is “made to worship” a worship song?

2 09 2009

Read the lyrics:

Before the day
Before the light
Before the world revolved around the sun
God on high
Stepped down into time
And wrote the story of His love for everyone

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free
You and I embrace surrender
You and I choose to believe
You and I will see who we were meant to be

All we are
And all we have
Is all a gift from God that we receive
Brought to life
We open up our eyes
To see the majesty and glory of the King

And even the rocks cry out
And even the Heavens shout
At the sound of His holy name
So let every voice sing out
And let every knee bow down
He is worthy of all our praise

If we look at the lyrics through the definition of worship we will see that this song ironically is not worship. The verses talk about what God did; it’s a retelling of facts. The chorus is us telling each other what we were made for. The bridge states that nature worships God, and then commands us to worship God.

Looking at the song I don’t see us ever telling God anything. If I stretch the definition, I can say that we are affirming things God did in the verses, which can remind us of our place relative to God. But what gets stuck most in our head is the chorus and that is just us telling each other encouragements.

The song is not a bad song, nor theologically incorrect. It’s just not worship.

I feel I must mention I really like Chris Tomlin, so I was kind of disappointed that this song caught on at churches. I really like songs he has made famous whether written by him or not – How Great Is Our God, Indescribable, Rejoice, etc.

We shouldn’t just accept every song on a “worship” album as a worship song. Test the song and if it passes, go for it.

*Added 9/2/09 @ 10:24PM: I think the question I wrestle with is differentiating between retelling history of God and when retelling is worship. In my definition I came to the conclusion that worship should be directed toward God. I don’t know if that came out in this post. It always seemed to me that this song was more about us singing to each other.

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2 responses

2 09 2009
Tim Liu

One thing I learned in worship class was some songs are sung to God, some songs are sung to the world (praising God), some songs can be sung to each other (the Church) as a means of edification and challenge. For example, many invitations songs are like this – e.g. “Come, Now is the Time To Worship”. I think many of the Psalms fit into this category.

Also, is singing about God, or his nature or works, not worship? Cause that would knock out a lot of songs, like Amazing Grace.

Having said all that, I personally wouldn’t sing “made to worship” in a congregational setting as a worship song.

2 09 2009
Jonathan Louie

I think as I did my research one question that I had a hard time closing was how to differentiate between telling the facts of what God had done and retelling what God had done as worship.

An easy thing to do would be to just say all retelling of what God has done is worship, but that just doesn’t sit well with me. I actually don’t have an answer.

What did seem to stand out was that worship was directed toward God. Example: Revelation 4:8-11 is kind of interesting because it only signifies the elders as worshiping God, while the others do not “worship.”

Maybe I’m going overboard.

Thanks for the feedback.

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