Principles

Whether old music or new music, all must be examined in light of these values.

1. Principle

Colossians 3:16 – “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” – Singing is not only for praise to God, but should also teach and admonish (train with the Word for correction) with truth. This singing should be spiritual in nature.

Application

  • Music is not simply to create an experience or emotion, but should emphasize truth that is clearly proclaimed. In I Corinthians 14, Paul stressed the priority of clear proclamation of the message over the ecstatic experience of tongues. Paul said he would sing with the spirit and with understanding.
  • Church music should be doctrinally sound. John 4:24 says that worship is in both spirit and truth. There is no true worship without truth.
  • According to Colossians 3:16, the music of the church is spiritual in nature, not fleshly.
  • Unbelievers and believers can be encouraged by the content of singing. The focus is on God and the truth that is being proclaimed in singing and playing.
  • Style of music has an effect on this communication. The style of music as well as the words should properly reflect the character of God. Holiness, godliness and reverence for the Almighty should be manifest in the manner of music as well as the wording. Any style or lyric that is demeaning to God is considered unworthy for worship.

Conclusion

Since music is teaching and admonishing, care should be given to ensure that the message, and not the messenger, is primary. Music has become an idol in congregations where the experience becomes more important than the truth. Many today experience the rush but have little knowledge of what was sung. The music becomes the spiritual experience, rather than the sufficiency of Christ and His Word. Spiritual music and lyric that exalts truth edifies and encourages believers.

2. Principle

Hebrews 12:28-29 – “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve (worship) God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” – Our music is largely determined by our view of God. The worship of the church is done in an acceptable manner when it is done with reverence and godly fear. The style and lyrics of our music should properly reflect the character of God Himself.

Our music is largely determined by our view of God. The worship of the church is done in an acceptable manner when it is done with reverence and godly fear. The style and lyrics of our music should properly reflect the character of God Himself.

Application

  • “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” – Psalm 2:11 – This awe of God permeates everything we do, and is reflected in how we approach the Lord.
  • Any music performed in such a way as to draw attention to the performer contradicts this principle. I Corinthians 4:7 exhorts us not to exalt ourselves as if anything we have comes from a source other than the Lord.
  • To worship God acceptably or in a “well pleasing” way means that all that is done is done with a spirit of respect to the Lord. Music should be well-prepared, excellent, and led by Spirit-filled believers. Attention to these things displays an attitude of striving to please the Lord.
  • Every effort should be made so that the focus is always upon the Lord, and not upon men. The emphasis of Revelation 4 and the worship of God is the throne of God and His glory.
  • The church is made up of worshipers who come together. One who does not worship during the week does not worship on Sunday. Psalm 111:1 teaches us that praise cannot be devoid of the uprightness of the heart. There is a direct correlation between holy living and true praise.

Conclusion

To use God’s glory as a means of displaying one’s talent is to take God’s name in vain. Music which is flippant in its style or lyric also displays a lack of respect for the awe of God. We reject the idea that entertainment is a viable method in worship, for entertainment draws attention to the skill of the performer and the reaction of the audience as its evaluation of success. Worship is neither. The style of music is not arbitrary, but should be carefully scrutinized to make sure that there is a clear, unobstructed and supported message being conveyed.

Final Thoughts

Metro Baptist Church applies its music philosophy to all church music, which must be done with excellence, reverence and characterized as being well-pleasing to God. Our congregational singing consists of hymns, which we believe best accomplishes these purposes.

While we attempt to present music which is well done and God-honoring, we recognize that any style of music can be performed in a way that draws the attention only to the musician. Every effort is made to avoid this attitude in appearance and heart.

Psalm 89:6-7 says, “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.” What an honor it is to be able to praise the incomparable God. This privilege was provided by the blood of Christ which redeems us and gives us access to the Father. To God be the glory, great things He has done.