Making a Joyful Noise

Psalm 150
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise him in the sky, which testifies to his strength!
2 Praise him for his mighty acts!
Praise him for his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with the blast of the horn!
Praise him with the lyre and the harp!
4 Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute!
5 Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with clanging cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

New English Translation (NET)
NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

The Bible places an importance on “making a joyful noise unto the LORD.” Of that there is no doubt. I enjoy hearing beautiful, uplifting and encouraging music when I am at Church. It is a treat I often look forward to when going to assemble with my brothers and sisters. There is certainly nothing wrong with feeling good when one is worshiping God. In fact, I think something is wrong if we don’t at least feel motivated to be in church and encouraged by what we are seeing and hearing.

I have been thinking about the Church’s position on some issues in this modern age and have concluded that many of our brothers and sisters have compromised some values and basic beliefs. They try to please a world that chases things temporary in nature and often not of God. Sometimes, we are way too ‘seeker sensitive’ for my tastes — to say the least.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. 1 John 2:15,16 (NET)

For some time now I have had problems with churches that embrace modern ‘worship music’ that seems like it belongs more in the set of a rock band than it does in a congregation that worships God. From jumping up and down to bad theology being sung out loud (“fire, rain down on me,” etc) to the smoke machine pumping fog into the room, I have to ask myself if we are gathered to worship our LORD or please a bunch of unrepentant sinners? Believe me, I know how easy it is to get caught up in such ‘feel good’ experiences and forget why we are there. On the other hand, I appreciate good music that is pleasant to hear, but most importantly brings glory to God. We must always remember the reasons why we go to Church: it pleases Him when we assemble together to worship and to pray. Also, we gather to study His Word and learn the lessons He has in store for us to know.

The above being stated, I am not a “hymns only” kind of guy who doesn’t see the value in many modern Christian worship songs or appreciate some of the deep, meaningful lyrics they may employ. But many are not so good and promote bad theology (sometimes downright heresy). Such music must be avoided and watched for carefully at the gates of our local fellowships. We must be careful not to open the gate to sin within the Church. I think the most cautious and best way to avoid falling into one of our enemy’s pitfalls is to stick to the trusty hymnals we have known so well for decades and continue to explore the meaning of many songs that sing of God’s sovereignty, holiness and power.

I listen to a great deal of modern Christian music, especially when in my car or home with the stereo on. There is nothing wrong with a great deal of it. Like many things in this world, there is good and bad. But I think that perhaps it is best if that is where it reminds relegated to and we stick to what is known to work well: the sacred hymns of our ancestors.

What are your thoughts? I would love to know.

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