We've been listing our top 5 current worship songs, but how about the ones we're not currently doing for one reason or another. My reason is simple--I don't get to choose the material. I make suggestions for new material at times that sometimes get played, but most of my favorites are either older or not fitting what we do.
Healer is from Hillsongs. It's an amazing song...but sadly the man who wrote it and sings it on the album told everyone he had cancer and did a whole big act about believing for healing...and that was the reason he wrote the song. Unfortunately, he was lying about the whole thing-he didn't have cancer. That's why I don't feel comfortable using the version HE performs...but the words of the song are amazing and truthful...so I don't want to throw out the whole thing.
With Blessed Be Your Name- It's the line "He gives and takes away" that causes the problems. Yes, it is quoted directly out of Job. (but some would say it's before Job truly understood who God was) It is a valuable arguement that it is not in the nature of God to "take away". Course, it's also a valuable arguement that He does in fact take away. Which is why there is large amounts of controversy.
@Dorothea The church I attended before I moved actually changed the lyrics that same way - "He gives and makes a way". I personally didn't like it...because it changed the message of the song...and I also wonder about the copyright laws regarding that too.
I love that song. And I love that line...although I haven't even figured out myself which side of the arguement I stand on and whether or not it's true to God's character.
So...I came to the conclusion that it's just better to leave it out of our set lists.
I too have heard of the "controversy" concerning "Blessed Be Your Name", but I'm not sure where anyone would get the idea that "it is not in the nature of God to 'take away'".
The Bible teaches that God disciplines those He loves, and sometimes that discipline comes in the form of taking things away that are hindering our relationship with Him (just as parental discipline of children sometimes comes in the form of taking things away).
So in that context, taking things away is the most loving and fatherly thing that God could do.
Now the book of Job never comes out and says exactly why Job's possessions and health were taken away from him, but the general idea that "it is not in the nature of God to take away" seems to clash with the Bible's portrayal of a caring father who sometimes has to discipline the children He loves.
Okay, let me throw my hat in on the side of keeping the original words to Blessed Be Your Name. Have they never read that verse that says, "...WHEN you walk through the water and through the flames, you will not be harmed.....?" God does give and he does take away. He allows things into our live that produce pain because it is only through pain that the flesh is stipped away and what really lies beneath is revealed. A Christian who does not understand this is one who will constantly look for the next lolipop or experience to make them feel good. The feel good gospel is completely contrary to the real gospel that tells us the that kingdom of God advances violently and the violent take it by force.
In our growing up into mature Christians there is a a time and a place where God strips us of all that we hold dear for the purpose of revealing where he stands in our lives. If we serve him because of what we get even if it's just the smile from his face, then there comes a time when he hides himself from us in order to ensure that we are true and faithful.
The message of the song is more true according to the word of the Lord then we care to believe. I recently heard a well know preacher state, "The north American church is dying a slow painless death." Pain is part of life and the glory of God's plan is that he has a divine purpose for it. Pain when allowed to work it's purpose according to His plan, brings forth broken wounded worship that is pure and holy in his sight. The healing purpose of pain is to forever replace weakness with strength just as the Marines say, "Pain is weakness leaving the body."
Only a mature Christian can say along with the words and truly mean it....Blessed be your name, when the world's all as it should be....when there's pain in the offering....BLESSED BE YOUR NAME. May the name of the Lord be praised now and FOREVER!
Interesting question: I'm gonna' look at CCLI top 100 and answer based on that.
8. Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) ... I have my own version of A.G. I do, so I don't need another A.G. song. Like the song, just don't use it.
13. Your Grace is Enough ... never worked it in yet. May yet.
19. Beautiful One ... I love this song. but my band just never quite got it. I finally gave up.
23. You are My All in All ... just don't care for it. It is just another "Jesus is my boyfriend" song in my mind and probably always will be
24. Hosanna (Praise is Rising) ... newer song, haven't gone there yet
27. Trading My Sorrows ... yes lord yes lord yes yes lord. yes lord yes lord yes yes lord....
28. Indescribable ... my piano player has issues witrh the song. I like my piano player better than I like this song. We do something else.
Won't do "Can you Feel the Mountains Tremble". I've heard the song 6 million times and I have no idea what the point of some of the lyrics are. "Above All" is one notch short of blasphemy. God does NOT think of me above all. His own glory has that place. Then there's "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" ... the 7/11 song. Seven words, sung 11 times in a row. Rubbish. Not that I have a strong opinion or anything like that.
(these are my opinions. you are free to have opinions that are otherwise. i apologize if I got any toes)
I don't see "You are my all in all" the way you see it. It looks OK to me, so I'd use it more if I didn't feel it was already over-used over here in Singapore. :D I tend to see people try very droning, mind-numbing arrangements of it though, and that I don't like.
A great topic for discussion. I hope more worship leaders who think about this are not only thinking about groove or over-use but theological precision in the text. There are a lot of songs that we don't do because the texts just aren't theologically precise. Brewster's "Today is the Day" strikes me that way, which is why I posted something on it:
I'll never do "Above All": "He took the fall and thought of me above all" is not just imprecise, it's wrong. Biblically, it doesn't seem like we can know much about what Jesus was thinking upon the cross, but all indicators do not point to "me." I understand the sentiment with "Above All," but it has a potential to mislead baby Christians.
"Your Love is Extravagant" is another one. "Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place." This does not seem to be the way Scripture guides us to corporately worship God. Perhaps (and only perhaps, because scholars are somewhat evenly divided) one can use Song of Songs as a defense for intimate love-language expressed to God. But even then, Song of Songs, though a book of poetry, is not a book intended to convey what we are to express in corporate worship. Ephesians 5 seems to contrast being Spirit-filled and intoxication. All this leads me to question the validity of this and similar songs which speak to God in this way.
I'm hopeful that worship leaders are just as ardent in their pursuit of God through Scripture and theology as they are in their pursuit of sweet licks, great loops, and rockin' hooks. I hope that more worship leaders are choosing to not play songs on biblical grounds at least just as often as they are making evaluations in other spheres (e.g. how well it connects with people or how great the music is).
Here here, one of the songs I just can't do is Revelation Song. The chorus goes, Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almight, Who was and is and is to come, with all creation I sing, praise to the King of the Kings, you are my everything and I will adore you.
The phrase you are my everything.... is totally inappropriate to the rest of the song. The song sets up a throne room vision. The chorus in this song is being sung as we speak by the four living creatures. The response in heaven is the twenty and four elders fall on their face before the one who sits on the throne. That is always and forever the only correct response to the words of the living beings. Changing the respons to a Jesus loves me this I know is totally wrong. Not that it's wrong to say, "You are my everything...." that's a perfectly good statement to sing about. Just not in this context.
My opinion on the "Blessed Be Your Name" debate above:
You shouldn't feel comfortable singing "You give and take away" if you hold to Open Theism and some forms of Arminianism. You should feel comfortable singing that line if you're a Calvinist (well, maybe you shouldn't feel too comfortable, but you would at least believe you're singing truth).
People, this is why theology matters in worship, because issues like this help you to more rightly discern the songs you are feeding your flock.