The Worthship of Our Worship – Music

As Christians, worship ought to be one of the most important aspects of our relationship with Christ. It is at the core of who we are, and it ought to be the focal point of every aspect of our lives. But what is worship really? People may differ on what worship is specifically, but most, if not all, will agree that Worship is giving honor to someone based on their worth. In fact, the word “worship” was originally “worth-ship” and it was simply the ascribing of worth to someone or something. No one worships someone or something that has no personal value to them. The thing to remember about worship, and this is my whole point in writing, is that Worship is about the one being worshipped; not the worshipper. This article deals with the worship that we give to God. While we do not necessarily worship in everything we do (we don’t worship God by watching a movie, or going to the bathroom), worship ought to be a regular part of our lives, and we ought to participate in worshiping God on a regular basis. Most people think that worship = music, but that is not the case. There are so many ways that we can ascribe worth to God, and I’d like to address a few of them, in addition to talking about music. This post is going to be very long, so I’m going to break it up into several posts. The first one will be about music, followed by posts about worshiping God in church, prayer, devotional time, evangelism, and perhaps a few other topics.

MUSIC 

Music is one of the “hot topics” in the world today, and it would be really easy to open a can of worms with a lot of people while talking about it. That it not my goal at all, so I want to be as gracious and discerning as possible. Please feel free to add to any of the topics in the comment section, but please exercise graciousness and discernment.

I’m not going to say that certain styles and genres of music are always right, while certain styles and genres are always wrong. The Bible doesn’t say it, so I won’t either. What the Bible does say though, is that there are principles that need to be brought into consideration when setting a personal standard of worship through music.

Principle #1 – Our worship is to be joyful, and “unto the Lord” – Psa 66:1, Psa 81:1, Psa 95:1, Psa 95:2, Psa 98:4, Psa 98:6, Psa 100:1, Psa. 148.

Principle #2 – God’s glory is to be the goal of our worship and our lifestyles – I Cor. 10:31, Col 1:10, 1Th 2:12, Rom. 12:1.

Principle #3 – God is worthy of our praise, and our worship needs to reflect His worth – Psa. 96:4, Psa. 150:2, Rev. 5:12.

Principle #4 – Our worship should reflect a heart that is changed – Tit. 2:12, Rom. 12:2, Hos. 6:6, I Sam. 15:22.

Principle #5 – Our worship is to promote unity and edification among believers – Rom. 15:5-6, Psa. 148:12-13, I Thes. 4:1

This list of principles is far from exhaustive, but you get the idea. Worship involves all of me ascribing worth to all of God. If a John Legend song just popped into your head – shame on you! HA!

Going back to principle #2, there is a country song by Florida Georgia Line called H.O.L.Y. (acronym for “High On Loving You”). This song was the #1 Hot Country song on the weekly charts for almost four months, and it was the Billboard Hot Country Single of the Year for 2016. I think the lyrics speak for themselves in terms of being God-honoring or not. Here they are:


When the sun had left and the winter came
And the sky fall could only bring the rain
I sat in darkness, all broken hearted
I couldn’t find a day I didn’t feel alone
I never meant to cry, started losing hope
But somehow baby, you broke through and saved me

You’re an angel, tell me you’re never leaving
‘Cause you’re the first thing I know I can believe in

You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you
You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you

You made the brightest days from the darkest nights
You’re the river bank where I was baptized
Cleansed from the demons
That were killing my freedom
Let me lay you down, give me to ya
Get you singing babe, hallelujah
We’ll be touching, we’ll be touching heaven

You’re an angel, tell me you’re never leaving
‘Cause you’re the first thing I know I can believe in

You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you
You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you

I don’t need the stars ’cause you shine for me
Like fire in my veins, you’re my ecstasy
You’re my ecstasy

You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you
You’re holy, holy, holy, holy
I’m high on loving you, high on loving you

You’re the healing hands where it used to hurt
You’re my saving grace, you’re my kind of church

You’re holy


Now, if you’re like me, you are angry just reading those words. This is not what God meant went He said that intimacy in marriage is a picture of our relationship with Him. This is obviously a song that not only doesn’t honor God, but also blatantly dishonors Him by cheapening a relationship with Him. The singers seem to indicate that we can find the same satisfaction and stability in a woman (probably outside of marriage) that we are intended to find in God. I’m going to make a bold statement and say that God does not feel valued and worthy when we are cheapening Him with songs of lurid self-focus.

Going off of this, one of my biggest issues with the current music trends in churches today is that, though the songs may be worshipful in tone, and theologically without error, they are often lacking in their focus on God, and in the depth of their representation of who God is. Much, though not all, of the music that is currently trending in churches has a tendency to focus on the believer and bring God down to our level, rather than focusing on God and His desire for us to strive to be more like Him.

In a word, much of the music that is being produced by popular worship artists today is shallow. I’m not saying that all music in the current trend is like this, but I am saying that it is a definite pattern. While it may not be inherently wrong to sing songs that are somewhat shallow, isn’t it better to focus on music that is theologically rich and more accurately represents the grandeur of God? God is a not a little God, He is a big God. I know a little boy, 4 years old, that observed “That’s a big sky! Must be a big God to make a big sky!”

Granted this is an opinion based on an unofficial survey, but in my experience, many people that participate in worship services which incorporate current music trends, do so because of the way the music entertains them and makes them feel good. Worship music ought to be enjoyable for us, and we ought to be spiritually encouraged by it, but we need to make sure that the focus of our worship through music is on God and not on ourselves.

In conclusion, please understand that I am not trying to offend anyone or call anyone out. I am merely trying to cause people to think through the principles of worship and to evaluate their worship to ensure that it is worthy of the God to whom we are giving it.

I have far too many favorites to list them all, but here are some of my favorite worship songs: Have Thine Own Way, LordBow The KneeO God Beyond All PraisingThe One Who Lives AgainHow Great Thou ArtAmazing Grace

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s