Are Hymns More “Theologically Rich?”

I love all types of worship music (including hymns), and we sing hymns regularly in my church. All songs, regardless of when they were written are like anything else in life. Some are great and some are not.

I keep reading in articles that hymns are supposedly unique in that they are more “theologically rich” than modern worship music. That is just not true! Hymns are not any more “theologically rich” than songs that are written today. Those who say things like this really don’t understand what theological richness is, I suspect.

I grew up in church singing hymns and old choruses and I can tell you that most of them are absolutely terrible, but some are great. Most people who sing hymns today in church don’t realize that there are only about 10-15 hymns that we sing anymore, because the rest are just plain bad. That’s right, flip through a hymnal filled with hundreds of hymns, and you might find 10-20 that you’ve heard if you were born after 1975. 

When people say, “Those hymns are just so theologically rich,” what they really mean is “those hymns are lyrically complex.” A theological doctrine is no more rich because you sing it in poetic King James language. Continue reading “Are Hymns More “Theologically Rich?””

Honor is a Lost Art

I am passionate about the subject of honor. It’s a core value at Generation Church. The biblical meaning of the word “honor” is to treat something as valuable, to show respect. It communicates the concept of weightiness and significance. America is mostly a low-honor society. Most people refer to the President by his last name without the honor of his title. Children refer to parents as “old man” and “old lady.” Guys refer to their wives as “the old ball and chain.” When we dishonor others, we communicate that they are worthless, cheap, or commonplace.

I believe we need to restore the virtue of honor and the church can lead the way. We can restore honor to God with our reverence, recognizing Him as the loving Creator He is…not “The Big Guy upstairs!” We can strengthen families by restoring honor, teaching children to honor their parents, wives to honor their husbands, and husbands to honor their families. We can restore honor in our churches by honoring the guest, one another, and giving a portion of double-honor to those who preach and teach- that we might receive a double portion of blessing from God. Too many people want their pastor to just be a friend; but more than you need a friend, you need a pastor.

Continue reading “Honor is a Lost Art”

When Tragedy Strikes

This last week, our nation experienced a tragedy. You know what I repeatedly notice during any tragedy? That people always want to tell each other how to respond to said tragedy.

At the same time, you will hear voices giving their opinions about the real lesson to take away. Often, opinions follow statements of arrogant reproof like, “Why don’t we stop focusing on ___, and start talking about ___.”

In any tragedy, the same voices reappear over and over again:

The God-focused voice: This person feels it’s his or her duty to remind everyone that God is good, He is loving, and He is in control. This, while good-intentioned, can be an inappropriate reaction. Most Christians, aren’t questioning God’s nature when tragedy strikes, and most non-believers won’t benefit from a poker-faced “praise God” in those moments. The God-focused voice needs to be tempered with a strong dose of people-focus, otherwise it comes across cold and uncaring. The God-focused voice also needs to graduate from elementary regurgitation of spiritual tag-lines, and move towards analysis and application of what God has said in His word. This voice needs to ask, “What does God say about tragedy, and how should we react to it?” This allows the God-focused person to be helpful to lost people. Continue reading “When Tragedy Strikes”

Go to Church or Drift Away

Would you do something casually if you knew it could kill you? Would you juggle chainsaws? Would you scale mountains without safety ropes? If you like your life, you’d probably say “no.” Christians risk everything when they make a habit of skipping church.

There are acceptable reasons to miss church. Everyone needs to go on vacation, you should if you can afford one. If you’re sick and contagious, stay home! We’ll pray for your healing over the phone, ok? If your kid just puked on you, you get a pass.

But many Christians attend church only 1-2 times a month. Often people say, “I was just so tired.” “I really needed a day to myself.” “I don’t need to be in a church to worship God.”

There’s a Purpose for This

The purpose of coming together in corporate worship is three-dimensional. You worship God. (You can experience a manifestation of His presence in a way unlike anything else.) You allow the Holy Spirit to convict you through the preaching of the Word. And lastly, you encourage other Christians with your presence while being encouraged yourself.

Continue reading “Go to Church or Drift Away”