And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Ephesians. 5: 18-21
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
I spoke in my last entry on the objective of praising God. Praising God is living a life of gratitude for who God is and what He does. The Bible teaches us to, "praise Him for His mercy; (Psalms 106) Psalm 150 tells us we are to, "praise Him for His mighty acts," (what He does,) and to, "praise Him according to His excellent greatness; (what He is.) Psalm 100 tells us to, "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise." I would like now to look at praising God with music.
Martin Luther said; "Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of music, combined with the gift of song was given to man that me might proclaim the Word of God through music."
This is why we still use hymns in our services. In the Books of Ephesians and Colossians, it speaks of "Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." Psalms we know as the great poetical book of the Bible. Hymns are songs that magnify and praise the character of God. Spiritual songs are testimonial in nature; expressing how God works, or is working in the life of His people. This is the biblical criteria for the music the praises God. The right music opens our spirit up to know God's presence, and to hear from His word. Music prepares us to pray; it prepares us to hear from His word, because it opens up the part of us that relates to God; our spirit. The New Testament church has two practices that go back to the Old Testament temple; the public offering and congregational singing. These two things are true acts of worship.
However, much of the music used in churches today is not biblical. Let me confess, I'm an of "rock & roller." Anybody who tells you that music is "amoral" is either naive, ignorant, dishonest or all three. I was a musician before I was anything else. As a trained musician, I knew the difference between worldly and godly music. Christians will deny this saying all music is good, and can be used for God's glory. I disagree. You cannot have "Christian rock" any more than you can have "Christian fornication." If you do not believe me about rock music, ask someone who is an expert on rock music.
"If you take the sex out of rock music, you do not have rock music."
Mic Jagger of the Rolling Stones
"Do you understand that this music you are performing is of the Devil?"
Gene Simmons of the group KISS to a "praise and worship leader"/ contestant on American Idol
"Its the music. it makes me act that way." (referring to performing sexual moves on stage)
The music gets going and I do it without thinking. Its not really me, its the music."
Michael Jackson in an interview with Oprah Winfrey
Need more proof? One of the first nationally syndicated radio personalities was Allen Freed. Freed is credited in 1955 with coining the phrase, "rock & roll." When asked how he came to that phrase, he said it was, "a euphemism for sex in the back seat of a car."
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
Let me just say it. "Praise and worship" services are not biblical. They are performance based. They are rock concerts with dressed up "Jesus" lyrics. The "Jesus Movement" of the early 70's gave rise to the idea that we need to be like "hippies" to reach "hippies," so lets take their music and put Christian words to it. I lived through that mess. We didn't turn hippies into Christians, we turned Christians into hippies. Our churches are carnal, our sermons, (if there is one) are shallow and our effect on a lost world is marginal at best.
Our churches must get back to being spiritual lighthouses. Our lives as Christians need to turn back to biblical spirituality; not the emotional stirring fluff we have in most churches. If we are to truly praise God, our praise must be godly, holy, biblical and focused on Him. Praise Him with the music that praises Him.
Just a thought,
Thank you for reading