The Resurrection of the Contemporary Christian Music Industry (Part 2– 8 Must-Have Qualities of Worship Music)
In our previous article, we expounded on how much of an impact can be made in the contemporary christian music industry just by writing lyrics correctly with the fear, awe, and reverence for God that our very own Creator deserves.
However, lyrics are only a fraction of the battle.
Let’s conduct an experiment. Let’s take the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” and put it to a completely different melody and backing track; the melody and backing track we’ll use is Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” Try your best to replace the words with the lyrics to “Amazing Grace” in your head.
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
Now that we’ve done some mental gymnastics, let’s reflect on the message such a song would convey. What do you think all of those sensual vocal timbres, seductive beats and “umphs” in the background would say about the “Amazing Grace” message as a whole? Something godly? Something pure? Something holy? Of course not.
“ Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.” — (Romans 13:13)
Lyrics can be seen as the soul of the song, and the music as its body. Adorning the right lyrics with the wrong music is like adorning Mother Teresa with short-shorts and a tank top. Disgusting.
This is why it’s so important to have the right music accompanying the right lyrics. The music needs to reflect the character of God just as much as the words do. We need to be able to codify the truth in a way that people can rightly understand the true sense of God’s Word in order that we can unify the church and glorify God.
So what are some principles that we can follow so we can know the music we’re writing is something God would want to hear? We found from respected ministry site, “Obsessed With God,” a good starting list of 8 qualities that we believe music must have in order to ensure a bright future for the contemporary christian music industry:
#1 — The Music Emphasizes the Teaching
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16–17)
Singing is designed to teach us, to get God’s word to live inside of us, to teach us, to reprimand us, to encourage us to exalt the name of Jesus and thank God for all that He is and does.
These days so many bands driven by electric guitars and pounding drum sets drown out the message of the singer trying to sing the song. It doesn’t help when the majority of singers do not pronounce their words in a clear enough way, focusing too much on the vocal timbres, notes and everything else about their voice other than their own message to where you can barely hear what they’re singing about. When making music to glorify our Lord God, careful attention must be paid to the song’s teaching, so that the music doesn’t drown it out, but rather emphasizes it.
#2 — The Music Delivers Accurate Instruction
The lyrics must have biblical integrity in order to be useful for teaching and admonition.
What happens when you misquote God? Really bad things.
Look at Adam an Eve for example. God originally told Adam, “ You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
When the serpent tempted Eve, Eve merely paraphrased God and added extra details saying, “ You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” You know the rest of the story.
Although, when Jesus was tempted by the enemy, Jesus quoted Himself directly saying, “It is written (…).” Therefore accuracy is essential in representing the truth of God’s Word, otherwise the truth would be tainted and possibly mislead people onto the wrong path.
#3 — The Music Comes from the Right Motive
(1 Kings 12:25–33) Jeroboam set up a whole worship system so that people would come and worship with him… he was more interested in attracting people to himself that promoting worship of God the way God had decreed.
Jeroboam’s dastardly situation sounds much like the approach of today’s megachurches, trying to be like the world in order to draw in bigger numbers at the cost of the spiritual lives of its starving sheep.
Yet God pays attention to everything we do, including the motives behind our actions.
The only way we can know that our music is what God would want Himself and others to hear is by examining ourselves to see whether we’re in the faith. (2 Cor. 13:5) We should test ourselves with God’s Word and turn our feet to His testimonies. (Psalm 119:59) When we are in line with the will of God as clearly described in the Bible, and become confident in knowing that, that will ultimately ensure that whatever music we make will be what God wants us to make.
#4 — The Music Worships the Right God in the Right Way
In Leviticus 10:1 Nadab and Abihu offered what was considered “strange fire” on the altar of God. Another example of this kind of thing can be found in Exodus 32:1–35 when Moses was taking too long in Aaron’s eyes to come down from communing with God, the people set up a golden calf so as to worship “god”, which did not please Him.
#5 — The Music Fosters Reverence
In all of the instances where people worship God, reverence is present; people falling on their faces before Him. In Malachi 1:8 the people of Israel have no reverence for God and are making offerings of blind and lame animals, the dross of their flock and God has this to say: “When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.” It is obviously important to bring offerings to God that foster reverence.
#6 — The Music Fosters Holiness
One of the biggest unspoken issues in a church is often the way in which leaders conduct the leading of worship, particularly when care is not taken to avoid amplification if obvious gender specific attributes. We are supposed to be looking to the leaders to point us to God, not to get our hearts racing. A persons face encompasses the complete expression of that person (Numbers 6:24–26).
#7 — The Music Fosters Orderliness
“All things should be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40)
#8 — The Music Fosters Love
The goal of everything we do as believers is love, and so there should be such a sense of love towards both God and mankind, by the bibles definition of love, not man’s (1 Corinthians 13:4–13).
Original Article: http://obsessedwithgod.comule.com/music_in_worship