Contemporary Christian Music is Trash…?

So, my wife and I have been going back and forth for a while now about contemporary Christian music. She really likes it and has a number of artists she follows. I still listen to my copy of “Jesus Freak” by D C Talk and haven’t moved past it. She tells me that I am really missing out on some great music, and I say it sounds too much like every artist is trying to write the next big worship song.

We’re both right. There is some great music out there today. She just introduced me to a new song by Sidewalk Prophets called “You Love Me Anyway.”. What a great song!

Yet, too many churches put this music into worship, thinking that it will make them hip and relevant and enjoyable. They use music to entertain and bring people in, when they’ve forgotten that the true purpose of music in the service is to teach about and give praise to God. When the song is about us and not the Lord and what he has done, then it misses the point of the service. Sunday morning worship is the time in which God gives to us all of the things we need and desire from Him: forgiveness and the strengthening of our faith through Word and Sacrament.

Too many times the purpose of contemporary Christian music is to build up our emotions and uplift our earthly spirits. That’s a blessed and much needed thing throughout the week. When I’m feeling down or I need to get the blood going, I like to use music because of it’s cathartic nature. But I can’t rely on those emotions to get me through the crisis of faith when it arises. And they certainly don’t give me the faith I need, because that faith comes from Scripture directly, not the personalized, me-centered pop music of today’s Christian artists. “Faith comes by hearing” as Paul says in Romans; and he means the actual, true, inerrant Word of God.

So, I agree, the answer to the title of this post is, “No, contemporary Christian music is not trash. Shame on me for implying so.” But keep it out of worship and let it do the job it was meant to do (which is sell records…or in today’s world, downloads for iTunes). Sunday morning music must, as the old spiritual says, “Give me Jesus!”

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Absolutely Worth the Repost!

Fantastic video from Pastor Fisk!  I can’t wait to hear Part Two…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaKs3ygMBuo&feature=channel_video_title]

 

So I said to the wife…

I regularly find myself apologizing to my wife. Not in the sense of “Oh, sorry, honey,” with a tone that says, “I don’t really mean this, but I’m saying it anyway because I have to so you don’t make me sleep on the couch.” Instead, I find myself asking for her forgiveness because I am truly guilty and seeking repentance in her eyes.

Before you think I am a horrible, evil husband (or have a guilt streak a mile wide), hear me out. It’s important for me to clarify my position. I find myself apologizing to her because I sin against her. I get angry, and I say something with malice. I ignore her and do what I want. I find myself being uncaring at times, or not supportive, or lazy. I don’t do the proper things for her. I find myself not living up to the Bible passage from our wedding, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:25 (No, we didn’t have the “Love Chapter” read at our wedding…you can ask about that story if you like…).

I am a sinner, it is true. I am a sinner against my wife, the person whom I love the most in this world. Even love cannot stop my sinfulness. As Paul said in this week’s Epistle from Romans 7:15b, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate.” And do I ever sin against her. It breaks me down when I do. My heart aches and I feel terrible and wretched. That is why I apologize. They are the apologies of a man torn and disfigured by sin. I do not just say, “I’m sorry,” but instead, I seek repentance. That is the way God asks for us to show contrition.

“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51:16-17.

I go to my wife as a man who is broken under the Law, unable to stand before her sinless. And she, wonderful and gracious follower of Christ, forgives me! How amazing it is! She forgives me because of our shared faith in Jesus, who has come to remove these sins from our lives. She forgives because of Colossians 3:13b “as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” She, as a child of God and faithful servant of Christ, accepts my repentance. We then can, and do, go together to the table of Christ and receive His Body and Blood for our forgiveness together. We listen to the Gospel together and share the Good News of Christ with each other. Growing faith together, we live in love together and the words of Ephesians 5. It is the gift we are able to share with each other every day in our marriage: faith, which brings love.