Yes, I know it’s been a minute. Honestly, I have had too much to say and yet I have also been in a place where I have no words. This topic just finally got to me. Lately churches have been limiting the song choices that their worship teams are allowed to play. In some instances, I understand the rationale behind it, but it is also making my heart hurt.
I, like many other born-again Christians, was raised Catholic and one of the struggles I had in the Catholic church was the dirge type hymns that were considered worship music. There were only a handful of songs that I actually enjoyed and made me feel like I was speaking to God in song. Once I got used to how many songs were played during worship at a non-denominational service, I loved singing songs that made me feel like I was directly talking to God. Yet now because of several controversial movement choices churches are throwing out whole song catalogues and moving back to the hymns that made me as a youngster hate going to church. I am sure that I am not the only one who feels this way, but I might be part of only a handful of people willing to say it out loud.
I get that there is a huge controversy with Hillsong and the pastors tied to it and the issues with the Bethel movement, but the pastors are not the music. It’s like saying the alcohol is responsible for the alcoholic. Then it becomes a question of how far do we take it; does that mean we don’t sing the song “And The People Said Amen” because Jeremy Riddle who is connected to Bethel wrote the song with Phil Wickham? On Chris Tomlin’s LinkedIn profile it says “singer songwriter at Hillsong Church, so do we throw out all of his songs? What are you going to do with the congregants that were not “raised in church” who don’t know the songs or who went to churches where those songs totally turned them off from worship? What about the youngsters? Many of them will not want to stick around for worship.
I am not talking about never singing hymns again because they do have their place and many are very pretty, what I am talking about is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I have seen quite a lot of reactionary moves for a myriad of things in the evangelical churches of late and it distresses me. This seems to be the one that has gotten “in my craw” as of late.