As a twenty-something music pastor, I couldn’t ignore it. Some people hated my music.
It wasn’t just the volume (we liked to turn it up to 11), our Slash wannabe on electric guitar, or even the freshly penned lyrics and melodies.
They hated it because God hated it. And they came armed with Scripture to prove it.
You knew that right? That somewhere around 1894, the last God-approved song was written (to the melody of a popular bar-tune, but we’ll ignore that part). Those songs were then canonized with Scripture to be sung (with piano and organ only, mind you) until “I’ll Fly Away” actually takes place (which I guess is scheduled for this Saturday if you believe Harold Camping).
I think that verse is found someplace like Nowhere 7:24.
This kind of asinine thinking is so easy to see in others, especially when the barrel of their gun is aimed squarely between the eyes of your creative expression. It’s not quite so easy to see in yourself. But I bet it’s there.
Here’s the truth:
We all have an uncanny ability to spiritualize our personal preferences.
God is the ultimate trump card. If we can attach him firmly to the things we naturally enjoy, who can argue (without the risk of being ostracized, ridiculed, or maybe even swallowed by a huge fish or something)?
Churches should meet in homes and have art galleries.
Churches should build large facilities and have organized staffs.
Pastors should be scholars who explain the Bible with intellectual prowess.
Pastors should be everyday people with secular jobs.
Worship music should only be sung from richness of a hymnal.
Worship music should be original to every church community.
Peyton Manning will go down as an all-around better quarterback than Tom Brady, regardless of Championship Titles (seriously, let’s argue this on Scriptural grounds…go).
Here’s the deal. We can debate effectiveness, culture, strategy, approach. And there are undoubtedly things that are Scriptural absolutes. But let’s all stop stretching to attach spiritual firepower to things that are really nothing more than the way we like it.
I’m so guilty. Bet you are, too.
There’s room for lots of (Kingdom building) expressions in the Church today. It’s OK to like what you like, just be careful about saying it’s the only way God likes it, too.
Here’s a question worth asking:
Is this issue really a Kingdom value, or just my personal preference?