No Such Thing as ‘Worship’ Music

Posted on: March 27, 2014, by :

The question was asked of me yesterday, “Can there really be music that is ‘Worship’?”

I was immediately excited about the question, because it helped me to raise a better question.  “Is anything Sacred and is anything Secular?”

The student immediately recited something they heard in 4th grade Sunday School class about certain things being permitted in the old temple, but their response didn’t even scratch the surface of the truth.  The question asks if there is anything that the Lord created that is innately evil, or innately holy.  Or, is every element of existence simply neutral in its existence, and therefore available to be used for either God’s glory or man’s glory. 

Music, being neither sacred nor secular, means that music is simply an element of our existence and can be used for God’s glory, or can be used to glorify man.  That being said, my student asked, “What about our worship on Sunday?”

“What about it?” I asked.

The presence of music in a church does not make it holy, nor does the singing of songs in a church mean that a congregation is worshiping God.  Music, even that occurring on a Sunday morning, in a church, by people who claim to be Christians, can be an act of worship to the people who are presenting the music, not to the God of the universe. 

Interestingly enough, even a congregation who is worshiping the Lord can be led by a minister who, because of the pressures being placed on him by men, is bending to the will of man, rather than being led by the Lord. 

What must we do then?

We must determine within our own minds that the things we do can be used to glorify the Lord.  Also, we must engage the Lord prior to any act we hope to call worship, and beg Him to inhabit the activity.  We don’t need Him to inhabit a hymnal, guitar, or amplifier; we hope that he inhabits us, as his people.  We pray that he inhabits the praise of his people, regardless of the earthly activity being used to promote His name. 


For more on this subject:

Checklist Jesus – Jeremy A. Walker

Is Your Worship Music Being Driven by Complaints or Mission in Context? – Ed Stetzer

The Low Down on Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) – Dusty Ledbetter