The music considered today as “Christian” has deteriorated from what it once was. This 21st century famine of music now leaves but tinkling shallowness upon the ears of the listeners. The new has come and with it a conformity to the world that cannot be Christian, yet it wears the name. Saying “Jesus we worship you,” or “We lift you up” makes neither the song nor the singer Christian.
“But what is the problem with the new religious music? Must not we win the world to Christ?” We ask our reader who the main soul winner is and from whom do we learn to win them? It is, of course, Jesus Christ. Many are trying to win souls who have not yet been won themselves, being yet in their sins and strangers to the power of real Bible salvation. Indeed, they do not possess the Spirit of the Soul Winner, without whom they cannot win souls, despite their “good” ideas, however “wonderful” they may be.
If we win souls to nothing but “church” with no repentance, no salvation, no crucifixion, but only help sinners to “lift their hands and praise Him,” then they are worse off and we should have left them to their sins, for unsaved religious people and outright sinners in the world go to hell alike (Matt. 7:22-23).
Christian singing is more than learning the doh ray me’s, and technique and style. One must know in his heart what it means–salvation, that work so divine. This is where Christian music comes from–a real experience with Jesus Christ, not just “making a decision for Christ,” or raising your hand. You cannot sing in the spirit about Jesus until you have been taken from darkness into light; from sin to holiness.
We read in Revelation 14:3 that the redeemed “sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” It says no man could learn that song, but that doesn’t mean no man could learn words and tunes, for any song sung can be learned mentally. But the unsaved cannot sing the “new song” borne from the heart of a new creature in Christ; the song of the redeemed, who sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb– deliverance and redemption.
The shallowness and worldiness exhibited in religious music today springs from this lack of vital, biblical salvation experience. Void of the Spirit, guitars and drums fill the vacuum. This low-level entertainment does little but stir fleshly emotions. You cannot produce “experience music” where the experience is not.
The old hymns, deep and wonderful, cannot be reproduced without what produced the product. Not that all Christian songs must be strictly hymns, they need not be. There is nothing wrong with inspirational special singing or an occasional chorus of “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name. He has done great things…”
We are taught this about singing in the Bible: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Eph. 5:19. If we are to speak to each other, then what we say should be more than “Lord, we praise you; Lord, we praise you,” lest the monotony might drive us to weariness, if you will.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” Col. 3:16. Our singing should contain comfort, doctrine, and thoughts on eternity. These things will be beneficial to the Christian and the sinner.
When the singing and the song become nothing more than beat, bass and little choruses, something is wrong and an awful veering from original, true Christianity has taken place.
Christian singing and song is a wonderful thing and a powerful instrument, both to touch the soul of man with truth and to worship God. Let the depth, truth and comfort of it continue to be lifted up by the voices of the redeemed, who are themselves, the instrument.