We spent some classes on the true meaning of Scripture and its reflection in the songs. We recognized the misuse of the text “I can do all things through Him,” — but what if it would be the theme of a song? We had to review our worship repertoire (which I found challenging having mostly Psalms, but I could look at a wider selection.)

I reviewed Psalm 130 by Shane & Shane. It repeats 28 times: “I will wait for You”, adding: “‘Til my soul is satisfied.” It feels good and sings nice, but the Scriptural Psalm 130 is not about “waiting” or “satisfying our soul” but about sin, forgiveness, redemption, and hope. We may believe we sing God’s Word, hearing God’s voice but it may not be what God says in his Word.

I also discussed “Speak, o Lord.” It is sometimes introduced as a prayer for the preaching. However, this is not a prayer for the preaching but for the people, as the recurring words “we”, “us”, and “our” indicate. It is significantly different from, e.g., the song “Prayer before the Preaching” from the time of the Reformation, primarily praying for the Holy Spirit, the preacher, the purity of the preaching, and its impact on us. The focus is different — and singers’ minds start to adjust to that focus.

I questioned some lines of this song, such as: “Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us,” and contrasted text as “…my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” and the difference between knowing God’s plans and God’s will.

Sometimes the shift is subtle, not noticeable. And, we are less critical, as the line between right and wrong becomes faded in our society. Standing up in our time leads to getting in trouble, perhaps being cancelled. An undergrad student wrote: “I fear that our hyperfixation on avoiding sin in our worship is actually causing us to sin by quenching the Spirit. The Lord is sovereign over all things, imperfect people and imperfect lyrics included.” Singing unscriptural lyrics is not “sin”, but only “imperfect” and permissible. However, allowing sin quenches the Spirit. Worship should be pleasing to God, and what that is, we can find in Scripture.

Comments are closed.