"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - Printable Version

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"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - HelenaZF - 06-19-2006

I think it started with the Vineyard movement....the proliferation of "worship" songs that are "I" centered. Songs about how good it feels to be a child of God, how great I feel when I worship Him, how grateful I am for the things He has done, how much I love Him, etc.

Many of us have come to accept that this is "worship" music, when in fact it is not. Worship, by definition, must be directed AT God, addressed TO God, and although in their love-song styles, these "I" songs masquerade as worship songs, they are something else.

Case in point. "I'm going back to the heart of worship....it's all about you, Jesus." is a song that is often sung as a worship song. If you look at the words carefully, it is NOT "all about you, Jesus"---it is all about ME--how sorry I am, how I'm going to change, etc. It is a very good song about REPENTANCE, NOT WORSHIP. And yet, over and over again, it is positioned in song sets as a worship song.

As song leaders, I believe we have to be conscious of the songs we choose....what are they REALLY saying, and WHO are they saying their message TO? There is a time for exhorting one another, a time for recounting God's marvelous deeds to one another, but these are not worship songs, and we should be careful not to use them as such, no matter how emotional and seemingly "worshipful" they appear.

There is a prophetic call going through the Body to redirect ourselves in our song-singing....to address God rather than each other, to re-establish true worship direction in our songs. We heard that call many years ago and try always to make the distinction in our choice and direction of song services. I think ZionFire has gained a reputation for preparing a place where others can reach deep intimacy with the Lord because we do understand those distinctions.

Is this something y'all have thought about, have experiences with, insights?

"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - sonworshiper - 07-03-2006

Hello Helena, Big Grin

I've been looking around and checked out this post of yours. . . .I have to admit, to begin with my reaction was "what are you talking about--that's a great worship song!"

Then as I read on, I realized that yes, you are right--it is a song of repentance, not worship. The more I think about it, there are a few songs like that, which I don't tend to use too often, because they are just that--songs of repentance as opposed to songs of worship. I tend to prefer using (when it's my own choice and God isn't telling me to use a specific song) I prefer songs that talk about God being worthy of our praise, or stating His character and qualities.

I remember when I first starting doing "I Wanna See Jesus Lifted High", I had a hard time with the song, I couldn't get past the concept that when Jesus said "when I am lifted up I will draw all men to me" (loosely translated a la Moe) :wink: I had this strange sense that somehow it was like singing "we wanna see Jesus crucified". It took quite a while before I came to terms with it and decided for myself that I was lifting up the name of Jesus. --That might sound very silly to some, but it was really a battle for me. Big Grin

I look forward to learning much from you. . . as I have from Dean over the last few years.



"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - DeanZF - 07-03-2006

Hey Moe!

You might want to check out my post elsewhere on the forum:

<URL url="http://zionfirefriends.com/index.php?showtopic=467">http://zionfirefriends.com/index.php?showtopic=467

This is a distillation of our experience at a Tom Kraueter Worship Seminar. There is a lot of "what does Scripture say about worship" involved in his seminar. I loved it. It exploded a lot of people's incorrect notions about worship. The single most important issue is that worship is to be directed to God, period. If it's not aimed at Him, it can at best be worship-like.

Once you come to a definition of worship that realizes that it is indeed all about Him, but that the worship is a "You and me" thing, and not the "all of us ABOUT Him" thing, it changes the way you plan things. It changes the songs you'll use, and it will so dramatically increase the power in those services that people will wonder what's happened!

If the object is to worship HIM, ought not the songs be talking TO Him and not ABOUT Him?? As we really do enter into heart to heart communion with Him, we are changed. That is one of the side benefits, one of the intentional things that Father built into this thing. We become like what we worship. 2 Cor 3:18 is one of those verses that is a bit foggy for lots of folks. Breaking it down, we look into a mirror with unveiled faces, looking as it were into the glory of God and we are transformed into that very image! It is in direct face to face encounters. Most face to face encounters end up as "you and me" situations, not talking to someone else about how amazing the One you're looking at is!

Food for thought, I hope.

"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - sonworshiper - 07-08-2006

Hi again. . .

Regarding this topic, I've been thinking much on this all week. . . I've heard some people say that some "worship" songs are just "fluff"--I can't remember if I saw it on this forum or on another list I'm on. . . .but I was wondering, what would y'all consider "fluff"? And why??

I'm also thinking between worship and praise--and how the songs would differ. . .praise for what God has done or is doing as opposed to Who He is?? More upbeat songs=praise as opposed to mellow =worship?

One could waste much time debating these angles, yes?

As I sit and plan worship for tomorrow, I'm still questioning these things in my own mind and look forward to any comments back.



"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - DeanZF - 07-08-2006

Hi Moe!

As to fluff, think about songs that are warm and fuzzy and FEEL like "worship", whatever that might mean to you today. Think about songs that have statements that are overly romantic. There's only one that comes to mind at the moment (I really do try to blot out songs that make stupid statements or statements that are based on a non-biblical, romantic image of Who God is.

The one song that comes to mind is a MercyMe song, "How Great is Your Love." It has at least one very questionable line in it: "So much higher than the heavens With faithfulness that reaches the sky." What does that mean, exactly?? FLUFF! "Faithfulness that reaches the sky." That one is really a theological issue, obliquely indicating that Jesus is fully man, but the writer is maybe unsure about His deity, since His faithfulness only reaches the sky (!). His faithfulness actually reached down from Heaven (from above all that was created, including the sky). Conversely, if His faithfulness is reaching down and only reaches the sky, we're just out of luck, right?? Fluffy song! Pretty. Lots of fuzzy feelings, nice melody, singable, memorable. But fluffy!

How 'bout "How Great is our God," a Chris Tomlin song. Very popular. VERY fluffy! I have so many aughts against this song. Sigh. I really like the melody, and I like a LOT of the lyrics, but the chorus? YUCK!!! Here's another one that starts out pretty darned good; it's another song that busies itself singing to each other, not to Him. That's always a pet peeve of mine. We call it worship and yet, only sing about Him and not TO Him. If I tell YOU how much I love my wife, does that count? Not as much as if I tell her!!! Back to the chorus: "How great is our God, sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God." Now what does this lyric say? First phrase is good, as are the third and fifth phrases which are repeats of the first. Second phrase? "Sing with me." This may well have been an exhortation during a public singing of the song that just got included in with the lyrics. Bad form, IMHO. Clutters the song terribly. Now if we parse the chorus, it says that if you sing with me "How great is our God", then all will see how great He is." That just is not scriptural. If we sing and live in sin, what will all see?? "They will know that you are my disciples in that you show your love for one another" not that you sing about your love for Me! Yes, it says "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me" and I suppose that could be a basis for an interpretation of the song, but it is at best incomplete, at worst, not quite scriptural. The rest of the song is good.

And we won't even talk about Martin Smith's "dancing upon injustice."

"But Dean, will you condemn a whole song for one less than stellar or even stupid phrase?" Yup, I will. I condemn an entire translation of the Bible for one LETTER!!!!! The Watchtower version says in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was A God." Yup, I'll condemn the whole thing for a letter or a word or a phrase like that. Condemn is not the right word, really, but if I were the person deciding songs to be used, I would exclude those two (and lots of others!) for such evasion of scriptural concepts.

Someone said recently at a conference, "The sermon is often forgotten before the end of the service. Prophetic 'words' are often little more than warm remembrances before we leave the room. Yet the songs we sing stay with us for days and days. Should we not be very careful about what we sing and store in our minds and hearts?"

As to differences between worship and praise, this is something where you and God have to come to agreement. And sometimes, the pastor has to be included in that agreement. As I've looked at the Word over the years, and as I've looked at the words and circumstances surrounding "worship" in those studies, I keep coming back to the belief that worship MUST be addressed TO God. It can't just be about Him. That's the conclusion that we've both come to and the mindset that pervades us as we plan anything to which we attach the word "worship".

:lecture: Can I suggest a little "test"? Create a couple of song sets. In one set, use only songs that do not use the word "you". In the other set, use only songs that do use the word "you". In the first set, you'll be talking about Him. In the other set, you'll be talking TO Him. Use one set on one Sunday, and the other on the second Sunday. Do both with equal enthusiasm, but without much exhortation. Just let the songs speak to people. Watch carefully and see if you can discern a difference in the levels of anointing or "power" in each set. Try to avoid congregation favorites in your planning. This is an experiment, and you're going to be planting these things in their spirits for a week. In one, they'll go about humming and muttering words about Him. In the other, they'll go about humming and muttering words TO Him. Think that one set might change them more than the other??

Just a thought, friend. Let me know what you think. :2:

"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - sonworshiper - 07-28-2006

Hey Dean,

I've been thinking a lot about "fluff" type worship songs. . . I do enjoy Chris Tomlin's How Great is Our God--minus the line "sing with me". . . . .but anyway. . .

I have just purchased a Matt Redman cd. . .absolutely love it. . . and I'm usually looking for faster songs, since I tend to gravitate toward the slower ones, but I can't quite wrap my mind around "Undignified". . .I know and understand it's taken from David talking to Michal after her reaming him out about dancing half-naked. . .but who exactly are we singing it to? (given, of course, that you sing it--which I don't)

I understand too that we can:

1) sing about God--could be considered evangelistic worship

2) sing to God--personal intimate worship

3) sing scripture--obvious. . .

4) sing songs of repentance

Not sure about the point of some though. . .

Loved the chat time this aft!



"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - flaglady - 08-05-2006

An interesting discussion but.....

I would contest about 'splitting hairs' on the lyrics. Worship songs (aka contemporary Christian music) are written by contemporary music meisters and, IMO, should be judged as a whole and not line by line, word by word.

Also, for the most part, the recordings are taken from live worship when extemporaneous comments often occur quite naturally - such as the 'sing with me' which is not part of the lyrics per se and should not, therefore, be judged as such.

I find CCM very uplifting and focuses me wonderfully on various aspects of worship, love, repentance and glorifying the Father. Most often the engagement of music/words/worship comes when I find a song that allows me a total engagement with the flags, as in "How Great Is Our God" which absorbs me totally even though my flag routine for it is a tad repetitive, but my FW is my personal engagement with God and not a performance so it doesn't really give me much cause for concern in that respect.

Our kids' church have lately taken to themselves a Hillsong song called "Jesus Is My Superhero" which they love to do en mass on the stage with the pastor leading them with great enthusiasm through all the movements of acting out a superman pose and signing the rest of the song.m Some of the words are "Jesus is my superhero, He's my pal, my best friend".....

Would you have any comments about that?

"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - HelenaZF - 08-05-2006

Is it only the intent of the heart that matters in the ways and words that are used in worship? Or does it matter if the lyrics are true to scripture? That is part of the crux of the discussion here. Is it a worship song because it seems or feels like one? Or because it is wildly popular? Or is it one because it really IS one.

If it doesn't matter, and we say that "well, those might not be completely accurate words", but the music is so inspiring and I can lose myself in the emotion of it.......what are we really saying? With that reasoning, we could be worshipping to the Beatle's song, "My Sweet Lord" and saying "the whole song is just so beautiful and lovely......it moves me, and it's talking directly to God....surely it's a good worship song." and just ignoring the fact that it is directed to a Hindu god. "after all, it's only those couple words, you know...." I realize that is an extreme example, but hopefully the picture is painted.

My point in this thread is mainly to encourage us to be AWARE.....that the words DO mean something.....in their scriptural integrity (or lack of it), in the direction the song is aimed, and for what particular purpose (praise, declaration, repentance, intercession, adoration, etc.....) it is intended, and to choose and use songs with that discernment.

I would have to hear the whole Superhero song to make an intelligent comment on it, but just in general, teaching kids to make declarations about God's omnipotence is not a bad thing. Sometime, I think there is a tendency in contemporary children's music, though, to trivialize God's character in the attempt to make Him more "relevant" to young people. I cringe when I see bumper stickers that say "Jesus is my homeboy", for instance. With a song calling Jesus "my Superhero" I think there could be implanted a lasting association in kid's minds with cartoon or movie superheros unless there was some instruction given them on how to process that information.

"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - sonworshiper - 10-06-2006

Hi all!

I seem to be on a roll today! (this is what--my 3rd or 4th reply!)

Regarding "Jesus is my superhero". . .I've never heard the song, but if it's come out of Hillside, I'm sure it's being used by God as is most all if not ALL of their music/songs. Personally, I wouldn't like it much. . . .I'd have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of Jesus being my "superhero". I've heard that some people also had issues with Matt Redman's song--Once Again. . . they didn't like the tag: "thank You for the cross . . . my friend". Mainly because they thought we'd lost the respect for Jesus, calling Him our "friend". Biblically, wasn't Jesus called the "friend of sinners"???

I think this is another one of those splitting hairs kind of topic / issue. Some seem to think we have lost the respect (biblical fear) that we once had and are now far too familiar with Jesus.

Jesus is the "Son of God", our "Saviour", hopefully our "Lord", "friend of sinners"? "Lover of my soul". In being the "Son" of God, He is our Brother as well as our Saviour and Lord, which makes us "joint heirs with Jesus" (also a biblical concept).

How then, can we maintain the respect, reverential fear AND be joint heirs with Jesus??? To me, this begs the question, if Jesus was "all things to all men", what's wrong with a song like "Jesus is my Superhero". . .if it reaches youth and draws them into intimacy with Him?

I don't enjoy many hymns. I don't necessarily "worship" when "singing" them. Some people do. I don't understand that at all. Same kind of concept.

I look forward to hearing back on this one. Wink




"It's all about ME".....the direction of.... - HelenaZF - 10-09-2006

Actually, it was Paul who said he became all things to all men:
Quote:Corinthians 9:22:

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some..

you said....
Quote:How then, can we maintain the respect, reverential fear AND be joint heirs with Jesus??? To me, this begs the question, if Jesus was "all things to all men", what's wrong with a song like "Jesus is my Superhero". . .if it reaches youth and draws them into intimacy with Him?

I have no problem calling Jesus "friend", as it is something he claimed about himself. And in a way, calling him SuperHero is just another word for Champion, which is also a scriptural title attached to Him. I'm only interested in being careful to convey the right context of the images of the titles we call Him. I think that accuracy in our teaching is how we maintain the right aspect of respect and honor for the character and person of the Lord.

I agree that most hymns are not, in themselves, worship. But they are meant to evoke reflection on kingdom truths, and on the mysteries of the faith. If you you are deeply pondering those things, you are not in a worshipping position. However, the pondering of them can cause you to come to a place where you want to flat-throw yourself into a worshipping position! And then you sing the songs of worship. Proclaimation hymns can take you in the same direction. I think you have to be able to do some sorting out as to just what the purpose of singing that particular hymn might be.