What Is The Purpose Of Music In Christian Worship? Dr. Mike Spaulding


That is a loaded question for sure. Modern Christians have strong convictions when it comes to so-called worship music in the church. I say “so-called” because Christian worship has become almost exclusively thought of in terms of “worship” music. It is now believed that worship music is the vehicle for ushering worshippers into the presence of God.  This belief is a rather recent evolution in church thinking. Let me explain.

It is not uncommon today to hear those hired to lead congregations in corporate worship, say something along the lines of this – “Join us Sunday morning for an inspiring time of worship where you will enter into the presence of God.” Here is an actual flyer from a church that promised all who attend would encounter God. It said in part:

“Join us for dynamic teaching to set you on the right path, and inspiring worship where you can meet God and receive the energy and love you need to be a mover and shaker in today’s world. Alongside our teaching program are worship events which put you in touch with the power and love of God.”

This kind of superficial sales and marketing is unbiblical to the core. What kind of church leadership would make such an outlandish claim that everyone who attends will receive the energy and love they need to be successful in life, not to mention that their church staff has the ability to put people in touch with God’s power and love? This is nothing more than new age witchcraft.

The Bible states that there is one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Only through Christ can we approach the Father. There is absolutely no biblical support for the belief that music in any way mediates direct encounters with God. That idea has been borrowed directly from pagan cults.

Friends, if you are in a church that gives much more time to the performance of music than to the teaching of the Bible, then you need to find another church. If the pulpit has disappeared but the stage lightening and special effects have increased then you are attending a show not a church service.

At issue here folks, is the fact that Christian worship as it is presented in far too many places today has become all about your experience. How did Christian music in our church services become about the experiences and feelings of those singing?  This is emotionally driven deception.

Our thoughts during the singing of songs must be directed to Christ and to God the Father and to all that has been done on our behalf. All glory and honor belong to God but when we chase the emotional experience and equate that with having experienced God we are grievously mistaken.

Remember friends that music in our church services is meant to honor and glorify God first and foremost. We must reject the modern idea that it is meant to provide an experience for us that we mistakenly equate to an encounter with God.

That is transforming truth.

You may contact Pastor Mike at pastormike@cclohio.org

Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley


1 Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

2 Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

3 Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

4 Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

5 Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

6 King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Charles Wesley, the son of Samuel Wesley, was born at Epworth, Dec. 18, 1707. He was educated at Westminster School and afterwards at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated M.A. In 1735, he took Orders and immediately proceeded with his brother John to Georgia, both being employed as missionaries of the S.P.G. He returned to England in 1736. For many years he engaged with his brother in preaching the Gospel. He died March 29, 1788. To Charles Wesley has been justly assigned the appellation of the “Bard of Methodism.” His prominence in hymn writing may be judged from the fact that in the “Wesleyan Hymn Book,” 623 of the 770 hymns were written by him; and he published more than thirty poetical works, written either by himself alone, or in conjunction with his brother. The number of his separate hymns is at least five thousand.

Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872.

Mike’s Music Mix for February 17

What music do I like?  All kinds but here are some links to music I’m currently enjoying.

“Just Say Jesus” – 7eventh Time Down

“Rusty Nails” – 7eventh Time Down

“Keep Making Me” – Sidewalk Prophets

“Live Like That” – Sidewalk Prophets

Yours Will Be (The Only Name) – Big Daddy Weave

What are you listening to?