I love music. I love all types of music. Classical. Big Band. Country. Western. Southern Gospel. I even love some Opera music. But, in my book, no music compares to the old Hymns of the faith I grew up hearing and singing. They have been engraved on my mind and embedded in my very heart and soul. They all present truth from God’s word and it is very obvious that the authors wrote them from a personal perspective emanating from their relationship with the Savior. The vast majority of them are based on sound doctrine straight from the Bible. They preach a sermon every time they are sung. And there is nothing more moving than hearing a great choir and the entire church congregation raise the roof of the building when they join in singing one of these hymns. The sad thing is, however, that you don’t hear that happening much any more in today’s church.
The music of today in many churches has migrated from the old hymns and has replaced them with what is called ‘Praise & Worship Music” led by a “Worship Leader” and a “Praise Team”. Most of the songs have very little doctrinal substance and seem to repeat the same few words over and over until the participants become tired and lose interest. In many cases, it appears that the “Worship Leader” is trying to work the people into some state of spiritual frenzy in preparation for what is to come next. Most of today’s “worship songs” have been written by someone who is most likely only interested in the potential notoriety or income it may bring them. You may ask why I say that. It’s simple. With all of the hype with this kind of music and the number of people involved, you would think that the entire country would be in a state of spiritual revival but we know that is not the case. As a matter of fact, the trend is in the reverse direction. I don’t think it is coincidental that the decline we are experiencing in the church today seems to go hand in hand with the change in direction of the music. Now, mind you, I don’t believe that it is the only reason for the decline because I have already pointed two issues that the church is faced with. But I certainly think it is a contributor.
One of the dangers of participating in that kind of “worship music” is that it can bring about an emotional high that causes a person to feel like they are more spiritually mature than they really are. The fact is, the high that they reach is only temporary because the things that lead to spiritual maturity is staying in God’s word, spending type in talking to Him and having a lifestyle of associating with other believers. I know a lot of people that have been caught up in this kind of worship and have no doubt that they are sincere. I also have noticed it is most predominate with the younger generations. I really believe that we are depriving others of something special when we do not share the old hymns in our worship services. They really are an important part of the foundation of my faith in addition to God’s word. I pray that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will not be deprived of something of such importance.
I know that I am quite old fashion in my thinking and am suspicious of some people’s motives in this arena but I have seen the results of staying with the basics and the simplicity of the gospel. I know what has been successful for decades before the changes came about that we see today. I long for a return to those days. I long for revival in myself and in the church. May God grant it to be so. Amen and amen.