Monday, August 13, 2012
Godfrey on Worship 6: Music and Worship
“When we think of music in the worship of God, we are really thinking of three issues: 1) the words that we sing, 2) the tunes to which we sing those words, and 3) the instruments we might use to accompany the singing.”
1. The Words: they must be true and pleasing to God. More Cambridge Declaration: “Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of music.” There are 66 books in the Bible from which we can get true and pleasing words for God.
2. The Songs: There is also room for poetry, musical commentary, even paraphrase as long as it does not twist some verse. There is no end to topics for song lyrics as long as they are true and please God. It’s the difference between “God is So Good” which is great for children but has no depth and “Friend of God” which is just a short but uses Scripture.
3. The Instruments: Godfrey explains that the New Testament does not really use instruments. But the Old Testament does, so God clearly is fine with people using instruments to worship him. So, there’s an issue where I differ from Godfrey. The danger, however, is the extra instruments becoming a god and distracting from the true One. There is also a danger of once again worshiping God in a way that's actually idolatry. You can’t use secular music in church and expect it to honor God. Maybe if some song is truthful and positive, yes, but even then, Church is not about being positive. It’s about the truth and God.
Instruments should support the singing. I’ve seen a rock band that did support the singing and did not distract from God. I’ve seen one person with a guitar drawing more attention to himself. I’ve even done that. I’m ashamed of that. Church music should not be a show, but just an implement to help people focus on God.