The early church praised Jesus constantly. As we continue our study of the church we now come to the question of what music is acceptable in the worship of God.
Music is to be an overflow of the heart
There is a pagan concept of music that we see in Amos and Daniel. It is the idea of music being something external that hopefully will change and effect the heart. It is an outside in approach. This is the approach of most churches. We hope to influence people to come to Christ by the type of music that is played. We hope to draw Christians closer to Jesus through the music. We seek to “prepare people’s hearts for worship” through the music. This is a pagan idea that uses music to psychologically manipulate people.
The Christian approach to music is that music is to be an overflow of the heart. It is an inside out approach. All the songs in the Scripture are a response to what God has already done. It is an overflow of the heart. Music is not used to draw people to Jesus; music overflows from hearts that have already met Him. Music cannot prepare our hearts to worship; music is an overflow of an already worshiping heart.
We are to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs
In all the “worship wars” the question was always “Traditional” vs. “Contemporary,” hymns vs. praise songs. The Bible takes a completely different approach. We are commanded to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. We are to sing really old songs (as in several thousand years old) and really new songs, as well as everything in between.
The Word of Christ must indwell us
Music is a powerful teaching mechanism. Unfortunately most church goers recognize certain songs more than the actual Word of God. Because of this many people have swallowed heresy in the form of a catchy tune. We must be people who know the Word of God first and foremost and ensure that what we sing teaches His Truth.
A variety of music is to be used in the worship of God
We find numerous types of musical instruments being used to praise God throughout the whole bible. Tambourines, flutes, lyres, harps, organs, cymbals, and trumpets are just a few that are mentioned. There are also a variety of musical styles employed even within the book of Psalms. From this we see that God delights in variety of musical instruments and styles. The issue is not what we like; it is what He likes.
There is some music that is not acceptable to God
Not all musical styles are pleasing in God’s sight. In Exodus 32 we find the children of Israel singing songs to their idol in a drunken orgy. The music is described by Joshua as the sound of war. Music should be reverential and pleasing in God’s sight. It should be the overflow of a heart that loves Jesus, not a heart that loves anything else (including a particular style of music.)
Everyone should sing no matter how musically challenged they may be
God desires to be praised by everyone including little babies. It does not matter how well you can sing. The truth is that you should sing because you cannot be silent. God has done so much for you, how can you not sing His praise even if it is off key? He is worth your best singing. He is to be praised with a joyful noise. When He is praised out of pure hearts and in a manner that pleases Him, He will pour out His Spirit.
How will you praise Christ? Is our worship Biblical?