Monday, June 8, 2009

The Great Worship Debate

This weekend my husband and some guests at our home had a very interesting discussion about worship in the modern church. It was basically Hymns vs Praise and Worship. I was completely shocked at how strong a grip some believers have on their hymns. They are absolutely unwilling to let go. Which is perfectly fine, but why bash praise and worship music? I don't have a favorite style of worship music or an opinion that only one style is holy, but this conversation got me to thinking. I was not raised in the church, but saved at the age of 14.
Even then, my parents were not and still are not saved, so I have a completely different perspective on the issue. I've been in churches that only sing hymns, those that only sing praise and worship, those that sing a mix. To expound on that, I've also been to churches which play music in all different styles: southern gospel, rock, gospel (I love me some Yolanda and CeCe!), contemporary, classical. At each place God spoke to me - no matter what the style or form of the music, it didn't matter. It's as if we are saying that the Bible written in Hebrew is more holy than the Bible written in English. God still speaks to other people groups through the Bible written in their language, so what does it matter that it's not the original Hebrew? My opinion is that as long as God is in the inspiration and writing of a song and in the selection and playing of a song, what does it matter the style? God still speaks. I mean, are we saying that God can only speak and work through hymns? My God is big enough to speak through rocks, why not a heavy metal, grunge style praise and worship song?

So this begs the question, if you feel God can only speak through hymns, is that your opinion or God's truth? Are you alienating people from your church because you are saying their worship style is wrong and against God's word? Or are you, in our ever-so-lovely Baptist way, patting them on the shoulder and with a pitiful look in your eyes saying, "Oh darling, you'll understand and feel the same way when you reach my level of spirituality?" If you say you don't mean it that way, sorry, that is how unbelievers and young believers interpret it.

I also wonder, for those clinging to their hymns and absolutely unwilling to believe that God can be worshiped through other styles of music, how are you different from the Pharisees? They clung to tradition and ritual which led them to not hear God...they bucked the new style, Jesus. They bucked Him because He didn't look or sound like what they thought was reverent and holy. Are we doing the same today? Is the style of music used to worship really worth splitting a church over? Why are we letting the Enemy pit us against each other and tear us apart? We should be focused on our LORD and spreading his word to our world. Instead we are focused on styles of worship music? I mean, can anyone else see the silliness of the situation? (As a side note, singing in church on Sunday morning is only one form of worship, are we serving and worshiping Him in otehr ways as well or just so focused on singing that we let those things go to the wayside?)

This is just my opinion, I plan on doing a scripture study on this subject, but I'm just curious about your opinion. Have you been apart of a church that was destroyed from such matters? Do you think I'm completely off base and want to prove me wrong? Let me know. Because I really need someone to tell me how this debate is more important that the Great Commission.

(Note: Listen to Track 10 of Travis Cottrell's Jesus Saves for another's Biblical perspective)

No comments: