A profound loss

Well, it has happened: In the so-called “worship wars,” the advocates of contemporary worship have won. I can see it in your young people who now know none of the songs written more than twenty years ago. I see it when I lead a song in my college classes; they simply don’t know the old songs. Their faces fall, and they remain silent, motionless.

It’s not their fault. Continue reading “A profound loss”

Joyful noise

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing. Know that the Lord, he is God; It is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:1-3 NKJV).

Eastern music – that is to say, the music of Asia – is different from that common in the Western hemisphere. Not only do they feature different instruments which produce varying tones, but their chords, rhythms, and melodies are far removed from the “top 40” hits, symphony performances, and other popular music with which most Europeans and Americans are familiar. Continue reading “Joyful noise”

California concert

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Ephesians 5:19).

The phrase “making melody” in this verse is rich with implications for our worship in song. It means to “pluck the strings of,” in the sense of a harp, perhaps, or a lyre. But this emphatically does not mean that we are to play a cold, mechanical instrument in worship. Note that the instrument whose strings we pluck is the human heart!

When I lived in the Tehachapi Mountains, I grew to anticipate their annual show of California poppies in the spring. Continue reading “California concert”

Authorized Music in Worship (Part Three)

Alan Highers writes, “There is no divine authority for instrumental music in New Testament worship. There is no command for it, no example of it, no record of it in scripture, no support for it in history, and no mention of it in religious service for hundreds of years after the New Testament era. If we believe in the authority principle then there simply is no place for the use of instrumental music in sacred worship.”/1

People counter by saying that “it doesn’t say we can’t use them.” This claim cannot withstand scrutiny. Continue reading “Authorized Music in Worship (Part Three)”