Jun 7, 2016

Holy Singing Liars! | Manna for your soul

Many of the 'New Age Life' churches that I've visited start their 'services' with 45 minutes of 'praise and worship' to get their believer's all pumped up in time for the sermon. In most times,  'believers' are asked to stand, clap, hop and tap their feet to sing and show their undying allegiance to Jesus. Karaoke-style


Many of these 'hymns' are contemporary songs created by gospel artists from the West and are vastly different from the hymns that most Christians would hear at 'plain-vanilla' catholic and protestant churches. 
They have lyrics, that can be understood by someone at a 5th grade (or lower) level of education, set to upbeat tunes. Most of these songs have repetitive chorus lines and words that hymn-writers wouldn't have imagined incorporating until a few decades back. 
A church isn't complete if you don't have 'contemporary hymns' exclaiming with painful repetitions of 'Jesus, You are all I need' 15 times until the 'praise and worship Leader' transcends into tears, breaks into a sober prayer and transitions to the next song. Repeat cycle.

Now I am okay with churches starting their services with praise and worship but why should we be asked to sing a lie? Jesus isn't all I need!
Because even as we are singing this, our minds are going through a shopping list of things we want Jesus to do for us. 
We want more money.
We want to be more attractive.
We want to win the heart of that person.
We want to be able to do all those things we see other people do on facebook.
We want to live glorious, envy-causing, 'Like'-inspiring lives. 

We may sing 'Jesus, You are all I need' 256 times every single Sunday, but you and I know that ain't the truth. And church leaders are okay propagating this lie because that's not what our heart is saying.

Two of my favorite contemporary hymns are 'I surrender all' and 'What a friend we have in Jesus'. Because even though I know I haven't been able to let go of everything I should be letting go off, I know the lyrics of this hymn serve as a gentle reminder that inspires me to let go of things that cause needless pain and anguish. 

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer! 

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms he'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.


I find the slow chorus of both the hymns very soothing and it definitely isn't in the same league as some of the peppy 'numbers' our modern churches play, but the lyrics strike home every single time. 

  • Do you have something that is bothering you today? 
  • Are you constantly 'looking over your shoulder' for what might happen to you tomorrow?
  • Does your pulse quicken everytime you think about the future?
If the answer to any of this is 'Yes', then you need to empty yourself and take it to the Lord in prayer. 
It doesn't matter how you address Him, what matters is you surrender yourself right now, right here. 
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