Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's The Real Issue?

When it comes to leading congregational singing in the worship of God there are a number of factors a Pastor and Worship Leader (not to mention the worshipper) must be aware of. Much of the debate about “worship” today usually centers on a “contemporary verses traditional” type argument. I believe that pitting one against another is wrong and that our attention on congregational singing—what many singularly classify as “worship”—should be focused elsewhere. The question isn’t, “Which one is right?” instead, we should take a step back and ask, “What’s the real issue?” To say that the terms “contemporary” and “traditional” are loaded is an enormous understatement. Then we throw in the term “blended” to solve all our problems when in reality it just becomes contemporary vs. traditional vs. blended!

When we argue for “our side” we are in affect telling another Christian that “we know that we are right and we definitely know that you are wrong.” And what do we base it on? If we are honest we see that it is based on our own ideas or desires. The weirdest (and dumbest) thing about this debate is that all sides seem to agree that Scripture has nothing to do with it (unless they find a verse they believe supports their argument!). The common argument is, “Oh, well Scripture is silent on the whole matter.” In one sense they seem right, which might be a reason for the never ending-ness of the debate. Scripture doesn’t tell us what “style” to play our music. But is that what God really cares about? Don’t you think that if God was only to be worshiped in one particular style of music He would have commanded us to do so? “Thou shalt only play thine organ.” What God does care about is that worship to Him is to be done in “spirit and truth” through Christ. And essentially what that means for those leading the people of God is that we are to guard the worship of God from “flesh and error” and from “worldliness and falsehood”. Otherwise God is not glorified.

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