Of the many church problems one problem seems to always rise to the top. I have tried to emphasize the importance of Church unity already but this issue really needs its own blog. Why? Because music is a polarizing thing, it shouldn’t be but in the church it is. Some like classic, some like instrumental, some like country? Some like pop. Some like hip hop, Some like alternative, yes! Not only this but there are so many sub genres of music that the ones I already mentioned are already archaic, it is impossible to keep up. Some like this, some like that, some speaks to some and some speaks to others. This unfortunately bleeds into the church when it comes to worship. Some is more holy than others, wait, what the!?
Here is one of my favorites from psalm 118:”A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.”
The first instances of praise is simply the Israelites praising God for his victories by recounting his deeds when God delivers the Israelites from the Egyptians from Exodus 15.
20 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. 21 Miriam answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.”
Worship is always about God but our wars over it have made it about us, our preferences, our feelings, our music. But worship is foremost about humility because without humility we can never ascribe to God his due worth. Without humility we are never concerned about anything but our self.
Let me add one more point to this which is hard to write. This unfortunately has ended up with old churches with little to no youth in them and young churches with little to no old people in them. With the mid-lifers having to draw lines in the sand of where to go. I have seen this many times across the country. Why? Because the music reflects the tone of the tradition and the tradition sets the tone of the decor. The traditional takes on the decor of a Cathedral and the contemporary takes on the decor of a concert hall. And the appropriate people report for roll-call. This is sadly a large degree of simply ageism in the church. Some churches wonder why they can’t attract/keep certain demographics into their churches without realizing they have tailor-made them for the people who are already there. Slowly the people who do not fit slide out the back door if they were ever there in the first place.
Now having preferences isn’t really the problem as I have already said, we should have different churches with different flavors. This only becomes a problem when we have churches with people who don’t want to share. But if worship is about God then it isn’t about what you prefer or what I prefer. It is sad, but a blended service really should minister to us all, but it still bothers us if it isn’t completely about us.
The style will always be the issue when God’s glory isn’t. So let’s see about making worship about God again, then perhaps the style won’t be as big a deal, because it isn’t he is.