From Todd Friel and the Wretched.org Team:
It’s bad enough that adherents of major Eastern religions (I’m looking at you Hinduism and Buddhism) strive to empty their brains to experience the divine. Sadly, the fastest growing sect of Christianity is promoting the same sort of euphoric mindlessness. Through the agency of mind-numbingly repetitious music, millions find themselves in worship services zoning out to never-ending choruses filled with banal sentimentalities. They think they are experiencing God’s presence. They are not.
Christianity is not the religion of mindlessness. Christianity is a thinking religion. This makes sense because our God, in whose image we are made, is a thinking God. Romans 12:1-2 doesn’t tell us to succumb to mindless music in order to empty our noggins to feel God’s presence. Instead, we are commanded to renew our minds. In other words, our brains are not supposed to be emptied, they are supposed to be filled with truth.
Consider the pastoral epistle of Titus. In chapter two alone, Paul urges Titus to teach and/or guard his teaching NINE TIMES. That is an emphatic declaration that Christianity is a cognitive faith. But wait, here’s the punch-line: the more we fill our minds with God’s truth, the more we will want to sing, and the more we will know that God is present. Consider just one verse of I Know That My Redeemer Lives.
In one short stanza we are reminded: Our Redeemer lives, He loves, He intercedes, He feeds, He rescues. Five massive truths about God in one verse. Now THAT will make you sing.
How ironic that today’s shallow Christian worship services do not provide the very thing that is a requirement for genuine, heart-felt worship: teaching. Contemporary worship services seek to make people ecstatic by dumbing down the music, amping up the volume, repetition, and synthesized moodiness. This type of manipulation is just that; but it does not, it cannot deliver on its promise to feed your soul.
Might I suggest, if you are going to a church that features mostly mindless music that repeats one shallow thought repeatedly and over and over again, you are being robbed of what you need to worship.
To be fair, there are some contemporary worship songs that are theologically robust and not painfully repetitious. Take four minutes to let your heart soar as you watch this enthusiastic group of kids from California Baptist University sing, “Behold Our God.” Keep your eyes out for all the THEOLOGY that is baked in this magisterial tune.
Our God is a thinking God. Christians are to be a thinking people. Our music should not be an exception.