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Church Idols – Music

November 8, 2013

In the past I have covered the question of secular and Christian music (see https://anafalz.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/music-secular-or-christian/ and https://anafalz.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/mac-powell-aaron-watson/) but I have yet to address the idol of music in church. What a perfect time for it in this series. (It would benefit you to read, or at least skim, the other two articles before continuing on with this one.)

Music has become one of the more divisive issues in the church – a good indicator it has become an idol. Hymnal, no instruments, full band, piano only, choir, congregational singings – it is a whole loaded issue. We have made this little ant hill into a mountain of division. We have created the grand-daddy of all golden calves.

First, worship by song is woven throughout Scripture. They are worshipping in the heavens by song. David danced and waved his garments in the air in spontaneous worship as he entered the city. The New Testament records worship by song as part of the early church. Second, singing is not Worship (noun), but it is a form of worship (verb). We must be clear that singing is just one of many ways to worship, but by no means is it the only way. Third, methods of worship by song can be cultural. Singing in Africa will be much different than in America. Singing in a little country church will most likely look different than an inner city church. They need not look like each other.

As I am writing this, I am reminded of how diverse worship by song is as the computer randomly mixes my music for me. So far I have heard Southern Gospel, Contemporary Christian, classic hymns, and country music styled songs of faith. Each one has their focus on God and points me to the Almighty. When we determine this is the only way to worship in song, we are committing idolatry by lifting the singing above God. We are more interested in the form instead of who we are worshipping. To take it one step further, when we say other churches worship in song incorrectly we are committing idolatry of the Bible (we know what it says better than the other church), idolatry of our pastor or teacher (after all, they teach the correct way to worship in song), idolatry of our denomination (again, they know better than the others), and idolatry of our American Church (because we know how to do it right, whereas those in other countries blend it in their way). We must flee from this mentality!

I may not like certain types of worship by song. That is a preference. I may not like it, but who is that music reaching that my preferred form may not reach? We are a diverse body. Many people from many nations all trying to worship God the best we know how. If they believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as their Savior, then let’s set aside our differences in this area and joyfully celebrate our diversity. Tear down your idols of music today!

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From → Church Idols, Music

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