don’t lie in worship – it’s your choice

16 02 2010

“Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.” – A. W. Tozer

When first I heard the quote from A. W. Tozer I smiled because it’s true. It’s not that Christians don’t ever lie, but the point is that they sing lies. Now, I must be a little more forgiving. The definition of “to lie” is “a false statement deliberately presented as being true.” I don’t think people really are trying to deceive God or other people, but I think often words are said without believing them.

Watch this:

Speaking truth during worship cannot be over emphasized. John 4:23-24 states

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

The last line says “those who worship MUST worship in spirit and truth.” There is no provision for worshiping without truth. Simply stated we cannot lie in worship.

But what about the person who wants to sing the song, but doesn’t feel like the lyrics are true in their soul. Though their mind may agree that the lyrics are true, they may not be true for them in their heart. Likewise, what about when a person sings a song and feels they are true, but the mind hasn’t taken the journey?

Sometimes feelings come first and sometimes thoughts come first. They don’t have to coincide in order for them to be true for us. When we move by faith we move according to God’s word because we believe it is true. Sometimes feelings aren’t there. Likewise there are times we feel like something is right, but we don’t understand why it is, which is equally as right.

If either feelings or thoughts precede the other it is not as if we are lying. Ultimately, it is the intention and direction of a person that determines truth. God’s word is truth; if we are agreeing with it in thought or feeling then we are pleasing God.

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4 responses

8 04 2012
yael

I really don’t under stand because I feel that we should sing words from your heart because God does not look at your outside but he looks at the inside of you

8 04 2012
Jonathan Louie

Exactly, the action I am getting at is all the mindless singing that goes on in church gatherings. It’s because I was there. I would sing songs that said something like, “God you are my strength.” Well, the truth was that I didn’t rely on God for His strength, so therefore it’s a lie. Now, if I say “God is strong” and I don’t believe it, it doesn’t matter because it is true. What makes the previous lyric a lie for me is “my.”

I wasn’t clear enough. Simply put, if I sing a song that requires something of me like, “I love you God” and I say it passively, not intending to make good on such a declaration, then it’s a lie. This should be avoided. I hope that makes it clear.

6 02 2014
charlie kurz

in worship I can choose not to sing certain lines, ie ones that say im sad, im dry, im lonely ect when im overwhelmed with His amazing love and oozing with His awesome joy. However when I’m leading a song in worship how do I overcome this problem? there might be members of the Church family that are in a dark and barren place and can totally relate to the lyrics I understand that but I feel like I’m lying to God?
Please help! X

23 02 2014
Jonathan Louie

I don’t really have an answer for this. I do remember hearing Kim Walker Smith say in a worship she led (it’s online on youtube) that she only chooses songs that she fully believes in – songs where she can commit 100%. I know that may make it difficult to choose songs. I think the other thing is to discuss the issue with the pastor and see what your pastor suggests.

The other perspective is that as a leader you help guide people through situations. I think we tend to look at our journey of faith as individual, but we also do it collectively and in that sense when someone in the church hurts we all hurt. We should share each other’s pain and joys. Just as when one part of our body hurts the whole body is affected.

I think this issue shows how difficult it is to write good corporate worship songs and the need to do so.

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