“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Banner of Truth Part II

There were three additional points in the BoT article entitled, "What Characterizes a Spiritual Song?" I have ennumerated these below with comments, and since Paul asked about a list of songs that are on/off our church's list I may work on that in a future post.

6. We Can Envisage Spiritual Songs Being Part of a Great Awakening - True, worshipful, meaningful, songs should deliver a message about our brokenness prior to the work of our Savior, and then our joy at the freedom from sin which we experience once His redeeming work has been done in our life. The songs we sing should reflect the spiritual awakening that we experience. Let me provide an example:

(There is a Fountain)
Words: William Cowper 1772


There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die


Could you imagine these words being written today? There is a very well-known mega-church pastor who has removed this hymn from his church's song list. To paraphrase him, "Our people don't want to sing about blood". RIGHT, that is where the problem is in today's church, we want it to be about us and we do not want to focus on the atonement of our Savior! Why is the church tepid and shallow? Because the great truths are not proclaimed. Many people expect revival without understanding, preaching, and singing about the great reality of salvation!

7. Under the Influence of Spiritual Songs, We Can See Christians Being Drawn into Sacrificial Full-Time Work for God - Much of the modern worship music is about GETTING from God, or FEELING about myself, and very little is about giving our lives to the Lord for the work of the harvest. We have become self-absorbed in our worship music. Psalm 51 is a beautiful song, look in verses 10 through 13 and find this:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.


We see a repentant David requesting the Lord work in his life AND THEN he will teach transgressors the ways of the Lord. All too often in modern worship music it is 'Do something for me Lord so I feel better', and that is pretty much the thrust of the song.

8. We Expect to Find Spiritual Songs in Heaven - Two things about this and I will finish (I know my posts are way too long, probably why many may not read them):

First, I have heard many people say, "I get to church AFTER the worship music because we/I don't care for music", or "Hymns, and spiritual songs don't do much for me". Both of these betray a man-centered attitude. First, when we sing at church it is not for us! We sing TO someone! And those who say they don't like music are going to very disappointed when they find out that we will be singing in heaven!

Second, I love how John Blanchard states this, so I will quote him; "Does the music you enjoy suggest that it was arranged for the same ear? Can you imagine it being enjoyed by God the Father? Is it serious music? Does it promote a sense of awe and reverence? Can you imagine it being enjoyed by God the Son?... Can you imagine it being enjoyed by God the Holy Spirit? Does it speak of peace, purity, and a spirit of worship?"

These should be questions that we pose of our worship music.

I pray that pastors, worship leaders, and elders become more versed in hymnody and the proper perspective and role of worship music!

I will try and put together a brief list of songs in a future (soon) post. Not everyone is going to agree with me, but it will be a good exercise to show some of the points made in the last two posts.

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