A Response to Blended

By EXW Staff
Writer
April 09, 2020

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by Scott Wesley Brown

I prefer the term “Unified” worship over “Blended” worship because our intention should be to reflect the scriptural teaching of unity in diversity. (Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 12:12-14) The term “Blended” worship does not necessarily mean that it is “unified” worship. The best way to describe “unified” worship is to say it is anchored in the church’s historic worship and seasoned with the fresh winds of the Spirit’s movement in the present using the “best of the best” from the past and the present.

The Church today faces “the spirit of individualism” and has succumbed to tailoring worship to meet the expectations of various age groups by fractionalizing the church into what are now called “venues”. No longer called sanctuaries, these “venues” cater to the “experience” one is up for. If you don’t like the “Traditional” try the “Edge” or the “Over the edge”……….whatever works for you! How dare we ask a teenager to sit through a hymn or a senior to listen to a song by Delirious!

Just listen to this comment:

“There are several reasons for opposing it: It’s too new. It’s too worldly, even blasphemous. The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style and because there are so many new songs you can’t learn them all. It puts too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than on godly lyrics. This new music creates disturbances, making people act disorderly. The preceding generation got along without out.”

Those comments were made in 1723 and they were made in criticism of Isaac Watts who wrote “Joy to the World” and “I sing the Mighty Power of God.”

I do understand that it is appropriate for children, youth, seniors or those of other cultures to have a meaningful experience within the context of their own group, but what ever happened to “corporate worship”? Indeed worship is both vertical and horizontal; it is about God, yet it is about people in fellowship with one another before God.
But when the focus is on people (mostly ourselves) there will always be battles because we are diverse (and opinionated!). If you think it’s hard trying to please everyone at your church, imagine how difficult I thought it could be leading worship for a church in the Middle East with 500 members from 40 different nationalities and dozens of denominations. Yet somehow it worked…..not perfectly…but it worked because the greater focus was on God. They had their individual meetings throughout the week, but on the Sabbath they were in corporate worship.


Mark Horst wrote, “As soon as we come to worship looking for and expecting an experience, we have violated the most basic principle of (worship). We easily become religious aesthetes capable of judging the entertainment value of a church service while remaining unaware of the reality it can open us to. Unfortunately for us, when our worship becomes self-conscious rather than God-conscious, it points not to God’s reality but (only to) our own.”

Too often we think of worship mostly or solely in terms of how it impacts us rather than how it impacts God. And we are the losers when we do that. If we think of ourselves as the necessary beneficiaries of worship we won’t truly worship. If we think of God as the beneficiary of worship, we will also benefit. One of the major reasons people argue about worship today is that they have the wrong person (themselves) in view. Worship ultimately is not about us; it is about God.

And if it is about God, then it is about pleasing God with a heart attitude clothed in humility.

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Yes, worship should reflect and even celebrate the diversity of the Body of Christ. But the beauty of this body is that we prefer one another over ourselves. If we can’t do that then is our worship really acceptable, no matter what the style? “Proud worship” is an oxymoron! Proud worship demands it's own way. Proud worship allows no room for others. It is "individualism to the max! it is the kind of worship the Lord resists! Oh what a tough lesson this is to learn. Our humility should lead our worship...for a humble heart the Lord does not despise. This kind of worship is irresistable to God. It's not about style. It's about heart. This is what we should be striving for…….. after all, one day we will all worship before our Lord and maker, not in separate venues, but in His Holy sanctuary as one Holy nation from every tribe, tongue, language and people.

Psalm 148:12-13 “Young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted”.










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