What I’m listening to: A mixed tape I found in the process of packing from 2001. Hee. I haven’t listened to a tape in years.
I came across this article:
I’ve always respected Church Colson – his work, his teaching, his books, his amazing ministry work. But I disagree with him.
First of all, I am infuriated with anyone who feels to need to blame a decline in intelligence on something just to blame it on something. He has no scientific fact to base his theories. Just speculation. While I wouldn’t be surprised if the decline on intelligence didn’t have something to do with media in general (after all, it’s much easier to turn the TV on and be entertained without using your mind than it is to open a book and do so). But to point to contemporary worship music as the culprit? Ridiculous. And it’s ridiculous because all music at one point in time was contemporary.
Second of all, I will stand with Rick Warren’s view on worship music. The simple fact is this: the bible tells us to “Sing to the Lord” “Shout to the Lord” not “Sing about the Lord” or “Shout about the Lord”. Biblical worship has lyrics sung to God, not about him. And if you take a long look at the hymns Colson says he prefers, the majority of them are about God, not to him. Lyrics that are written to God – that’s biblical worship.
I’m in no way saying that any song written about God isn’t a good song. I’m saying you’ll be hard pressed to find biblical support saying a song about God is better than one meant to be sung to God.
He admits he prefers hymns – but follows that with saying today’s church music (and radio too) is in danger of crossing over into entertainment. What did he think the first singing in church was even about? Has he researched it? The fact is, Benjamin Keath saw how people enjoyed music in other venues and after 20 some years of trying, was able to implement it into the regular church service. This was back in the 17th century and was considered heretical. The line between worship/entertainment is not always plain for us to see. The reason? It’s an issue of the heart.
If we allow music to replace solid teaching, how it that the fault of the music itself? It’s not. It’s the fault of the person who made that choice. And as it talks about in the article, it’s the fault of the Christian broadcasters who are changing platforms to make their audience happy. (Which takes us into a whole other argument about ministry vs. business that I have no desire to get into now). Show me where in scripture it says that music is meant for teaching. It’s not. It’s about praising God for who he is and what he’s done. To replace one for the other is wrong. I absolutely agree with him there.
To that end, I say he’s simply pointing the blame in the wrong direction. It’s not just the songs. (Because I do believe that some of it is the songs). I believe it’s our responsibility as worship leaders to show the congregation biblical worship. We help shape their heart of worship. But it’s up to them to change. They must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to change their hearts. It’s not the fault of the songs themselves.
So if I were writting a commentary on this topic? I would say this: let’s examine our hearts first. Then the right music will follow.