Sunday, August 19, 2007

Worshiping the god Self.

This video was created as a sermon helper by people who do not even realize how right they are. This is a subject that has been on my mind for awhile now. The worship songs being sung today are poor excuses for worship songs.

I have an even easier diagnostic test for songs than the one for sermons: are there more first-person personal pronouns than second or third? If so, you are not worshiping the sovereign creator.

Think about it. Telling the Lord what you are doing is a self-centered worship. Most of the contemporary worship songs are self-centered, and no wonder—most of today's musicians are not exactly theologians; in the past, most hymn writers were. Music has a huge influence in our society, and this is reflected in the contemporary Christian music scene as well. I believe this trend has had only a negative effect on the church, and I think we should stick to the old hymns for our worship.

I had to throw this one in as well. I don't think it needs much commentary.


Mark M said...

Alan wrote, "Telling the Lord what you are doing is a self-centered worship. ... I think we should stick to the old hymns for our worship."

To an extent I agree with you. However, there are plenty of biblical examples of including personal pronouns.

For example, Ps. 27:4,7 expresses beautiful words of worship:
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You,
"Your face, O LORD, I shall seek."

The beautiful old hymn "How Great Thou Art" contains plenty of personal pronouns.

Several modern songs are excellent for worshiping the sovereign creator:
• Wonderful, Merciful Savior
• Blessed Be Your Name
• In Christ Alone

Col. 3:16 sums it up:
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Paul's list is not exclusive. I don't think ours should be either.

There are some hymns that are shallow in theology and self-focused. And there are modern songs that are very worshipful. So I think you will wind up throwing out the baby with the bathwater if you stick only to old hymns. Better to carefully evaluate each hymn or song according to the purpose of the song.

Grace & peace.

Alan said...

Mark, I absolutely agree with you. Let me say that just because something is new does not make it bad, and also that just because something is old does not make it good. There are some good new worship songs, although I think the majority of them suffer from this modern American "decision theology" syndrome. My test is a generality and you got to the heart of my point, the problem today is discernment, or more precisely, the lack of it. It is safer to stick with hymns that have stood the test of time until one can acquire discernment, but on the other hand with the state of the Church in our day, discernment could be a long time coming.