By Justin Edwards
A popular trend in [post]modern evangelicalism is secularizing the worship service to be more palatable to the itching ears in attendance at
Two Scriptures I'd like to mention before leading into the video below are from John 4:23-24:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
and Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
With these in mind, the following video comes from Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. These talented men put together a medley of songs from musicians ranging from the last few decades, many of whom have at least one thing in common: worldliness. About 25 musicians were covered in the medley, including The Beatles, Elton John (twice), Beyonce, Aerosmith, Destiny's Child, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Bob Marley, Poison, and Whitney Houston. Not only did these "worship" leaders sing music that had absolutely nothing to do with Christ (not that all music must, but this is church after all), but the musicians they covered very much love this world and the things of the world, whether they be homosexuals, lovers of themselves, fornicators, lovers of money, or idolaters - of whom Scripture tells us will not inherit the Kingdom of God:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
There is no need to go outside of Scripture to preach a message on love, especially no need to bring the world into the church to suit itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The message preached and the music for worship must be Christ-centered, intended to build up the saints, not to stunt Gospel-centered spiritual growth. Church is to be the Christian's refuge for God-exalting worship, not a place where worldliness is accepted and praised. While we are to go out into the world to share the Gospel with sinners such as those listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, church is not intended to conform to the world to make it more entertaining to sinners. As one facebook commenter said yesterday,
What you draw them with is what you have to keep them with.
Indeed, which is to say these churches collectively show by their fruit that they love the world and the things of the world (1 John 2:15-17). If you find yourself in one of these seeker-sensitive, postmodern, man-centered, flesh-appealing, Gospel-less, idol-worshiping, life-enhancement "churches", then you must come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
We have been separated as a holy people to serve the One True Holy God, who has saved us from our sin, who has caused us to crucify our flesh with its passions and desires, and who has decreed that all believers purify themselves from the things of the world, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God (1 John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1). We are to worship God in the spirit of holiness rooted in the truth of Holy Scripture, and we are to meditate on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, [and]...anything worthy of praise."
Let us live and worship like it, becoming holy as He is holy:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:14-16