This has been on my heart and rolling around in my mind a lot lately.
More and more I’m finding that worship songs are focused on self more than God. Sometimes, standing in a church service, it will go entire songs without mentioning the name of God once, isn’t that crazy? A time meant for praising our Creator is being hijacked and flipped around. Now congregations sing about self-love, what God can do for us rather than what we can do for Him, or nature as the only way to God rather than the Word.
This is not just kinda off, it’s sinful. The postmodern self-centered kool-aid that some people are drinking is poisonous to their souls, and so many of the modern Christian songs go further than just trending toward the self-centered side of the spectrum, they become heretical, making extra-biblical claims that twist or entirely contradict the Word of God.
I don’t have a problem with organ vs electric guitar, I don’t have a problem with hymnal vs contemporary, but I do have a problem with truth vs lies.
Many times we can have a mindset that the church can do no wrong, that once we step through the doors of the sanctuary we don’t have to be on our guard for Satan’s lies anymore. It’s unfortunate that we must always be actively and intentionally discerning truth from lies, but it’s also the reality of the fallen world we live in.
Maybe you’re thinking “No way! I haven’t heard any worship songs like that!” Well, that may be true. You and your church may be guarding against the attacks of the devil so well that you have saved yourself from this, but I can assure you, this is a pervasive problem in worship today. And it’s possible that you, like me, have simply been too accepting of anything on the Christian playlists on Spotify and need to reevaluate whether you’re worshiping the Creator or the creation.
So, what do we do about it?
First of all, guard your own heart and mind. Be careful about what music you choose to listen to and which music you recommend to friends. Make sure that each lyric of the song is in line with the Bible, don’t let your worship turn into a stumbling block that slightly angles you off the straight and narrow path, only for you to look back awhile later and find that you are far from where you began.
Secondly, bring it up! It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, in a position of power or simply an attender, it can’t hurt to remind the church leadership in love that worship is meant for us to point to God, not ourselves. Again, many times when it comes to any song in the Christian genre we can let our guard down and accept any person’s word as truth. We cannot do this, not because of some personal vendetta against any artist, but because they are a person, a fallible human being who we need to keep under the authority of God in our minds.
Finally, know that this is not new. I mention modern Christian music because I see it most obviously there, but Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. Christians have always had to struggle with self-centeredness. In fact, I think that self-centeredness is actually one of the most difficult and most common things that we struggle with. But that’s another post. What I’m trying to convey is that self-centeredness has and will always be (until Christ returns) a struggle for us, so let’s begin to surrender to the changes of the Holy Spirit by keeping our worship pure and free from sin.