Monday, June 05, 2006

A Call to Reform Modern Worship

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness You are there
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait only for You
'Cause I want to know You more

I want to know You
I want to hear Your voice
I want to know You more
I want to touch You
I want to see Your face
I want to know You more

I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize
Pressing onward, pushing every hindrance aside, out of my way
'Cause I want to know You more
I absolutely hate this song, which is made popular by the Christian group Sonicflood. The title of this song is “In the Secret (I Want to Know You).” This must be one of the shallowest songs ever to be sung in churches. No mention of God, Jesus Christ or Holy Spirit. Even someone like Osama bin Laden would not have any problem singing this terrible song. Seriously.

There is an upcoming worship event at my church this Friday, in which I will be involved as a guitarist. A couple of worship bands will be there, leading the congregation into a time of worship. During the full-dress combined rehearsal that was held yesterday afternoon, I watched with mixed feelings the songs that were performed by another band. The song “In the Secret (I Want to Know You)” is being performed, along with a couple of Hillsong / PlanetShakers type heavy rock songs that I absolutely cannot worship to.

Tim of Challies.com comments of this song,
I was led to conclude that song really says nothing of great substance about God. As the Christian sings this song he pleads to know God more, to hear His voice and to see His face, yet all this time he probably has the Bible sitting on the pew beside him! As Carson says, after you have sung this song through a few times you are no farther ahead. This song will not help you know Him, hear Him, touch Him or see Him.
Yes I am aware that the typical charismatic answer is that you guys are worshiping God. But come on… You must seriously ask yourselves: are you worshiping worship or are you worshiping God through worship? Is the real reason you “worship” to go through a delirious, euphoric and emotional high experience?

Contrast many of these modern 21st century songs with the classical hymns and you would see a marked difference. Well, maybe we don’t need to look so far back. It was not too long ago many contemporary Christian songs, perhaps up to the mid-90s, tie lyrics to solid biblical theology. Please do not give me the response that it is a generation gap or a cultural issue. Regardless of the era we live in, I strongly believe worship must have solid biblical theology. Why it is that nowadays many lyrics are so superficial and bland?

John MacArthur provides the following reason:
Hymnology is tied to theology and where you have depth you have height. Where you have a shallow theology you have a shallow hymn knowledge. Where you have a superficial understanding of divine truth, you have superficial expression of it. But where you have a people who have come to grips of divine truth and who have grandiose and glorious thoughts about God produced by an understanding of the profound realities of divine truth, they're not content with a shallow expression.

We love the old hymns because they are profound. They have a certain poetic genius that reaches into the depths of our theology and gives it expression. We don't need to be seduced by a sort of a saloon melody. It's enough for us to sing great words, we don't need a mantra to induce an emotion. Our thoughts of truth and our thoughts of God catapult us into lofty hymns.
I am not asking to hold back our emotions during worship. Nor am I calling for all churches to sing only hymns or psalms. No, what I am asking is to return to a proper form of worship where God is glorified through songs with solid biblical theology. It is high time churches draw people through solid preaching of the Word rather than depend on shallow worshiptainment. If a church has a high view of the Scriptures and a passion for grounding Christians in sound doctrine, I believe its praise and worship would conform and reflect its stand.

...

Bob Kauflin has provided a couple of excellent pointers in his article How Do We Move Away From "Worshiptainment"?

22 Comments:

Blogger :)X said...

As a closet songwriter, I do write simple songs of worship, but I'll never present it before a congregation.

To your question, are we charismatics really worshipping God. I lament the fact that ur assessment is somewhat true. I know what it was like because I was one of them. I love to worship because of the sensation it creates. But at the end of the day, it left me unchanged.

5/6/06 5:15 PM  
Blogger Noldorin_Calvinist said...

Excellent points! I appreciate this analysis of modern day worship. I too have strong opinion against this type of worship music. It is nothing but vain repetition because they think it will make God hear as Christ said in Matthew 5.

I agree with the points you made and desire true, theologically sound worship. It seems not enough people that know its wrong are willing to stand up and say it is wrong.

I am blessed to go to a church during the college school year that understands this truth.

But I think our work is far from over in making the afore said blessing evident in many churches.

5/6/06 9:42 PM  
Blogger naniecheng said...

hello wooq :)

Songs are also tools through which we express our emotions. I'm thinking there is nothing wrong with singing "I want to know you more". But of course worship songs, in totality, cannot only be about expressing our longing.

There is a place for songs that express deep theological truths about God and a place for simple songs that allow us to express "I love you Lord".

Worship songs also should not be the only means through which we learn about God. Nothing, not even the most theologically profound hymn, can replace Scripture.

So as long as a christian recognises the secondary role of worship music, I feel there is nothing wrong in singing the kind of songs you feel so strongly against.

9/6/06 5:02 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Hi naniecheng,

I have just returned from the worship event. So while the evening is still fresh in my mind, let me write down how I feel. =)

The song “In the Secret (I Want to Know You)” was performed twice by two different bands. The music was very loud and heavy during these two bands’ performances and the people were very jumpy. People were making lots of noises. The music was good. The performances were good. So what was missing?

Honestly, I cannot worship during the evening while the other bands are on stage. The music is too distracting, the heavy bass, and the overuse of the electric guitars, which sounds too much like a secular rock concert. I cannot focus my mind on worshiping God. Furthermore, I do have issues with the lyrics of most of the songs as well. For example, the song “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.” Why the word “could”? What’s preventing us from singing of the love of God now? Shouldn’t it be “I WILL Sing of Your Love Forever”? And shouldn’t God be the one to “open up my heart and let the Healer set me free” instead of me (i.e. the doctrine of regeneration precedes faith)?

I do not have any problems with songs with simple lyrics as long as they express biblical truths. For my band, we have a medley of Sunday school songs, like “Jesus Loves Me This I Know.” Among some of the songs we played, we have “Be Magnified” and “Amazing Love.” As a musician, I want to lead the congregation into worship, but I do not want my playing to distract people from worshiping God. I want people to be worshiping God rather than worshiping worship. And the last thing I want is to turn the worship into a performance where people sway to the music, not really understanding what is being sung.

I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with singing “I want to know you more.” The problem I see is that the entire song does not go deeper beyond these superficial lines, unlike another song like “Knowing You”, which goes, “All I once held dear, built my life upon … All this world reveres, and wars to own … All I once thought gain I have counted loss … Spent and worthless now, compared to this.” And to be blunt, I think the reason for choosing the song “In the Secret (I Want to Know You)” is basically an excuse to just to jump around to the music. So is the song “This Is How We Overcome” that is also played this evening.

10/6/06 12:44 AM  
Blogger naniecheng said...

I do agree that nowadays the music section of worship services in some churches sound very much like a rock concert.

I've heard some pp mention worship as like a party (there's even a song about it). This I disagree because the nature of a party is:

Party = social rather than spiritual; self-centered rather than GOd-centered. It is soley about feeling good and making friends rather than focusing on God and recommitting ourselves to Him.

I"ve always wondered - Does it mean that music played in a loud, rock manner means that God is absent from the worship service? I don't think so.

Maybe the crux of the issue is that some pp come to such services merely to have a good time. God has become a convenient excuse for gathering rather than the sole reason for the meeting.

Let's look at it the other way - Assuming that some really serious christians gather to worship God, do you think that they can worship with head-banging christian rock music?

Hmm... I don't know.

BTW, I agree that "Knowing You" is an excellent song. It's one of my favourites too.

10/6/06 10:12 AM  
Blogger Liang said...

Just a thought that came to me and I believe that you would've heard it by now...

During the olden times, a piano and a choir would be a typical performance for the lay people and the church services also had the piano and the choir.

Hymns would've been that day's "modern rock music". No?

1 Chronicles 23:5 says that there were 4000 musicians worshipping God with their instruments and I read a comment from a bible that said that scholars believe that it wasn't a soft and soothing kind of sound but must've been loud.

Now I'm not saying that worship has to be loud all the time there's a time where we need to be quiet. But some praises can be shouted out to declare God's glory.

Perhaps it is down to our personal tastes in music because I for one like to worship God with loud music and I also like quiet worship.. you know what I mean? Haha..

11/6/06 5:03 PM  
Blogger :)X said...

This is from a rocker's perspective.

I do agree that the mordern worship songs with all the rock n roll instrumentations are kind of distracting. Esp if the church have a bad PA system, the guitar amps, bass amps and drums will always be louder than the worship leader's voice. When that happens even as a rock music lover, it's so distracting. I don't think there is anything wrong with these instrumentations and arrangements, but when they are abused, it's really annoying. It came to a point that I had to return to my Maranatha Praise and Integrity Hossana's Series.

Thanks for all ur inputs here. It's so cool to hear it from the other side of the spectrum.

11/6/06 5:05 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Hi guys,

Well, I have nothing against loud and fast music as long as we can focus our worship on God. By the way, I am currently listening to Ron Kenoly’s God Is Able. I have watched the video of the worship a long time ago and if I can recall correctly, the makeup of the band is much larger than today’s worship bands. In my opinion, the lyrics are more biblically solid and the music arrangements are more elaborate. Just listen to songs like Not By Power, The Battle Is The Lord, Jesus Is Alive etc. The music is very loud, but not loud to the point of distraction.

As a pianist, I am known for hitting the keys of the piano or keyboard pretty hard during praise and worship. In fact, I have broken one of the lower strings of the grand piano before. =) In my previous church, besides playing in the youth and main English service, I have played in bilingual services and combined services where dialect services such as the Hokkien and the Cantonese come together with the rest of the church to worship. I do not any real issues with the loud and fast style of Chinese worship either.

Leaving aside lyrics, one concern I have with contemporary worship today is that there is too much blurring between the secular and the spiritual dimensions, quite unlike the worship I experienced in my youth. Nowadays, most contemporary worship in their music arrangements and playing style becomes quite indistinguishable from secular rock music. To be more specific, the style mostly gravitates towards that of indie rock or alternative rock. Like I wrote before, the current rock worship style generally emphasizes man-centered performances and seems more appropriate in the clubbing scene rather than in a church.

To answer naniecheng’s question, I do not buy the argument that music is neutral or amoral and therefore we can worship God with all styles of music. I believe certain styles, when taken to an extreme, are inappropriate for worshiping in a congregational setting. Hence, I would disagree that serious Christians can worship with “head-banging Christian rock music.” In my opinion, too much excess into the rock style tends to make the worship too worldly because of the themes of sensuality and rebellion.

So I do emphasize with Jenn when he wrote that he “had to return to my Maranatha Praise and Integrity Hosanna’s Series,” which is exactly what I am currently doing now.

11/6/06 9:09 PM  
Blogger naniecheng said...

hmm... I'm not entirely convinced that music is not neutral. But I'm not saying that it definitely is either. I'm still reeling from confusion borne in the 1990s where many churches emphasied that certain music genre e.g. rock, being the devil's genre, as if the melodies, rythmn of rock music are definitely associated with all things evil.

Of course I didn't know that Rock genre has it's roots in sensuality and rebellion, as wooq said. If that is the case, then it shouldn't be used at all in church music isn't it?

But then, I'm sure hymns are "worldly" too when they were the pop music of their culture and times e.g. Martin Luther had applied Christian lyrics to tavern pop music. I'm sure these songs must have been offensive and distracting to the ears of the more conservative catholic monks then. But today we embrace these hymns and see them as helpful for meditation.

So whether a piece of music is distracting or not, really depends on the "tastes" of the worshipper. If I can paraphrase - One generation's "noise" is the next generation's music.

It is such considerations that make it difficult for me to believe that music is not neutral.

11/6/06 10:36 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

I think this is an interesting point that you brought up – that hymns were considered “worldly” during the Reformation. However, I would say that it is unfair to draw such a comparison with today's worship. This is because during the time of Martin Luther, as the majority of the common German folk do not understand Latin, they are not able to fully participate in the Mass, which is conducted in Latin. This is where hymns come in.

So unlike today’s contemporary worship, the hymns were part of the major reforms that Luther introduced to the Church, which enabled the common people to understand the Mass. Therefore, the transition to hymns was borne out of critical necessity, rather than a matter of “taste.”

As for the rock genre, I am not really concerned about the roots, but rather its consequences for worship. Like many things in life, I believe we must apply moderation with some common sense. Too much emphasis and indulgence in a particular activity might not be healthy. That is why I use the word “excess” in my previous post.

For those of us who accept contemporary worship, I don’t think the issue of rock music in worship is a black and white issue where we know exactly where to draw the line. However, just because it is not clearly in black and white, it does not mean it is not an issue at all where all things become permissible. The temptation to turn the worship into a performance where the focus is on having fun rather than centering the worship on God is obviously there. I believe it is our responsibility as those in the music ministry to figure out how to strike a balance lest we cause our brothers and sisters to stumble.

12/6/06 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bewolf,

What happen if you church leaders read your negative comments regarding this worship music, wont you get into trouble. You will be labeling as trouble maker. Why not try sitting down and reason with them (pastor and worship leaders) rather then talking negatively behind their back.

29/7/06 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The worship trend of today churches are actually trying to force lyric into the tune. As a result they have to water down the lyrics. In another words the tunes are more important than the lyrics.

It was'nt so during the time of reformation. The lyrics are always more importan than the tunes. In geneva, psalms were set to metre and tunes were composed to accompany the 150 psalms.

We can see easily the sharp contrast One focused on emotion the another on the eternal truth of God.

Our hearts are so deceiveful that it is possible to imagine we are worshipping God but actually worshipping ourselves!

John Calvin stand on Augustine was surely right when he wrote, "that which St. Augustine has said is true, that no one is able to sing things worthy of God except that which he has received from him. Therefore, when we have looked thoroughly, and search here and there, we shall not find better songs nor more fitting for the purpose, than the Psalms of David, which the Holy Spirit spoke and made through him. And moreover, when we sing them, we are certain that God puts in our mouths these, as if himself were singing in us to exalt his glory (Preface to the Genevan Psalter).

O, may the Lord grant true revival to Singapore churches by uniting our mind and emotion to your precious word.

29/7/06 8:26 PM  
Blogger HizonertheMayor said...

Wow, what a great discussion. I realize that I am months late on responding, but I found this blog while doing an internet search for a more genreal topic.

I have a few points I would like to bring up, the most important of which is a question about the importance of music-based worship in the Christian's life.

I am a professional musician in Nashville TN, and I find that I never have my most intimate times of worship during a music service-I believe this has something to do with being so critical of, and close to music, as well as having had the usual round of negative experiences.

I have often felt very guilty for not having more often had "genuine" feelings in worship, or even being able to abandon myself and just choose to give God his praise during a service despite my emotional state.

While I am sure this is hardly a rare point of view for you worship leaders to consider, it has led me to wonder why I gave this mode of worship the power to be such a barometer for my state of relationship with God.

I think it is a grave mistake for me to value a music-based worship experience to highly, especially since I am a far more cerebral person, rather than emotional.

I am not trying to invalidate anyone else’s unique response to God, but my own revelations make me wonder how this difference in taste (not to ignore wooQ's very valid points on theology) has become such a heated issue.

I think the idea of a shallow theology driving a shallow requirement on worship lyrics is very well put, however, as someone who is living among people who seem to experience a much more emotional relationship with their creator, I am hesitant to call any expression 'shallow'. After all, even if a person is unaware of the "greater" or "higher" purposes about which they are supposed to be singing, is not God still glorified in some way? I would site Romans 8:26-27
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

and

Phillipians 1:15-18
"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

So perhaps the ideas of apathetic prayer being made fierce, and malicious preaching being made a positive declaration of the gospel could be leant to selfish worship being made a pleasing offering to God?

Of course, another issue that I am dealing with also comes into play: What is the difference between genuine expression, and "good" art. While there is certainly a difference (I have heard some of the worst song demos sent in to Word Records, and numerous bad songs while attending music school and various churches in Nashville-the home of Christian music), but I am not sure where to define that difference.

I guess I didn't really address the current swing in worship music in terms of being a worship leader. I didn't address it; because I don't really, truly understand the responsibilities of the leader. I know they are to lead the people to worship God, but any deeper and my definitions get much fuzzier. Until I get that area figured out a little better I will refrain from commenting on it. I feel very fortunate to be playing bass in a group under the authority of someone about whose motivations I have no doubt. That leaves me free from having to worry about how my decisions are effecting the body as a whole.

I am also intrigued to hear from people other than Americans in this forum, because I have long thought that this debate over music in the Church was limited to wealthy American's who didn't have enough else to worry about-certainly the debate over performance vs. leading does not seem to be as strong in the black churches I have been to, but clearly I am not as informed as I thought I was.

19/9/06 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just order a book from etulip.org related to christiain music.

Can We Rock the Gospel?
Can We Really Combine Rock Music with the Worship of God
267pbk; by John Blanchard

“Few subjects generate more heat in the Christian church today than the use of music in worship and evangelism. Does God endorse music of every kind? Can we ‘cut and paste’ secular rock music and ‘Christianize’ it in the process? Should the Christian church unite in bringing rock music to the altar or in sending it to the bonfire?

28/10/06 10:42 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I don't know you, but from the fact that you have a blog about Spiritual thoughts, I take it you love Jesus...so I'm going to challenge you. You can delete this as soon as you read it if you don't want it on your wall.

I think it's easy to have opinions on how things should and shouldn't be, and reasons for them, just like you.

But I think that we have a problem when we are a church that's killing itself by arguing over how to best connect with God. We've taken our eyes off of him in order to prove ourselves right about so many things.

Jesus said that love of God and neighbour sum up the whole law. In light of that, is it really about what you want/think is right?

Just a challenge from a Christian kid trying to figure all this out...

9/7/07 5:23 AM  
Anonymous Christina said...

hi. you don't know me. i found your post when i did a google search for "selfish worship" when i was looking for other people that felt the same way about the majority of our modern worship songs.

the truth is that God is worthy of worship regardless of... well, anything. even if He hadn't created us, or if he had and left us in our own mess he STILL would be worthy of worship, simply because of who He is.

to truly understand how to worship, we should look at the creatures who were created to do only that. the experts. they say:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is,
and is to come."
there's no i/me/my in there.

i don't if you're interested, but here is my blog post on selfish worship:
http://sojurnertruth.livejournal.com/158380.html

thank you for wanting to turn worship back to God. i really appreciate it..

19/9/07 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting thread here...I am currently very unhappy and heartbroken as it seems we play as much music as we hear the preacher. I just think this is too much. If the praise team wanted to do extra songs on special days or even have a concert/prayer/worship service 1 day a month...THAT would be cool. I want to be taught...not much on the music....I am slowly,I fear...becoming a stranger in God's house.
Love to all

20/2/08 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Jerad said...

Why do we put so much emphasis on worship = music? Worship > music. Worship is an epic verb. Worship is so much more than arranged notes, time signatures and pa systems. The problem with being so dissatisfied with what the church calls worship is that we hinge on the music worship time on Sundays (or Saturdays for our SDA friends.)

Worship starts (at least the opportunity to worship) when we wake and ends when we fall asleep, every day of our lives. 365 days x 60 (conscious) years = 21,900 days. If we only focused on the 2,880 Sundays in an average conscious lifetime to worship, yeah we should be depressed that we missed out on more than 90% more opportunities to bless God through our daily, hourly, minute by minute worship.

All of that said; here is the twist. I have argued the point that worship music isn’t all that important, at least nowhere near as important as the church has made it to be. Ok, the twist. I am in the music ministry and a big part of what God has called me to do is in worship music. I have a hard time calling myself a worship leader but I assume the traditional (modern traditional, ha ha.) role of a “worship leader.” I like to call myself a worship inviter. I invite people to worship with me; I don’t believe people need to be shown how to worship. A genuine expression of intimate worship is born of the heart and I can’t show people that.

Anyway, I digress. Here are my unabashed thoughts on the whole music worship thing. First of all, any time we worship God we should be reverent and intentional. Here is the unabashed part. I am floored when people hyper-focus on lyrics of worship songs, unless the song is heretical or blasphemous, people should have some grace. The vast majority of worship songs are written by imperfect humans with great intentions. Why are we Christians so impressed with ourselves when we “catch” minor theological problems in worship songs?
Can someone play a secular Dsus7 chord for me? Ok, now play a Christian Dsus7 chord for me.

Worship music is so insignificant in the big picture of our relationship with God. It has some wonderful value, it really does. I love to worship God through music. I love intimate expressive songs and I love powerful emotive songs. It has been said many times before but worship music is a part of the love letters portion of our relationship with God. If all I did was give my wife love letters, our relationship would be in dire straits (sorry for the secular rock reference) because I would neglect all of the other more important things. This also works with our relationship with God.

If we devalue (bring it to it’s proper value) musical worship, yes many people do worship music, then maybe the ad nauseum music, lyrical and theological critics would lose their teeth. I’m not saying that worship lyrics should not be biblically sound, of course they should, I’m saying that we need to be less vitriolic and relax a little. Have some grace, I suppose. Jesus knows when we are singing to him, if it’s about Him and we are singing to Him, let’s get ourselves out of the equation and not quibble over the lack of or the number of times God’s name is used in a song.

I will end here. Below is a worship song. I hate this song because it does not use the name of Jesus in it. These new-fangled irreverent songs that have no merit, like this one, drive me crazy. You may have heard of this song. I have added my necessary commentary in parenthesis.

As the Deer

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You. (Who?)
You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship You. (Could be anyone!)

[Chorus]
You alone are my strength, my shield, to You alone may my spirit yield. (A traffic sign?)
You alone are my hearts desire (emotion driven) and I long to worship You.

I want You (I’m blushing) more than gold and silver, only You can satisfy.
You (Who is this person talking about?!) alone are the real joy Giver and the apple of my eye.


You're my friend and You are my brother, even though You are a King. (Kong?)
I love You (sappy) more than any other, so much more than anything.


Any song with desire, satisfy, longs after you, love and pants must be removed from the hymnal! Abhorrent filth! Take care all, bless you and let’s find more satisfaction in worshipping God all the time. In the mundane, the difficult, the highs, the lows, and in the in betweens, He is worthy. The music facet of worship is not that important compared to the whole enchilada (I’m hungry now.) Here is a great thread for a blog. What does God satisfy in you? If we can't answer that quickly and with many examples then there should be a call to reform our hearts and minds.

18/3/08 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Jerad said...

A few last things,

Our Worship to God, in and of itself, is not supposed to change us. It's a response to the change already made in us. We can’t seek for something out of worship? If we are seeking for a "feely good" for ourselves, we have missed the point. Can worship be exciting, fulfilling or satisfying, well of course. If we don't have some kind of emotional response at some point during some worship session sometimes then we either don’t understand what God did or does for us or we need to see a therapist because we would have some disassociative emotional problems. Simply put, we can’t worship to get, we worship to give and in that giving we on occasion get.

Can flesh get in the way in musical worship? Yes! Guess what folks I have seen some older brethren singing away on How Great Thou Art and they really just enjoyed the sound of their own voices. That is their rock music. Meaning that is the style they love. So they were just digging singing it, not worshipping.

I find it entirely intellectually dishonest, with mushy thinking and spiritually disrespectful to say that a style (ok, except the extreme aggressive styles) of music is inherently wrong. How a style is played i.e. dynamics, rhythm, tempo etc. can be inappropriate for a given demographic or “moment” but it’s inherent spiritual worth should not be in question. I despise country music on an aesthetic level, can’t even stand the stuff. There is a church in my town that specifically uses a country style in their worship, the music repels me, it is so very hard to focus on worship at that church. I am also convinced, CONVINCED, that it blesses God when it is a means or method to worship HIM. If a church uses a style of music that makes it hard for you to “enter in,” maybe it’s time to look for another church to be a part of.

As to the vain repetition comment, first of all, that is a HUGE, broad-brush and dangerous judgment. Careful brother. ANY style of music can be done in vanity and with repetition.

The argument that if a style of music has been used by the world it is eternally tainted is of the obtuse mind. Anton LeVey played classical music on the cello. I hope those that subscribe to the tainted music theory don’t listen to and are as staunch protestors of classical and all of it’s sub-styles as they are of rock, indie or whatever you want to call modern worship music.

Well, I know that was more than a few things and sorry I got a little miffed. I just get riled with incongruity. Anyway, let’s worship God more (in and out of worship music, hopefully way more out of worship music) and
complain/criticize less.

21/3/08 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Sheila Wilkerson said...

I was just reading all of the comments here and thinking how off-base we get sometimes. Worship is not about US, it's about HIM. It is not about OUR feelings and whether a song moves us, it is about telling HIM how awesome, worthy, and exalted HE is. HE created us in many beautiful nationalities and with a great diversity in music taste. From the Scottish bag-pies to the African drums, HE just loves to hear HIS people worship HIM. When we are critical of others and their style of worship, we are taking our focus off of HIM! So, lets redirect our focus back to where it should be and then there won't be any room for criticizing our brothers and sisters in Christ for how they worship!

27/4/09 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Eloquorius said...

Hey wooq! I know this post is about to experience its 4th birthday, but I wanted to say that this song does NOT have empty theology... in fact, its mystical neo-gnosticism is very clear!

I see this same message all the time, throughout modern Evangelicalism. The message, as in this song, is the God speaking can only be "heard" when we hole ourselves up in some quiet tiny place and listen super super carefully for His "still small voice" (one of the most oft-misused phrases in Christianese). Indeed we act like hearing God is like a kid putting a shell to his ear to try to learn to hear the ocean.

This song, and our sermons, clearly teach that same message: "Shhhh... if we're super quiet, God will speak to us." Utterly missing, of course, is the idea the when we read the Bible -- whether in quiet or noisy places -- that God is most certainly speaking to us! "Yeah," I hear, "but that's just the Bible. I'm talking about, uh, you know, really hearing God, ya know!?!?" These mystics act like their look-to-within theology is distinct to Christianity or something. It's not. Like this song, the message is clear: We must seek to "hear" God, in "secret" "quiet" places... with little emphasis or even de-emphasis on the Word, and that even then God just cannot seem to overcome the noise of the world.

If you look up the practice of early Gnostics and mystics, you'll see their teaching and practices echo clearly through this song. The song may not identify the "god" being sought, but the Gnostic method of seeking and the method of hearing this "god within" is right there.

Unlike the "god" of this song, the theology of this song comes through loud and clear, IMHO.

29/5/10 9:35 AM  
Anonymous afrodisiacos sex shop said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that is what I think.

14/10/11 5:14 PM  

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