I am commenting on Rob's "Heart of Worship?" post on my own blog, because the comment I wrote was too long for the comment section on Rob's blog!!!
Here is the link to his post, so that you can understand what I am saying
I like some of the points that you have made babe, and now that you have made these points known, understand why you are confused! However, I might understand your confusion but I don’t relate to it… I have opinions on your points, and some possible answers.
It is interesting what you say about how you prefer to listen to music, and you don't really listen to the words, which is the reason why you find it difficult to worship. I actually understand what you mean.
Well, I personally listen to words when I sing, but the music is a big part of how I feel about the song as well. I don’t tend to listen to a song if the music sucks.
You make a good point about how singing along/listening to a CD for leisure, doesn’t seem like true worship… especially since we are always hearing about how we should pay attention to the words and meditate on them.
My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with listening to worship on a CD, and my reason is that the difference between listening to non-Christian music and worship music is that the worship music was written for God. In fact, the person who wrote the music was inspired by God to write it! Think about the worship team at church... They are wonderful musicians,,, but they aren’t (Or at least should be) there at all to simply play music, they are there to worship with their music. Music moves the human race... it gives us ‘umf’ in life, and we don’t have to be musically talented to feel the ‘umf’. We appreciate music... and the awesome thing is, so does God! God created music, and there is constant music in heaven!!! So if the music team can worship with music at church, then it makes sense for it to be ok for us to listen to worship songs on CD.
When I worship in church, I definitely let the music carry me away, And it is often the reason why I like the songs so much. I guess why they like us to meditate on the lyrics, is that we need to mean what we say. Yes, worship is for God alone, but I do believe we are allowed to appreciate it. We are humans; we can’t help appreciating music, as well as worshiping God at the same time!
I really liked your point about how after SMASH camp, everyone wanted to know what the songs were so that they could listen to it... and I completely agree with you, that it was very likely because they wanted to keep the SMASH worship experience with them. The thing is, I did the same thing and I don’t find any fault in this! These campers want to keep God in their life, they hunger to worship like they did on SMASH, because a lot of their churches probably don’t have worship like SMASH camp... and the only way they could keep that alive, was to find the songs. They wanted something to relate to. I think they also did really want this music so that they could worship. I keep listening to these songs, because they are really good songs, and they help me reflect on what God has done in my life.
I would also like to make a random point (that I know you didn’t question on this post) about the singing side of things. One of my friends told me about how they were sick of singing “The Stand” because it is old, and we always sing it... I remember feeling this way a while ago about The Stand, and a bunch of other songs that we do all the time... but my thoughts have changed about it, because it came to my mind that the songs are for God, not for us.... and I know I just said that I don’t like a song unless I like the music, and I just talked about how music moves me….. But I do think that the key thing that we need to remember is that although it is ok to let the music move us, it should only be, because we are worshiping to God. I believe it is wrong to not like a worship song, just because we are sick of it…. Worship is meant for God… the words of the song, and the music is all meant to be for God!!!
Please let me know if I have confused you even more, or if any of this doesn’t make sense!
I want to share with you, this link:
It made me giggle admittedly... Although the main point in this wasn’t to make us laugh, but for us to realize that often the way we worship can be all wrong. This song probably only makes us laugh, because for the most part, we relate to it! This song wouldn’t be very funny to an Atheist if you think about it!
The people singing this, used the music to worship songs that most people know, and sung it with what would appear to be the same passion that they would normally sing worship songs with. The first point the song is making, is that when we worship on Sunday, our hearts can be in it… but we can sometimes let the feeling leave us by Monday! The second point was that there are times where we only surrender some of ourselves, not all of ourselves. What I got out of the third point was that we get distracted at least during some point in our worship! It is natural for our minds to wonder. Satan uses our week points to distract us! We end up paying attention to silly things like our hair doo!!! The fourth point, I believe hit me the most “How great is this song”! I am often left worshiping because I am into the song, and not really caring about what I am singing, and why I am singing. The fifth point wasn’t really about how we worship, but how a lot of people are so busy living their life that they only go to church at Easter or Christmas, because they think that if they go to church on those days, they are Christians! The 6th point was that we sing songs, just because it is tradition, but we don’t mean it at all. Lastly, the 7th point was about exalting ourselves instead of God. I’m sure there are more points to pick at, but I guess I felt like sharing this, because it relates to how we worship.
As for the Hillsong stuff that you said… I think I told you my opinion on that on Friday. I think that the people raise their hands, not because everyone else is, but because the type of people who go to Hillsong are really into worship, and would worship like that weather they were at another church or not. I personally wouldn’t make Hillsong my home church, but if I did go there, I would be as much into the worship as they are. I know there are probably people there who aren’t worshiping wholeheartedly, but you would find that the majority are, or are at least trying to! Remember that the music is really strong, and singing with thousands of people, makes it louder and more brilliant. Worshiping with that many people is like a glimpse of heaven!
About the Brian Houston stuff…. Yeh he can be a bit wishy washy. I do recall him apologizing on one of the morning shows and changing some of his views. It just reminds me of how we as humans all make mistakes, but God always picks us up!
I love Hillsong music, but I agree with what you’re saying about how it is greedy making money by asking us to buy the rights to play the song in church. If I were a worship singer/songwriter, I would put copywrite on the music, but I wouldn’t make anyone pay anything to use the song in church. Hillsong already make enough money off their CD’s, ITunes, DVD’s, their TV channel, their conferences etc... it is ridiculous to charge us to play their songs in church… especially since these songs are written for God!
Hmm anyway enough about Hillsong... I wanted to share that Worship is important, and I know it is hard for you. I have said this to you before, but I will say it again... I think we need to learn to worship wholeheartedly in at least one form... remember praying, and giving offering is part of worship. I can’t comprehend not worshiping through song, but I do understand that you struggle for a lot of reasons. I hope that you can at least worship wholeheartedly in some form... I will continue to pray for you, I don’t think you should give up! Xoxo I love you!