Music and Theology
This blog, and other Thursday blogs in the future, assuming I remember to write them, will not really have much to do with Haiti or even be specifically about our kids at All Things New. I also will not send them out through email, but just post them on social media so you only have to read them if you want to.
This is a chance for me to share some of what GOD is teaching me and what is on my heart about Him. The ministry of All Things New is based on our love for GOD, so in a very real way this type of blog will give you insight into the foundation of our ministry and our organization.
I am calling these Thursday blogs "Theology Thursday." I actually do not like titles like this in general, and I find this one to be a little corny, but for some reason it popped into my head a few weeks ago and I have not been able to get it out of there.
After graduating from College (Go Tech...ACC Champions!) I went to Seminary to study Theology, to learn more about GOD and how to preach, teach, and other ministerial type things. Since we started ATN, I have not gotten as many chances to do many of these things for a variety of reasons. Not holding a position at a church, not speaking the language well enough to teach without potentially making a mistake, and being in 2 countries a lot over the past few years have limited my opportunity to do those things that I really enjoy doing.
So the first blog in this series will be really short since that introduction was pretty long. I started thinking about this 3 days ago and I cannot get it out of my head. I was listening to a Hillsong United cd, and this line played:
"And it looks like hope
Where my heart was broke
And His heart broke for me"
Now, I in no way am going to build my belief system and theology of the concept of hope around that line. But I can also tell you that my understanding of hope, on an emotional level, was changed and deepened when I sang this line over and over again in my car.
The really difficult thing about Theology is, to truly understand it, you have to have more than an academic and knowledge-based grasp of every theological subject. It is not enough to know the technical definition of the word "holy" or "grace." It is also not enough to be in an emotional wonderland where nothing has any concrete meaning...because it all does.
The first time I heard David Crowder's song "Everything Glorious" and I heard the chorus:
"You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me"
I was blown away. It did not shape my theology of man, glory, creation, or anything else, but it did deepen my understanding, from a logical and emotional level, of being fearfully and wonderfully made, as an individual, by the GOD of the universe.
My point is that music is powerful. If we are not careful, it can hurt us. It can effect our theology in a negative way if we never dig deeper into the theological truths that songs teach.
Music is also powerful in that the wrong type of music can hurt us. This is why we are and will always be as protective and strict as we can appropriately be when it comes to the type of music that our kids listen to (our kids in America and Haiti). In fact, numerous kids in Haiti have lost their speakers/radios because of listening to inappropriate music.
Just the other day I was trying to listen to a sermon one morning and 2 songs were stuck in my head to the point that I could not think of anything else and I certainly could not focus on the sermon. The 2 songs were:
- "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from the movie Mary Poppins
- "Let it Go" from the Disney movie "Frozen"
Just reading the above sentence makes me feel sad that I, as a 42-year-old man, have songs from Mary Poppins and a Disney princess movie stuck in my head, but I digress. The point is that music is powerful. It can be powerful in a good way or it can be powerful in a negative way.
My challenge is to let Christian music and worship music be something that enhances your theology. That teaches you things on a deep, emotional level that you may not have understood from reading a book or from thinking about it logically. And always guard your eyes and your ears from negative sights and music because that is how things get into your heart.