Friday, September 22, 2006


I found a new take on musicians this week in Scripture that I'd like to share. We all know there are a million different styles of music, and we also know that music is powerful enough to split churches, separate close friends, bring people togehter, create emotion, and on and on. At River Stone, we don't believe in sacred and secular, and over the past few years we have covered plenty of songs that wouldn't be considered "Christian." We based that on Acts 17. When Paul preached on Mars Hill, he quoted poets of that time. Well, today, musicians are the modern day poets. In lyrics of mainstream music, you find the heart of mainstream culture. In mainstream culture you find people who need Jesus. Our job is to help people connect the dots that show them Jesus. Music is a very powerful tool. So, that's what we already know.

Now, you may be wondering what Louis Armstrong has to do with this, and the answer is nothing. He's just a great musician whose picture I came across. Ok - here's the new stuff. In 1 Chronicles, David is preparing for his death and departure. He's filling all the positions to fnish what he started. The main task at hand is the construction of God's temple which was going to be the task of his son, Solomon. Now, to give him a headstart, he's appointing people to do everything related to the building of the temple. One of the areas he's preparing for is the music. He appoints musicians. In this time, musicians were very important. Even in armies, the band would go out front. They would motivte the men in battle, they would lead the charge. They understood the power of music. Now, what I learned goes even further than that. It says that David and the chiefs set apart some guys who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. I never thought of that really. I've run across plenty of artists who have a prophetic flare - Derek Webb, Keith Green, Delirious, Johnny Cash, Bono for example, but I never knew that was part of the assignment for temple musicians.

As I think about church music, I'm often saddened by how good it makes you feel and how little it challenges you in your faith. Today we gravitate towards the songs we like and discard what we don't like. It sounds a lot like the prophets in the OT. God told Isaiah - these people aren't going to listen to what you have to say. Think about music you don't like. Could it be the voice of God presenting something to you that forces you more into honesty that blind happiness. What if church musicians were more of a mindset of delivering the message God wants - even if that means most people are not going to listen? After all, don't we write songs in such a way that the most important thing is for people to listen - to have a shot at airplay.

I wonder if the most important things we need to hear are what we don't automatically like. I wonder if the musical prophets of our day aren't on the radio. I wonder what church music would be like if their intent was to prophesy. I wonder if anyone's going to listen anyway.


Blogger carahinojosa said...

"asIthink about church music, I'm often saddened by how good it makes you feel and how little it challenges you in your faith. Today we gravitate towards the songs we like and discard what we don't like."

I don't know why, but I feel this way everytime we sing a Chris Tomlin song. I guess it feels kind of 'bubble gum' to me. But you're absolutely right, Jason. It's not abouthowI feel. It's about expressing my love, adoration, thankfulness, awe, fear, etc. to Almighty God. So now when we sing songs that don't make me 'feel good' I just stand/sit there and read the lyrics silently in my heart. And somehow that takes the focus off of me and my 'feelings' and puts it back on God.

On another note, Freddy led worship a few weeks ago when Rick was on vacation. He did "Help" by the Beatles. Most people appreciated it, but there's always those few that get in an uproar. Grrrrr.

On yet another note, when our kids start labeling music as Christian or secular we always get in a discussion and ask them, "Can music be a Christian? Can it be saved?" Not it can't. Music is music. Sure, there's some stuff out there that you shouldn't fill your mind with, but music is just music.

10:24 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home