Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Music in the Church House

In today's society, people listen to music and sing together in the strangest places, from the church house to concerts and even birthday parties; music has a special way of binding the people together. It enables us to spend extended periods of times expressing the same thoughts and passions. Why does music affect us so deeply? Cause God made it that way is the only answer. Music can bring forth the association of things that happened in certain periods or experiences in our lives. Music and singing has played a huge role in the church of the Lord ever since the day of Pentecost when the church really began. Furthermore, The Bible contains over 400 references to singing and 50 direct commands to sing. God himself sings (Zeph. 3:17) and Jesus even sang with his disciples.
Today in church houses all across the way the people are arguing over hymns or contemporary, praise music or traditional. One church says worship should not be a rock concert, while another says hymns are old school. Should it really be a choice? Can it not be all of the above. As one preacher put it, "God has blessed those with voice and He has blessed those with skill." In other words, if someone uses a guitar or drums to express their self in worshiping the Lord, who are we do judge or argue? If someone can bend those guitar strings like nobody ever could before, should they not be allowed to have a solo in the middle or somewhere in the song that is worshiping their Lord and God? Folks, it takes extraordinary skill to play an instrument, period. It is a skill and gift that is God-given. I will never forget, just a few months ago, hearing a 20 minute version of the "Old Rugged Cross" in a certain church. The song was complete with powerful singers and powerful musicians. It included all the lights and professional concert-style production (yes in the church house). With a piano introduction, two different guitar solos, and even a drum solo right in the middle. When it was done, the alter was full and I was ready to come out of my skin. I had just experienced a total worship of the Lord experience. Seriously, today's church does not need to pit different styles or traditions against one another. They each serve to help the church in different ways. Music can also help the church engage the words more emotionally and more spiritually. Furthermore, the host of heaven is not united in their style of music but in the words of their song (Rev. 5:9-10). What kind of music do people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation sing? We don't know, but the Bible tells us what the focus should be: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
So next time you get ready to put down a certain type of music in the church house, ask yourself, what are we doing to encourage our church in corporate music and singing? What are we doing to discourage it? Jesus is the one who makes it all possible. God doesn't hear the church on account of the skill in playing the instruments and in singing. He hears it because of His Son. We should be looking to for music to move us to worship, praise, and celebrate Him who has already done the moving in our own individual lives.

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