Had a bit of a “oooh, that’s an interesting thought” moment this afternoon when I was discussing having an issue of a theological nature with a particular song being sung this morning in our church service. The chorus of the song (which I believe is by “Third Day”) is pretty much just repeating the line:
“You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song”
Now as much as I really do like the song (and I really do, I love the music to it, and I think there’s some serious quality in the lyrics of the verses, I found myself having a physical reaction to singing the chorus. I couldn’t do it. And this time it’s not the “God being beautiful” thing (explored here, feel free to leave an abusive comment 🙂 ), but the fact that I can’t sing that line without hearing it being about how beautiful my song to Jesus is. Which just sounds like talking myself up for Jesus. Which I can’t fit into my theology at all. So I don’t like it.
But, although I’m very keen to engage on that point (and feel free to have a crack in the comments, that’s not my point.
The point for me is that I think a huge amount of the theology in our church, and I’m going to assume by extension that it’s the same in most churches, comes not from the message given from the pulpit, but from the lyrics of the songs that we sing. I’ve heard people use words from songs to back up why they believe a certain thing about God, and I wonder how much of that is healthy. I wonder what you could do about that if you were looking to change it, and I really really wonder (without wanting to make any statement that they aren’t doing this already), how much thought goes into reflecting on the impact of the theology of songs sung in churches.
That’s all, no attempts at answers today: I’ll leave that to you. I just have questions and ideas.