We (the students and professors on the trip) went to a church here in Regensburg, called Livestream… but guess what they did not do? livesteaming haha. I’m not hilarious, am I? Probably not. What I am is tired and loopy. But anyways, A service in German with Mrs. McDuffee, Dr. McDuffee’s wife translating for the students. It is always amazing to see God work in the perfect timing of revelation and comfort.
You see we may disagree on how to do worship. There will be some people who hate music at certain points of the worship, and certain people love it. Particular songs are great and others… should never be played. But a lot of that is what? Preference. Preference and individual opinion is how we determine the churches we attend and avoid in the American culture. Is there anything particularly wrong with a different style? No. What one needs to make sure is that everything is grounded in truth, and is edifying for the saints. What mostly ends up happening is we complain because they didn’t play, “my style of music.”
While I have nothing wrong with people wanting or worshiping different style here is my argument, here is my passionate thought: THE SERVICE IS NOT TO WORSHIP YOUR SKEWED VERSION OF GOD AND HIS PREFERENCES. Thank you for those who imagined me yelling this. God doesn’t not have music preference that is molded by what you like. God doesn’t look on people and say, “Oh. My. Word. You played music that you intended to honor me with at the wrong time.” These things are preference. Remember that. Also remember that what speaks to you, may not speak to someone else.
Personally I love ending a service with ambient music. I love ambient sounds. I know, I have seen, I have used them to bring people into a worshipful mode. If you can bridge the gap and draw in the mind to have it tell the heart to look up to Heaven, you are leading worship right. It is a vertical movement. This is the experience to bring their (the audience) attention and cast it upward.
Also I know we dog on people for writing weird worship songs. Sometimes that is warranted. When there is no mention of God, Jesus, or anything that points to a biblical explanation and it comes off as just a love song that could be played for your spouse… It might not be the best corporate worship song. But remember this saints, someone, took the time to write that song. Someone intended it to have a deeper meaning, or it was close to their heart and they portrayed it in easy wording. Someone out there hears these songs, and it hits the right word, at the right time that takes them to a place where they realize things going on in their life and they connect. Not only do they connect but it causes them to start worshiping. I know I critique songs all the time, but for now on how about we leave the negative opinions and hatred until we know where the writer is coming from, what they meant, and the impact it has on people. When we know the facts, Jack, then you can fire away with your negative biased opinions. Honestly I will be harsh and frank about this. If you, after knowing the facts, and hearing the impact that even those “shallow” songs have on some people still rip into them like they don’t have any value then you are a cold hearted person incapable of realizing and appreciating the diversity of worship of God. That is my “opinion”. I’m not afraid to say it. Call me out if you will. Test me, tell me that the creator of the universe who created all things and told his creation to reproduce. Who created the genetic scale for diversity and adaptation to everything after its own kind. The Designer of the human race, all color, ethnic backgrounds, sexes, and features. Elohim, creator God who created sound and with it has given us the most magical piece universe that science is now claiming is at the very subatomic level sustaining the galaxy. You go ahead and tell me that He doesn’t appreciate creativity, diversity, and honest worship. Simple and complex, as long as it is worship to HIM, and HIM alone I do not think He will judge us for getting our songs wrong on a Sunday morning. But if you think so, test me. Show me in the scriptures that I am wrong. Give me the theology behind it. Sharpen me to be a better person. If you cannot, then gain from this rant this: The Artist and the recipient when focused on God will experience that which the Holy Spirit can use to touch your heart.
But perhaps I’m a heretic going crazy. There is always that possibility. I doubt it, but honestly, who is checking up on me? The world is a confused and babbling place. I’m not as outspoken as some so my views are let loose like hounds on the few places that I know my thoughts are heard: the empty corridors of cyberspace. Perhaps no one will ever read this. Then again, someone might read it and this could cause a revolution of realization, and appreciation for artists who pour their hearts out to God in their songs.
Anyways, in short it was a good day. Good service, and a good group to fellowship with. God answers prayer. God provides. God’s timing is always the best timing.
From Regensburg with love,