5 Reasons To Stop Decrying Modern Worship Music

A warrior poet king danced in the street, as the musicians struck up a beat with drums and their instruments of ten strings. The music was hot, but someone was displeased. His wife, looking on from an upstairs window, disdained the celebration and was embarrassed of her husband the king, and God struck her with barrenness.

Not everyone is pleased with worship music, and scarcely a week can go by without me seeing a blog post or hearing the sentiment that modern worship music is ruining the church. As a musician, singer, and writer of, ahem, modern music, here are 5 reasons we should pause before declaring the destruction of the modern church is at hand because of Contemporary Christian music.

1. Musicians Are Warriors

In the Bible, musicians were not only warriors, but they were often the front line. Can you imagine? Judah was facing a battle against Moab and the sons of Ammon, and King Jehoshaphat sent the singers in first. As they worshipped and praised the Lord of heaven and earth, God caused the invading army to fight among themselves and Judah found their bodies dead upon the ground. 2 Chr. 20:20-25 tells the story.

Earlier, in the battle of Jericho, the priests circled the city seven times before blowing their trumpets, at which time the walls came crumbing down. Worship is powerful, and we must not underestimate it. When Paul and Silas were in prison and began singing hymns at midnight, God caused an earthquake and the prison doors came open. God's people do battle when they sing.

2. New Music is New Wine

We are commanded many times in scripture to sing a new song. Psalm 149:1 says:

'Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!'   

Here is a startling statistic: 100% of songs that were ever written were once new. Every single one. Being new is not grounds for considering something to be sinful. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17 to put new wine into new skins and that you would not sew a new patch on an old wine skin, because it would burst. New music is like a new wine skin. It speaks to the generation in which it was written. God is moving and when He does, His people write new music.

3. Consider The Source

Writing music for God is a calling, just like anything else. The gifting and talents come from God. Be careful when fighting against something that God has called someone to do. It doesn't mean that songwriters are infallible or that they should not be accountable to others. It just means that there is a principle in scripture not to touch the anointed of God, as you may be fighting against God when you do. Acts 5:39 says,

"But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God." 

4. Musicians Are People Too

I can personally attest to the fact that much spiritual warfare is thrust at musicians that most are not aware of. There is also criticism from inside the church and suspicion directed at musicians and writers of new music. Most do not realize that their words hit real people and that it hurts them. Besides this, being a songwriter and musician for the church can be a lonely profession.

Add to this that you're putting your heart on your sleeve and courageously putting it on display for anyone to see. There is also the struggle for holiness and against the sinful flesh. Worship music is not entertainment; if it were, it wouldn't this hard. Many times musicians travel for free and play their music without charge, and they spend hours practicing and honing their craft. After putting in all this work, it can be disheartening to hear others say that new music is ruining the church.

5. God Inhabits the Praise of His People

I love all types of Christian music: Southern Gospel, CCM, harder Christian Rock, hymns, Reggae, African American Gospel, and spirituals. I play a variety of styles and tailor what I play to the audience I am playing for. I understand that music is a language and that people best understand their particular dialect. That said, there is no need to insult those who enjoy a certain type of Christian music. It is most important to remember this verse when we all come together to worship, no matter the style we choose: Psalm 22:3

'But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.'

 

Imagine the great privilege that we have of worshipping the Most High, and most of all, that He delights in it! God also delights in the unity of His people and that they have love for one another, no matter the style of music that they play.

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