Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Modern Christian Worship Music Is a Pet Peeve of Mine

They other day I was driving home. The past few months have been incredibly stressful for me. The whole "unable to find a job" thing has been eating away at me like a cancerous worm. I don't want to unnecessarily burden anyone with my struggles, so unless you ask, you'd never know. I'm a pro at putting up a good front, but the past few weeks I've had this cloud hanging over me that I just can't seem to escape. I was also stressed about this show I was in and then I started thinking about my Dad and wishing he was around so I could get some advice and I was in tears. In order to refocus, I turned on a Christian radio station. There were a few good songs that uplifted my spirit. Then I started thinking about the song that was playing just then and I became agitated.

The song was catchy and one that I had heard before. The refrain the singers kept singing over and over at the end was "There is no God like Jehovah." It might seem harmless, but as I thought about it I thought, "That's not true." If you believe in Jehovah, there is no God except Jehovah. When you say there is no God like Jehovah, what you are saying is that there are other Gods besides Jehovah, but none that are like him.

I have since learned that the song is called "Days of Elijah". It's a song that has become really popular in the past 5-10 years in Australia and North America. Some of the phrases from the stanzas include, "These are the days of Elijah", "And these are days of his servant, Moses", "And these are the days of Ezekiel, the dry bones becoming as flesh", and "these are the days of his servant, David Building the temple of praise."

Really? I understand part of the comparison to Elijah because in the days of Elijah the people of Israel were worshiping Baal, a false deity that required acts of child sacrifice (akin to abortion today) and sexual promiscuity (akin to way the "hook-up" culture of today). However, what about the days of Moses? In the context of the song I believe it's referring to when the Israelites were wondering in the desert for forty years, but it's not clear so it could be in reference to before the Israelites left Egypt and were still slaves. If it's in reference to the later, I don't get it because though Christians in America might be attacked, none of us are slaves. If it's a reference to the former, then it doesn't make sense either because as soon as the Israelites left Egypt they started complaining and whining and other than Moses, Caleb, and Joshua there wasn't much crying for righteousness to be restored.

And what about Ezekiel? He was a prophet that God had lie on his side on the ground for over a year and had to cook his food over a pile of animal dung. He prophesied about the coming take over and fall of Jerusalem and exile. He also saw visions about a valley of dry bones coming to life which could be a reference to the future Great resurrection, the new life offered through Jesus, the return of Israel after the Diaspora, or a combination of the three. In the context of the song it seems like they are referring to the new life offered through Jesus. If that's the case, then these are not the days of Ezekiel.

Lastly, as for the days of David, David wanted to build a temple, but he didn't. It was his son Solomon who built a temple to God. God told David that he couldn't build a temple. I know David was a man of praise, but the temple reference suggests that David actually built a temple.

I realize that some believe that I'm over analyzing things. I don't think so. In the past 25 years or so, the Church in America has become incredibly lazy. We write praise songs to God that are supposed to be an offering of worship to him, but in reality all they are really is nothing more than fuzzy, feel good poems that offer God very little, but make us feel much better about ourselves. The theology behind many of them is so bad that a five year-old who has attended Sunday School her whole life has a deeper understanding of God. People usually don't think about such things, but if you really want to worship God you should. Worship is a lifestyle that isn't just about the body, but is about the mind, too.


"Days of Elijah" lyrics
These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the Word of the Lord, yes
And these are the days of his servant, Moses
Righteousness being restored
And these are the days of great trial
Of famine and darkness and sword
So we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord

CHORUS:
Behold he comes
Riding on a cloud
Shining like the sun
At the trumpet's call
Lift your voice
It's the year of jubilee
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes

And these are the days of Ezekiel
With dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of his servant, David
Building the temple of praise, yes
And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are all white in the world
And we are the laborers that are in your vineyard
declaring the word of the Lord

CHORUS 2X
Behold he comes
Riding on a cloud
Shining like the sun
At the trumpet's call
Lift your voice
It's the year of jubilee
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes

There's no God like Jehovah (x8--modulate)
There's no God like Jehovah (x8--modulate)
There's no God like Jehovah (x7)

CHORUS X2

2 comments:

Casey Kerins said...

This song is OLD. And I completely understand where you're coming from, in fact, I don't like this song either. I lead worship in my youth group and back when I was first starting, not as the leader, this girl would have us do this song EVERY WEEK. There was rarely a week where she decided not to do it, and at half the speed it's supposed to be. By the end of 2008, I hated this song. Now I'm the leader, and this song is not even in our files- well, it better not be! :)

TV said...

Thanks for visiting, Casey. The song isn't that old. After doing some research I found out the song came out on an album released in 1995-that's just 16 years ago. It didn't really start to catch on in the U.S. until a few years later. Anyway, thanks again for visiting.