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!

A “Knock-off” or the Real Deal?

Image

real christians

A few years ago I purchased an electronic device that I thought was comparable to the electronic standard held by another brand.  It was cheaper and I admit that this was my original motivation in purchasing the device.  I thought I had made a good deal by going cheaper…but I was sorely wrong.  It looked quite similar to the more expensive quite famous counterpart…but upon studying the “specs” which were the inner workings or the hardware, I discovered that though it looked the part it was just a cheap “knock-off” that barely performed the way that I expected it to.  I was thoroughly disappointed and eventually I discarded my “knock-off” and spent a little more for the real deal.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Few sentences in all the world strike at our hearts like this sentence from 1 John.  Mimicking Jesus’ own “new” commandment (John 13:34-35), John reminds us all that we are called to this holy purpose here on earth.  Dare I say that this world is already full of hell and pain, hatred and heartache…how better to display the Light of Christ to a darkened world than to love.  But John doesn’t merely remind us to love with our words and with how we speak to people around us.  That would be far too easy and a shallow, cheapened “knock-off” of Christ-likeness.

Image

Phony Christians:

No one likes cheap stuff if they can afford the real deal.  If we had the resources to have the original in our hands, to own it and enjoy it, we would never settle for a cheap “knock-off” copy!  The world knows a thing or two about phoniness.  There are far too many people in our world today who have experienced deceit and cons of every kind.  They can spot the phony Christian a mile away.  The kind of “Christian” who only pretends to love but is just as absorbed in their own little world as a non-Christian person.  The pretend Christian won’t fool anyone for too long, because when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, for faith to be put into action, the phonies will scatter and disappear at the moment of greatest need.  The world does not need any more phonies, let alone phony Christians who are just artificial, cheap “knock-offs” of the real deal.

Newly Minted Originals:

Image

This is not meant to discourage you dear fellow Christ-follower, this is just a warning to both you and me.  Without real tangible evidence of love bedded deep within our actions towards others, we run the risk of becoming just another cheap “Knock-off”.  Don’t let your faith become jaded.  Don’t allow skepticism and judgement to taint your walk with the Lord.  There is a very real spiritual war going on; we know the final outcome, yet Satan and his minions would like nothing more than to dissuade you as a Christ-follower and discourage you in your faith so that you only resemble what you once were.  Don’t be swayed but how others treat you.  Don’t become discouraged when you feel as if you’re the only Christian left standing.  We are newly minted originals if we allow Christ’s love to permeate our faith in action.  It does nothing to simply say the right things or speak these solid truths unless it is backed up by our actions as well.  Those who are still lost cannot simply to Christ by sweet words and kind thoughts…they need real hands to show them the way.  They need real feet to walk beside them.  They need a shoulder to cry on when life has stripped them of their pride and possessions.  They need you and me to go to them and not to wait in our halls or churches for them to come to us (which will never happen).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let your love be seen from your heart to your hands!  Let your faith propel you into action.  Be bold, take risks, and discard the temptation to become just another cheap “knock-off” for Christ.

Image

Authentic or Fake? (Igniting the Passion Again!)

Image

 

 

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! 

 

 

 

Coming Soon: “What Do I Stand For?”

Next week…I will write a series on “what do I stand for”.
Check it out and let me know what you think!

I believe this is such a pivotal subject that its helpful to discuss it, explore it and actually live it, because without action the words on a page or blog are just empty…my goal has always been to live what I preach.

So tune in Monday…so to speak, and join me in this dialogue on “What Do I Stand For?”

20130413-142848.jpg

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑