…We have been trained by the broader culture that how we feel when we come to worship is determined by the success of the instrumentation to create a good feeling. The assumption is that praise is created by the success of the musicians, as if we have to achieve concert quality music to truly praise God. This has led many to view their church music as the one aspect to their church that they perceive as not very good. What we need is a young, hip musician up front, graphic T, with a band behind him, who will bring us into a state of true praise. This has become the de facto standard of achieving true praise in American churches.
Those churches who do not mimic this model often find that their congregants view their music as mediocre, tolerating the sub-standard approach, believing that most other churches down the street do it better. For a variety of different reasons, they are willing to remain with the church, but they have given up hope that the music will ever get better.
Further, for most church shoppers, their entire church attendance is based on this question: how uplifting is the music? If the church music doesn’t achieve the status of elevating people to the rated quality of expected feeling, many people will disregard that church altogether, regardless of how faithful the ministry of the Word may be. The question is whether such an approach to praise is correct, and whether the church itself is to bear the weight of the responsibility to create what people assume is fulfilling praise. There may be variation in the circumstances of praise, but the question has to do with how true praise is accomplished.
It might be shocking to the reader to hear that much of what is so called praise today in worship is not received by the Lord. God certainly turns his ear away from not just vain repetitions, but also empty hearts due to empty theology. It should be self-evident that our feelings have to arise to something higher than animal instincts to truly praise the Lord. Read more»
Chris Gordon, “What’s Wrong With Our Church Praise Music?” Abounding Grace Radio (May 28, 2021)
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