28
Oct 14

There are three considerations when it comes to music profitable for corporate church use. They are reverence, order, and profitability.

 

Reverence – The most important consideration for music in the church is its object. Isaiah 6:1-5 describes God as Holy. There is nothing that can stand before God and not feel their incredible inadequacy. There is no one who can be before His throne and not feel the closeness of their own sin and the incredible guilt which comes along with it. God is Holy, and it bears repeating, God is Holy!! Because of this the question which must be asked when choosing a philosophy of music, when choosing a style to use, and when choosing each individual song in the corporate Body of Christ is, “Can this be done before, and in the presence of a Holy God?”

 

Order – Paul deals with the Corinthian church for its disorderliness during its corporate gathering concerning spiritual gifts. He ends his instructions on how to integrate spiritual gifts into the gathering of the believers by saying, “But everything must be done decently and in order.” Therefore, the question for us in our music style is, “is it conducive to worshiping in an orderly manner?”

Profitable – Paul speaks of everything being “permissible.” However, not all things are “helpful.” While many of the music styles as well as the songs used today may be permissible they may not be helpful for the task of corporate praise and use.

 

Once one takes these three principles into consideration what music is profitable for church use? The answer needs great discernment. Just because a song is old does not mean that it is reverent or orderly or profitable. Nor does every new song violate these principles. The answer may differ depending upon the context.

 

All this being said; we do not believe that a rock style is either reverent or orderly or profitable. It is too closely tied to worldliness, licentiousness, and every imaginable corner of depravity. Also, most songs written for this style are not conducive for church use. They are chord based rather than melody based; this puts the emphasis upon the inflection of the voice rather than on the note sung making it difficult to properly sing corporately. This kind of singing puts the emphasis upon the singer rather than the object of the singing. Finally this style has a tendency and even a pull toward disorder rather than orderliness.

 

On the other hand, an older song that does not have such a modern style may also lack the above three principles. A song whose text is not doctrinally sound, one whose music does not fit the mood of the text, or one that says next to nothing (cf. “I come to the garden alone”) are not reverent or profitable.

 

 

Stated positively then, the corporate use of music in church should use melodious music with a doctrinally sound text in a God focused manner. As already said there are songs from both old and new eras which fit this criteria but discernment is necessary to determine their usefulness according to the three principles.