I was recently having a conversation with someone about their new church. They were telling me how wonderful and upbeat the music was as compared to their previous church.
I asked this person about the beliefs of their current church. They paused for a moment, and said that they really didn’t know what their new church believed. I asked, “You don’t know what they believe?”
“No, but I’m sure that they believe the Bible is God’s Word.”
“But what do they believe the Bible says about Jesus, salvation, and other things?”
“Well, I really don’t know. All I go there for is the music.”
You might think that this is a rare and isolated conversation, but I assure you that it is not. There are multitudes of people going to a church because of the music. The “beat” of the music trumps the “truth” of God’s Word for them.
They are emotionally attached to that which makes them feel good. If the Bible happens to be taught, then that’s a bonus, but not really necessary.
Hence, it’s all about the beat.
Let me be clear. I’m not saying that the music cannot touch the emotions and move our hearts. I am saying that music that does not contain lyrics that exalt Christ, demonstrate the need of the sinner, and the triumph of the death, and resurrection of Christ are always to draw suspicion.
Biblical worship is to be upward. It is exalting and revering the Lord. It is a vertical seeking and yearning. “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
That which is horizontal is man centered and targeted. It is not the worship spoken of in the Scripture. Nowhere is it found in Scripture. Nowhere.
So, that which is sung targeting the present attendees misses the target, which is the Lord God.
You end up with a stage and a stage play. The musicians become players and actors in this event.
If the beat brings the people in, then the question that remains to be asked is, “To what end?” Have we taught, exhorted, and encouraged the congregation to draw near to the Lord, to seek Him?
Going further down the path of some horizontal services is the use of the “fog or smoke machine” in services. These services are like unto a musical concert. I suppose the argument is that these machines further enhance the experience.
The saints of old wanted Holy Spirit radiance, yet modern day church attenders are suggesting that “we will make our own.”
So the evolution of the stage production in services continues.
Saint of God, consider the admonition from these verses of Scripture:
Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers. (Jeremiah 20:13)
We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 75:1)
True worship, looks up like Isaiah found himself doing…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up…(Isaiah 6:1)
It’s not all about the beat. It’s all about the Lord.