This week is our week for letting go and sounding off on the things that really grind our gears. I have to admit that I didn’t think I would have as many problems with this, because there are so many things that I think about in my private life that I would love to write about. The issue is that there are so many things to consider in my life, like my position in our church, my position in our community as a teacher, that I have to be really careful about what I put out there. Sure, I can steam all that I want in private, but what I put out there in public has to not cast aspersions that might have negative implications on others who are associated with me. With that being said, I read an article a couple of days ago that was posted by our fearless leader, Dr. Marta. The link can be found here (https://edendecoded.com/blog-2/item/worship-leader).
This article forced me to think about my own philosophies regarding worship. Let me preface this by saying that I don’t listen to “Black” gospel music, (which may cause my black card to be revoked). I have not in a very long time. I did not for a very long time after I became serious about Christ. There were some that I really love to this day, but especially some of the newer stuff, it really does nothing for me. It feels more manufactured and embellished, so it’s not to my taste. But that is just me. To continue, I feel like I must define worship. To me, worship is music that points us back to Christ. The Bible is clear in many circumstances that whenever praise and worship happened, the presence of God showed up. God Himself says that He inhabits the praise of His people. So, to me, in order for music to qualify as worship, or praise music, it MUST point us back to Christ. It should inspire adoration and reverence, no matter how lively the beat is.
I get what the author of that article is saying. I really do. But another part of me is like…REALLY? Who am I to tell anyone what song should move their spirit? If it is a trap song reformed into Jesusmusik, if that is what it takes to get someone to give Jesus their life, or even be introduced to Him, take it. The church has practiced exclusion for so long, and Black churches are the worst. With our suits and Sunday finest traditions..our snooty ways and rules and regulations. We can sell religion with the best of them. We segregate sinners into subgroups based on the type of sin, and whether we have ever committed it or not. There is more at stake here.
YES, worship leaders should present themselves in a way that does not inspire any feelings others than pointing others to Christ. Thing is there, people lust over everything these days. So are you telling me that the lady in ankle-length dresses and hair down to her waist should change into an overcoat and scarf because somebody in the pews can’t quit staring at her?
It is a dangerous place when we begin to judge others and say that hearts aren’t right. Only God truly knows the heart.
I remember when a Minister named G. Craige Lewis put out a video series “The Truth behind Hip Hop”. In this series, he attacked hip hop’s origins, it’s present forms, and everything about it, even stretching into r&b and jazz influences. My wife and I listened to this and slowly began to subscribe to his theology. We went through out entire library and threw away everything that was not Christian in nature…including songs that defined our relationship. We were convinced that nothing Godly could come of any kind of music except “that” kind.
I have learned now. There is something that that does not resonate in a good way about the thought that only Godly music brings glory to God. He is the source of creativity.
I say we examine our own hearts first, and then allow the Holy Spirit to examine us. Once that work is completed, THEN we can begin looking at what others are doing. And that’s real talk.