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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songs for the journey, songs to God

27 01 2010

There are times I feel like a worship jerk. I am driven to help the church understand worship; but in this process I have to draw a line that eliminates good songs from falling under the worship banner.

For example:

The lyrics:

Where you go I go
What you say I say
What you pray I pray

Jesus only did, What he saw you do
He would only say, What he heard you speak
He would only move, When he felt you lead
Following your heart, Following your
spirit

How could I expect to walk without you
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I would not begin to live without you
For you alone are worthy you are always good

You are always good
You are always good
Always good
Always good

Though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget
Who you are and what you’ve done for us
What you’ve done for us

You are my God

When I look at the lyrics I have to say the song isn’t a worship song. The lyrics “You are always good” and “You are my God” are the only lyrics I could consider to fall under the definition of worship, which in simple terms is giving a response to God because of who He is.

The other lyrics talk about the way Jesus lived and how the church should live in response to His example.

Nothing is wrong with the song. It’s just not a song that worships God.

This type of song is what I’d call a song for the journey on the road of God’s transformation.

Do I think like song should be sung in church? Yes, but the song itself cannot serve as a worship song.

I’ll discuss more about worship times versus worship songs next post, but I want to set a foundation leading into the next post.

Just because a song is biblical truth, does not mean it qualifies as a worship song. There is a reason for the distinction, but we’ll have to wait until the next post.