Finally vindicated. This issue has gotten me in more hot water than almost any I have written about. Pointing out the over mothered church and the under fathered church is painful for most people, most who are women. The rub gets really raw when it comes to the language and theology of worship.
Artists are sensitive people, they often recoil with defensiveness at being held accountable for the content of their music. They fail to realize that worship isn't primarily about us, what we feel, what we want to say about God or how you may feel about the Lord. Worship as it relates to corporate singing is first and foremost about glorifying God. Worshipping Him for who He is and what He has done is the sweetest goal of worship. Helping people get their eyes, hearts and thinking off of themselves and onto the Lord. We want to lead people deeply into the heart of biblical theology through the arts. Christian spirituality has its place in the content of worship but our place must decrease and His place must increase as a general rule. The gospel involves us but the message is about Christ. Worship has navigated to far into the dangerously shallow waters of self and needs to steer back into the deep sea of God.
This is a humble journey that we all must be on. We grow in our understanding of God, the gospel, the Christian life and even in how and what we worship. I am not in favor of sterilizing all our human expression or ministry. I do not fear humanity...God is enfleshed in humanity by His own choice. We are not a disease that the church must continually sanitize like some over protective mother. The truth must be handled accurately as Paul taught Timothy. We must strive to express it as purely and honestly as possible with the amount of light we have. Stuff we write or sing or preach at one time of our lives is most likely going to be less mature in most ways as we reflect back later in life. I think that is a sign of growth. As a child we think as a child...when we become adults we must start thinking and believing like adults too. This is true about worship as well.
I appreciate Matt's humble and honest reflections...he is to be admired to admit and point out such things as one of the world's most influential worship leaders. The hard work of understanding the context of culture and being faithful to scripture is critical in any position of ministry. I wish more people were willing to undergo such a self examination for the sake of God's glory and the fruitfulness of reaching people who have not come to faith in Jesus. I am blessed to have a team of worship leaders who are on the hunt for such realities and are doing the hard work of presenting God focused worship that is accessible and honest for any heart. A balance indeed.