Our Transitional Pastor made a statement last week that I keep turning over in my head and I want your thoughts on it. He said, ” there is no Christian music, only Christian lyrics.” His contention was that it was the lyrics that made it about God, not the music itself. When he first said it I sort of nodded along, but it has been sort of in the back of my mind all week, and here is why.
I am a talker. Words are my medium of choice. I write, I speak, I read. I devour words. If you want to move me in a worship service, don’t sing a song, read a poem, or put some verses on the screen at just the right time. I am a word kind of guy.
But I know that there are lots of people who aren’t like that. There are lots of people who paint or who dance or who play music. There are lots of people who’s heart is moved by things that I find boring.
So the question for me all week has been, can you worship with music even if there are no words, even if there have never been words. This is a different question than my pastor was really talking about because he was talking about a more corporate setting where music was being played for others. I am talking about private experiences of worship.
Is there worship without words?
I bring this up because of 2 things 1) I know my arrogance and if I am not careful I have a tenancy to think that everyone sees the world as I see it and relates to God as I relate to him and if they don’t then there must be something wrong with them and 2) because there have been times when I am all alone at the church and I am practicing my guitar and all of the words fall away and the sheet music is forgotten and I just start to play. I am not a good guitar player by any means, so I am really just running through chords, but a few times I have played for no one else but for God and just sort of offered my talent up to him.
And here is my thought, if a Word Guy like me can do that then there must people some Music People out there who use their gifts in worship on a regular basis without words.
So what do you think? Is there worship without words?