The Real Worship Wars

One thing that seems to be a continual point of contention among the church is what type of music we sing. Everyone, whether they are musical or not, seems to be the expert critic who can instinctively tell when people are putting on a show or if they are truly worshipping God. But how often are those people the ones who are putting on a show by distracting others from their worship of God with their stoic bodies and frowns on their faces? How many of us need to fight the worship war inside our own heart instead the the “war” of which music we prefer? Ultimately this idea of a “worship war” should be such a foreign concept to the church who is called to live in unity (Ephesians 4, Philippians 2, John 13:35). Relevant magazine has a great article about these worship wars we should be waging and says,

Worship is war. But it is not to be fought over our own preferences. We must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us. We must fight to put to death anything in us that would hinder us from pursuing Christ with all we are. We must fight to worship him with a joyful adoration that cannot be contained.

What things do you need to make war against in order to, “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment”?

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting article. If the ancient church would think of our worship wars as a “foreign concept,” then maybe the answer isn’t “let worship continue without criticism,” but “let’s majorly redefine what worship is.”

    To me, the major issue is the difference between worship and praise. Why must I worship Christ in ways I don’t like to and/or don’t relate to? Didn’t he create me to be unique and worship him uniquely?

    Now “praising” Him… as a family (church singing)… that is a different matter altogether, and when framing the argument as such takes the sting of “worship wars” out of the conversation. I don’t know. I hope that made sense.

    Reply
    • Yes he did create all of us to be unique and worship him in unique ways, but we are also commanded throughout Scripture to sing praises to God (Psalm 9, 30, 47, 104, 147, Ephesians 5) and in Revelation we’re told it will be people from “all nations, tribes, languages and races” will be joined in heaven where we will be worshipping God in new ways, which means more people need to learn how to worship God in ways that aren’t always comfortable to them. For myself, there are certain genres of music that it is easier for me to worship to than others, but at the same time I’ve had some incredible worship experiences when I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone. This is a much deeper topic than is easy to quickly explain on a blog 🙂
      Thanks for the comment, I hope the move is going well!

      Reply
  2. Awesome post. I like how it shifts the concern to what is in your own heart and how to best pursue Christ in our lives. Thanks for sharing!

    -Tasha, The Bridge Chicago

    Reply

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