Thursday, February 7, 2008

Worship

Over the last few months I have been able to take my teen daughters to several Christian Rock Concerts. I have to say that it was a lot of fun. These concerts had a bit in common with the Rock Concerts I went to when I was younger: loud rock-n-roll, jumping shouting fans, rock star egotism, the rock music high. But there were also some major differences from the concerts I remember – no alcohol or marijuana smoke, less nudity, and a gospel presentation followed by an alter call. And they cost quite a bit less too.

As I said, it was fun. I saw adults and kids of all ages. There was a passion and energy there that was exciting, even intoxicating. There was emotion and raw untamed feeling. There was a lot of life going on in those places. And there were moments of absolute worship; two that come immediately to mind were thousands of people singing Amazing Grace in a cow pasture in Verbena, AL, and the group Newsong singing “Arise, My Love” at the BJCC. That was like being inside an organ; it was huge and it just swept me away.

My one problem with these concerts is really more a question of semantics than a problem. Christian Concerts are billed as “a fun worship experience”. My problem is this: worship should be about God, not about our fun. Worship should always point to God, not to the music itself or the musicians leading it. A rock star jumping around on stage is very entertaining, but it is not worship. Head banging is not worship. Those things are about the star and the entertainment and rock and roll, not about God. There were certainly some powerful moments of worship in each of those evenings, but the concert itself was not worship, it was entertainment.

And there are some inherent dangers in Christian Rock. The musicians are idolized by their fans. The kids imitate them and long for their attention; they long for a touch or an autograph. The pressure must be tremendous. Ego, pride and integrity have to be huge issues for these performers. They have a great platform to speak truth into their fans lives, but at the same time they are in great danger of falling and taking the fans down with them.

My hope and prayer is that these musicians will continue to grow in Christ, and that God will bless them as they do. I pray that they will use their influence as a platform to point to God. I pray that God would give them wisdom and integrity and courage. I pray that my children (and I) will have the wisdom to choose wisely what they allow into their heads.
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