Sing to the Lord a new song.
He put a new song on my mouth…
-Psalm 96:1, 98:1, 149:1; Isaiah 42:10, and Psalm 40:3
(Updated, 12-28, with video added below)
I watched a video on YouTube that was posted as an example of malpractice in worship leading. Musicians, who are there to lead us into God\’s presence, can end up being unedifying, by their words or actions.
What happened was that a worship leader said some things, meaning to be encouraging, but then went to a sermonette that was a bit theologically incorrect or at nest, confusing.
I remember George Mallone (Those Controversial Gifts, 1983) saying that a simple example of a false prophecy would be, \”My people, I know you are depressed. I get depressed too\”.
We can love God and be saved, yet be very immature in our knowledge of God and say something like this. I remember a Sunday night, when a probably well meaning person gave a prophecy and it with, \”and I am a fairy-story God!\” And our pastor had to get on the microphone and gently but firmly say, \”God is not a fairy-story God.\” On another occasion, a person gave a word that was hard to understand and the same pastor commented afterward by quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:20 that says not to treat prophesies with contempt.
The particular song showcased in the video is a song I didn\’t really like: Cory Asbury\’s Reckless Love. I didn\’t dislike it, but just didn\’t resonate with it; but I was really curious about it, because it is popular and seems to resonate with many people.
Cory\’s song has this line in it:
There\’s no wall You won\’t kick down
Lie You won\’t tear down
Coming after me
I had a hard time with seeing God kicking down walls. This reminds me of a song from 2005, by John Mark MacMillan, called, How He Loves; which has this line in it, that some people were offended by:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
People said that hurricanes are destructive, so how could that be a metaphor for God\’s love? It didn\’t bother me. Later, I heard mark share that he wrote this song in the wake of his deep grief over losing a best friend in a car accident. Mark was very upset. The song does not celebrate anger, but our God who loves us when we are angry, frustrated, and weak.
I decided to do a bit of research about Corey\’s Reckless Love song, so I could possibly figure out whether it is indeed a terrible song that showcases just how bad contemporary worship songs have become.
I kept watching the video. I\’m thinking, \”This guy was very authentic and sincere\”. Then, he stopped singing and strumming his guitar and he just started sharing, his story.
Unlike the other video, what he shared was very edifying. He shared how Jesus saved him. He read from a chapter in Luke and identified himself in the story there and told us, that is where this song came from.
Then I got it and understood the metaphor that bothered me before, in his song\’s words.
The way he said something, about Jesus, wasn\’t the way I would say it.
But now I get it.
I understand and I\’m no longer critical.
Yaay! Here is the video of Carey leading a group in worship, to his song; and explainging where it came from:
The other night, I was out with my fourteen year old son, and the ice cream place we go to plays all kinds of pop music, from the 1970\’s to the present. We heard about five songs that spanned from when I was his age all the way to a very new song.
We talked about how pop music is always being innovated and made new. Each generation has new voices, new songs. They build upon what came before, but they are fresh.
Contemporary Christian worship music is the same way. I grew up in a musical church that mixed the old hymns with the Gaither\’s and new songs that were from the Jesus People movement. We had Christian rock bands come and play for outreach, we had choirs of all ages, musicals, unaccompanied singers, and solo violin offertories.
After college, I was a member at the flagship Vineyard church and witnessed and participated in an explosion of new worship and praise songs. Later, I thoroughly enjoyed worshiping to the songs from people like Delirious and Crowder. Older people, in there 50\’s and older, either had to be very open minded, or they just didn\’t get the newer music. In many churches, I imagine that you just lose people, older or younger, because of the music.
But when I was younger, I always looked up to and admired the older people who were young at heart and loved or maybe just tolerated the new music.
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