Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Apathy - Preachers vs. Worship Leaders

I've had a couple things on my heart lately.  One is apathy among Christians.  Ephesians 5:14: "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Evangelist Ken Sparks preached at our church recently, and spoke about how the term apathy used to be used by early Christians to describe how they felt about worldly things. When confronted by worldy and sensual temptations, they passed it by because they were apathetic toward it.  "Want gold?"  No thanks.  "Want prostitutes?" No thanks. "Want powerful jobs?" Not if it will get in the way of my service to Christ.  They had so much passion for Christ that worldly pleasures did not grab a hold of their hearts. They had no feeling toward it. 

How has apathy changed in the church? Unfortunately, it has flipped in many hearts of Christians. Rather than being apathetic toward worldly lusts and passionate about Christ, we instead are apathetic toward Christ and passionate toward wordly lusts and desires, and the pride of life. Apathy toward Christ and thus disobedience to Him is due to a problem with our love for Christ, our faith in Christ, or our desire for money/power/selfish gain.

We all struggle with these things.  I was recently on vacation at Virginia Beach, and spent some time worshipping the Lord in my heart as I stood in the ocean on a beautiful day, watching my family play on boogie boards with the bigger waves, looking out at the sky and even dolphins that were swimming by!  How beautiful they were!  I loved it when their bodies came out of the water for a second. I thought about the majesty of Christ and how loving and powerful He is to have created sweet dolphins and fierce sharks. The vastness of the ocean and all that lives therein is absolutely amazing. Jeremiah 10:6: "Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might." The beauty of the sky and the stars, planets, galaxies and the vastness of all that is in the universe is also overwhelming and awesome to me to think that the same God who created the microscopic particle and the huge galaxies cares about you and me.  How deep His love toward us!

Psalm 8:4-6: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet."

As I thought about that, I thought about pride that creeps in my heart, often unawares until I quiet my life down enough to smell the roses - or the salt air! - and humble myself before an Almighty God who is the One who gives me strength and daily provisions and blessings beyond belief!  Yes, with all the troubles in life, we can always find wonderful blessings and miracles in our lives if we take notice and look.

So what does this have to do with Preachers and Worship Leaders?  I have recently been to a couple different church services, and have been upset by the music. I am a church pianist and very involved in my church's music ministry, so it is a sensitive subject to me. I am amazed at the mismatch between the music and the preaching in many "good" churches.  The churches have fantastic ministries, people who seem to really be excited about the Lord, at least by appearances, and the preacher brings forth the message of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!  I don't know how preachers can get up in the power of the Holy Spirit after being part of a rock concert. Why don't they do anything about the worldliness of the music? It doesn't match!  I grew up being taught that rock music is bad. The rock music in a church does not compare entirely to a secular rock band, but it is similar in many ways!  Why are we imitating that? How did that creep into the church of all places?

It totally annoys me because I know better. I know that is not how church music should be. It is meant to prepare the hearts for the preaching, and to bring honor and glory to God.  I'm not saying that people who listen to this aren't worshipping God in their hearts, because I cannot judge their hearts.  But I know that I cannot worship the Lord when the band plays a song for 45 minutes basically saying the same thing over and over and over again. They don't know when to end!  We got the point 30 minutes ago! The music is damaging to my ear drums, and gives me a headache. My chest feels like I'm going to have an arrhythmia from the pounding of the drums and vibrations from the speakers. My stomach actually felt physically ill during the heavy drums, and felt better when the music quieted, and felt sick again when it started back up!  Did you know that plants grow away from rock music and toward classical music?

Anyway, the band looks like they are seeking self gratification, which is easy to do when you are up on stage. They enjoy playing, and I get that. There's nothing wrong with having fun serving the Lord! I was once in a conservative band, and it was fun!  But in church there should be a reverence for God's house. And singing the same words over and over again reminds me of the warning about vain repetitions: Matthew 6:7: "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."  These worship songs are basically putting prayers to music, and they repeat the same phrases over and over again.

Worship leaders believe they are called to lead the people in worship to the Lord, and the preacher's job is to bring the message from the Word of God to feed the people.  Are preachers apathetic when it comes to the standard of music for the church? Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, but the pastor is the shepherd of the flock of Christ. I urge preachers to take a stand for music that doesn't feed the flesh, but feeds the soul.

1 John 2:16: "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Is your church a rock concert or a house of prayer? Are you apathetic toward God and passionate about pleasing your sense of entertainment, or are you passionate about Christ and apathetic toward worldly pleasures?  I know I have to do a self check daily; we can all fall into this and must be very cautious.  My prayer for you is that you evaluate yourself daily as well, and if you have the power to make change in your church, that you see what you can do to get back on track. It is very, very hard to go "back" once rock and roll and heavy drums are introduced into a church because people get used to it and without it the music sounds dull and boring. It's better to never have gone there. But if you have, it will need to be a gradual change in the right direction.  Go with light drums and more piano/strings/guitar, and perhaps eliminate the drums altogether or at least have them be VERY background without a heavy beat and loud volume. Get to the point of the music, and then get out of the way and on for the main event - the preaching from God's Holy Word.  He is holy, and we are to be a peculiar people, and zealous unto good works.  Preachers - please lead and take a stand in your church. You are ultimately responsible for what goes on in that church. Don't be afraid to do what you know is right.  Music can fall into preferences, but there is a line for standards of what is appropriate for the house of God.

1 Peter 2:9: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"

Titus 2:14: "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

1 Peter 1:15: "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;"

1 comment:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYNBdrFR5Bo

    Someone shared this with me, and it makes such a great point. We need to base our worship on what we KNOW and not what we FEEL.

    2 Corinthians 5:1: For we KNOW that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    What do we KNOW about God? Not how do we feel. We need to get under the control of the Scriptures to fuel our hearts and emotions, not our own personal feelings. We must look outward to Christ to fuel our praise as we worship Him.