If last year’s presidential election was any evidence, there are many different flavors of conservatives. We saw Constitutionalists, the Alt-right, Moderates, Feminists, etc. Conservatism is a very broad spectrum. It seems that it can range from being cast out of the Democratic party for saying something somewhat conservative; or it’s other extreme is backwoods redneck white supremacy. There is no black and white in it.
Music standards are very similar. We see there are very different standards within modern churches. Some churches are very loose and let the band play (often leaving very little time for a 20-minute sermon); or we have churches that seem to think the only instrument ordained by God is the organ.
One school of thought has to be right. What’s the answer to the question. How do we set up our standards, Oh wise one? Okay, maybe I’m not a genius when it comes to figuring out our standards, but I do know where to start. Go to the Word of God.
Is your music honoring to God? A lot of our problem begins with the misconception that has been passed down through the ages that music just exists in the church to “prepare our hearts for the sermon”. WRONG! That point of view downplays its importance and breeds apathy for the things of God. Go to any church, ask them their view on music’s purpose, and then observe them during the song service. In general, those who have a right view get engaged in the music. Those who believe they’re just preparing their hearts are the ones that take it for granted, visiting with friends, checking in on Facebook, doing other things while God wants nothing more than to hear them praise Him.
The conception of our music affects our attitude. The AM service at a church is usually called a worship service for a reason. Are we drawn to worship a holy God through our music? Or do we sit back, cross our arms, and wait for the special because it’s the same old songs we sing over and over?
If our conception of music is correct, we can move on. The overarching theme of this article is “Does your music honor God?” Many people mean well, but some songs just fall flat. Instead of drawing people to worship, they’re drawn back to the cesspool of sin they crawled out of. I’m talking not about the instruments of worship (we’ll get to that in a minute), but the songs themselves. We can sit here and poke fun at 7-11 songs all day, but it’s more than just that. You can say so much with so little. But it takes deep lyrics to touch the heart. Are the lyrics truly in thought to Almighty God? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over? Or do they just repeat a buzz phrase over and over?
DRUMS ARE BAD! ELECTRIC GUITARS ARE BAD! THEY’RE USED BY ROCK BANDS! The piano used to be bad. Once upon a time, the piano was taboo, and the only approved instrument in many churches was the organ. Now many of us associate the organ with the Catholic church and adore the piano. Here’s the deal, the piano is an inanimate object, just like a gun. It is neither good nor evil. If you use a gun to kill an innocent, the user is evil. If you use that same gun to protect the innocent, the user has done something good. The same applies to an instrument. Up until the 70’s (maybe even later), drums, electric guitars, steel guitars, and electric basses were used in many churches. All of my old PCBBC albums contain those instruments. Were they a problem? Not really.
What has happened to our standards? We’ve turned them into doctrine. We’ve adapted them for a time, place, and culture; and when that time, place, and culture disappeared, so did the relevance of that standard. So a certain style may be your weakness. Don’t listen to it. The Apostle Paul made it very evident that we have liberty. If you know your brother has a spiritual problem with it, respect that belief.
Are standards bad? Absolutely not. They’re what keep stumblingblocks out of our way. Is a certain standard required for all? Not hardly.