Do you ever think about what you sing in church? Sometimes it is hard to do so. Songs have a lot of lyrics and usually (at least for me) you have to sing a song a number of times before the meaning of the lyrics truly sinks in.
Jay and I had a short conversation yesterday about the lyrics in a Hillsong song “You’ll Come.” Here is the chorus of that song:
Let Your glory fall as You respond to us
Flood into our thirsty hearts again
The lyrics are what I’ll call interesting: the idea of God’s glory falling as he responds to us. I would say a proper understanding of our relationship to God would be us responding to his glory, not the other way around. I don’t know that I would call this bad theology, but definitely a little confusing for sure.
There is also a popular song in many churches (including mine) “Song of Hope” by Robbie Seay. Here are the chorus lyrics:
I will sing a song of hope
God of heaven come down
Heaven come down
Just to know that You are near is enough
God of heaven come down, heaven come down
Is it really enough for us to know that God is near? And what does it mean that we are singing about our hope of God being near when the Holy Spirit is within those who have faith in Christ? Again, I’m not saying this is a completely wrong theology, but I would describe this one as curious.
And lastly, the one that has bugged me for a long time: Come Now is the Time to Worship (chorus):
One day every tongue will confess You are God.
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose you now.
I could be wrong but this comes off as very Universalist to me (meaning that everyone is saved). If I read it with no other influences, I think it says everyone will believe in God and the earlier you decide to believe, the greater the reward in heaven.
My point in this isn’t to point out how I have a perfect understanding of theology or that my interpretation of songs lyrics is correct. Rather, I want us to think about the songs we sing and assess their message before we allow them to become anthems that our congregations sing on Sunday.
The power of lyrics and music should not be understated and I would hope we could rightly reflect God in them.
I’m not advocating for every church to stop singing songs that might have confusing lyrics but we should be spending time processing what a song says.