Worship Theology (Part 2)

In my last post, I toyed around with the idea that Christians in my generation are more likely to get their theology from the songs we sing instead of from the living Word of God. I had so many comments – mostly off of the screen – from friends that read it and were challenged by it, that I just had to follow it up by addressing this question… 
“If we are more influenced by songs than by the revealed Word, where does that take us?”
A couple of years ago, I was disheartened to learn that one of the most influential Christian songwriter/singers of the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s had “come out of the closet,” so to speak. Ray Boltz had ministered to so many people through the music God had given him – “Thank You,” “The Anchor Holds,” “Watch the Lamb,” “At the Foot of the Cross,” and so many more powerful songs… And after many years of marriage, and in the presence of his wife and children, one day, Boltz decided to announce his secret homosexuality to his family. Since then, He has been mostly involved with “Christian” (and I use the term very loosely) churches who accept and celebrate the LGBT community. You can read more about this here.
At the end of this article, the author quotes Boltz as having said, “If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be.” Doesn’t that sound all warm and fuzzy to you? But through the revealed Word of God, the true Christian knows that homosexuality is outside of God’s plan for humanity, and is at the most foundational level, sin. (If you disagree with this claim, please follow THIS LINK. It provides a great discussion on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality).

More recently, Jennifer Knapp, renown Christian singer/songwriter has also “come out of the closet.” Her story is intriguing, no doubt. She started writing and singing Christian music at a very early age, and it seems that no one really stressed to her the importance of studying the Word – but they were infatuated with her music and lyrics – I’m talking about Christians! They praised her and pushed her, and before she could blink, she was lifted onto this pedestal by Christian churches who were listening to her music, but not asking about her walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. This is what she writes about the moment she “realized she was gay…” “I questioned whether my faith had betrayed me, or I if had a betrayed my faith. I wondered if music was a ruse and could unite no one.” She has become so dependent on the emotional power of her music and the blind praise of quasi-Christians, that she can’t understand why music can’t just cover this “difference” and “unite” all “Christians” in love. (You can read more of Knapp’s story HERE.) Oh my – how far we have come from Biblical Christianity. Knapp would be wise to honestly sing the lyrics to her song, “Refine Me” to a God who loves, but demands obedience and righteousness. Here are some lyrics from that song she wrote:

Lord…


Come with your fire, burn my desires


Refine me


Lord…
My will has deceived me, please come and free me
Come rescue this child, for I long to be reconciled to you


I don’t think she even realizes how much she really needs to pray that song and listen to God as he (Psalm 139) searches her heart and reveals to her any wicked way that is within her.

What HAPPENED???!!! How can two of the most influential CHRISTIAN singer/songwriters of our time so grossly misunderstand Who God is and what He wants from them? Isn’t it clear in scripture that homosexuality is wrong??? How does this happen?!

I’ll tell you how – The songs we sing are becoming so “God-is-Love”oriented that we are forgetting that God is also a Holy God who demands justice and righteousness. It is BECAUSE God is love that He demands such. If He did not demand justice for sin, He would be an unjust God. If He submissively allowed His children to get away with whatever they wanted – regardless of the consequences – without disciplining them, He would be an unloving God. Listen to me – GOD IS LOVE! And because He is love, He has given us a standard by which to live and has satisfied His justice through the Person of Jesus Christ. It is because of God’s love that He demands righteousness and provides an avenue for it.

I used the word “anthropocentric” in my last blog. Do you know what that means? It means “man-centered.” I am ashamed to say that most of our “Christian” songs are man-centered and not God-centered. Songs are not and never will be an acceptable substitute for the eternal Word of the Living God. If you’re a songwriter out there… study the Word! Live it! And then write songs about it, and about your journey. After all, if we seek to honor God with our music, then the truth is we have only an “Audience of One.” 

I come on my knees


To lay down before you


Bringing all that I am


Longing only to know you
Seeking your face
And not only your hand
I find you embracing me
Just as I am
And I lift these songs
To you and you alone
As I sing to you
In my praises make your home
To my audience of one
You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free,
Let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more
Has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come
And your will be done
I only desire to be yours,
Lord


– Big Daddy Weave, “Audience of One”





Grace and Peace,
Tony

2 thoughts on “Worship Theology (Part 2)

  1. I agree. We are also all liars, thieves, etc, but that is not because God made us that way! Everyday we have a choice to either follow what the Bible says or choose our own will. Great post, Tony!

  2. Consider the alternative to Christianity; Relativism/Humanism (or whatever you wish to call our current social order), does something being "natural" make it necessarily "good"? [I know, what is "good"?]. Does it make this behavior socially acceptable? There are those who are naturally inclined to eat other people. God made them that way or they are naturally that way; whatever your beliefs, neither of these makes the behavior acceptable. If there really are no absolutes, then why is anything prohibited? We just swap the oppressive, arbitrary norms of Judeo-Christianity for those that seem appropriate to society at the time. Either there are or there are not standards. If there are, then live by them, if there are not, then why is there a legal system at all?I know, the legal system is validated as long as it enforces whatever I think is important. As long as I get to choose what is or is not "good" and acceptable behavior, then I'm for it, otherwise, it is oppressive. God didn't ask us when He established the Law – which precisely fulfills its purpose of demonstrating our inability to measure up (Rom 3:19-26).Unfortunately, we don't like that fact. We want to change the Law so that its purpose is no longer fulfilled (Rom 3:3-5). Is this not exactly what the "Christians" you cite are stating? Why can't love just cover it up? Let us continue in sin, so that grace may abound. I'll do what I want, so you have to love me more making God and Christianity even greater.

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