LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Swept Away

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.
(Acts 17:29 – ESV)

I was listening to what many might call a “powerful” worship song the other day. I listened and watched the video, yes it is powerful, lots of feeling, biblical language, and easy to "get into". It didn’t teach heresy, and everyone was really excited about it, and seemingly praising the Lord with abandon. The “presence of God” seemed to be tangible.

Yet there was a lot of repetition, and my fear is that people simply fall in love with being "swept away". I know it is a problem I have had before, and it makes me cringe to see others caught up whom I know have no desire to truly worship the Lord. I am not trying to judge them on the spot; I am talking about things observed over time. They have a love for song but not a growing love for the One whom the songs are supposed to be about. The songs may seem like they are working right then, but they don’t seem to be working out in their lives.

For many, these type of songs are only hindering their growth, because they think the feeling of being swept away is the height of spirituality, and the goal to be in a continuous act of being swept out from shore, into the depths of God. That is what they think is happening, but they are only being swept away to the shores of their own self and falling in love with feelings and with their own ideas about God, even while we are presumably singing truth about Him. They might be learning how to get “in tune” more and more, but they don’t ever seem to be excited about the Bible, or doctrine, or things like that. Those other things don’t “bring the anointing” they say.

Some “worship leaders” seem to realize that certain amounts of happy clappy songs can be all too much like a pep rally, and so they switch gears, to a slower, more somber, “deep” feel. Or they speed things up, add instruments, and then during the same song strip back, and go with voices only, and it seems as if God arrives on the scene, it is so holy, they think.

No I don’t think so, I think it is just our emotions being taken on a ride, like with good classical music. It is okay to have variation in music, but to think this helps people “break through” is superstitious nonsense, and I don’t care what story you might tell me, what happened is that their emotions got touched, and emotions are not the keyhole to unlock spiritual doors. Truth is the key, and that is the truth. Instead of breaking though we are binding them to a pattern of emotional release that they think is spiritual growth.

Try this experiment sometime; instead of your favorite tune set to perfect music, etc., sing one of the great hymns of the faith with no accompaniment at all, just voices. If you just can’t seem to get into it, you just can’t worship as well, or whatever, then guess what, it is the feeling for the music you worship, not God.

It is not our job to get people swept away in emotions, and most often repetition of simple choruses breeds music appreciation not some extra power. It grieves me to hear of people saying a certain song “brings the anointing”. Worshipping God isn’t supposed to resemble an incantation or summoning. People are using certain music, flags, dance, and other peripherals as supposed power tools; in a sense they are trying to “summon the Spirit”. Maybe they are successful, but I’m not so sure about what spirit is coming in. Don’t get swept away by them.

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Blogger Even So... said...

I didn't see anyone with a post in the drafts, and we missed Tuesday, so I went ahead and posted this...hope you find it helpful...

November 07, 2007 8:05 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

You have just described the error that apparently was at work in the following incident:

One time on an EE visitation a person answered the first EE question by saying they were certain that they had eternal life. The second EE question asked them, "How would you answer if God asked you, why should I let you into heaven?" This particular lady answered immediately and said, "because I am a good worshipper." She went on to describe the praise music at her church and how it moved her. This, of course, is a works salvation answer. We presented the gospel to her and made it clear that faith in Christ was the only basis for eternal life.

November 07, 2007 9:04 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

JD, I used to go to a church where the very same choruses were sung every week, like some kind of chant. They sang the "seven elevens" - the same 7 words 11 times...

November 07, 2007 10:36 AM

Blogger Kristine said...

For a few years during the teenage era of my life, I attended a rather large church (mostly, to make sure my younger siblings went).

Lots of these songs were sung, and more often than not I really bought the notion that since I was so moved-even to tears-while singing them...that I had some kind of relationship with the Lord.

It did more damage, ultimately, by providing a false, deceitful sense of assurance/security.

These songs send shudders up my spine now.

November 07, 2007 10:58 AM

Blogger Even So... said...

The same goes for teaching about...well, I'll leave that for another time...

November 08, 2007 11:31 AM

Blogger Gojira said...

Very good post.

November 08, 2007 5:08 PM


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