is there such thing as a safer song for worship?

7 10 2009

After being inspired by A. W. Tozer’s quote about lying in church I starting thinking about the importance of singing truth in church.

Along this journey about worship I also reflected on why certain worship times seemed more moving than others. After being more conscious about my feelings during worship and observing the differences I found something that stood out.

The times where I felt the most moved was when I was affirming truth about God. When I exalted God, He truly seemed to be present in a different way.

Sometimes, though, I felt really moved when I was singing about committing to God. But I realized it was also because my heart was affirming that God’s greatness demanded that I respond as the lyrics said.

There was one time, though, where singing about commitment to God turned out badly.

The song’s lyrics said something like, “You can have all of me.”

Leading up to the song worship seemed to be better than normal. Yet the moment we started that song the atmosphere turned 180 degrees. It felt as if God was upset.

Maybe you will think me to be arrogant or presumptuous, but I will be honest with my perception.

I never saw these lyrics to be true in their lives.

If we were not having class about the Bible, I wouldn’t hear them say a single thing about God. On top of that, when I would share with people my experiences or thoughts about God or His Word the response could be described in the phrase, “Oh, that’s nice for you.” No affirmation, no questions, no sharing on their part. Conversing about God seemed less interesting than talking about the weather.

The incident only happened once, but I’ll never forget it.

I continued to think about what the songs were that led up to the change. The songs before were about God. This is where I discovered the safer song.

God describes himself in Scripture. Whether we believe it or not, it’s true. As soon as we start to put us in the picture it can become a lie. It can be as subtle as changing “You are God” to “You are my God.” “My” makes the song’s meaning change.

Maybe He isn’t the singer’s God, and if not, it’s a lie.

The safer song is one that describes God as told in Scripture. It is free of the possibility of human contamination.

I can think of an objection: Isn’t worship still empty if we don’t believe it, even if it is Scripture?

My answer is yes.

But there is also an advantage to singing Scripture, because faith comes by hearing according to Romans 10:17. So, in singing Scripture our faith is built in those statements, so that over time it becomes true for us.

Once it is truth in us then we have a solid foundation from which to build our allegiance to God.