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That Beer-Swigging Luther

“It’s too fast,” the older gent said.

“They’re killing it; it’s soooo slow,” the twenty-something thinks to herself.

“And did you see their tattoos?”…

According to popular radio personality and psychologist Dr. James Dobson, the topic of worship and music in the church was the most controversial subject during his many years as the host of Focus on the Family.

It’s actually easy to understand. I remember one worship leader telling me, “You wouldn’t believe the things that people would say to you after church.”

Insults, subtle “suggestions,” what’s-holy-and-what-is-not, tempo, the use of instruments, the rewriting of hymns, the “devil” in percussion, rock ’n roll and all manner of opinions waft louder than praise in these times…and probably every other era.

Although reformer Martin Luther penned hymns, he did not simply “lift” a melody from the taverns before writing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” But he did wish to expand on overused works. Contemporary worship doesn’t have to borrow from the heathen.

As God transforms our soul and subsequent daily experiences with Him follow, a wellspring of praise and thanks is bound to jump out of our happy hearts. Such joy usually translates into a form of worship that ends up being expressed from within familiar cultural relevancies. But the genesis of that worship is not stolen from it.

Each generation pushes worship along at a pace that is in step with the timeline that God has for mankind and must inspire the next to do the same…and not criticize it when it doesn’t sound quite like what we created.

PORTAL TO HEAVEN: Unified worship opens portals to heaven like few other things. May God, in His mercy and divine sense of humor, grant us voices that stay on key so that we’ll be practiced up for eternity and not make the angels hold their ears because of the dissonance of irrelevant, opinionated tones.

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:1-7,21 NIV


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