Worship music gone wrong

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With worship music, I can deal with bad singing. I can deal with bad playing. I can deal with bad arrangements. I can deal with bad choices in music.

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” Psalms 98:4-6, KJV

What is annoying, however, is when someone uses secular music and fails to correct the language so that worship turns into something else entirely.

Case in point: a YouTube ministry that works at a truck stop and preaches the same thing every week with what appears to be the same two “worship” songs: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden (sung to remind us all that Jesus never promised us a rose garden – presumably on earth because he did promise us a mansion in heaven… maybe without a rose garden, but I digress) and Let Me Be There.

Let Me Be There, a staple of Elvis Presley among others, has this lyric:

Let me take you to that wonderland that only two can share… all I ask you is let me be there

Aside from the potential sexual reference (credit to my friend Mackie from Scotland), this line seems to reference heaven (“wonderland”) as being available only for “two.”

Bad theology.

So, I pointed this out in a roundabout way that I knew would get back to this particular individual. And, I got an explanation.

It seems that to this worship leader, this reference is “all about relationship.” Everyone has a different relationship with Jesus. So, therefore, Jesus is taking all Christians to a wonderland/relationship that is limited to two because each relationship is different from any other.

Okay.

It is a solid attempt at an explanation. I can’t say that I disagree with that premise (not certain I agree with it, either), but I think it is a major stretch to tie the word “wonderland” with the word “relationship.”

Forgetting this, this worship leader happens to be among the Pharisaical Christians on YouTube who make it a part of their “ministry” to publicly discredit and defame me and my relationship with Christ.

So, it seems that this whole concept doesn’t even work with THEIR theology because they believe MY relationship with Christ should be exactly like theirs (same political worldview, same manner of Gospel preaching, same opinions), or the relationship is “fake.”

Confused? Me, too.

Moral of the story: don’t use, in your worship services, secular music that clearly was never intended to reference God.

Or, at the very least – as I suggested to this sister in Christ in this case – change the word “two” to “few.”

Let me take you to that wonderland that only few can share

That’s (a bit) better. Better yet, don’t try to pretend you’re talking the words of Jesus with secular lyrics in your worship. Sing praises to God.

Otherwise, it starts to look a lot about you.

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In May, 2005, Rob was a secular, Jewish, thirty-something, Los Angeles, personal injury attorney whose idea of getting up early on a Sunday was getting up for the third quarter of the first televised, NFL games.

Thirsting on the idea of playing in a band for the first time in a decade, Rob finally accepted his neighbor's request to get up at seven-in-the-morning on Sundays in order to participate.

Eleven months later, his world was turned upside down by Jesus. Instantly, he began leading songs on the worship team and, today, he now leads that same LIFEhouse worship team in which he was initially invited to join as a non-believer.

God is cool like that.