3 Worship Songs God Hates

tredWe must tread lightly here, for to insinuate that we know the mind of God is dangerous territory.  However, what we know of Him and that of human interaction with the Almighty, there are certainly forms of worship God hates.  Do you think the term “hate” is too strong?  Does God hate?

There are many scriptures that describes the displeasure of God.
One prime example of this is Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

So with that being said, are there things that God hates?
I believe the answer is YES!

Can we then describe moments in worship and in song that could displease God?  Absolutely!  I should also clarify that the term “Worship Song” could be anything we do as we sing to God.  It can contemporary, it can be traditional, or somewhere in the middle.  Are there other things in “worship” other than song?  Of course, but just for this discussion, we are zeroing in on the topic of “Song”…

Here are 3 Worship Songs God Hates: 
Allow me to preface this with the following statement: If you were looking for specific names of songs that God possibly hates, sorry…that’s not what this particular blog post is about.  Again, sorry to disappoint you, I won’t be roasting the latest Chris Tomlin song here today.

But here is what I think are 3 Worship Songs God Hates and why…

1  Songs Sung Out Of Obligation
Have you ever gotten up on a Sunday morning to lead worship and the songs you have selected aren’t really resonating with you?  Sometimes it could be that we are just out of sync with our walk with the Lord…there are certainly seasons of life, and not everything is flowersgoing to be peachy.  But I believe God hates obligatory worship.  Imagine if I were to give flowers to my wife simply because it’s the right thing to do, not that I want to, but rather because it’s expected.  How do you think she would feel if, as I gave her the flowers, I said; “Here’s you weekly obligatory flower arrangement dear!”?  Do you think she would enjoy them and feel loved in my gift of those flowers?  Of course not!

In a way, when we sing songs of worship and adoration to God because we feel obligated, it’s like giving Him flowers that mean nothing to us and are given out of ritual not love and appreciation.  God doesn’t want our obligatory worship songs and our meaningless attempts at worship – He wants it to mean something to us, something that aren’t just meaningless utterances of lyric lines and memorized scriptures.  God hates obligatory praise!

2. Songs Sung Out Love For The Song
Which do we worship, God or our favorite song?
I’m not saying this happens all of the time, but sometimes those worship songs (or even hymns) we sing can become a false idol of our worship.  We just don’t “feel” it when we aren’t singing just the right songs…but if that all time “fav” comes up – we are rockin’ and rollin’ with our hands raised high.  hands

Let me ask a question – is it God that we worship or the song that we sing?
I would hope our answer would be “God”, but there is a danger of placing our favorite song on a place of worship instead of God himself.  God hates the worship of idols – He is truly jealous for our worship and that of us.  He wants all there is of us, not a portion – but our EVERYTHING!  I fear at times, we place the love for a song over the love for God.  Our worship cannot simply revolve around our emotions and how WE feel…We are to worship Him REGARDLESS of how we feel.  Perhaps that is the toughest thing to do, yet through discipline and perseverance, we can!

3. Songs Sung To Display Talent (The Concert Performance)
worshipWorship leader – beware!  Worship was never about how good YOU sing or how Awesome your Guitaring or Piano-ing is… Seriously, if all we do in worship is try to emulate a Hillsong or Jesus culture/David Crowder concert, then we’re going about it all wrong and we need to stop!

Jesus called the Pharisees praying loudly in the streets so that everyone could hear and see them – Hypocrites or Actors.  He certainly had a lot of harsh words to say to those kinds of people – people who knew better.  He even went so far as to call them a brood of vipers.  God abhors actors, fakers and hypocrites.  hypocriteOur worship of God ought not to be a circus displaying our vast array of talents for the world to see.  Real worship isn’t about a concert or our aspirations to be the next big thing in the Top Ten CCLI Worship Leaders.  All these things are earthly desires – as we strive for human accolades and praise.

Such things do not attempt to elevate the name of Jesus, but rather promote our name to the masses.  In the words of U2 “Then they put Jesus in show business, now it’s hard to get in the door…” (God Would Send His Angels, U2)

God hates performances by actors and hypocrites that should have been about who He is, not who the performers are.  Where is the depth of worship here?  I’ll tell you – it’s about an inch deep and a yard wide.  Do our best?  Absolutely!  But if what we do is called “Worship” but it’s not God we are adoring but rather the music and our abilities on stage, then perhaps it’s time to reassess and realign our motivation and goals once again.

Well, we have strolled lightly here today.
The Bottom line, God doesn’t want any substitutes or consolation prizes – He wants our hearts and our attention.  Are there times when we worship with a divided heart or mind?  Are our motivators God honoring or human praise seeking?

What do YOU think?
Something more to ponder today.
God Bless You!

(Fluffy) Dessert Christianity…It’s Deadly!

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…” 1 Peter 2:2

I have a confessions to make…are you ready?
Here goes:   I.  Love.  Dessert.

Dessert:
There I’ve said it.  Phew, I feel better already.
Even though I love dessert I know that dessert alone is not going to be enough nourishment for my diet to keep me going throughout the day.  Dessert is just sugary goodness…it’s fluff with little to no nutritional value.  It tastes amazing (depending on the dessert) but when it’s all said and done it doesn’t help you maintain your goal weight or provide you with the right kinds of good proteins and vitamins your body needs.

What am I getting at: 
I think that sometimes we as Christians are settling for Fluffy sugary, watered down religion instead of the real tangible stuff that grows and challenges us spiritually.   ankleI’m not saying it’s all bad, but sometimes it’s so shallow I can’t even get my ankles wet…if you know what I mean.

Mainstream Christianity: 
By and large, whether it is on television or radio, many times the quality of the “good news” of Jesus Christ is watered down, saturated and made palatable for the consumer.  It’s safe.  It’s kinda lame…it’s just fluff.  A lot of picking and choosing of scripture (many times out of context of the original intent and audience) takes place within this dessert Christianity.  This is why I wrote about “Christian Music” a while ago and why I stopped listening to it…fluff
We need to be away of dessert Christianity.
It doesn’t really challenge us to grow, in fact it kind of stunts our growth.  Dessert Christianity keeps us right where we are at feasting on the sugar and fluff and it’s dangerous because then we don’t have to confront the tough passages where we are called to love our enemies, and the call to be holy; and the call to live sacrificial lives to the point of offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1).   Most of time this surface type of “Religion” sugar coats the scriptures and gives us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

No offense to many of you out there, but I don’t need another wishy-washy video bible series study as a Christian bookstore prostitutes Jesus for money (and now I’ve gone and done it and upset the apple cart…sorry).

osteenI don’t need another Joel Osteen sermon either.
I don’t need some guy in trendy jeans in front of a cool backdrop on a stage preaching sermons that water down the Bible and wedge his own interpretations either.
Gosh, a lot of times this style of “Religious” Christianity just comes off as fake and hokey.  It sure sounds good to our ears but lacks complete spiritual depth and accuracy as real life Christians are living in the real world.

We don’t need anymore dessert, can’t you see our spiritual bodies are craving something more?
Perhaps some new believers are still on spiritual milk today, and that’s fine…but I do hope and pray someone can come along side these new believers and disciple them into deeper (less fluffy) waters.  Get off the fluff and onto the stuff that matters, that challenges, that grows us!
The time to grow up in our salvation is now.  Stop making excuses, don’t waste your time…do it

Something more to ponder today.

(I want to thank my wife Shanais Strissel for the countless conversations that has sparked these ponderings…you are my spark!)

Authentic or Fake? (Igniting the Passion Again!)

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Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

–Genesis 5:24

 

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:20)

 

Is there meaning behind what you do in your worship? 

How is your heart?  Is it still in it?  Are you in love with God?  These questions may get to the heart of the matter.  We are called ‘Children of God’ (Gal 3:26) and yet at times we act like we are mere acquaintances of God.   I will admit that there have been times when my heart just hasn’t been in the worship service that I am attending.   Have you been to that point? 

 

Setting the stage

You get up and prepare for the Sunday Morning Service.  You put on your ‘church clothes’, comb or brush your hair…and make sure everything is in place.  On the way out the door you grab your Bible, which may have been resting in the same spot since last time you went to church.  You get in your car or van and race to the church because you are nearly late…someone cuts you off on your way to the church building.  Then you get to the church and find all the ‘good parking spots’ are already taken.  So you finally reach the front doors of the church building in a huff, slightly irritated and just a little bit disheveled…but you still have your Bible in hand. 

 

When you finally sit down in the pew as the service is about to start, you suddenly realize you didn’t eat breakfast…great one more thing to think about during church.  You stand when they tell you to stand, you sit back down when they tell you to sit, and all the while you are staring at the clock thinking about what you will do with the rest of your day.  You barely hear what the pastor preaches on…the first joke in the introduction was funny but after a while the sermon just becomes the mumblings of that teacher on the t.v. show ‘Peanuts’…”Whah, whah, whah, whah, whah.” 

 

The Heart of the Matter:

Hopefully your worship doesn’t look like that!  But if truth be told I would almost bet that you have had those Sundays.  My question to you is “why even go to church then?”  If we aren’t emotionally, physically and intellectually there in the first place, why even show up? 

 

There are a lot of people out there who go to church but fail to actually show up.  It’s unfortunate, I’ve been there, and it happens.  It makes me wonder sometimes if we aren’t acting a little like the Pharisees of old.  We’re all about the ritual of worship…we all know the right songs to sing and the right ‘Amen’s’ to proclaim at any given time in the service, but our hearts are just not in it. 

 

Dare I prod us all for a moment:  If we just show up for worship on Sunday mornings (or whatever day we attend church) but we aren’t really there…aren’t we a little like the Pharisees that Jesus talked about that were all about cleaning the outside of the cup but not too serious about cleaning the inside? (Luke 11:39)  Now I’ve probably stepped on a few toes with that one…but I have to confess…I’ve done it too!

I’ve been just as guilty of showing up for Sunday service and said all the right things and gone through all the right motions and yet my heart has not been in it. 

 

This isn’t some sort of guilt trip that I want to lay on you today.  I don’t want us all to think that we’re awful people by any means.  But what I do feel as if God wants from us all is not our ritualistic church attendance.  Or our ritualistic methodology…or even our ritualistic uniform/church clothes that we wear so that we fit in.  What God wants from us is our hearts.  He wants our worship, our undivided attention.  He wants from us authenticity in the songs we sing, the scriptures we read and in the sermons we hear or the sermons we preach.  HE DOES NOT WANT OUR LIP SERVICE!  He never did!!! 

 

He wants to make us holy, set apart people for Him!  We can’t just settle for cleaning the outside of the cup and keep up appearances of something that isn’t true on the inside!  God wants us to be real, to be vulnerable people before Him.  He calls us all to genuine fellowship with Him.  The kingdom of God begins within our authentic worship of a God who has poured out His unmerited favor on us.  How can our hearts NOT be in on that? 

 

To the pretenders out there STOP PRETENDING!  Either get on with real worship and adoration of God or just get out of the way!  To the luke-warm believer: MAKE UP YOUR MIND!  Don’t settle for a skim-milk type of passion.  Don’t stop at just being a ‘ok’ in your faith…we all have to grow and mature!  Get on with it!  To those of you who are ON FIRE FOR GOD: Don’t let your flame go out!  Keep burning for the rest of us so that we have something to aim for! 

 

RECAP:

Don’t fake it.  Don’t settle for mediocrity.  Don’t suffocate your fire with distractions, worries and things that have no eternal worth! 

 

REMEMBER: Have passion, clean the inside of the cup daily, and walk with God…He longs for you to do so! 

 

 

 

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