“A Psalm of David. I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” Psalm 138:1
There is rising in the music community the question, “Does the Christian music genre still exist?” Understand that this is not a debate on the types of Christian music but if the whole genre is fading? I’ll say right now that I’m not an expert in the music industry so I cannot give facts on what artist is doing where. What I can do, however, is comment on the whole question and that it is sad that a question of this is being asked or thought about. Please don’t misunderstand me in that I am not “throwing stones” at anyone for actually raising this question. They are simply basing their observations on what they are currently seeing happen in the music industry. I’ll leave that to them. I’m concerned about their observations.
The cause of this concern lies in the fact that we are continuing to see the lines of separation between the church and the world become thinner and thinner. We must evangelize the gospel and use whatever we can legitimately use for the spread of the Good News. We are Christ’s Ambassadors. Let’s say I came to you from a foreign country, say Spain. Let’s say you are tired of the country you are living in and know there has to be a better place. If I come looking and acting like the country are are now in, you may say, “What’s the difference? You look and act the same and talk the same way I do. You tell me how wonderful Spain is and how gracious the people are there but your manners are the same as mine. You’re culture is no different. Why should I spend the money to go to Spain which, from what I’ve seen, is no different than here?” I hope you get the point.
When I was first saved back in 1976, I was a band director in a small school in Iowa. I began to listen to a Christian radio station out of Cedar Rapids in the evenings when I would be working in the band room. (I wasn’t married then). The first thing I noticed was that the music then had a positive feel to it and I could sense a definite difference from that which I was teaching and hearing during the day. It was uplifting and made me feel closer to the Savior. Isn’t that what Christian music is supposed to do?
I quoted the scripture above for a reason. David said he would praise God with a “whole heart.” That doesn’t mean just part, but the whole. But he goes on saying that “before the gods” he would sing praises unto the Lord. The word “gods” here doesn’t mean idols but is loosely translated as “rulers” and interpreted as “judge” five times. He’s saying that he will praise God before the rulers, but we can also apply this to praising God before the people. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” This stems from actually singing songs with a message that may teach or provide a gentle warning of a coming judgment, as well as encouragement. 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”