Sticking to Psalms Protects us From Bad Theology

Sticking to Psalms Protects us From Bad Theology

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Church Music, Psalms, Songwriting | No Comments

Some churches today only sing songs that lyrically come straight from the Bible. This conviction requires them to stick largely to the Psalms. Whether you agree with their reasoning or not, here’s the big benefit I see with this approach.

Sticking to Psalms protects us from bad theology.

If we’re writing our own songs, we run the risk of being theologically inaccurate. If we take from the Psalms, we’re safe.

The only problem is – the reason the Psalms were such powerful songs was that they directly reflected the current cry of the people. Their situation. Their fears. Their faith.

If we stick only to scripture, the best we can do is find our closest substitute. Mimicking someone else’s prayer-songs, rather than our own.

Selah: Put Pauses Back in Your Church Services

Selah: Put Pauses Back in Your Church Services

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in Church Music, Worship Leading | No Comments

We work really hard on seamless transitions in our church music services. One song feeding perfectly into the next. Ending a song on the first chord of the following. Leaving no awkward space.

But in the process of leaving no awkward space, we also leave no thoughtful space.

In the Psalms, when you see the word, “Selah“, this literally meant to pause and reflect during this instrumental interlude.

You don’t have to have silence, even though you may find that extraordinarily powerful. You can have your synth player hold a pad. But consider giving the congregation some time to think.

Give them some Selah this week. After all, it’s biblical.

No one Uses the Word, “Hosanna”

No one Uses the Word, “Hosanna”

Posted by on Jun 16, 2011 in Christian Lyrics, Church Music, Psalms | No Comments

When’s the last time you used the word “Hosanna” in conversation?

I’m going to guess never. So, why are we using the word in our church songs? Now, I can present an argument for the ‘beauty’ of the word. For the ‘reverence’ of the word. Choosing to use holy phrases to sing of a holy God.

But, in the Psalms (where we’ve hijacked the word) the Psalmist used the word, “Hosanna”, because people used the word “Hosanna”. It was, in itself, a word of great meaning to the Israel community. It meant, “God, save us”.

But, it doesn’t mean that to the modern-day church, because we don’t use the word. And I wonder how many people, if pressed, could even define it? The truth is, we sing it because it sounds ‘holy’. But can a word devoid of meaning really be that?

If Music Divides Us, Let’s Stop the Music

If Music Divides Us, Let’s Stop the Music

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Church Music | No Comments

If musical style is the main cause of segregation (both racially and culturally) in our churches, perhaps we should get rid of music in our weekly church services altogether?

If that would solve a lot of the church’s unity problems, I’d be ok with my life revolving around music only every other hour of the week besides Sundays at 9 AM.

I’m serious.