So it’s true after all, blogging about Martyn Lloyd-Jones + controversy increases your blog’s traffic by over 100%! I’m sure I’ll return to that topic some other time, but in this post I move to a different subject.
Although I’m not one of those Christians who’s totally dismissive of this world and spends all day staying indoors (probably in my bomb proof house) polishing my 12-ball waiting for the end-times I must admit that I’m eagerly looking forward to the day when I’ll get to heaven (through the sinners door). For those of you, like me, who love music I promise you that heaven is the place for you. Heaven will be like a rock concert (or Jazz, or Pop, or whatever floats your boat), the biggest and greatest rock concert ever! I find it hard to understand those Christians who reject the use of instruments whilst worshiping; those brothers and sisters in Christ will get a shock when Jesus himself starts handing out the harps and cymbals in heaven (Revelation 15:2-3) so the heavenly rock out can begin.
I feel more compelled than ever to address this issue at the moment because here in Wales we really need to re-discover the true spirit of worship and to start worshiping on earth as it is in heaven. Worship, of course, is more than just singing but if we look at the Scriptures there is no denying that singing praise is an important part of praising God. I believe that one can only truly worship God from his heart if he does so using his own culture and idiom. I can only worship God from the depths of my heart if I do so in Welsh rather than English, Welsh is my mother tongue. It would be impossible for me to worship God from the depths of my heart in anything but my mother tongue. My point being is that you worship God using your own culture and not someone else’s; in the same way as language can be a barrier I believe that style can be a barrier as well. In the same way as I wouldn’t be able to worship from the depths of my heart in English I can’t either worship from the depths of my heart singing Organ driven Victorian-era hymns. It is Welsh culture and I am indebted to it but it’s not my living Welsh culture, I need to worship using and in my own culture if I am to worship from the depths of my heart.
I love the rocks outs they have over at Mars Hill Church in Seattle (although apparently the congregation on the whole are too “cool” to sing along with the worship band!). When dorks think Seattle they think Microsoft and when us self-proclaimed “cool” Christians think Seattle we think Mars Hill Church but most ordinary folk think Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. What’s great about a lot of the worship bands at Mars Hill is that you can hear two influences at work; the first of course is the Holy Spirit but the second, which is not to be overlooked, is Seattle’s famous Grunge scene. There is nothing wrong with that, in-fact it is a model to be imitated by the Church world wide. That’s what true worship is, enjoying and using the best of our God given unique cultures to praise God in the spirit of the new heaven and earth.