I was reminded tonight of the fact that when you choose to post your thoughts and values in your blog online, not everyone will like you.
I screen comments to my blogs simply because my blog is my “home” and just like I wouldn’t welcome crude behaviors and foul language in my real home, I don’t welcome it on my “internet home”. I do, however, welcome questions and comments and have no problem posting something if someone disagrees with me. God wants us to ask question. He wants us to use our brain. Over and over the Bible tells us that. It’s life’s questions and disagreements that should get us to think, that file off the rough edges, and that help us learn and mature as we work through tough issues.
(Jesus said) “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart,
all your soul, all your strength and all your mind.” Luke 10:23
(New International Version)
I Peter 3:15 says that we are to be ready to give an answer to anyone who
asks us for the reason that we have hope. That means that we need to
study and understand, we need to ask the tough questions of ourselves
and be willing to welcome the tough questions others have.
I could give a number of verses where God tells us that He created us, He gave us a mind, and He expects us to use it.
One of the comments attached to my blog today was polite, but I get a lot of spam, some of it not filtered. So, before approving it, I decided to go to the link and see if this was an advertiser. It turns out, it was a person who “wouldn’t darken the door of a church” and who had linked my blog as a related link to a blog about awful church music. First of all, I have to thank that blogger for giving me “air time.” I have to admit, the video clip that was posted there was, indeed, very painful to listen to and I would have had a difficult time listening to the whole thing. But, the sense of anger seemed to be against Christians and churches in general.
If we’re talking about music, there’s a lot of incredibly beautiful Christian music out there. My own church sings some beautiful music with powerful, life-changing words. We have instruments (guitars, drums, piano, keyboard, horns, violin, etc.) playing and a worship team leading the singing. One of my favorite things is listening to soloists, duets, trios, quartets, the children’s choir. I love music of all kinds and styles. It’s wonderful. But, music isn’t the only thing it’s about. It’s the message of the music that is life-changing.
There are churches who may not have the most wonderful music and they may have tiny choirs who can’t keep a tune, but my experiences have been that these singers sing with all of their hearts and these churches are filled with people who have big hearts and loving spirits. There are some churches who have fantastic music and people whose lives haven’t been changed one iota on Monday through Saturday because they’re there on Sunday to be entertained and not to grow spiritually as well as churches who have fantastic music and make a difference in people’s lives. The music one hears from a church shouldn’t be the reason one chooses to reject God.
Here’s an example of how music is used in one church as a youth puppet team is moving to the music.
We’re all imperfect humans.
We all have to grow and learn and change over the course of our lives. We all have strenghts and weaknesses in every area of life. The question is, how do we choose to grow and in what areas of life. Many people completely neglect spiritual life, growth and development. But, God created us with a spirit, a internal longing for Him, whether we’ll admit it or not.
The bottom line isn’t whether you’re going to choose to push God away or not based on whether someone who can’t keep a tune enjoys singing. It’s whether you’re going to accept or reject God, period. That’s a personal decision between you and God.
Once you accept God and understand and believe that Jesus Christ was God, the Son, who came to earth as a man so that he could experience life and it’s temptations as you do, yet made choices to live a sinless life, died as the only pure, once-for-all-time sacrifice for your sins and rose again with power and victory over sin and death… going to church is about fellowship with other believers, learning and spiritual growth. It’s about praising and worshiping God and Jesus Christ for what He did for us. It’s about Christians spurring each other on to good works, encouraging each other to live right before God, motivating each other to share God with our communities and the world around us, learning to love each other despite all of our human imperfections, learning to love others as God loves, learning to grow to be more like Christ Jesus in character, and much more. There are many things that add to that experience of spiritual growth and development. Music is only one of those things.
So, if you’re someone who cringes at poorly sung music, don’t let that keep you from hearing about God or choosing God. We’re all made differently. There are churches that are more liturgical in nature, some more free-spirited in worship, some in-between. There are churches who don’t use instruments in worship at all, some who have full orchestras, some who have organs, some who just play piano accompaniment. There are big churches, medium-sized ones and small ones… you get the idea. Find one that is comfortable for you, talk to the pastor and say that you’re new to church and are seeking for the truth, and then stick around for a while. Get involved in the Sunday morning classes and/or mid-week small groups. You’ll get to know more people much sooner and you’ll learn even more. Just make sure that the church you choose to attend teaches from the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Or, that church is really nothing more than a social club.
So, you can use bad music as an excuse. But, there are plenty of options out there. There isn’t an excuse in this country for not learning about God’s plan for man and what Jesus Christ did for you. You can find truth all over the internet. You can find truth in churches all around the place. You can go to a Christian bookstore and get a Bible and find truth just quietly reading to yourself. (If you do that, start your reading with the New Testament.)
God says, “Seek me with all your heart and you will find me.”
And, remember… We’re All Imperfect Humans.
Don’t expect church attenders to be perfect. We’re learning and growing, too. We’re developing spiritually. And, we don’t belong on a pedestal. Only God belongs up there. If someone in a church hurt you, don’t let that fallible human being be the thing that keeps you away from the God who created you and the universe around you. He’s not finished changing and “growing” the person who hurt you… and He loves you very much, too, and wants a relationship with YOU.