We live in an abundance of Christian music. We have all types, all styles, all forms, it seems. You can find hymns revisited, retuned, rewritten. You can find new stuff to excite and entertain. You can find easy listening to heavy metal, choral to rap. Jackie Hill-Perry is listed as part of the "Passion 4Christ Movement" offering such amazing pieces as "My Life as a Stud" and "A Poem About Weed" which ... wait ... really? Yes, really. It's out there. We have impressive worship songs from heretical sources and lightweight "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs from Christian musicians who, you'd think, should know better. Lots and lots of stuff, from high worship to base entertainment.
I don't think that God has detailed what "worship music" should sound like. Some do; I don't. I mean, the psalmist wrote about praising God "with tambourine and dance" and "with loud cymbals," clarifying "with loud clashing cymbals" (Psalm 150:1-6). I know good, honest believers that would not tolerate that in their churches. "'Tambourine and dance'?? 'Loud clashing cymbals'??!! Not in my church!" But there it is in God's Word.
On the other hand, I think we are often blind on the subject. Like "If it says 'God' in it, it's worship ... right?" So we will sing songs for worship with lyrics we wouldn't dare speak to God because they're wrong. You'll find them in all genres and all eras. And we don't notice because, "Hey, it's worship, right?"
You can find hymns that declare, "How can it be that Thou, my God, didst die for me?" Easy answer. He didn't. He can't. Jesus, the human, died. God cannot. An easy shift -- "... that Thou, my King, didst die for me" -- works fine. But God doesn't/didn't/couldn't die. Yet, we sing it worshipfully as if God is glorified in it. You can find warm and thrilling modern songs that extol the "reckless love of God." Wait ... "reckless"? Like a driver who barrels down the highway without regard for the consequences of his driving? Trust me, God is never without concern for the consequences of His actions. God's love is absolutely overwhelming and never-ending, but it is always intentional, not careless. The idea of God loving blindly without regard to outcome is not praiseworthy. The notion that God loves sinners with eyes wide open is stunning in its magnificence. Pick a better word.
There is a lot of music available for Christians. Some is really good; some, not so much. Some is genuine truth; some is, as it turns out, heretical. I'm not one of those who argues, "Reject worship music if it comes from a bad source." I prefer to analyze the content and see if God can be truthfully and genuinely glorified in it. I am not one who would prefer to gloss over the words because it makes me feel warmly toward God. I cannot imagine that God is glorified when I feel good about Him while declaring untruths about Him.
The Bereans were "more noble" than others; they examined the Scriptures daily to see if Paul was telling the truth (Acts 17:11). Surely we should be as diligent with our music. Paul told the Thessalonians to "test everything; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). That's what I'm recommending. If we are to love God with our minds (Matthew 22:37), wouldn't that include using our minds in regard to the music we listen to and even give back to Him? That's all I'm asking.
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