not a happy one. – Ingrid


I agree… I would say NEITHER the jokes about you, or by you were funny. Things like that dont’ come across well in type.


51   nathan
August 10th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Both from Ingrid in this thread

…I contrasted the pathetic song the guy was singing from Scrubs in what was supposedly a “worship service”.

I didn’t claim to have addressed “Scrubs” in my post.

….hmmmm. I’m all confuzzled

52   kenn    
August 10th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

So much of what transpired above falls into the “how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin” endless riff…but to say that “Scrubs” is trash or stupid is just wrong. The show is great. Clever writing, funny, well drawn characters. We got the kids the full season dvd for Christmas a couple of years ago. It was fun to hear them laughing for hours on end.

Not quite as clever as “Arrested Development” but shows that good don’t come around too often.

53   merry    
August 10th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

“Things like that dont’ come across well in type.”

Christian blogs don’t come across well in type. :)

54   M.G.    
August 10th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

About the song being “pathetic”… someone should post the lyrics on here. They are actually pretty decent.

That’s one thing that makes me sad about people who lean towards hyper-criticism. They have a hard time seeing truth if it’s outside their camp.

I’d like to think I call a spade a spade. Kind of like that song…

55   Christian P
August 10th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I agree with kenn that Scrubs is a great show. I used to not think so, but the writing is amazing. They do the best job I have ever seen of pulling everything in the show together to fit a theme and to communicate a moral. The teaching is so blatant but they do such a good job of involving the viewer that most people probably don’t even realize it. And despite it’s flaws, the moral from every episode I’ve seen (I haven’t seen a ton, so that may not be saying much) fits with scripture.

56   Chris L
August 11th, 2008 at 11:40 am

I got my wife Season 1 of Scrubs for her birthday…

57   Chris L
August 11th, 2008 at 11:41 am

And none of you really knows how to shout on a board. IT REQUIRES ALL CAPS IN BOLD, UNDERLINED, ITALICS to truly be shouting.

C’mon and get with the program.


58   amy    
August 11th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Would any of you have complained if Ingrid had made a comment such as “the worship accompanied by the mostly-deaf and definitely untrained organist?” :) :) :)

P.S. :)

P.S. S. In my opinion public comments about others’ musical efforts – even if a joke – are not edifying, no matter what the instrument. Something to be talked about in the car on the way home from church, perhaps, especially if it was so bad that one feels the need to debrief, to unload all the stored-up stress that poorly done music can generate.

59   Sandman    
August 11th, 2008 at 1:12 pm


Great comment. Thank you.

60   Joe C
August 11th, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Good point Amy

But really I’d have a problem with anyone dissing on perfectly in tune and nice music, calling it out of tune or bad, purely because you don’t like the style/you have a vendetta against style, and not whether the music is actually terrible.

I’d pretty much have a problem with anyone dissing anyone elses worship because it ‘doesn’t sound nice’.

If the congregation is feeling it, and the Spirit is leading (the indication being that people are worshiping lol, I think), then dissing on it is like smacking God in the face, to me.

Just my opinion.


61   Joe C
August 11th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

It’s all about making a joyful noise to the Lord. I mean, that’s pretty vague to me, so it’s pretty open to the Spirit. Seems like God appreciates human creativity in worship. If I write my own worship song, and sing it to God, how much more does that mean to God than me singing someone elses song?

It’s not the noise you make as much as where your heart is.

62   John Hughes    
August 12th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I do think slamming someone’s ability (or lack thereof) is uncalled for and not productive not to mention the young man was a reasonably accomplished musician. But having said that I do believe as a conviction (not just opinion) that secular songs have no place in a worship service. Here is the Biblical guideline:

Ehp 5:19-20 – speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father

This is one of the major problem I see with the Seeker Friendly movement. We are given six days a week in which to pay attention to the temporal. God asks of us one day of rest to reflect on and corporately worship Him. The Western church has further delegated one or two hours in which to do this. Is it too much to ask that ALL songs during this miniscule allotted time be either psalms, hymns or spiritual songs?
We call it a worship service. Worship has to have an object. It’s either going to be God or man. And that is the rub. The seeker friendly service centers on entertaining man when a Biblical service should center on (1) worshipping God and (2) edifying the saints. A Biblical worship service should allow a body of believers to worship and glorify God and prepare and encourage them to GO OUT and witness, minister and serve the lost.

Again, is it too much to ask for one hour in which to solely concentrate on God? Evidently it is.