Worship

Are we truly worshipping God (Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit)?

One of the most dangerous features of some church worship is that it is not Christ focussed. Let’s remember that Christ and His sacrifice is what Christianity is all about! God is looking for true worshippers, not that He needs worship but that worship is one clear characteristic and evidence of love and relationship with Him

Are we asking God to act first?

Sadly many songs today are written from a premise of humans asking God to act first, before we will respond to him: yet He loved us first when we were lost! 

Are we setting up conditions for God?

Other songs come from a place of setting our conditions with God, for example “take me as I am”. Or some songs make philosophical statements about how God might or should act for example, “everybody needs compassion”. These kind of phrases are what theologians called syncretistic. This means that they are an amalgamation of non Biblical philosophies, religions or even just humanistic values and sentiments. Some songs are strangely ambiguous because the structure of the sentence has two meanings, one heretical and one innocuous. Numerous worship songs are nonsense and damage peoples view of God and how He acts. God’s ways are not our ways!

Our some of our worship songs anti-semitic?

A few songs which came out of the 80s ‘happy clappy’ Jesus movement still used today, contain a philosophy of supersessionism (which leads to anti-semitism). For example, songs that ask us to make the way for Christ's return, or call us to restore the earth, or songs that imply that we (Gentiles) are the new Israel, or that the Old Testament is not really relevant are extremely dangerous. God’s chosen people are still Israel and He hasn't finished with them or His use of the Old Testament.

Do we check our songs?

Despite the fact that Biblical scholars and theologians have been persecuted in the course of creating commentaries and English Bible translations for thousands of years, many music leaders wouldn’t give a thought to submit their views to Biblical doctrine, and instead are happy to just rely on their feelings. The Bible calls us again and again for sound doctrine and that the Bible dwells in us richly.

Some tips for songs?

Avoid songs that focus on self, with frequent use of words like "I", "me", "my" and "mine” Instead choose songs that focus people on Jesus Christ.

Test all music, both new and old with scripture not our feelings.

Be mindful that if a songwriter or publisher is associated with heretical doctrine or church that false teaching will eventually come through in their music.

Mix up your musical styles! Churches can get into a rut focusing on one genre of music. Rock is great for victory and declaration songs, pop is valuable for memorising scripture, jazz and blues is sound for mindfulness on Biblical truths, and classical baroque for example can touch people on a very deep level indeed. Gospel ballads and secular love songs are also very appropriate for worship too. Finally don't throw the baby out with the bath water, some old hymns were written by amazing men and women of God, and many were also theologians. 

Don't goad the congregation to make body movements and pressure them to clap frantically. If the music isn’t doing it - it isn’t doing it! If people are touched by the Holy Spirit it is working, anything else is false!

On Bands…

If possible, have more than one worship team especially if they have different styles. While there is some benefit in music rotors, they can also hinder the Spirit of God, because it is systemised and isn't natural. A normal band will select its members and audition them to be sure they are 'singing from the same song book’ aesthetically, and theologically for example.

Finally, choose songs that glorify God, teach sound doctrine to your music team, and have respectful lines of communication between the music team and people who have proven sound Biblical doctrine.

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