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Contemporary Worship - Beneficial or Damaging

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

This warning in Scripture is telling us to be diligent in guarding what we allow into our lives because we are so prone to wander away. Whatever we allow in is what will come out. Garbage in, garbage out. We live in enemy territory, a world that is increasingly becoming more wicked and is under the dominion of Satan. The wolves have crept into the church and are not sparing the flock. There's one area we have to be on guard against. An area that goes largely unnoticed...Music. I'm not talking about what's played on the radio or MTV. That's the world. I'm talking about what we regularly hear in church.

Music itself has astounding physical effects on the body and brain, both negative and positive. Music combined with lyrics has even greater effects. I'm not trying to be a downer on music. I love music...all styles. I'm still young and grew up in this contemporary culture. I love playing all types of music at home and singing along as I clean or cook or driving in my car. I was raised on music from middle eastern to heavy metal, but music and song has such profound effects on, not just people, but all of creation from plants to marine life, it simply can't be ignored in church worship.

We're taught as children the foundations of reading, writing and arithmetic through singing. Singing lyrics, whatever they may be, is like the German autobahn to our memory storage. Advertisers use music and catchy lyrics regularly to sell their product and it's highly successful. We sing songs to kids to teach them basic Bible principals. The tone and pace of music has strong emotional, physical and mental effects. Music has been used in almost every area of life from generating health in hospitals to fighting wars and weakening an enemy. Metallica was a favorite used by the US military against the Iraqi army in Kuwait.

Music and singing is important to God. The book of Psalms is a book of lyrics set to music and sometimes very specific music. Just studying Psalms, one can learn a great deal about God and His attributes. That's no accident. God created song. He knows better than anyone the effects it has on His creation. He purposely inserted vital aspects of who He is into the Psalms for us to sing which puts His attributes front and center and onto a fast track into our minds and hearts.

We also have to remember that Satan was the worship leader in Heaven. His entire being centered around music and leading the worship at the throne. Therefore, he also knows the deep and profound impact music has on God's creation and uses it powerfully to his advantage. Through music he is able to corrupt, twist, distort and plant all sorts of seeds that run contrary to God and to promote his own sinful philosophy and mindset on man. Just as God uses music to bring man closer to Himself, Satan uses it to pull man away from God.

We often assume that if songs are being played in church then they're perfectly acceptable to God. We assume if a band has a Christian label or alludes to Christ, it's perfectly safe and honoring to God. We often assume we need styles of music that's relevant for today and reflects the culture to attract the unbelieving culture. We assume old hymns are boring and have no place in post-modern times. But just as recognizing false doctrine being preached from the pulpit is paramount to our well being, growth and service to God, so is recognizing it in hymns and worship songs. Heresy has no greater fast track at infecting and demolishing the flock like music.

Just because someone is a musician, member of a church, can get a crowd going and can belt out a tune does not qualify them to be a worship leader. Just because someone produces music under a Christian label doesn't mean they're acceptable and should be embraced by the flock. Worship should and must be based on sound Scriptural teachings and the leaders should be theologians for the very reasons mentioned above. What has infiltrated the church is a cancer and it's so rampant and widely accepted that we give very little thought to it because we give very little thought to music in general.

A good, eye opening interview was done with Pastor John MacArthur called:  Contemporary Worship, Civil War In The Church

"In the New Testament, speaking to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, making melody in your heart to the Lord is clearly an experience of a Spirit-filled person, a believer. This is anything but entertainment. And so the church, when you think about music in the church, shouldn’t be thinking about what kind of music should we do to make non-believers like us. That’s completely foreign to Scripture. There’s only one question to ask in the church and that is this, what music will be most faithful to the truth of Scripture and bring most joy and exhilaration in praise from the people of God who know that truth and love that truth. That’s the only question to ask." - John MacArthur

For further reading about the dangers in contemporary worship music and popular Christian artists see also Bible Guidelines For Christian Music.  


drummrdame said...

Ariel, first of all , congrats on your baby.
I just want to extend my support for the wonderful articles and truth you expose to's so refreshing in a society that just is so " laxidasical"

Ariel said...

Thank you so much and glad you're visiting! Thank you for the nice comment. Have a great week and God Bless!

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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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