When Church Becomes Entertainment

When Church Becomes Entertainment

Psalm 149:3-4 KJV “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. [4] For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”

There are many scriptures that tell us to praise God with music, songs, and dance. So it’s proper do so. But is this a requirement in a church service? In other words is our church service incomplete if there is no music, singing, or dancing. And should people be forced into doing these things?

GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHURCH WORSHIP

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 KJV “How is it then, BRETHREN? WHEN YE COME TOGETHER EVERY ONE OF YOU HATH A PSALM, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. [27] If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. [28] But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. [29] Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. [30] If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. [31] For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. [32] And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. [33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. [34] Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. [35] And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. [36] What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? [37] If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. [38] But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. [39] Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. [40] Let all things be done decently and in order.”

You just read GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS for how HIS CHURCH SERVICE should be conducted. I ask you, is this how your church service operates? If not, your fellowship is not in the will of God. These are God’s instructions on how HIS CHURCH should be ran. Today we will focus on the music aspect: Psalms.

A psalm is a spiritual song always accompanied with one or more musical instruments. In fact the Bible book of Psalms is just that; many songs accompanied by music. The book of Psalms was penned by David and Asaph under inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit. Did you notice in God’s instructions for the church it says, “BRETHREN? WHEN YE COME TOGETHER EVERY ONE OF YOU HATH A PSALM?” That means everyone in the church can sing or play a song; his or her own spiritual song if they choose at the church gathering. As long as it edifies the church it is acceptable. But did it say that when the church comes together everyone MUST sing a psalm, and everyone else MUST join in? No. So it is wrong to force others to sing, play an instrument, clap their hands, etcetera. And did it say that a psalm MUST be sung at every church meeting? No. The instructions are, ‘one has a psalm, a doctrine (or teaching), a tongue, a revelation, or an interpretation of tongues.’ And that all these MUST be done for the edification of the church, in decency and order. Each believer present can do these things.

Notice also there are no instructions to designate a praise and worship leader, or a certain group of singers, musicians, etcetera. Again all can engage in psalms in the church if they choose. It is wrong to make fellow believers feel guilty if they don’t decide to sing spiritual songs, or play an instrument, stand up clap their hands and such at a church meeting. Just as it would be wrong to force someone speak in tongues, or share a doctrine (teaching), or a revelation. Because God never commanded this. But sadly this goes on.

MUSIC IS MY MINISTRY?

Many church services resemble music concerts way more than churches. I’ve even heard people say that their music is their ministry. That it’s their way to reach nonbelievers and the youth. As we’ve seen music is permitted in a church gathering. But should it be the focus, the way to reach people for the Lord? Think about it: how many people did Jesus sing into the kingdom? When did he instruct His disciples to sing Psalms to the lost? And how many lost souls did Jesus and His disciples just simply talk to? Aren’t we commanded to follow Jesus’ example? (1 Peter 2:21) The Bible says that psalms, hyms, and spiritual songs are for believers, not for unbelievers:

Colossians 3:16 KJV “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER [believers] IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Yes, we are told to share psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with, “One anther,” our fellow believers for teaching and encouragement. And we are encouraged to sing to ourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs:

Ephesians 5:19 KJV “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

If we use music the way God tells us to our church services won’t be mere entertainment. Instead our music (if there is any) will be used for the edifying of the church. If an unbeliever wants to listen to a spiritual song cool. But thinking that singing to the lost is the way to get them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is erroneous. It is nowhere in scripture. Let us obey all of God’s commands. Even when it comes to music at our church gatherings.

1 John 5:3 KJV “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

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