In the last post I asked 3 questions regarding worship. For this post I would like to look a little closer at the subject. I am pretty sure someone will find this post controversial, and that’s fine. It is still a subject that I believe needs to be addressed.
We live in the day of quick, fast, and in a hurry. It is a burger king generation that believes it can have everything their way. The church is the same way. We want services to be shorter and shorter; some churches start at 10 a.m. Sunday morning and they are finished by 10:45! I went to a church once where the pastor cut off the praise and worship leader during the last song because service could not run past his set schedule!! All over America you see churches offering two services, a traditional and a contemporary. We can come to church and “get our praise on” (a phrase I can’t stand) without having to heed the Word of God in full. Today, it seems it no longer matters that God’s Word is not a smorgasbord; we cannot pick and choose what we want and don’t want, what standards we will and will not live by. The Kingdom of God is not Burger King; you can’t have it your way. We do whatever pleases us and say we are worshiping/praising God, but are we? Are we really praising God; is our worship truly authentic and accepted by Him? Let’s break this down a little bit and see what we find. Okay? Okay.
Everyone who professes to be a child of God knows, or should know, that we are to praise and worship God. But what exactly does that mean?
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
WHAT IS PRAISE/PRAISING?
We can see from these definitions that worshiping and praising God is something we don’t truly see a lot of these days. Oh we hear the words tossed around; however, when you look at how professing believers think, speak, and act it very often tells a different story.To worship God is to honor & obey Him, appreciate & serve Him, to trust & submit to Him. Therefore, the life we live should be one of worship to Almighty God. Click To Tweet
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Christian people claim to be “true worshipers.” There are songs dedicated to the subject of being a “true worshiper.” We plaster it on T-shirts and bumper stickers, and we use it for social media handles and hashtags. “True Worshiper” has made its way onto the list of church clichés. The fact of the matter, however, is that many who claim to be true worshipers have no clue what it actually means to worship God. It’s more than preferring slow songs over fast ones! Does your lifestyle back up your claims of being a true worshiper? If so, then WHO does your lifestyle proclaim you to be a true worshiper of? Ah, good questions isn’t it?
Do we honor God with our life? Do we truly appreciate Him or do we only want Him around to do our bidding or when trouble comes? We need to analyze our lives and dissect the things we allow, what we like, what/who we are entertained by, what we laugh at, how we think, who we trust, whose word we obey and so on. Do we love the world’s way of doing things? Do we find enjoyment in those things that are shameful or abominable in the eyesight of God? Do we ignore or make excuses in support of worldliness – even in the smallest forms? It is in truthful examination that we discover whether or not there’s any truth to our claims of being worshipers of God. If we are truly worshipers of God then we praise Him; however, these days we often fail to understand what praising God means as well.
To praise God is to proclaim HIS goodness, HIS virtues, HIS commendable acts, HIS worth to us. It is to acknowledge HIS greatness, HIS power, HIS holiness, HIS righteousness, HIS promises etc… So when we gather together at church to praise our God, God should be the focus of what we sing, say, and do. For example, many of the so called “praise and worship” songs today have nothing to do with God; instead the focus is “I”, but it’s still praise and worship right? Wrong!
PROFANE PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Can we offer up profane praise/worship to God? Yes, we can!
We see examples of the profane offered up as praise and worship on a regular basis today. Singing praises, for example, is often just something churchy to do. The lifestyle behind it, however, is often shameful and wicked. It is often quite obvious; one doesn’t have to look very hard to know what God thinks (for example look at this). Romans 12:1-2
Look at these definitions and then think about the “praise and worship” songs sung in numerous churches today.
Many songs we hear in church today are actually secular and not sacred. The music is obviously more important than the words, and what words there may be are often thinly inspirational at best. Some songs make no sense and some are just plain unscriptural. They are songs that appeal more to the flesh than the spirit or our Holy God. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
Example 1: I GOT OUT – Brian Poppin
Now I personally find this song empty, over-loud, and annoying. When you look at the lyrics, this song offers no praise or worship of God. It is a hollow little ditty that says, repeatedly,
Since the song has no substance the leader has to try and put something of value in there. On the recording even this is lacking. In light of the definition, can we really say this song praises God? In truth, we cannot.
Example 2: You Will Win – Jaclyn Carr
Encouraging? Maybe for somebody. Inspirational? That’s Debatable. Does it praise God? No. This song does not proclaim God’s attributes. It does not even speak of His power to deliver or cause one to “win.” The focus of this song is human beings, not God almighty. But, nevertheless, it’s considered praise and worship.
Example 3: It’s Working – William Murphy
We have to look at song lyrics for what is there. We cannot add or take away words, and we cannot read into it what we want them to say. The lyrics of the songs we sing should be able to stand on their own. So, looking at these lyrics do you see any issues? Here’s a couple for starters.
This song does not praise and worship God. Yet and still, many consider this to be a “good” praise and worship song. It is sad that folks’ judgment is so clouded they can’t recognize a good quality praise and worship song nowadays.
Here are a few more examples:
Kings Kaleidescope – A Prayer This supposed to be worship song contains foul language. The lyrics are posted to if you don’t believe me. Check out some of the comments approving this song. I do not recommend listening to this; I’m only telling you about it as evidence.
Hillsong Even When It Hurts Profanity (although mild compared to the previous one) is used in this supposed to be worship song too.
Much of what is passing for praise and worship today is actually profane music with a Christian stamp on it. It’s fleshly and emotionally appealing with its worldly sound, non-existent doctrine and idol (man-pleasing) god (1 Cor 10:7, 14). Why do we accept this? Why do so many refuse to see that we cannot let the world define the song of the Believer?
…be careful you aren’t tempted to follow their customs. Don’t even ask about their gods and say, “How did these people worship their gods? We want to do what they did.” Never worship the LORD your God in the way they worship their gods, because everything they do for their gods is disgusting to the LORD. He hates it! … (Deu 12:30-31 GW)
As stated earlier worshipers praise God. Our lifestyle has a lot to do with whether or not we can truly praise and worship God (Philippians 1:27).
The Way we live affects our ability to worship and praise God. Filling up at satan’s trough (television, movies, magazines, secular music etc…) conditions our palate for worldly things. It clouds our spiritual eyes and corrupts our worldview. We will lack discernment regarding the worship and praise of God. We will no longer have respect for Almighty God. We will mix the holy with the profane and see nothing wrong with it! (Isaiah 55:7, 2 Corinthians 4:4)
Sadly we see the effects of a worldly lifestyle throughout the church today. I have talked with choir directors who find “praise and worship” songs that lack the current cultural sound unpleasant, choosing instead the songs with the secular sound and a lack of the Word of God. To appease the flesh they are willing to offer profane worship to a Holy God (Isaiah 50:20-24). The sad thing is that most just go along with it. When someone does speak up they are usually left standing alone. I know this from personal experience because I’ve had to stand by myself for what’s right in the midst of church folks who should have known better. All is not lost, however. We can become true worshipers. Our praise of God can be real. God wants this for us and He is ready and willing to help us.
If we want to be true worshipers of God then we cannot allow or accept excuses that enable us to be worldly and “still saved.” To allow worldliness in our lives will hinder our worship of God, it will hinder our praise of God. We cannot half-step with God. (Psalm 89:7)
The pull of the world is strong. Its influence is all around us; we can see it, hear it, feel it and even smell it. Do we love God enough to take the necessary steps to remain unspotted from the world? Do we trust Him enough to let His Word be the deciding factor in every area of our lives? Do we appreciate Him enough to make that sacrifice? (1 John 2:15, James 4:4)
Until next time,