Ear plugs

While runnig some errands this evening, I ran into a dear friend, who told me a bit about the church he attends. He told me that he recently purchased some ear plugs for the worship at church because the music was so loud. He said that volume of the music is so high that it was hurting his ears. I have heard similar complaints from older folks. I know of one church that heard enough complaints that it began to supply free ear plugs at the door.

Now, I know that the Scripture speaks of loud worship. “Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:5). But, the Bible also speaks of quiet worship. “My soul, wait in silent for God only, for my hope is from Him” (Psalm 62:5). “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

Presumably, the volume of worship should range from each of these extremes. At times, it should be loud and expressive. “O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1). Singing and shouting with joy! That’s loud! At other times, it should be quiet and introspective. “Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). Bowing low and kneeling. That’s quiet. (Note that these last two references were from the same Psalm.)

Bottom line? I think that something is dreadfully wrong with churches that put out ear-piercing music week in and week out. Worship isn’t meant to be a show for those up front. Worship is about the entire congregation joining together. Let’s at least have the volume such that we can hear our neighbor sing.


We worship the same God

Toward the beginning of the book of Revelation, we see five anthems of praise spontaneously erupt before God. Consider the gravity of the worship:

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (See Revelation 4-5).

We worship the same God. Is your worship anything like the worship of those in heaven?

Jeremy Pierce Rants About Worship Songs

There is much talk in the church today of worship songs.  One of my favorite posts concerning these matters was written by Jeremy Pierce, entitled, “Rant About Worship Songs.”  For your convenience, I have reproduced his rant here.  Jeremy writes, …

Here are some of the things I really hate in a worship song.

1. Too simplistic, banal, lacking in depth, shallow, doctrineless: Consider that one that just talks about unity among brothers that only mentions God in passing at the very end.

2. It’s so repetitive. I mean, come on, how many times can you repeat “His steadfast love endures forever” before you start thinking the song is going to go on forever? Examples: here and here

3. For some songs, the focus is too much on instruments, and the sheer volume leads to its seeming more like a performance than worship and prevents quiet contemplation.

4. There might be too much emphasis on too intimate a relationship with God, using first-person singular pronouns like “me” and “I” or second-person pronouns like “you” instead of words like “we” and “God”. This fosters a spirit of individualism, and it generates an atmosphere of religious euphoria rather than actual worship of God. Worship should be about God, not about us. Or what about the ones that use physical language to describe God and our relationship with him? Can you really stomach the idea of tasting God?

5. Some songs have way too many words for anyone to learn.

6. It patterns its worship on experiences that not everyone in the congregation will be able to identify with. If you’re not in the frame of mind or don’t have the emotional state in question (e.g. a desperate longing for God. Then what are you doing lying and singing it? Worship leaders who encourage that sort of thing are making their congregations sing falsehoods.

7. Then there’s that song with the line asking God not to take the Holy Spirit away, as if God would ever do that to a genuine believer.

8. Then there’s that song that basically says nothing except expressing negative emotions.

At this point I’m so outraged that people would pass this sort of thing off as worship that I’m almost inclined to give in to the people who think we shouldn’t sing anything but the psalms. Oh, wait…