So why is discernment so important in today’s worship? Well… because as my professor said many years ago, “Some of these recordings are not worth listening to”. Can I trust that the music being played on Christian radio is truly “Christian”? How do we determine whether or not the songs that we listen to on our smartphones or on the radio actually glorify God or encourage each other? Now before you begin to say that this is an “old hymns vs. praise choruses” debate, I’ve found more than enough hymns that do not add up as well (shocking… but true!).
A great place to begin is to determine whether the lyrics of the song agree with the Bible. It is important for songs to agree with the Bible because the Bible is literally God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). There are tons of songs out there that sound great, and the lyrics seem to be good, but when you compare them to the Bible, it’s clear that they do not agree with the Bible. The Church in Berea examined to see whether or not what Paul and Silas taught aligned with the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-11).
Also, try to find out why the author wrote the song. A simple Internet search with the phrase “song story” and the title of the song you are listening to can be extremely helpful. When I was struggling as to whether or not I should include a very well-known song into my church’s repertoire, I searched for the song story and saw a video of the composer describing the motivation. Interestingly enough, God was not mentioned once in the video. In fact, the composer had described the song as being a way to express and cope with feelings of insecurity. The song was a coping mechanism. After we decided not to include the song in our rotation, I had a few people come up to me and ask me to include that song into our lineup. Each time, I would share the link of the video.
We want to make sure that as we worship God, we have a desire to give God the glory and to encourage one another. Make sure that what we sing to God is worth Him listening to.