It is iconic.
The brass bands playing music on the street corner, reminiscent of the bygone era of open air meetings.
We gather together for territorial and even international events and the brass band is there also.
I am not disparaging the usage of music in ministry, but could such a use become an idol?
It almost sounds absurd doesn’t it? …but could it? is it?
Every denomination has its sacred cows of sorts…The Salvation Army is no exception.
How do we prevent possible sacred cows from overshadowing its real intend and purpose?
Truth be told ANYTHING can become an idol if it becomes the focal point, and in essence becomes the thing which is worshiped. If your corps were to worship its tithing process on a Sunday morning (as crazy as that sounds) the focal point or the reason for giving would take a back seat while the process of “giving” becomes THE MAIN THING. It has then become your idol.
No matter if your corps’ Holiness/Salvation Meeting is modern and thrives upon the usage of a praise band or if your corps has a brass band for worship – these tools of the sacred, used improperly, can become our idols of worship if we are not careful. Use them wisely! Don’t use them haphazardly. Remember that music is not about the performance (it’s not a concert) it is about ushering people into the presence of God!!
All of the elements within a worship setting ought to be mere conduits pointing to the same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If they do not point to Him, but instead take His place (either by accident or on purpose) these elements should be re-evaluated and carefully retooled.
Worship is NOT about playing the appropriate amount of songs from the tune book on Sunday morning.
Worship is NOT about having the best brass band in the division.
Worship is NOT about having all of the right musicians on your praise team…and playing all the right modern worship songs.
Worship is NOT about the elements…it is about Christ – and secondly leading soldiers and other members into deeper relationship with Him. If we lose focus of this, we run the risk of making the elements of worship our idol.
Is this a present issue in your corps?
Have you ever witnessed this “Idol worship”?
How might educating worshipers, worship leaders, bandsmen help prevent this from happening?
Are we intentionally using music ministry to lead people into a deeper sense of worship with God?
I must tell you that I absolutely love music and I have nothing against Army music or modern contemporary worship.
These can be wonderful ministry tools if used correctly…but utilized incorrectly could lead to abuse and idols of worship. God forbid that we make it into something it was never intended to be.
Something more for our Army to ponder today.
To God be the glory!