“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24
In a recent interview with the Christian Post, In Christ Alone writer Keith Getty claimed that much of the modern worship movement concentrates more on soliciting emotions rather than focusing on right biblical doctrine.
“I believe that the modern worship movement is a movement for cultural relevance,” Getty said. “It’s a de-Christianizing of God’s people. It’s utterly dangerous. I have no quibbles saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ This can’t happen to build an authentic generation.”
Getty and his wife, Kristyn, want to create music that is immune to the dependence on cultural trends. They want their timeless hymns to be sung by Christians for years to come.
They wholeheartedly believe that many modern worship songs are only relevant for a short time because they emphasize emotion rather than truth.
“At the end of the day, a song you sing for 50 years is more valuable than one you sing for 50 months,” Getty emphasized. “This idea that Christianity is cool or easy is not biblical. It’s a misnomer for our generation. Through music, we want to build deep believers who know and love Christ.”
During his conversation with the Samaritan woman he met at the well, Jesus explained that the location—as well as the means—of worship is not what’s most important. Jesus emphasized how followers of God are to worship “in spirit and truth.”
Worshiping God “in spirit” is not dependent on external things such as lights, elaborate buildings, and high-quality musicians. Although these things aren’t bad in and of themselves, they are secondary.
What Jesus is talking about is internal—the condition of our heart separate from the emotions that modern worship generates. Leaning on a certain culturally relevant style of music while sacrificing scriptural truth runs the risk of losing a generation for Christ.
The terms music and worship are often seen as synonymous when it comes to speaking about church. Although Christians worship God in various ways, the music quite often dominates the church service. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with this, unless it teaches poor doctrine.
Music will always change and the church will feel the need to “keep up” in order to reach unbelievers for Christ. But what shouldn’t change is the biblical truth conveyed in modern worship.
If catchy choruses and phenomenal drum solos are valued more than making sure the lyrics aren’t watered down, Christianity is going to look far different from how it does currently–and not for the better.