January 7 2019
I have heard it said that any song works for worship as long as the heart of the worshiper is right. I will say back to that statement…that is just not true. Every song is not created equal. There are songs that were written in the 1600s that are in the hymn books across denominational lines that are just not biblical. At best, they are good thoughts, but when you put them to the light of Scripture, they fail the test. So what makes the cut?
Last week, I mentioned that first, they must be biblical. Just because there is one part of the song that is not biblical, or maybe just taken out of context to fit the writer’s purpose, does not deem the song unusable. Words can be changed. Whole verses can be rewritten. Parts can be left out. So as not to be negative toward any certain song, or certain writer, I will refrain from using song titles, but let me give you an example.
There was an “overused” song that a well-known songwriter wrote in 2002. The lyric to the verses are straight on. The chorus to the song is catchy, biblical and sing-able. Then you get to this middle section that is called the bridge of the song. It is not that the statement itself is not found in Scripture, but there are three problems that arise from the “biblical” line he chose to include in the song. First, as the hearer/singer/worshiper, one has to know why the words word said, who they were said to, and who said them. Secondly, one has to know that when the person said them, those words came from a misunderstanding of God by this person, therefore the word meaning in the song is changed to fit the song, not the biblical context. That whole thing leads us to a third problem. That makes the song teach false doctrine. Now the writer obviously did not have it in his heart to teach false doctrine, but just by a little change of meaning, it causes a problem. For me, the song made the cut without that part in it. It didn’t ruin the song, but I have chosen never to do that part of the song.
There is a newer song written in 2017 that people have come to love to sing. Again, I won’t mention the name of the song or the songwriter. This song has a controversial word describing God’s love. It can easily be misinterpreted. It doesn’t mean the song is not biblical or should not be sung, but I cannot do the song in a worship service unless I also plan to spend time explaining and describing what the songwriter’s concept of using that one overriding word in this particular song. Out of this we can deduce that not all songs can be sung in every setting.
I have personally always had a problem with the last line of the old hymn “At the Cross.” “It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.” I wish, because faith has turned into sight for me, that I am happy all the time.” Unfortunately, happiness is built on happenings. Not every happening makes me happy. I wish I could change the word to joyful. Joy can remain even in the unhappy times. Just a personal thing…lol
Okay, next week, we will go further.
This week, in the service we will worship using a song the choir will sing by Travis Cottrell titled “Do the Impossible.” We are doing one of my favorite songs about grace titled “This is Amazing Grace.” We continue with worship singing the song “There is Power” and a brand new song for our congregation by Kristian Stanfill titled “More Like Jesus.” You will want to take some time this week listening and getting this song into your spirit. For the response time, we will go back many years to “Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone.”
Love you! See you Sunday