What would you do if there were no more instruments at church? If all churches went back to singing hymns and psalms? Would you still show up on Sunday morning? Would you be able to glorify God singing ‘boring’ music?
I enjoy contemporary Christian music. I really do. It’s what I prefer to listen to at home and in the car, and I really like that I don’t have to worry about the junk my kids might hear. It’s clean, it has a lot of uplifting qualities, it’s good.
I like it.
I’m making that statement up front because I don’t want anybody to think that this post is about hating CCM music. It’s not. So, don’t cry legalism and get your panties in a wad.
Few people will argue against the statement that music stirs the soul, creates and sways emotions, and can actually effect the way the mind works (this has been scientifically studied).
We tend to have strong opinions about song and the kind of music we want to listen to. We either like or don’t like the way it makes us feel or the instruments used or not used, or the beat, or the words, or whatever…
And these musical opinions are becoming especially prevalent in today’s churches.
Liking different music is all fine and well. God certainly didn’t create us to be carbon copies. The argument I’m making isn’t about what we should like or dislike. My beef with the music debate starts when the kind of music we like becomes more about glorifying “me” and less about glorifying God.
I have seen the music issue bring the congregation to heated argument in more than one church. I’ve also seen first hand, a mass exodus from a church that began simply because of a change in the type of music being played and/or sung.
And, it was a child that opened my eyes to the truth of the issue.
Child: “I love the music they play on [that Christian station]. The songs make me feel so good and help me want to worship God.”
My husband replied with the comment, “Be careful! Worshiping God should come from our desire to glorify Him, and should never depend on the kind of music we’re hearing.”
In that moment it all became clear to me. The reason so many people have issues with the type of music played in church is because of their “me” centered Christianity. I want to feel uplifted. I want to feel moved. I want to feel spiritual growth.
I, I, I. (Hey, I’ve been this person, I’ve done this. I’m not judging, just sayin’.)
What we’re failing to recognize is that Worship Is About Him.
And if I decide that I can’t worship Him properly with psalms and hymns, that it’s become all about the beat and the band, I have lost something very necessary. It’s time to get back to basics and find it again.
When I’m schooling one of my littles, and they’re doing the work but not really getting it, I don’t keep pushing it on them. I take a step or two back, sometimes going back to the very beginning, and start teaching it all over again.
Again - When we’re not understanding, or have forgotten the purpose of singing to God, and we’re having trouble ”getting it”, sometimes, most times, the best thing we can do is to get back to basics.
Start over again.
It’s not about contemporary music being evil or wrong. And it’s not legalism. It’s learning how to worship God for God, because He told us to, instead of continuing to worship God for ourselves, because it makes us feel good.
Feeling uplifted at church isn’t a bad thing. However, if that’s the only reason we attend, maybe it’s time to take a step back, re-think our priorities, and start over again.
Photo credit goes to Kait (aka Jane)