An Earnest Plea to Everyone Who Loves Hillsong and Bethel Music

Wretched
1 Mar 202418:45

Summary

TLDRThe script delves into the contentious debate surrounding worship music within churches. It challenges the common arguments based on personal preferences and proposes a set of criteria to determine the best form of worship music. These criteria include the richness of biblical truth, prioritizing God's preferences over personal tastes, reflecting God's character and nature through the music, considering the highest form of human communication and musical expression, and adapting to the available means and context while preserving the essence of worship as an offering to God. The script advocates for a thoughtful approach that transcends subjective opinions and aims to present the most excellent and God-honoring form of worship.

Takeaways

  • 😇 Worship music is a highly contentious issue within churches, causing division over preferences like traditional hymns versus contemporary styles.
  • 🤔 Rather than simply voicing preferences, the speaker suggests deeper consideration of what we are presenting to God in worship.
  • 🎶 Contemporary worship churches tend to prioritize criteria like evoking emotions, lighting, repetition, and musical elements aimed at eliciting feelings.
  • 📖 The speaker proposes focusing on biblical truth and intellectual engagement through lyrics, allowing emotions to follow from knowledge.
  • 🙏 Key criteria for evaluating worship music include: biblical depth, audience focus (God or self), God's preferences over human preferences, and reflecting God's character.
  • 🎻 Music should reflect the highest form humans can produce, both in sound quality and lyrical content (poetry).
  • 🌍 Worship should consider limitations like available musical talents and cultural context while still striving for excellence.
  • 🕰️ Preserving ancient hymns connects modern worshippers to historical believers, though new compositions are encouraged.
  • 🎼 Variety in musical styles is acceptable as long as the criteria of truth, excellence, and God's preferences are met.
  • ✨ The ultimate goal is to offer worship that is a sweet aroma to God, not based on human preferences alone.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of discussion in the provided transcript?

    -The main topic of discussion is about determining the best form of worship music for churches.

  • What are the criteria that contemporary churches often use to determine their worship music, according to the transcript?

    -The criteria mentioned for contemporary churches include: making people feel the presence of God, using dim lighting and special effects, using synthesizers and repetitive lyrics, choosing keys that elicit emotions, and having the worship leader engage the audience to evoke feelings.

  • How does the speaker suggest worship music should aim to produce emotions, as opposed to contemporary churches?

    -The speaker suggests that worship music should aim for the intellect by teaching great truths about God first, and then emotions will follow based on that knowledge, rather than directly manipulating emotions.

  • What is the first criteria suggested by the speaker for determining the best worship music?

    -The first criteria suggested is whether the song is filled with 'milk' (simplistic) or 'meat' (robust biblical truth).

  • What is the second criteria suggested by the speaker?

    -The second criteria is determining for whom the worship is being done - for our own preferences or for God.

  • According to the speaker, whose preference should be paramount when choosing worship music?

    -The speaker suggests that God's preference should be paramount, not our own subjective preferences.

  • What is the third criteria suggested by the speaker?

    -The third criteria is that the musical offerings should reflect the character and nature of God, providing an example of a lofty, royal sound versus a chaotic sound.

  • What is meant by the term 'anthropological issue' in relation to worship music?

    -The term 'anthropological issue' refers to the idea that worship music should reflect the best efforts of humanity as God's creation and image-bearers, both in the sounds produced and the lyrics (described as poetry).

  • How does the speaker suggest accounting for varying means and resources when determining worship music?

    -The speaker suggests that churches should endeavor to produce the loftiest worship they can based on their available giftedness, means, and even zip code/location, while still adhering to the suggested criteria.

  • What is the speaker's view on incorporating both new and old hymns/songs in worship?

    -The speaker suggests that while new songs should be created using human creativity, old hymns that have been sung by believers for centuries should not be neglected, as there is something special about that connection to the past.

Outlines

00:00

🎵 Contemporary Worship Music: Emotion vs. Intellect

This paragraph contrasts the approach of contemporary worship churches, which prioritize eliciting emotions and creating a spiritual atmosphere through techniques like lighting, repetition, and musical keys, with a more intellectual approach based on the Psalms, which aim to engage the mind with theological truths before evoking emotion. The paragraph sets the stage for a deeper discussion on what should drive the criteria for choosing worship music.

05:01

🙏 Criteria for Evaluating Worship Music

The paragraph offers alternative criteria for evaluating worship music, focusing on the substance and biblical truth conveyed in the lyrics, considering whose preferences should take precedence (ours or God's), and assessing whether the music reflects the character and nature of God. It encourages moving beyond personal preferences and considering the loftiness and excellence of the musical offerings presented to God.

10:03

🎼 Anthropological and Artistic Considerations

This paragraph suggests that worship music should reflect our highest human capabilities and forms of communication, combining theological depth in the lyrics with excellence in musical composition and performance. It acknowledges practical limitations in resources and giftedness while encouraging the pursuit of loftiness within those constraints. Additionally, it advocates for incorporating both new and ancient hymns, valuing the rich heritage of songs sung by believers throughout history.

15:05

🕊 Worship: An Offering to God

The final paragraph emphasizes that worship is ultimately an offering to God, not for our own preferences or entertainment. It encourages seeking to present our best efforts in a manner that honors God's character and deserves His pleasure. The paragraph concludes by reminding us that diversity in musical styles is acceptable as long as it aligns with the criteria of loftiness, excellence, and biblical truth.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Worship

Worship refers to the act of expressing reverence, adoration, and praise towards a divine being, typically God. In the context of the video, worship is a central theme, as it discusses the various approaches, styles, and criteria for worship music within churches. The speaker emphasizes that worship should reflect the character and nature of God, rather than solely catering to personal preferences or emotions.

💡Contemporary Worship

Contemporary worship refers to a style of worship music that incorporates modern musical styles, instruments, and production elements. The video suggests that contemporary worship churches tend to prioritize eliciting emotional responses and creating an experiential atmosphere through elements such as lighting, repetition of lyrics, and synthesized music. The speaker contrasts this approach with a more intellectual, content-driven approach to worship.

💡Emotions

Emotions play a significant role in the discussion of worship music. The speaker argues that while emotions are a natural consequence of worship, they should be derived from an intellectual understanding of biblical truths about God, rather than being the primary focus or goal. The speaker suggests that contemporary worship churches often aim directly at evoking emotions, bypassing the intellect, which he considers an incorrect approach.

💡Biblical Truth

Biblical truth refers to the teachings and doctrines derived from the Bible. The speaker advocates for worship music that is filled with robust biblical truth, as opposed to simplistic or superficial lyrics. He suggests that the more truth a song contains about God's character and nature, the more it will engage the intellect and produce genuine, unmanipulated emotions during worship.

💡Preference

Preference is a central concept in the discussion of worship music. The speaker acknowledges that individuals have subjective preferences when it comes to musical styles or instruments. However, he argues that these personal preferences should be set aside in favor of God's preferences, which should be the paramount consideration when determining the most appropriate form of worship.

💡Character of God

The character of God refers to the various attributes and qualities that define God's nature, such as holiness, majesty, excellence, and perfection. The speaker suggests that the music offered in worship should reflect and align with God's character. This means that the music should strive for loftiness, excellence, and reflect the grandeur befitting of the supreme being that is being worshiped.

💡Anthropological

Anthropological, in this context, refers to the consideration of human nature and the essence of being human. The speaker argues that worship music should reflect the highest form of human communication and expression, which he suggests is poetry combined with the most excellent musical forms that humans are capable of producing. This approach acknowledges the unique position of humans as God's creation and image-bearers.

💡Means and Giftedness

The speaker acknowledges that churches have varying means and giftedness when it comes to producing worship music. Means refer to the resources and capabilities available, such as instruments or skilled musicians. Giftedness refers to the natural talents and abilities possessed by individuals within the church community. The speaker suggests that while striving for excellence, churches should also consider their limitations and work within their available means and giftedness.

💡Tradition

Tradition is mentioned in the context of incorporating ancient hymns and songs that have been sung by believers for centuries. The speaker suggests that there is value in preserving and continuing to sing these traditional hymns, as they connect modern worshipers to their spiritual ancestry and provide a sense of continuity within the broader Christian tradition.

💡Variety

The speaker recognizes the importance of variety in worship music, acknowledging that while there should be criteria for excellence, there is room for diverse musical styles and expressions. He suggests that different settings, cultural influences, and available means can shape the specific form that worship music takes, as long as it aligns with the broader principles he outlines, such as reflecting biblical truth and the character of God.

Highlights

Contemporary worship churches tend to bypass the intellect and aim directly for emotions, focusing on criteria like eliciting feelings, lighting, synthesizer effects, and repetitive lyrics.

The Psalms aim for the intellect by teaching great truths about God, and emotions follow from that knowledge.

A criteria for determining best worship music: Is the song filled with robust biblical truth or simplistic?

Criterion: For whom are we doing worship - our preferences or God's preferences?

Worship music should reflect the character and nature of God - the loftiest, most excellent being.

Worship is an anthropological issue - our music should reflect our best efforts as God's highest creation and image bearers.

Our lyrics should be the loftiest form of human communication - poetry filled with theology.

Limitations like available musical talent and setting should be considered in determining the best we can offer.

There's value in singing ancient hymns that have been sung by believers for centuries, connecting us to our ancestors.

New compositions reflecting our creativity and productivity are also valuable, not just ancient hymns.

Variety in musical styles is acceptable as long as the criteria for excellent, lofty worship to God are met.

We shouldn't condemn each other over musical preferences but seek to offer our best to God based on the criteria outlined.

Worship isn't for our preferences but for God, so we should aim to please Him, not ourselves.

Examples are given of diverse styles (southern gospel, contemporary, choirs, orchestras) that can meet the criteria when done excellently.

The call is to pursue lofty, excellent worship reflecting God's character, rather than favoring personal stylistic preferences.

Transcripts

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which worship music is best that's right

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it's time to have a worship conversation

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which is the single most acrimonious

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issue inside of the church churches have

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divided over carpet colors whether you

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should buy a frigid air or a Kenmore

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refrigerator but there is no subject

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that has caused more

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consternation than worship music

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traditionally the conversation about

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worship tends to sound like

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this that music's really stupid man the

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old hymns are better on the other hand

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you've got people who will respond

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you're just a funy duddy you're a kudin

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who doesn't know how to really have

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joy I think I nailed it so I would like

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to offer a different approach to this

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entire oh this word conversation perhaps

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some questions that will cause all of us

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to actually think through the issue more

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than just what is my preference so this

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is an offering for all of us to consider

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what are we presenting to the Lord let's

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dive in with the mindset not to just poo

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poo somebody's preference but instead to

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go deeper and to sort out what is indeed

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the best work worship the answer to that

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question it depends on your criteria I'm

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going to try to be fair with this but in

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contemporary worship churches they

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absolutely have a set of criteria that

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drives what they present on Sunday

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morning it's not that they don't have

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other considerations but what really

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determines what we're going to present

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on Sunday morning tends to be driven by

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these criteria One how can we make

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people

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feel the presence of

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[Music]

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God lord All I

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Want You number two how dim should the

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lights

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[Music]

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be and speaking of Lights should we have

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lights that accent the worship

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oh

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three how long should the synthesizer

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play in order to bring people into the

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presence of

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God four how many times should we repeat

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one

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sentiment good good father it's who you

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are it's who you are

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it's who you are it's who you

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are it's who you

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[Applause]

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are five what key of music is best to

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elicit

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[Music]

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emotions

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[Music]

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hallelu

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Hallelujah

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six when would a key change really

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affect and move

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people and the SE will walk at the

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sound on your

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[Music]

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name of your seven how should the

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worship leader sing in order to engage

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the audience that's go one

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[Music]

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[Applause]

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[Music]

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two now this is not to suggest these

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churches don't ever consider the content

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of the music or the form but those most

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of the time are secondary or tertiary

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the theme that tends to drive

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contemporary worship churches focuses

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primarily and sometimes exclusively on

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feelings now these churches see

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worship as something that they have to

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present almost almost like a

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performance to get you to feel something

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in other words contemporary worship

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churches tend to bypass the intellect

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and aim directly for

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emotions I would offer that's just not

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the way the Psalms which is basically

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God's Himel were written do the Psalms

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produce emotions they should but the

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question is how do they do that and the

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answer is the Psalms aim for the

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intellect by teaching us great truths

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about God and then once our brains are

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filled with knowledge then our emotions

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follow worship feelings which we can and

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should have must in my opinion be

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produced based on

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knowledge not

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manipulation thinking first feelings

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second that I think is the biblical

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order and so to that end I'd like to

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offer a different set of criteria for

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determining what worship music is indeed

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best and again I offer

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these not so that we can be shouting at

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one another again but so that we all

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actually just think this thing through

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maybe on a level that we haven't

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considered to date so here's criteria

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number one for your

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consideration is the song filled with

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milk or meat is it simplistic or is it

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robust in biblical truth there's a big

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difference between say

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[Music]

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this and

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this

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[Applause]

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[Music]

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setting preference aside you you have to

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admit one was just a little smarter

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loftier contained more biblical truth

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about God the more truth our music

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contains the more our brains will be

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engaged until it produces es the correct

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unmanipulated

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emotions criteria number two for whom

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are we doing worship got to answer that

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question because I bring my preferences

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it look I'll I'll just put my cards on

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the table if I had my DRS you would be

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singing to a pipe organ because that's

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God's inspired instrument it's actually

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in the Bible don't you know that's

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that's my

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preference but I have to set that aside

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this is an easy trap to fall into I need

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to answer the question what am I doing

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on Sunday morning who is this for we all

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have subjective

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preferences but we got to lose those

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which actually leads us to criteria

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number three whose preference should be

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Paramount ours or God's in other words

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if we can conclude which type of worship

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songs God prefers then our subjective

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opinions go in the trunk because it's

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not about our preferences we're offering

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up an aroma and it's either going to be

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sweet or it's going to stink based on

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God's nostrils not our preferences so

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for instance just

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because I love the pipe

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[Music]

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organ

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much as I love that if we can conclude

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from the Bible that God hates the organ

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and loves Hard Rock then I swallow my

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preferences to offer what God likes and

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conversely let's just say I hate bag

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pipes because I do I I really hate bag

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pipes but no matter how much I hate bag

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pipes if I discover that God loves them

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then guess what I'm going to scrap in

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and worship with bag pipes I'd prefer to

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not wear the Kilt and you'd prefer that

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too but I will worship to what God wants

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and that brings us to our third criteria

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to help us determine what God

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likes our musical offerings should

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reflect the character and the nature of

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God I understand this can feel a little

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bit subjective but what we offer to God

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the music I'm not talking about lyrics

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I'm talking about

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music it it should somehow reflect an

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attribute or the overall character of

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God so knowing that God is the single

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loftiest being in the universe our music

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should be as lofty as we can possibly

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make it and you say well that's

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impossible to determine well let me ask

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you which of these sounds more like

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God

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[Applause]

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[Music]

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[Applause]

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[Music]

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ask yourself the question which one

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better reflects God's character and

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nature and then you're charted in the

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right direction to determine are we

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offering the loftiest we can one sounded

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like music for a king like royalty the

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other sounded kind of chaotic what

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attribute does a wailing guitar solo

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represent but I know you object music is

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really subjective and I agree that there

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is subjectivity in music but only as it

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regards my preference there are simply

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some forms of music that are objectively

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better than others and while you may not

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personally in other words subjectively

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prefer say

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this no doubt you'd recognize the violin

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makes a better sound than

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[Music]

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this

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we should offer to God the music that is

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most reflective of his Excellence our

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next criteria worship is an

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anthropological issue you say what does

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that have to do with what we sing on

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Sunday morning well we're God's creation

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in fact we're the height of God's

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creation we alone are image bearers and

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and our music should reflect our best

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efforts that reflect who we are example

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is this man's

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bestel God or is this

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[Music]

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better hallelujah hallelujah

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hallelujah

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additionally we need to ask the question

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what is the loftiest form of human

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communication so we got two things going

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on when it comes to music you've got the

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sound that we produce it should reflect

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what we are capable of as human beings I

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I I could just sit and bang a pot on

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Sunday morning but that's hardly the

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best music that human beings can produce

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and we also need to consider what are we

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communicating in other words the lyrics

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what is the best that people can produce

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and I think the answer to that is poetry

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it's just requires more thought and

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creativity and knowledge and even

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artistic gifting so we should combine

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our highest form of communication filled

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with theology accompanied by the highest

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form of music that we can produce but I

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know what you're thinking

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hey isn't there any variety furthermore

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we don't have an

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orchestra I get that there are

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definitely limitations here's one of the

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considerations what you have at your

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disposal what are your means how many

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people do you have that are musically

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gifted can anybody play an instrument so

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I get it there's definitely

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limitations to what we can all produce

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Grace Community Church basically has

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half of the Los Angeles Symphony at

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their

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Church

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[Music]

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conversely our church it doesn't have

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any of those means so we at our church

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we just Endeavor to produce the loftiest

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worship we can based on

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giftedness and means and even to a

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degree zip code there are different m

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musical stylings so this brings in

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another component we should have some

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criteria

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recognizing that setting is going to

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make a difference now let's say you have

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a 12 string guitar cool my encouragement

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is that we play it in a way that simply

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meets the aforementioned criteria you

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can play a guitar like

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this

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or you can play a guitar like

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[Music]

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this which one comes closer to meeting

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God's

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criteria than the other one now does

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this mean that we can only play old hym

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no it doesn't mean that if a song meets

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these criteria it doesn't matter if it's

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new or ancient I will say this there's

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something kind of special about singing

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a song that's been sung by Believers for

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centuries how encouraging is it to know

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that Believers have been singing this

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Hymn for

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1,400

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[Music]

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years my heart hold on we can you can go

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back further here is a hymn that was

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sung by our ancestors you want a link

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you want

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ancestry your ancestors sang this song

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since the fth

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century Father's Love

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begot and the words began to

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be he is alha and

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omeg

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thece the

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end does this mean all of our Tunes need

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to be ancient no they they don't in fact

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I would say they shouldn't we should

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continue to use our human productivity

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and creativity to create even more

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Psalms hymns and spiritual songs I'm

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just saying we shouldn't neglect the old

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stuff because it's old I say that's a

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benefit not a negative should all of our

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music be absolutely monolithic no it

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shouldn't there's a ton of ways to

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fulfill these

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criteria it can express itself in so

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many different ways so we don't want to

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be legalists we we don't want to be

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banging our Fist and condemning one

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another simply because we don't prefer

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that type of music you can do lofty

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southern

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gospel

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[Applause]

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[Music]

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turn you can you can do lofty with

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contemporary instrumentation you can do

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lofty with a choir and an orchestra

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based on means and your zip code and

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your giftedness so let's not squash

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those elements that I think are a sweet

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sent in the nostrils of the Lord but let

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us simply seek to do the best we can

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because worship isn't for us it's for

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God

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[Music]

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discuss alone alone all all alone

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Related Tags
Worship MusicBiblical TruthGod's CharacterExcellenceTheologyEmotionsPreferencesChurch TraditionsMusical FormsAnthropology