The songs that they lead us in singing at church create a problem for me. In order to sing them I have to lie. Did you realize that your worship leaders are leading you in being dishonest? I want to encourage you to take permission to stop singing at church.Chris Tomlin is undoubtably the most popular worship leader of my generation and it’s hard to go through a service without hearing one of his songs. When I sing his songs I’m usually lying. For instance here’s the first verse of his song “Not To Us”.
“The cross before me the world behind
No turning back, raise the banner high
It’s not for me, it’s all for You
Let the heavens shake and split the sky
Let the people clap their hands and cry
It’s not for us, it’s all for You
I’m sorry to be such a downer but is it really “all for You”?
Is there really “not turning back”?
Do I really “raise the banner high”?
Why do we sing this stuff week in and week out if it’s just not true in our life? I just can’t get in the mood to celebrate singing things that aren’t true of me or of most of the Christians I know.
No one ever says anything about me not singing and at the end of the service I don’t feel like a liar. It works out pretty well. Sing the songs that are true or just sing the verses that talk about how good or Holy God is. That’s all true. Sing what’s true.
I’ve decided to give myself permission to stop singing and several other things that I thought I “should” be doing. As Brennan Manning once said, “Quit shoulding all over yourself.”
Are you going to sing less at church? Am I sacrilegious?
(Hat tip to my dear friend Cliff Ravenscraft for some added thoughts that helped me shape this post a bit.)