Thinking in Worship

20 07 2012

Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (or half full) of artificial admirers (like people who write generic anniversary cards for a living). On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.” – John Piper in Desiring God pg. 82

Think about the songs you sing on Sunday mornings.  Why do you sing them?  Is it just because they are the songs you’ve always sang and they “move” you emotionally? What are the words that you are singing?  Unfortunately, in many churches today, the songs sang are theologically shallow.  This isn’t a “Traditional” vs. “Contemporary” thing either.  There are shallow hymns as well as contemporary songs.

As quoted above, “emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought.”  This is where we are in much of evangelicalism today.  We don’t want to think about what we are singing- we just want to sing, we just want to “feel.” It’s not that emotion is wrong; it’s just that we crave emotion apart from truth because it’s “easy” and we don’t have to think about it, which is kind of like going to the movies isn’t it? We can just “feel” and be entertained but we don’t really have to excercise or discipline our minds for “rigorous thought.” And this kind of mentality in worship is wrong.

I’m in no way trying to reduce worship to just Sunday morning singing.  Worship encompasses much more than that.  However, I am asking God’s people to think when they sing.  When you sing this Sunday think about the words of the song.  Think about how they point you to the greatness of Christ and your need of Him.  Think about how they point you to the Cross and the holiness, love, justice, grace, and mercy of God.  And if the songs you sing don’t point you to those things, it may be time to discuss with your Pastor your church’s understanding of Worship.

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