Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's All About Me!

Is this what your church worship sounds like?

If so, there could be a problem!

When you think of "worship" think of "worth-ship." Worship should ascribe worth to God. A problem that Christians have noticed with  many contemporary worship songs is that they are inherently narcissistic. In other words, "me-centered." The following is just one example of a modern worship song that seems to be more focused on the emotional feelings of the worshiper rather than the God who is to be praised:

Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy
I am empty but I know your love does not run dry

And so I wait for you, so I wait for you
I’m falling on my knees, offering all of me
Jesus You’re all this heart is living for

Broken I run to you for Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life

This is the song of an empty-self. Notice that the subject in every single sentence above is the worshiper, not the one to whom worship should be ascribed! One of the things I have come to appreciate is the beauty and theological richness contained in older hymns and worship lyrics. Not only are classic hymns more likely to fulfill the purpose of worship, that is, ascribe worth to God, but they are also much more capable of teaching theological truth through their lyrics which is an added benefit for the congregation.

Contrast the above song with this classic hymn:

Holy, holy,holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou are holy; there is none besides thee
Perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

Wow! Now that's what I call worship!

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