Hey guys. This post is from @ktackel. I’ve been talking to him on twitter for quite a while now and he seems like a great dude. Probably, cause he seems just like me only smarter. Here you go peeps- a great post by a great guy.–
Today I was reading Acts 17 and it is amazing how Paul uses the local culture of the time to reach people. I think there is a big disconnect in churches about using the culture of the time in church. Well, ok, actually more than a disconnect, there can be major arguments on the subject!
Many churches are using secular songs and video to make a point in relation to a subject they are trying to teach. Now before we go further, I will say secular songs for the sake of doing them, to me has no point, but if they relate to a message I think there can be good reason backed by Paul in this case.
People often think that secular media in church can be seen as sin or just wrong to God but I believe that if we truly want to meet people where they are especially people that are not Christians then it needs to be considered. Starting in Acts 17:16 and onward Paul talks about how he walked around and saw the various idols and how distressed it made him. So I believe in reading that we can’t close our eyes to the world and what is going on, we can be distressed by it, but we should not ignore it.
In Acts 17:28 Paul even quotes a poet of the time to help people relate to his message. So what you say? Poets of that time are like popular musicians, or rock stars of our time. Meaning if a preacher uses lyrics from a secular band for example to make a point relating to the message I believe it is completely biblical, as long as there is a point and it points people back to Jesus.
Not everyone grew up in church, (I was one of them) so it is hard for some people to even darken the door of a church let alone sit through a sermon. Often we can use big words and sing songs that non-believers just don’t know or understand. Using a reference a person may know and understand to help drive a point home could be crucial to a person giving the church another chance and help them feel that, yes, this “Christianity thing” is relevant.
I know there are various arguments on both sides of this but that is where I fall.
I play electric guitar in a worship band and have led at times, but will I play a Maroon 5, Bon Jovi or Linkin Park song? Maybe not, but if the song is fitting like “Somewhere I Belong” (from Linkin Park) I may consider it. But let me say, I will not unless it was decided, not just because it could fit the message, but also if the idea was prayed about by the worship leader/pastor, etc.
For those wondering here is part of “Somewhere I Belong”:
“I want to heal/I want to feel what I thought was never real/I want to let go of the pain I’ve held so long/(Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)/I want to heal/I want to feel like I’m close to something real/I want to find something I’ve wanted all along/Somewhere I belong”
I think that can be very fitting for a message and admittedly it is an older song but one that people may be familiar with. What about “Crash” from Daughtry? Or how about “On The Way Down” by Ryan Cabrerra? Numerous songs are out there that can fit very well with a message when you listen to the words.
I guess as someone that did not grow up in church, I do want to be reverent in worship, but don’t want to ignore an opportunity to reach someone by, at times, offering them something familiar. I also don’t want to allow old traditions or legalistic religious views to stop us from using the culture where appropriate, especially since it is biblical based on the scriptures above.
What thoughts do you have? Where do you stand? Leave a comment and discuss!
Personal blog: http://tackelbox.wordpress.com
Also check out http://www.ministrytech.net a site I developed because of my passion to help ministries with technology.