Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You don't like it? Deal with it!

Ok, there is one thing I have a problem with...well there are lots of things I have problems with but this one makes me shake my head in disgust. I have a big problem with people saying they do not like a particular worship song. I know I know, there are plenty of songs out there that really are NOT good, a one bit. Just listen to the Fish every now and then and you will hear some songs that musically are not that good. But don't listen to the Fish now because all they are playing is Christmas songs. They have been playing Christmas songs since Halloween! Yes, Hallo-freakin-ween!! Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one? Still, the focus and heart behind the song is Jesus and what He did and is doing for us. How can you dislike this?! And even more absurd is that one can have the nerve to go up to somebody else and say, "Hey, you know that song that talks about praising God? Yeah...I don't like it. Let's not sing that one anymore." What?! Please do not confuse this with singing a song too much or too often on Sunday mornings. I am totally in favor of putting a song on the bench for a while and bringing it back some time later. It tends to have a rather profound effect on worship. Nor am I talking about playing a song the same way every single time. I am all about doing the old songs in a new and fresh way. I'm talking about criticizing a song because of how it sounds or because you don't like the wording.

Anyway, I'm sorry to be venting a little but sometimes I get fed up with "too" opinionated people. More people these days are getting their theology out of the songs we sing than by liturgy or a good Sunday sermon. Music across the board is very influential, especially the words inside the music. I used to be a big cynic when it came to worship songs and I was full of musical snobbery. But after realizing how much music affects people, and how much people are paying attention to the words they/we are singing, I've slowly but not so gently, put the proverbial foot in my mouth. Writing songs is hard; writing congregational worship songs is THE hardest thing to do (I know, I'm trying and I can't seem to finish nary a song). I truly believe God anoints and speaks songs to those with the gift of song-writing. So by criticizing and passing judgments, you are doing the same thing to God. Stop it!!

Sorry this came out of nowhere. People just need to think before they speak.

9 comments:

brad said...

I agree, 100%. I also am guilty as charged. You open a nice discussion, hopefully one we can discuss on December 5 at the blog get together.

As a musician, I tend to have a difficult time worshipping if I am not playing. All I know of contemporary worship, whatever that is, is what I have learned behind the kit. When I am in the congregation, I feel a bit awkward and even, dare I say it, lost.

Boggsy said...

I am with you as well about not really knowing what to do when in the congregation...should I worship? Should I be critiquing the band? The thing that helped me (or worked me over) was one Sunday when I was in the congregation and they were doing a pretty random song (wish I could remember which one but it wasn't a super powerful one) and I just broke down weeping. I didn't even know why I was weeping, I just was. Then God said I am IN this song too (emphasis added). God moved on my heart that the original meaning of the Scripture "I inhabit the praises of my people" actually means I sit enthroned ON the praises of my people. It changed things in my heart. He is enthroned on anything that is bringing Him praise...NO matter what! I'm just rambling now. We should talk because I need some grace like never before...

ManUtd17 said...

I am guilty of wishing the songs were different. Ask Brad; he can tell you. Sorry fellas.

Bo said...

I agree. Writing worship songs is very hard. I think we need to learn that worship songs are just vehicles in which we encounter, pour our heart out to, and thank the God we serve.

Ruth Allen Bryant said...

Hey... wanted to let you know (again) how much Bo and I appreciated your teaching the other night. We got home and Bo was telling me how grateful he was to have some things to really "think on". I'm gonna throw out a question I have been searching for answers to: What do you do with a song that you have a hard time singing in honesty?? For example... "My life's a love song to you". I hope for my life to be, I strive for it to be. I almost feel when I am worshiping that I need to sing "MAKE my life a love song to you". At times I think we sing boastful things, however there may be power in that. (Maybe we are singing in confidence from FAITH vs. boastfulness. What do you think? Do I have problems...or am I too convicted by words that come out of my mouth?

Boggsy said...

Ruth Allen - I mean you pose a good question but I think you answered it yourself. I DO NOT think that singing "my life's a love song to you" is in anyway being boastful. If it were, "Hey look at my life and how good I am" then yes you would be totally right! The Lord looks at your heart. The Bible says many things that show that we love God, and one of those is being obedient to God and being surrendered to Him. So in a way, by being obedient to Him and saying to Him, I surrender my life to you (which we do at our salvation moment), your life IS a love song to Him. I in no way believe He is up in heaven looking down upon us in disappointment by us singing that line. In fact, I believe He is super excited by our hearts cry to live a life of love to Him! So much so that He wants to help us do it!! The love song in our life to God could be honoring your parents, it could be blessing and loving your friends, it could be being faithful to your husband or wife, it could be loving your kids, it could be laughing or crying with friends in need, and so on and so on. I'm not personally attacking you here but I'm speaking to Christians as a whole when I say, STOP looking at yourself and focus your eyes and hearts upward!! It's NOT about us. The very first topic we covered on Friday night was Humility. We, and I emphasize WE, need to get over ourselves. The Lord looks at your heart. If your heart screams Lord, I want my life to be a love song to you, then sing with all that's within you that chorus! Worship that does not inspire us to action is not truly worship. Worshipping to Love Song should inspire you to be a love song to and for God! I'm sorry to go on and on about this, but it is of vital importance to growing in worship to know that it is ALL ABOUT GOD and nothing about us in worship. Anyway, again my apologies. Feel free to post your response to this or you can just give me a ring. Anybody else want to add anything?

Ruth Allen Bryant said...

Agree.. I wanted to ask YOU this question because I have been asked it by others and did not reach a conclusion that I “jived” with. It always turns into an “I hate this and that song discussion”, in which I unfortunately added my two cents worth in. I had a boyfried who LOVED this discussion! (Ughh Caroline is dying to get her hands on this key board and add her two cents) No, it is NOT about what WE can do. I do think He gently and sweetly convicts us at times. I also agree that He is pleased with our worship, especially when we don’t “have much to offer” and we admit that. I would NEVER suggest we not sing a song because one person doesn't like it. (I would even be hesitant to question a well-known, respected musician's motive, theological beliefs, etc.. by picking apart every lyric they have written.) We can only make a “guess” at the writer’s interpretation…we need to see how God speaks to us through the song. I also agree writing corporate songs is very challenging...I've tried to help Bo...it's tough.. In conclusion, we have to be careful how we interpret and respond to a song. I think what hits the nail on the head is that it is NOT about us. We can’t interpret songs that way (looking at ourselves). I need to realize that I can’t be perfect, I should THINK less, let deep cry out to deep, be careful not to make assumptions about lyrics, and let GOD tell me what HE thinks. What do you think about what I think? :)

Boggsy said...

RA - I agree with you totally. I hope it didn't come across as being rude or attacking in any way. I like the discussion!

Ruth Allen Bryant said...

JB- I would not have posed a question (especially on your blog) if I did not want to discuss it. Iron sharpens iron. It's good to listen to other's wisdom. You can rest assured...I do not feel attacked.