Monday, October 16, 2006

worship

I was perusing some blogs recently, and I found a blog called Fide-0 (I think that it is pronounced like the dog's name - fido). Now, where I don't agree with everything that is on this site, it seems to be a great place for information and a covenantal (as opposed to dispensational) perspective on some issues.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about corporate worship in the church, specifically dealing with the musical portion of corporate worship. At the church that I attend we sing mostly hymns and praise chorus music with piano and other various orchestra instruments for accompaniment. Once in a while, the conversation comes up with different people regarding our music style. I don't want to get into the positives and negatives of any specific type of worship music style, but I do need to say one thing: Worship and worship music is not about us. That seems like such an elementary truth that I feel silly writing it down, but many times people miss that.

I used to attend a church that was famous around the area for the really good (almost concert-like) worship (music) service. It was very entertaining and very "moving" - music is powerful, and it can and will be moving. I thought then (and I know it for sure now) that many people at that church only came for the "high" that was connected with the emotional reaction to the music. It is not uncommon to hear people speak about how they did or did not "get something" out of the worship service, and almost every time that the person is referring to the music, they are speaking of this emotional "high" that music can cause. One of the dangers in this is to attribute this feeling to God when we must be careful because I can find you myriads of people who get the same sort of high from godless music and entertainment. Do we want to attribute the emotional high that someone will get from listening to Metalica, the Beatles, Kid Rock, Garth Brooks, or (insert your secular musician of choice here) to God as well? If not (and I hope not), then we had better be very wary about our interpretation of the feelings that we get when we sing songs in church.

Basically, my overall point is that I think that we are misplacing our priorities when we look to a worship service to “get something” out of it and we are disappointed when we do not. Christians should be sold out to put everything into the public worship of God regardless if you prefer a different style of music than what is being used to facilitate corporate praise to God.

I know of people from as far back as I can remember who made decisions on where to attend or where not to attend church based primarily on the peripheral issues like the style of worship.

Now, the “Fide-O guys put up a post called “10 Things to Consider For Corporate Worship” that is, at least, a good starting point for us to all think about how we worship and what we do or don’t do.

I offer no definitive answers on what type of music is or is not good, and where the line should be drawn regarding different styles of music. I simply want us all to think about God and remember that our worship service is for Him, and we should not look to our worship service as something to get an emotional high from.

5 comments:

steph said...

This is so true, EJ. I sometimes wish that I could sit in a secluded area at church during the time when we sing just so that I do not get distracted and lose sight of the fact that I am there to sing my praises to God alone. Although, I know that we are there as a body of believers to worship together. And that worship is not only to sing, but to pray, and to learn about Scripture together. I am so thankful that we go to a church that does not get caught up in the music and make it all about the ones performing, I know I would have a hard time offering my praise to God if I am watching a "good show." It has been a blessing to attend our church now for 5 years and watch it grow and change, but never lose sight of the fact that the church is there to preach the truth and be a gathering place for Christians to fellowship and build one another up while praising God and bringing glory to God alone.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

is this the same church that is in someones basement? I didn't know that Christ liked the be praised in a closet.

steph said...

what in the world are you talking about, Michael? Don't you have a building where you meet for church? Again, what in the world are you talking about? You told me I should think before I type. Perhaps you should take your own advice.

St. Michael the Archangel said...

I am refering to your place of worship, it looks like a house, that is no sacred place to worship God. You should at the very least have a small chapel, but it doesn't really matter I guess for a Prot, because you do not have the real presence of Christ where you worship, unlike the Catholics, we can go into any Catholic church day or night and see the physical body and blood of our lord.

steph said...

Considering the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer, the most important thing in worshipping God is a sincere heart--not fine gold and jewels (or a decked-out place of worship). And if you think that a steeple would make our church look more "churchy", then you should know that we removed this summer due to the rotten wood in the bell tower--which is being fixed and will be replaced. Maybe that would help your perspective a little.

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