Theology of Worship- The Role of Music

“Music is not just our reaction to God, but gettng God’s Word, mind, and will down to the people.”

“Throughout Deuteronomy prosperity would provide th ebiggest threat to their faith.”

From the notes: “What is so troubling about this debate is how much pragmatism determines winners and losers, and how little theology is allowed to color the discussion.  If the style you choose helps to fill your pews then it must be right.  In many places all the church activities revolve around filling the building, designing worship so that people will get into the right mood, and when it is over feel good about themselves and about what happened in the service.  This is extremely important for the highest administrative goal in all this is to guarantee that the people will return next Sunday.  We are generally oblivious to the fact that a packed house is not necessarily evidence that we are doing something right.  On the contrary, given the carnality of many who attend our services, it may be the most obvious proof that everything we are doing is wrong.”

“The life of the person is more important than the performance.  This applies to both those preaching and leading worship. What our people need to see is the embodiment of righteousness.”

“When you divide services by musical taste, the devil has you where he wants you.  It is a sick, SICK practice.”

From the notes: “Truly worshipful music is not just emotive, but instructive didactic, and informative, keeping alive the memory of God’s gracious actions, and our own unworthiness, and declaring the nature of trule holy and godly living.”

“Truly worshipful music admonishes the carnal, corrects the sinner, challenges the lazy, reproves the indulgent, encourages the depressed, comforts the sorrowful, inspires the lethargic.”  Sounds a lot like preaching, huh?

“Truly worshipful music is subservient to the Word…The worship must revolve around the word, rahter than the song.  The song is not the primary focus of the worship, let alone the primary worship experience in teh service.  What God has to say to the worshiper (in the word) is always more important than what the worshiper has to say to God.”  How often have you exited a service, aske someone how it went, or possibly asked yourself, how the service was, and the answer is “Good, the worship was great.”  Most times this would be in reaction to the music being isolated from the rest of the service.

Quote from Spurgeon:

We should do well if we added to our godly service more singing.  The world sings: the millions have their song; and I must say the taste of the populace is a very remarkable taste just now as to its favorite songs.  They are, many of them, so absurd and meaningless as to be unworthy of an idiot.  I should insult an idiot if I could suppose that such songs as people sing nowadays would really be agreeable to him.  Yet these things will be heard from men, and places will be thronged to hear the stuff.   Now, why should we, with the grand psalms of David, with the noble hymns of Cowper, of Milton, of Watts- why should we not sing as well as they?  Lest us sing the songs of Zion: they are cheerful as the songs of Sodom any day.  Let us drown the howling nonsense of Gomorrah with the melodies of the New Jerusalem.

“Evangelical ministers of the word must become more pro-active in establishing patterns of worship for the local congregation.  The planning of the entire service should ensure coherence between the ministries of proclamation, prayer, and music, the latter two arising out of and comlementing the former.”

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3 comments on “Theology of Worship- The Role of Music

  1. BethsMomToo says:

    “The life of the person is more important than the performance.”

    How true this should hold for ALL ministry. We’re NOT looking for “talent”, we’re looking for faithfulness. Shouldn’t we seek SS teachers, Youth workers, etc. for their faithful walk before a holy God, rather than attempting to “fill holes” with whoever can be talked into doing it? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people concentrated on their Christian walk to the point that they would be “honored” to be considered qualified enough to be asked to teach or serve in some way?

    It also reminds me of the times I have heard people complain that their “gift” is not appreciated, nor used by their assembly… and so they jump churches. Shouldn’t they be concentrating on their walk before the LORD and being sensitive to His leading them to a particular place of service? And does that service always need to be part of a “program”?

    I’ve had multiple calls at the church from people wondering if we could use their “gift” in our church… and never asking a single question about what we believe or preach! I’m serious! The second most asked question is, “What kind of music do you have?” or “Do you have contemporary music?” In the past year I’ve never had a SINGLE question concerning whether we have expository preaching, if we stress Missions & Evangelism, asking to see a Statement of Faith or wondering how many Prayer Services and Bible Studies we offer.

    Putting the emphasis on your “gift” instead of on your walk with the One who GAVE you that gift is tantamount to serving yourself and not God.

  2. BethsMomToo says:

    And not once have I had a person ask if our church needs someone to wipe coffee pots or take out the dirty diapers from the Nursery! Now that’s a question I would LOVE to have someone ask!

  3. Beth says:

    I love your winterim courses.
    I wonder what people would do today if Spurgeon was around using the word “idiot”. He would shock us in these post-post-post modern times!

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