Thursday, July 9, 2015

Spiritual Songs (Postscript)

I cannot leave this topic without commenting on the leadership of the church.  We pastors must bear responsibility for the current state of widespread arrested development.  Leaders, who should know better, settle for substandard hymnody, usually to placate or attract “young people”.  We let the immature to determine the standard of worship.  Does this honor the Lord?

We are not called to make everyone comfortable with the level of spirituality to which they have grown accustomed.  We are not called to set the standard of spiritual excellence.  We are called to exhort and model the relentless pursuit of Christ.  We are called to show people depth and in that depth, people will yearn for the knowledge of God in Christ.

In addition, church leadership must develop educational opportunities to mature believers.  The Bible mandates this upon the church and its gifted ones. (Eph.4:11-15)  We pastor must take responsibility for committing the sin of making the truth unattractive.  Pride, anger, prejudice, and exclusion has marred the truth with human sin.  Doctrine does not repel the Christian.  Instead, Christians are repelled from doctrine when expressed with superiority or condescension.  Have we forgotten what makes doctrine awe-inspiring?  Can we explain why bloody sacrifices show the glory of God?  Do the doctrines of grace move us to tears or merely satisfy our logic?  If our doctrine merely remains something logical, is it any wonder that the generation has looked to something other that doctrine to satisfy its longing for spiritual feeling?

I have seen this operating in my own life.  For a long time, I saw the doctrinal truth of scripture as a bludgeon with which to wreak vengeance on the abuse of false doctrine that had been leveled against me.  Then, I saw it as an intellectual exercise that flattered my vanity because I had it and no one else did.  Doctrine became the foundation needed to prevent Christians from falling into the deceit of postmodernism.  Only recently have I understood the importance of doctrine as beauty.  If we pastors don't see the beauty of truth, how can we expect others not to be swayed by musical beauty even if shallow theologically?  If we cannot express the beauty of Christ, why are we surprised that Christians have no passion for Christ?

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