Pastor's Blog

By this all people will know that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.”
                                                                                                                          -- Jesus Christ (John 13.35)

Loving one another starts with getting along and working through conflicts.  So how do you get along when you have different tastes in the music used for worship?  Odd as it seems, that is a big issue when you are trying to lead a congregation toward working together in love.

I understand the worship wars more from the conservative side, favoring the old hymns, and trying to love those who love contemporary music.

Did you see how I said that?  Learning to love those that love contemporary music – not “learning to love contemporary music.”

I’m not a big fan of most contemporary music.  There’s a lot about it that I really don’t like.  But I love people that love it – and I want to love them.  I’m commanded to love them.

Can I love them if they love music that I don’t like?  How?

One of the tendencies of human nature, I think, is to exalt our own ways and our own perceptions of things to the status of divine.  We thoroughly understand ourselves and what we like.  We’re comfortable liking what we like, and being comfortable seems like a good thing.  It means the world is working correctly. 

That means anything that disturbs that comfort must be wrong – and we conclude it must not be from God.  And human nature tends to demonize things that disturb its peace and comfort.  If it disturbs me, if it makes me uncomfortable, it must be evil.

I think the worship wars go this way.  Each side is comfortable with its own music.  Each side knows why it plays the music it plays and why it likes the music it likes.  We feel a need to build arguments supporting our music (“God’s music”) and tearing the other side down (“the Devil’s music”). 

We start looking for what we don’t like, and we demonize it.  The goal is to prove that my view of things is God’s view of things.  And those who differ with me must be of the Devil.

This is a way to make war.  It is not a good way to learn to love one another.

Jesus said if you’re going to love others, you must do to them as you would have them do to you. 
We usually know what we want done to us in situations like this. 
I want you to agree with me.  I want you to hear me out.  I want you to see the validity of my reasoning, of the points of my argument.  I want you to see how I think and feel the way I feel.  I want them to listen patiently and understand me.

So, if that’s what I want – if that’s being loved by your neighbor – isn’t that the way to love them?  If we’re following Jesus, don’t we owe it to others to try to understand their perspective on their music – to truly listening to them?  Listening.  Not waiting for our turn to talk.  Not formulating arguments against their points as they explain themselves to us.  Listening.  Hearing.  Trying to understand. 

This is where to start when you want to practice love with fellow believers who see things a little differently than you do.  I believe it is what God uses to draw us closer to Him and to make us more like Him. 

I filled this week’s page.  I’ll try to use next week’s page to elaborate on how that has worked in my heart as I’ve processed “the worship wars”.

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