Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I am of Chris Tomlin, I am of Isaac Watts, I am of...

If you could pick a fantasy worship team like fantasy football, who would you choose? Keith and Kristyn Getty? Chris Tomlin? Or how about a converted Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Philadelphia Orchestra to lead the hymn singing?  A cappella Psalms anyone? If you could satisfy your musical taste every Sunday, would you be able to worship better?

Music naturally generates an emotional response, which is not inherently wrong, but it is possible to make these emotions the arbiter of whether we have worshipped well or not.  Certain styles become synonymous with worship in our minds and others most certainly not. Sadly, this has led to "worship wars" in the church where musical preference has become a hill to die on.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't dialogue about the quality and type of music in the church. When we do, may God give us a spirit of humility. This also doesn't mean we shouldn't care about the theology of the lyrics. But we weren't saved by songs or the feelings they induce. Neither was the veil rent by an awesome electric guitar riff, the majestic swell of a pipe organ, or four-part harmony. We can stand before a Holy God and worship Him only because of Jesus.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22

In the end, our earthly favorites will be long forgotten when we join the ultimate worship service. We will sing a new song with brothers and sisters from every nation and tongue, and, I daresay, musical preference. The music will be perfect. The singers will be perfected. But the song isn't the focus. It's the Lamb. (Revelation 5:9-14)

Shouldn't the focus of our hearts be the same?

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