It's ok if you love traditional music.
It's ok if you love contemporary music.
It's ok if you enjoy a blend of things or bluegrass or jazz or rap or . . . . whatever.
You can enjoy any of the above or none of it.
It's ok to enjoy some of that or none of that in church.
But when we get to morning worship, our opinion about this or that is not important anymore. During that sacred time of gathering, our opinions about how or what are void. Our opinions and preferences during that time are . . . empty.
For years I've worked in churches where a silent (sometimes not so silent) battle has taken place. The battle over style. The "worship war" argument is a product of a consumer driven church culture and it fuels a sort of idolatry that can only lead us to division, hurt, and emptiness.
On top of this battle over style, exists another sort of idolatry.
You see, as we pursue greatness within each "style" we've chosen or within our choir or our band . . . we begin to worship what it is that we're doing instead of worshiping the one we're doing it for.
Friends, I am broken and beat up. This past year I've fought for my heart and soul over a hurt I sustained while trying to do what I thought was right. And although I felt at the time that I was doing the best I could and that I was doing what was right . . . I now see that I was also acting in part out of pride and a belief that my opinion was more important than the unity of the body I was a part of at that time.
After years of encouraging other members of various churches to use kind words when talking to each other about music . . . after years of advocating tolerance and understanding . . . I lost my sense of kindness, tolerance, and understanding.
I was stubborn. I was proud. And from those things I got nothing but a broken heart.
So - as I heal from that and as I pray for other folks to heal from that, I want to share what I can understand better now.
God is more important than our music.
God's love is more important than our music.
I sure do love music . . . but without God, there would be no music . . .
God is the only One we should be worshiping.
Sometimes my opinions just don't matter.
As I accept God's grace to find my footing again, I encourage you to ponder what it is that music and musical style have come to mean in your life. How do you spend your Sundays? Are you analyzing and criticizing? Or are you just going to church to find the Lord?
These are worthy questions for all of us.