Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MUSICAL MANIPULATION


WORSHIP Part 13

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen 3:6)



We have all been taught that the problem here is that Eve did not pay attention to the word of God, yet we likewise continue to buy into any philosophy that exalts our experience over the Word.

Notice that it was Eve’s “experience” that led her astray.

She had the word which said, “Don’t eat,” but her experience said, “Why not?”

God had already given Adam the answer to that question—
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17)

The serpent contradicted that clear word and the woman was immediately deceived. (2 Cor. 11:3)

And much the same continues into this hour in which we live.

We have been deceived into thinking that knowledge is bad and experience is the only truth.

I realize that many would argue with the absoluteness of those statements, but I put them that way for a reason.

The reality is that we have, indeed, bought into the New Age philosophy that truth is relative, that perception determines reality.

While that may be true when trying to observe light, it is incorrect to extrapolate from that “all truth is a matter of perception.”

Because that thinking has infected the church, we constantly hear things like, “That is just your interpretation,” or, “God hasn’t revealed that to me yet.”

There seems to be something within us that continually shirks any responsibility for personal holiness or righteousness.

Our experience has become the sine qua non, the standard, for judging the truth of anything.

And therein lies the problem we are experiencing in our so-called worship services of today.

If I ‘feel’ something, it must be the Lord.

Those who have observed the realities of their life for more than a day have come to realize that feelings are fleeting. They don’t last.

The emphasis in this hour has become the seeking of experiences. People want to go to a church where there is “something happening.”

There is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with that, until you begin to look at the fruit. 

They have to go from one church to another in their pursuit of an experience.

Jesus spoke to this as recorded in John’s Gospel—
“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26)

Notice that His emphasis is on their ‘personal’ experience—they ate and were filled.

Yes, it is great to be a witness to a miracle, and some would say that is an experience. And so it is.

However, when someone is diligently seeking a personal experience, a miracle performed on someone else’s body is vicarious at best. It cannot satisfy the longing for something personal. The vicarious experience is soon pushed to the background of one’s memory as more intense experiences are sought.

When we come into the house of the Lord for worship, and our intention is on having an experience, we are offering false worship.

We are not worshipping Him, but our experience of Him.

The feelings produced by the music are proof of nothing. It is the transformational experience of worship which gives the proof of having been with God.
“And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.” (Exo 34:35)

Moses’ face shone as a direct result of having been in the presence of the Lord. He was transformed.

We have already considered the aspects of music that can make us feel a certain way.

If that is true, (and it is) is it not possible that our feelings could be manipulated by the music?

Watching numerous videos of popular worship music, I see a consistent pattern emerge in each one.
  • Simple lyrics 
  • Start out slow 
  • Rise in volume 
  • Increase in tempo 
  • Slow it all down 
  • Rinse and repeat 
  • Seldom a reference to God, Jesus, Lord.

This was a pattern with songs lasting six minutes as well as with songs lasting more than ten minutes. These were all stage performances which appeared to be at a concert venue, but some were were listed as worship service on a Sunday morning.

They are, indeed spiritual songs. Spiritual songs should be a part of our repertoire. But these cannot be called worship songs, nor can they lead people into a place of worship.

Do not be deceived.

The people are being moved by the music only—not the presence of God.

Try, as Matt Redman’s pastor did, to worship with voices only or with only one acoustical instrument, singing songs with more than just 10 words repeated for five minutes. See if you are dependent on the modern electronics capable of moving your emotions before the Holy Spirit does.


Let us find the path back to the heart of worship where it is all about Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to comment once and it disappeared so I apologize if it shows up twice. Not sure the second go round will be the same. LOL
    "We are not worshipping Him, but our experience of Him." My observations over the past few years hold this to be a true statement. Self is promoted all around us in everything we see and hear. 'Selfie' generation? age? You thought of me above all...and I can hear the tune...rather than It's all about you, Jesus...
    God inhabits the praises of His people...those praises are about Him.

    ReplyDelete

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