Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Music In The Church

Interesting article on music (secular and Christian) in the Church below---it offers a lot of points to contemplate. Myself, I have no problem with some different genres of music if it Christian oriented and/or clean, but as the author eloquently expounds upon, what is the end motivation of this music? Is it to appeal to the flesh, generating crowds to be entertained? Unfortunately, too often the answer is yes! Also, interesting to note the Western world influence upon Nigerian churches. This article has got me thinking....

Nigeria: Rock Music and the Rock of Ages
By Femi Aribisala

I walked into the City of David parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos, for the very first time and was surprised to hear the choir playing the theme song from the blockbuster movie, Mission Impossible III. Don't get me wrong; the choir was excellent. But you start to wonder if you are not actually at a pop-concert as opposed to a church.

Newspring Church in Anderson, South Carolina (USA) even upped the ante. It was reported in the news that they started a church-service with the song Brick House by the Commodores. Part of the lyrics of the song goes like this: "The clothes she wears, the sexy ways, make an old man wish for younger days. She knows she's built and knows how to please. Sure enough to knock a man to his knees." How in heaven's name can anyone think such a song is appropriate in a church of all places? But then churches are no longer what they are supposed to be.

According to The Telegraph, Pastor Sunday Adelaja of Embassy of God, Kiev, Ukraine encourages his congregants to "shake their booty and praise the Lord." Reporting on one of his services, the new-spaper observes that: "As 'Pastor Sunday' prepared to make a grand entrance, the choirgirls shook their pompoms, the disco lights started to flash and a fanfare sounded. The lights cut out, and Mr. Adelaja emerged from a shroud of dry ice. Children holding flags of the world wafted round him and the choir bellowed 'Sanctus!'"

What exactly is happening here? Is it a worship service or a rock concert? Is Christ the bright and morning star or is the pastor the sup-erstar? I daresay some churches have gone astray.

Babylonian songs

In the single-minded pursuit of size and numerical growth, new-generation churches have re-configured the church-service into a show-business where men come to be entertained on Sundays for the "gate-fee" of an offering. The thinking is that by spiritualising popular music, the church becomes more attractive to unbelievers.

The danger in this approach is that the modern church becomes increasingly worldly. The playing of secular music in churches does not facilitate the conversion of the lost. Indeed, music is never used in scripture as a means of reaching the lost. Instead, music is primarily used as a means of reaching God, because the Lord inhabits the praises of his people. (Psalm 22: 3). However, God is not likely to be reached through "urban contemporary gospel." Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24).

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