Posts Tagged ‘praise and worship’

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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American Revolutionaries

Before we look into the genesis and influence of liberalism, we must begin by understanding that liberalism and its resultant hostility towards Christianity hasn’t always been the norm in America. In fact, America was firmly founded upon the Christian worldview. As detailed in Francis Schaeffer’s book, How Should We Then Live, the success of the American Revolution, and the freedoms based upon the law that came out of it were established on a dominant Christian base. Indeed this great movement in America was directly founded upon the First Great Awakening around magnificent biblical teachers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.

Though from England, Whitefield’s greatest work was in America. From 1738-1770, he made three preaching tours in the colonies. Numerous times this “Billy Graham” spoke to as many as 20,000 people at one time. Through his efforts, thousands were saved and many more other spirits were quickened.

Possibly the greatest preacherAmerica has ever produced was Jonathan Edwards. In 1727, he became the minister of the Congregational Church inNorth Ampton,Massachusetts. Then in 1734, he preached a series of messages on justification by faith alone. “By December,” the pastor penned, “the Spirit of God began extraordinarily to set in. Revival grew and souls did, as it were, come by floods to Christ.”

Edward’s infamous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, was so powerful that he had to stop and request silence because the weeping was so loud. The moral tone of New England was lifted to a higher tone than it ever had before. Out of a population of 300,000 people, between 25,000 and 50,000 people were added to the churches.

So profound was the impact of the Great Awakening on American society, that Ben Franklin wrote, “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless and indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.”

It was in the wake of the Great Awakening that the American Revolution arose. Consequently the Christian foundation that underpinned the colonies can easily be seen in the celebrated document that was created during this important moment in American history. This was the Declaration of Independence, which bore on parchment the justification for the revolution. Though its author Thomas Jefferson procured his ideas regarding inalienable rights from John Locke, it was the Christian minister, Samuel Rutherford who first developed the concept. The Christian base of our law and society is also clearly evident in the Constitution, the Federalists Papers and the multitudes of statements ushered by the Founders themselves.

In 1837 John Adams maintained, “Is it not that, in the chain of events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? . . . Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before?”

George Washington declared, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of theUnited   States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Patrick Henry stated, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Ben Franklin, concluded, “He who shall introduce the principles of Christianity will change the face of the world.” And indeed America did just that to produce the greatest system of law and the highest level of freedom that the world has ever known.

It is no wonder, therefore, that after the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville visited Americain the 1830’s, he concluded that “there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”

There can be no doubt that the American Revolution was firmly established in the Christian faith. This Christian foundation is exactly what the Counterculture movement sought to destroy. For during the ‘60s, even as many in the church had already departed from their biblical roots for the sake of theological liberalism, a ban of Height Ashbury hippies decided they would rebel against culture itself to discover a whole new way of living. “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thess 2: 10-12 KJV)

The hippies revolted against the American Revolution and everything that came out of that historic Christian uprising. This is ironic. For in spite of the fact that the counterculturalists turned their backs on Christianity, the freedoms that allowed these rebels to dissent were a direct result of America’s Christian heritage.

In spite of this outright display of hypocrisy, the entire liberal movement in America now bows before the decadence of the ‘60s revolution. Hence biblical Christianity is the one faith that modern liberals spend all of their waking hours attempting to undermine.

 

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

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Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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The Brave New World

So let’s talk about the Brave New World that the church is being called to. Where do you find in history the destruction of the old in favor of the new? Generally the elimination of historical writings and artistic expression occurs during revolutions. Therefore we have witnessed the burning of books in Nazi Germany and the destruction of history as they knew it in the Soviet Union. But this noxious behavior has not been limited to the distant past in far off shores.

During the ‘60s America experienced a revolution of its own which was labeled the sexual revolution or counterculture movement. Like so many of the humanistic revolutions that preceded it, this movement was characterized primarily by a rebellion against everything in the past. The bull’s eye of the attack was everything that had anything to do with tradition, and particularly any American Christian tradition.

“The Sixties’ rejection of authority, rejection of biblical sexual moral, and the search for a new spirituality,” wrote Peter Jones in Spirit Wars, “are not artifacts of a failed revolution. They are the tools in the destruction of Western civilization.” Indeed, the results of this revolution in America have been nearly catastrophic. In our government we have witnessed the erosion of the system of checks and balances as the courts have stepped beyond their constitutional authority to write law as they see fit. Never in our history have we seen such erosion of the Constitution and law itself as lawless judges have taken it upon themselves to institute anything that they wish.

As a result of this dynamic the basic rights that we have been granted in the Declaration and Bill of Rights are being violently snatched away. Thanks to the activities of the courts, the Declaration’s assertion of the right to life is being trampled on as abortion on demand runs ramped in the form of millions of murdered children. The right to life is also being eroded on the other end of the spectrum through assisted suicide laws. Freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is being assaulted by the ACLU and People for the American Way as prayer and anything else having to do with the Christian religion is being cast out of schools and the public sector. In the mean time any reference to Christianity on public lands is being defaced. While professing freedom of speech those same organizations are promoting sex and vulgarity not only in the media but also in our libraries even as they attempt to silence Christian political expression. In the name of safety, the right to bear arms is being slowly eroded. Human sexuality is out of control as promiscuity spreads aids, marriages dissolve, the family unit is fragmented and the homosexual community seeks to redefine marriage itself. In the name of worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, for the sake of environmentalism our forests burn as people are forced to bow before the likes of snakes, lizards, fish, guppies, birds, bugs and flowers. Now we face moral dilemmas of immense proportions as men, through such scientific efforts as cloning and embryonic stem cell research, play God at the expense of human life.

With each year, no matter what political party is in charge, the ordeal escalates. And the cultural disaster continues even as the church joins to the beat the vandal’s drum. Indeed, destruction has its cause. And the cause is rebellion against God.

With that in mind we will now turn to the rise of theological liberalism in the church as augmented by the rebellion and the lawlessness of the ’60s. Once we have uncovered the source of and influence of liberalism with regard to the church, we will clearly see why the traditions in our churches are being systematically discarded by our pastors for the sake of growth success. Finally, this disregard for Christian tradition will be shown to be the source cause of the political and religious upheaval that we now find ourselves in. It will demonstrate why we now find ourselves in the midst of a lawless national affront to anything that has to do with our national, cultural and Christian heritage. Then we will understand why the Holy War that we find ourselves in is the most significant challenge the church faces today. The worship life of the church is not a trivial matter.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

 

Though it has always been imperative to bring in the new, it is likewise unnecessary to throw out traditional music in order to reach out to this new age. In his Confessions, Saint Augustine revealed the impact that the music of the 4th and 5th Century Church had on his life. “How I wept during Your hymns and psalms!” he recalled. “I was deeply moved by the music of the sweet chants of Your church. The sounds flowed into my ears and the truth was distilled into my heart. This caused the feeling of devotion to overflow. Tears ran, and it was good for me to have that experience.” There is no lack of power in the music that we have been given from the past centuries. These great hymns are neither devoid of emotion nor incapable of moving the heart.

Notice that in Augustine’s day “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” as referred to by the Apostle Paul in the Scriptures were still actively being employed to bless the body of Christ. (Eph 5:19,Col3:16) But today, for the first time in Christian history, it appears that the church desires to throw the hymn part of the Paul’s admonition out. Indeed, it is a unique set of circumstances that is occurring in this age. Generally in Christian hymn history we have seen new works added to the large existing body of music with each age and growth has resulted. The old has generally been retained as the new has been added with the result of building a larger litany of music for each successive generation to enjoy. When we look into our hymnbooks we witness the result of the furtherance of praise in history as each generation has added to the volumes of worship songs that the church has been blessed by over the centuries.

But this is not what the church is being led to believe by those who offer their enticements of profits. As Paul stated to the elders inEphesus: “’For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.’” (Acts 20:29-30 MKJV)

The consequences of the Church Growth Movement’s emphatic advice to conform to the world around us have been dramatic. There are churches today that are maintaining historical Christian roots. Yet there hasn’t been a time in American history as there is today where there has been such a widespread drive in so many churches to eliminate an entire body of historical hymnology in order to replace it with something completely new. And in many venues this new popular music is viewed as being vastly superior to the old as well.

But it’s time for the leaders of the church to take a deep breath and contemplate what they are doing. In the name of the contemporary they seek to turn their backs on a rich cultural heritage that has blessed generations of Christians and still will do today if given a chance.

Take for example the hymn Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. Louisa Stead wrote the words to this moving praise hymn. Even as a teenager, she felt called to become a missionary. Louisa went to America around age 21, and lived for a while in Cincinnati, Ohio. While attending a camp meeting in Urbana, Ohio, she felt the missionary calling even more strongly, but was unable to go to China as she wanted due to her frail health.

In 1875 she married her beloved husband, Mr. Stead. But marital bliss faded away as tragedy struck her family. Louisa and her husband were enjoying a relaxing day with their four-year-old daughter on a Long Island beach when they heard the cry of a desperate child. A boy was drowning. Louisa’s husband attempted to rescue the child, but was pulled under the water in the attempt. Both boy and Mr. Stead died as Louisa and her daughter watched.

Other than the Lord Himself, Louisa had no means of support. She along with her daughter fell into dire poverty as a result. One morning, when she had neither funds nor food for the day, she opened the front door and found that someone had left food and money on her doorsteps. It was that day that she wrote this hymn.

God rewarded Louisa’s faithful trust in Him. Around 1880, she went to South Africa, and served as a missionary there for some 15 years where she was remarried, to Robert Wodehouse of that country. In 1895 she returned to Americato recover her health, but once again went into missions in Rhodesiain 1901. Her daughter Lily married D. A. Carson and became a missionary like her mother. Indeed, the trust that Louisa put in the Lord was well spent.

Who in their right mind would think to purge Christianity of a hymn that has such a marvelous story behind it? Who would seek to deny contemporary Christians the opportunity of partaking in the affirmation of faith that came out of this desperate hour of one of our own? Yet there are those in our midst who are calling on us to do exactly that.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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The Soul of the Church

 

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col2:8 MKJV)

The one who seeks after profits does not generally care about the intrinsic value of church life or worship and praise music. It does not matter to him that the importance of the church is body ministry and that church music is all about reaching into the deep parts of the human spirit. To him it is all about commercialism – the marketing of music and generating cash. It’s out with the piano and in with guitar-driven music to catch the attention of the younger generation. And you always have to keep that new material coming in order to keep up with the times. There’s no room for the old here. There is no time for nostalgia. You have to dump the organ and choir and get yourself a band if you are going to keep the pace. Get rid of the slow and reflective to turn to the high-energy stuff that gets people going. Reach out to the senses rather than the soul. Forget about ministering to the body of Christ when you are reaching to the world. Let the fights begin and let the old folks go along with their archaic music. For the ultimate target are the hymns that are not relevant anymore. They are not marketable.

But the pursuit of abandoning the heritage of the church for the sake of success is a formula for spiritual disaster. According to Ron Rhodes in The Culting of America, “Baby Boomers are seeking a religion or church that specifically meets human felt needs. Time notes that while increasing numbers of baby boomers are turning religious again, ‘many are traveling from church or faith to faith, sampling creeds, shopping for a custom-made God’

“Many Christian churches are seeking to lure these boomers into their congregations. Unfortunately, in the process, a number of them end up compromising Christian doctrine.” Time reports that “a growing choir of critics contends that in doing whatever it takes to lure those fickle customers, churches are at risk of losing their heritage – and their souls.”

In reality, many in the church are in the business of sacrificing everything for nothing. Music did not begin in the ‘60s and there is a whole lot in the hymnology that has been passed onto us that is vitally relevant today. And these hymns do not lack for passion. For example there are few praise songs today that can rival the passion and intimacy of the ancient Irish tune, Be Thou My Vision. And what worship song today exceeds the moving melody and text contained in Amazing Grace? Praise hymns such as these divulge deep spiritual truth. This is biblical truth that transcends generations. Hence, we do not need to shed the past in order to minister to the present age. It is not necessary to forsake our heritage in order to grow.

The claims of some roaming throughout the church today are just plain wrong in that regard. Therefore the Apostle Paul exhorted “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ.” (Eph 4:14-15 MKJV)

It’s time to grow up and realize who we are as the church. We are not children. The church is 2000 years old with a rich heritage. And we are commanded in the Bible as mature Christians to grow up in “all things” not just new things. “All things” would include those things that God passed down to us from past generations that give us maturity and stability. So the contention that the old doesn’t minister is hogwash plain and simple.

Sure the church is faced with the awesome task of reaching out to John Dewey’s dumbed down generation that cares more about their big screens than fine arts. This obviously is something that needs to be considered. But does that mean that we are supposed to leave the masses where Dewey put them? Are we called to limit ourselves to the common praise song themes such as “I want to see Your face,” “I long to be in your presence,” “You are worthy,” “Be exalted,” “I worship You,” “I praise You,” “Worthy is the Lord,” “You are holy,” “Hallelujah,” “I want You,” “I need You,” or “I love You?” Though it is imperative to love God, isn’t there more to love than merely saying it over an over again? Isn’t there more to praise than ecstatic shouts or syrupy sentiment? Isn’t there more to Scripture and life as Christians than what we are hearing in so much of contemporary praise today? As the church, don’t we have the responsibility to educate rather than merely relate? Is it not imperative that as well as meeting this generation “where they are at” we should create a worship environment at church where they can discover “where Christianity is at?” Shouldn’t we seek out praise music that conveys biblical truth rather than sappy human emotional desires? Should we not impart our heritage to the babes so that they can mature? Isn’t it time to sever ourselves from Dewey’s ongoing circle that tumbles down the slope of ignorance?

Christianity is all about separation. It is about a difference between the church and the unbelieving world around it. When we look at the church and its people, there ought to be a difference. When the world around is shedding itself of Christian heritage, the church ought to be standing for it.

As explained earlier, the ministry of Jesus divides people into two camps – the believer and unbeliever. Yet this same proposition has the effect of binding Christians together as one. The same doctrine that separates us from the world unites us together under the wings of our common belief in God. Therefore the Psalms proclaim: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.” (Ps 133:1-2 MKJV)

However, when the church is divided from its rich heritage it tears the body of Christ in half. It sows division between young church attendees and the saints of old. It severs congregations into pieces and creates wars as church leadership discards traditions that many saints hold with high regard. These are the results that come out of the passion for growth at all cost. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom 16: 17-18 MKJV)

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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Snake Oil

“’Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’” (Matt10:16MKJV)

You wouldn’t have lived in the Old West for long before you would be introduced to the Mystic Healer and his elaborate medicine show. Even before the charlatan arrived to town you’d be entertained by a circus-like sideshow complete with a band leading a procession of wagons. Skits and other diversions, that were designed to draw an unsuspecting crowd to the show, would suck you in. In the midst of the gathering throng there would be assistants roaming about dressed as Quakers to give the whole ordeal a sense of respectability. Native Americans were also recruited to promote the notion of “natural” medicine, which was given names such as Wright’s Indian Vegetable Pills, Seminole Cough Balsam, and various Kickapoo cures. Eventually you would behold the main speaker, the mystic, who dazzled his audiences for the sake of peddling his snake oil.

The whole idea was to seek out people who would be ignorant enough to give these crooks their hard-earned cash for almost nothing. So even as they merchandized their famed elixir, the Old West mystics would tell their prey that their potion would do almost anything they wanted it to do. A cowboy named Clark Stanley, who called himself “The Rattlesnake King,” sold a Snake Oil Liniment that was alleged to be “good for man and beast.” An 1890s advertisement described Stanley’s snake oil as “A wonderful pain destroying compound.” It was “the strongest and best liniment known for the cure of” almost anything imaginable. As soon as they made their sale these healers would scadaddle out of town as quickly as possible before their customers had found out that they had only been sold a bottle of whiskey mixed with innate compounds for about fifty cents a bottle.

These peddlers of empty dreams are still with us today. They prey on those in our hedonistic culture who are seeking after instant pleasure and easy fulfillment. Even many in the church are not content to see the fruit of righteousness play out in their lives through the long haul in order to see God provide and bless them in time. They do not have the patience for that. So many look for the kind of shortcut that modern snake oil salesmen promise only to find failure in the midst of misleading assurances. And even as they heed the call of these modern marketers, the vast majority of them wind up with little more than a bottle of disappointment for their trouble.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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Worship in Sincerity

In all of the contemporary musical expression that I have heard in the church, I have found that praise music that tells of our great God while encouraging sincerity is that which goes beyond tantalizing the desires of men. It is intimate music that proclaims who God is and what He does while uttering expressions of celebration, joy, tender quietness and peace. What is going on with biblical contemporary praise today is music that serves a specific purpose. It can be likened to ancient motets that were written to depict the awe and wonder of God. It speaks of holy communion – honoring and spending time with our Creator. It can be likened to the sincere prayer of every believer who seeks after God with all of his being. “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’” (Luke 10:27b)

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil 1:9-11) Sincere worship in spirit and truth is what God desires of His followers. (Jn 4:24) And sincerity expressed as true worship is the most important message that we can find in biblical worship and praise music.

When I was first getting my feet wet in contemporary Christian music the band that I was playing in had the opportunity to perform in one of the very popular Saturday night concerts that were held at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My parents, who were not saved at the time, came to support me. Now I have to tell you that my mom never did like rock music, so this was a stretch for her. But she caught me off guard when she noticed something that I had not been aware of up to that point. During these concerts there would be a time of singing praise songs to the Lord and the attendees got very involved while closing their eyes and lifting their hands. Her comment was very simple and to the point. She merely said, “They were so sincere.” This observation ultimately played a role in her salvation.

It has been said that sincerity is not enough. For there are many who will perish who sincerely believed in the wrong things. But we do need to be sincere in what we do nonetheless. Just going through the motions will not do.

This is the lesson to be found in contemporary biblical worship and praise music. It is something those who hold hymns dear to their heart should grasp. For it is not about the necessity singing hymns in a particular stanch format. It is not about getting our way or singing out of habit. There is a lot to be gained from the youth who have learned to put their entire being into the admirable goal of praising God in song. For they have found that worship in song is all about singing to the God who is there with honesty while pouring out their hearts to Him in a very personal way. If the hymn that you love finds itself in a new and more contemporary format that moves the heart of people, then it is a glory to God.

Matt Redman had it right when he said in his praise song The Heart of Worship that it is all about Jesus. And it is not all about us. It is not about pleasing man, but honoring God. Given that the music we sing is scriptural and utilized in a biblical fashion, it’s not about what style we use or what songs we sing. It’s about magnifying our Lord in everything we do.

Therefore, when we gather in church we are not there to market and entertain but to worship. And as we do, we exalt our Father who receives our praises that usher from thankful hearts in joyous song. This is what church music is all about.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor10:31MKJV)

 

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth
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“I Must Decrease”

 

There is a specific reason why people have adopted musical simplicity in worship and praise music. I remember back in the ’70s watching a Calvary Chapel band called The Road Home, headed by a piano player named Bill Sprouse. I loved to hear the band play because Bill had such a wonderful voice and the band really knew how to minister to the inner needs of people. However I didn’t think much of Bill as a piano player. At the time I was involved in a musician’s fellowship at Calvary Chapel and one evening they separated all the instrumentalists into mini seminars led by someone who played their particular instrument. I ended out in Bill’s group. During the seminar he sat down to the piano and absolutely “cut out the jams.” It was at that point that I figured out what was going on with these folk. They could play all right. They just chose not to do so because they saw their musical function as drawing people to God rather than themselves.

In that same vein Jack Hayford in Manifest Presence viewed the display of artistry as a deterrent to worship when he wrote that “the ‘concert’ tradition of extended musical interludes within a piece – e.g., giving eight bars to the drummer, the guitarist and a wind instrument to ‘get in their licks,’ much to the delight of the audience and manifest in applause for each artist – is not, to my view, consistent with a worship service . . . it is simply not productive to the intention of a worship service.” In other words, the display of talent gets in the way of the goal of much of contemporary worship today, which is to take people into the presence of God.

“And for us today,” wrote Temple Bob Sorge in Exploring Worship, “the goal for our worship should be that we come to the point where we do not see anyone or anything around us, but we become totally taken up with God. That is the supreme goal of worship: to see only the Lord.”

This theme of eliminating distractions that get in the way of gaining access into the supernatural world is also held by New Age proponents. In this vein R. J. Stewart wrote in The Spiritual Dimension of Music, “The elemental exercises offered here have a number of effects, one of which is the gradual ability to de-tune (not ignore or merely shut out) the effect of unwanted music. In the case of strong and debilitating rhythms, such as that used in rock music, some of our exercises may even be used in the traditional manner of the focus, prayer or mantrum, where they literally cut across unwanted influences.”

Therefore the mantra of our new age of contemporary worshippers is: “’He must increase, but I must decrease.’” (John3:30MKJV)

Though humility is of essence, Bach’s way of doing things makes better biblical sense. After he wrote his extraordinary musical pieces Bach would put in the manuscript the words: “To God Be the Glory.” Therefore, the musician who believes with all his heart that his job is to glorify God through his talents will be the one who can openly display his talents in a manner that points to the magnificence of the glorious God whom we serve. It is for this reason that Franky Schaeffer’s book Addicted to Mediocrity is so powerful when he talks about the fact that the church ought to be excelling in the arts. The lesson here is that when the Christian musician involves himself in worship and praise ministry he needs never to hold back the artistry. Worship and praise music is not about the latest cliches or hip things to put in the lyrics, writing hooks, making CD sales or dragging people into church. It is not about aiming for Dewey’s lowest common denominator. It is all about glorifying God with excellence.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net