What would Jesus say about comtemporary christian worship?


(chandra kishore sardar) #1

This has been on my heart for quite a long time now and i recently watched a video as well which has definitely stirred me up. There are many theologians and pastors who are now pretty much against(maybe sometimes in subtle ways) the contemporary christian music and worship and often criticize them for ‘vain’ repition and stirring up emotional frenzy and many more.
I wonder where do you all stand on this. Is right motivation to worship God through music just not enough ? How is head knowledge about ‘true’ (or atleast they say so) worship just enough to connect with Him and exclude the emotion and will into it ? What does scripture say about worship ? Is there any style to worship God or rules, regulations or whatever we are supposed to be bound with ? I wonder what Jesus would say about contemporary music and worship.


(SeanO) #2

@chandrakishore I think that as long as the people singing are honoring God from their hearts it is not as important what style of music is being played. And, as I note below, the other two things I would say are:

  • Repetition is not inherently bad - the Psalms contain a lot of repetition. The only problem I see with too much simple repetition is that music is a great chance to teach the congregation theology - because people remember songs easier than words. So rather than having all repetitious songs, it would be beneficial to have some music that was instructive. But repetition is not wrong.

  • The meaning of the song does matter. We should be wise in selecting music that honors God and is accurate in its depiction of God and ourselves. But we should remember that another person may sing a song with small inaccuracies without even realizing they are there and they may really like the song. So we should not throw stones or be critical - rather be wise in our sphere of influence.

  • People have a musical ‘heart language’ - the style of music that touches their heart most deeply. We should recognize that for some of us that is hymns, for others contemporary songs, for others maybe it is poetry :slight_smile: I think the best approach is if we can learn to be edified by each style of music and humbly approach it seeking to worship Christ rather than critique.

Colossians 3:16-17 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

Repetition

The Psalms themselves often contain repetition, so I do not think it is appropriate to fault modern worship music purely on that point.

Psalms 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Meaning

I do think we should consider the meaning of the words that are being sung and I think this is where critics may have a legitimate point - but only for certain songs. It all depends on what the people singing the song really mean when they sing it and it depends on the specific song. You cannot dismiss all modern worship music for this reason because not all of it has a meaning that is unclear or unBiblical.

Here is an interesting discussion on the song ‘Reckless Love’.

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