Pastor's Blog

Another issue that troubles us traditionalists about contemporary music is the emphases we find in contemporary artists – and perhaps more especially emphases that seem to be lacking.

We are very accustomed to singing about salvation – God sending Christ to save us from sin.  These hymns reinforce what we believe to be the core ideas of our faith – that the problem is sin;  that the solution is the grace of God, the shed blood of Christ, and forgiveness of our sins through faith in Christ’s sacrificial death. 

Sometimes we take these ideas for granted, and what younger people often don’t understand is the costly battle that was fought to prevent these ancient doctrines from being lost to the faith.

In the 1800’s educated European elites began denying the existence of the supernatural.  Anything supernatural was merely ancient superstition. 
                …The Bible wasn’t from God, it was just another human book.
                …Jesus was just a man, a popular human teacher. 
                …Belief in miracles was abandoned as unscientific and irrational.
                …The shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sin was dismissed as tribal superstition – and
                Christ’s death as a sacrifice was discarded as primitive and inhumane.  The doctrine of hell was
                discarded for the same reason.
                …The notion that there was only one way to God was deemed uncompassionate.  The new  
                doctrine was that all religious roads led to heaven.
Theological Christianity was replaced with experiential spirituality.  Liberalism says that if you feel a spiritual experience is truly divine – it is.  It is not to be judged by theology.  All experiences are valid and should be accepted without judgment or criticism.  The important thing about all religion is to be tolerant of everyone’s doctrines and experiences.  Be nice.  Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings with negative energy.

These changes in Christianity didn’t take place overnight, nor did they take place without a fight.  There was much debate and argument into the early 20th century.  But by 1940, it was clear that the traditionalists (aka fundamentalists, conservatives, evangelicals) had lost the battle.  Liberalism forced conservatives out of the denominations, seminaries, mission boards, and churches.  If you believed in traditional Protesant teachings, you had to build a church, a denomination, a school, a mission board, from the ground up.

And that’s exactly what conservatives did.  Mountain View Chapel is one of the many churches that sprang up preaching the traditional truths of the faith.

Can I bring this back to contemporary worship music?

Today’s worship music doesn’t focus on the doctrines of salvation from sin that we fought and sacrificed for.  It’s not that contemporary artists deny those doctrines.  Most affirm them – but they are not the topic of their songs.  They focus instead on the theme of personal pain – sadness, anxiety, worry, isolation, loneliness – rather than sin, and on Jesus as our comforter and friend, rather than our sacrifice and savior.

Traditionalists acknowledge that we have “a friend in Jesus”.  Our concern is that this emphasis on “relevance” and “experience” is just a stealthier and subtler way of crowding out the uncomfortable but powerful traditional doctrines of the faith.  That’s why so many traditionalists engage in “worship wars”.

While I want to battle division in our ranks, I don’t want to forget that the enemy is more subtle than “any other beast of the field”.  He can appear as an angel of light and can gently twist good into an evil in such a gentle way that we don’t notice it.  That’s why we’re called upon to be sober and vigilant regarding him.

The liberal churches opted for relevance thinking that they were saving Christianity from extinction.  But the opposite seems to be true.  The more relevant liberals became, the more quickly their churches and denominations have died.  They ignored the problem of sin and left themselves without a need for a Savior.  And with no Savior, there is no message.

I don’t think we need to rid ourselves of songs about spiritual experience.  But I strongly believe that we need to “beef up” the other side – songs that remind us about the great old truths of the Christian faith.

Upcoming Events

Sermon Podcasts & Video

For your convenience, in addition to listening to our sermons on our website you can also subscribe to our podcast channels on iTunes or Google Play, or watch on YouTube. Each delivery method contains the same sermon content.

Listen on Google Play Music
Watch on YouTube

Prayer Chain Signup


Connect With Us

Get In Touch

  • 68 Old Douglass Drive
    Douglassville, PA 19518
  • (610) 326-5856
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Join Our Online Community