Singing New Worship Songs in Church

My following post is actually more or less a reaction to an article I read today which you can read for yourself here. In the article they make a lot of good points, but I varied a bit in opinion. He’s my response to it:

While I think these are good thoughts and I’m sure there’s truth to it, I wouldn’t agree with everything you’ve said due to my own experiences. Some people care about familiarity, others don’t. There is, I believe a balance that should be held. “New song overkill” is just that: overkill.

But in this article you said, “People can’t sing songs they’ve never heard. And with no musical notes to follow, how is a person supposed to pick up the tune?”

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While that statement seems to make sense, I noticed something strange last month. Our worship band played a song that I had written and only the band had heard it before—no one else. And yet so many people (specifically college students) picked up on it so quickly that when people (including my wife) found out that I had wrote it, they were confused. They figured they simply didn’t know the song because those college students were singing it so loudly from the get-go. They had no idea it was the first time anyone had heard it.

The way we do music in our churches today has definitely changed, but I think the generation who has grown up with that change has adapted to it. Those from an older generation and a traditional or evangelical church background didn’t latch onto the song I wrote as quickly as the somewhat charismatic/pentecostal-like college students did, but it still was sung and it still worked out great for worship.

I don’t believe today’s generation cares about having musical notes to follow. They pick up on songs all the time without it. They’re driving down the road listening to the radio and before the song’s half-way over they’ve already learned the chorus and the melodies to everything. Many young church-goers today are aural harmonists—they hear the music and they know how to reciprocate it. They feel it. They don’t need the music theory portion.

That especially hits home for me because I eventually had to drop out of my worship arts major in college partially due to the fact that I could not wrap my mind around music theory. I’ve never been good with math and numbers. But hand me an instrument and tell me to lead worship and I can do that like someone who knows the theory.

I add new songs into our worship sets all the time. I also, however, pay special attention to those songs the first 2-3 times we play them. Some catch on with the church easier than others and those ones stay. If they don’t catch on and I don’t feel a special calling to continue playing it, I’ll put it in the pile I don’t typically touch.

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Generational Curses and Demonic Influence

One of the reasons Christians aren’t too keen on believing in generational curses or demonic influence is because it gives sinners something to blame their sin on. Today I write to show you this is not the case.

Pictured above (left to right): John, Helen, Ashley, Will

A great picture of this situation is painted on one of my favorite Syfy shows, Sanctuary, in an episode called Haunted. You can still watch it for free here, or just get the general gist of the episode real quick by reading the following:

In this particular episode, the building all of the characters are in goes crazy and tries to kill them all. Why? Well, you find out throughout the episode that some sort of evil energy/spirit has left a dude named John and is now possessing this highly technical building. Basically, it’s now in the mainframe computer and can control any technical part of the building that is connected to it.

Before this energy left, the dude named John was kinda good, but fairly evil as well. The spirit inside of him gave him quite a passion for bloodlust and he found himself doing a bunch of evil things. But now that the spirit was gone, he felt great. He had no more desire to kill anyone and he became the person he used to be. With that being said, here’s the scene I’d like to reflect on in which the dude named John has a conversation with the dudett (and ex-lover) named Helen:

Helen: You said you feel different. What did you mean by that?

John: The darkness within me is gone. Completely… Is it not possible this entity was the soul cause of my bloodlust? That it’s been polluting my soul since it began using my power?

Helen: I want to believe you John. But it’s far to easy to blame everything you’ve done on something else.

John: Yeah. You’re right. My mind is so clear. As it was when we first met. That thing was my rage.

The key line is “it’s far to easy to blame everything you’ve done on something else.” This brings us back to the initial argument I wanted to address. Suffering from a generational curse (a struggle passed down through family) or demonic influence is NOT an excuse for your actions. It does not give you the right or justification to sin.

You see, Jesus is bigger than all of our problems. He is way more powerful than any demonic force or curse we could ever come in contact with. For this reason, we must put our faith in Jesus and pursue purity EVEN if we are under the pressure of a demonic force or curse!

It’s the same deal with any kind of scientific sin you might encounter! Perhaps you were born with a bent towards certain evils due to some kind of chemical imbalance or something of the like. But even if you can prove such things as alcoholism, homosexuality, lust, etc. to be the subject of some kind of hormonal or chemical imbalance, that does not justify you to live outside of God’s will. It does not give you the grounds to live in sin.

God can break curses!
God can cast out demons!
He’s done it before and is doing it today.
But we need to learn to discipline ourselves too.

One of my teachers gave a great illustration in regards discipline. He basically said that male students come to him, seeking relief from sexual addictions or problems. They would ask him to pray that God would basically take away their sexuality so it wouldn’t be a problem anymore. His response to these students was that God gave them a sex drive and they were expected to discipline themselves to use it correctly.

Discipline is key!
Literally!

It locks the door behind us to make sure we don’t let anything into our lives that shouldn’t be there. And when we hand over these keys, we open the door for external forces to make our life increasingly difficult.

I’m starting to feel kind of scatterbrained as this post is taking off in many more directions than I originally planned on, so I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up:

GOD LOVES YOU.
Seriously. He does.

It’s so weird to hear sometimes, because a lot of us have been trained that His love looks like disastrous vengeance among we humans. And so I’m telling you now: GOD LOVES YOU. He always has, always will. And He will be like that yesterday, today, and forever.

EVEN if the only reason you came across this blog post is because you just struggled with something and wanted to do a search to see if it was a generational curse or demonic influence, I’m still here to tell you that God loves you despite your very recent problem. But what shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptisim into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed. And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resutling in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And incase you didn’t catch it, I just quoted all of Romans 6 to you.

Generational Sin

Yes, I know I’ve had quite a few posts about demons in the past couple weeks or so, but something came to my attention in psychology 100 today and I wanted to share it. Check out this story that my psych teacher shared in class:

There are twins who were separated at birth. Both end up marrying a woman with the same name. Both end up naming their kid the same name. But most importantly to my point, both had the same legal problems. And perhaps more importantly, so did their parents.

The teacher then asked the class which of the following we thought was the main reason behind why this might happen:

  • Nature
  • Nurture
  • Both

My response: both and the missing option, generational sin.

Yes, generational sin is Biblical (See Exodus 34:7) and anyone who knows a thing or two about delivering people from demons likes to point it out. You see, one of the ways people inherit demons is right though their bloodline. Their father and/or mother struggled with a specific problem or demon and due to generational curses, demons have been given a door to move into the children because demons tend to move throughout families.

Perhaps you’ve noticed? Maybe you never realized it was demons, but perhaps you noticed that families seem to have reoccuring struggles throughout their bloodline.

Their parents were alcoholics.
Their children became alcoholics.
Their children’s children became alcoholics.
And so on and so forth.

Yes, parents raising their kids up in the wrong way is also part of the effect, but the story about these twins proves all the much more about what I’ve read about generational curses.

I would say it’s a cool God thing that these twins married and birthed same named people, but I see the hatred of satan trying to trip up this family through generational curses—especially since these twins never even really knew their parents. If the story is accurate then I believe they were separated at birth showing that these generational curses are really quite instant as the same problems were inherited outside of the nurture of their struggling parents.

We need to begin to break the bonds of generational curses. Pray for it. Pray with power. Ask God to clean you of the invisible forces that have been affecting you, perhaps even so early as your birth.

Oh, and ask others to pray for you as well.

We’ll duke out the demons together.

And on another note, I may be using my new friend here to bring theology to my blog in the future. Keep your eyes peeled ;)

Jerry Jerboa