Wolves

Is it worth singing a song that’s not entirely theologically sound? Ex. “Thank You Father for dying for my sin” (no, the Son, Jesus, did) or “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!” (…really?).

I’ve heard stories of patients with Alzheimer’s laying on their death bed with their family surrounding them. The patient can’t remember their family, can’t remember anything that they believe, can’t remember anything they’ve even accomplished in life, and yet, as soon as the family breaks out the old hymnal and begins to sing, memory returns enough to join in joyously.

There is something so incredible about music that, once coupled with words, allows for an unparalleled connection between heart, soul, mind, and strength: music is beautiful, music is nourishing, music is intellectual, music is powerful.

The theology from the songs we sing sticks with us even more than that of the sermons we hear. We jump at the thought of false teaching from the pulpit or in books (take for example the response to Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins”), but do we have the same protection over the mics, projector screens, and cds?

“Let me see your songbook and I will write your theology” – Gordon Fee

To those of us who write music, plan out liturgies/setlists for church services, or even listen to music in any capacity, enter into this with all fear and trembling, for souls are on the line and God is too great to speak poorly of.

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4 thoughts on “Wolves

  1. Martin Luther wrote this verse and it was placed at the beginning of his hymnbook:

    False masters now abound, who songs indite;
    Beware of them, and learn to judge them right:
    Where God builds up his Church and Word, hard by
    Satan is found with murder and a lie.

  2. I totally concur with your comments regarding the necessity of purity of doctrine in lyrics or poetry,

    but was curious about your question of Him living in our hearts? Ephesians 3:16-17 says that he dwells in our hearts by faith. It is at least strongly implied that is the case since Paul was praying to that end. Meaning, that the Holy Spirit would not have inspired Paul to write about a condition that had no possibility of realization.

    1. Steve, that’s a great point, and there are other references that can be included in this when Paul writes “Christ in me, the hope of glory” and “It is not I, but Christ who lives in me…”

      While I agree that Paul was saying quite literally that “Christ is in me,” I don’t think he’s trying to make the case that there’s a miniature Jesus residing in the walls of my heart or that this is the proof of His resurrection and living again. I could be wrong, but it just seems a bit odd to me.

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