What if when people asked you, "What kind of music do you like?" your answer was, "Music that speaks the truth."
Today I want to talk about how music can be a vehicle for truth & lies or misinformation. And when I say lies, I am not pitting "Christian" music against "secular music."
NOPE! Here is an article where I wrote about how powerful music can be, regardless of it's genre. Lyrics can whisper half-truths into our souls while we happily sing and press repeat. And that's the danger. Our souls begin innocently, but over time, we absorb the lyrics and they become a part of our worldview.
We are all easy prey when we listen without thought. We've all had that knee-jerk reaction. "Mom, I'm just listening to the music." The implication is that the words aren't affecting us in any way.
Sometimes I still do it. Music is compelling and I don't always think about the words. Maybe it's my age, but I consider it more now than ever, especially in the context of the Church.
In that setting, if our aim is to sing to God, then our words matter. What we declare to Him in worship should embody purpose and truth.
Words matter Often times I find myself "singing" or really just humming a song cause the music is hypnotic and gorgeous. I can't get enough of it and then halfway through or the 100th time, I realize what it's saying. But by then it's already worked itself into my mind.
Mike Winger says, "The worship songs we sing become our theology in our hearts and in our minds. We end up quoting them in hard times, These things kind of matter."
He goes on to say, "You should be able to ask yourself if you can sing this to God and mean it." But if you haven't thought about the lyrics at all, how can this be done? Because of this concept I've felt a holy responsibility to ponder the lyrics that I offer in worship to God.
The lyrics aren't there for me, they are the precious heart cry of a worshiper, giving their God all they have, think, and are. The words represent the transaction of love from me to Him. So yeah I wanna know what I'm saying to the God who created me.
Sure, he can forgive my ignorance and discount my lack of thought. But I don't live by the "ask for forgiveness" method when it comes to my life in Christ.
If I wouldn't say it in prayer, I don't sing it in church
Because that's what worship song lyrics are, prayers. I don't get out my concordance (well not always) and search for every word in the song. But I do allow my mind to consider the words I'm singing. I do ask the Holy Spirit for discernment during worship, that my mouth would proclaim truth as I offer Him these words as an offering.
So the next time you sing at church or in your private times with God, engage your body, but also engage your mind. Open your mouth and sing praises to the Lord. Speak words that bless Him.
And if you learn that a favored song isn't full of truth then it's not time to criticize the worship team or talk to your pastor. It's not a time to blast the songwriter and assume stuff about their relationship with God. This is about our own hearts.
It's our job, before God, to search out the truth and respond to it.
When I encounter lies in worship songs or "Christian" songs on the radio here is what I do. Some methods are for a church setting and some for the radio, but you get the idea:
1. If possible, replace the untrue words when I sing
2. Sing out the true parts - many times it's only a section that's untrue
3. Pray during the song
4. Listen to something else
5. Open my Bible and read
If you find yourself unable to let go of a song, then that's a red flag. I get it, there are songs I love. But then I remember that words matter. They sink into our souls and affect what we believe over time.
What songs ring true as you worship God? Do you have any songs that you suspect may be teaching false things but you just don't want to give up?