Certain things we do as a church are fairly unimportant. We could do them one way or we could do them another way. E.g., the color of the carpet or the time we hold services or the size and shape of the building—it doesn’t really matter much. These are matters of indifference. We have great flexibility on these issues.
Other things we do as a church are very important. There is little flexibility on these issues. We don’t have much of a choice whether we do them or not. If we follow the Bible, we have to do things and teach things in a certain way. It matters very much whether we believe or teach certain things. E.g., the resurrection of Christ or salvation by grace or observing the Lord’s Supper—such things matter the most in the life of the church.
So some things are matters of indifference, while other things are matters of great significance.
Where in that spectrum is the music we use as a church? Is it a significant issue or insignificant? Is it a matter of great flexibility or little flexibility? Does church music matter to God? Should it matter to us?
Frankly, many today see music as a matter of indifference. That is, music is simply a matter of taste and style. Some like one style of music, while others like other styles of music. Thoughts about music are just opinions; everybody has them, and you can’t really judge one’s musical tastes. “There’s no accounting for taste.”
Under that assumption, church music should reflect what most people like or what people are used to. Music is just a way for people to express themselves artistically, so any musical style will do. Some see music as merely a means of entertainment. It’s filler material or it’s preparation for worship. Music is just a way of conveying the lyrics. The style/kind of music used at church is a matter of indifference; it’s not all that significant. Just use what most people like.
My point this morning is to show that music matters. It matters to God and it should matter to us. Music is not merely a personal expression or a traditional element of the worship service. If we are trying to apply biblical principles to worship, we’ll find that the kind of music we use is very important. The music we use is not a matter of indifference; it’s a matter of great importance. We have some flexibility on music, but not total flexibility. God cares about the kind of music we use in worship, and we should care as well.
What biblical principles lead us to believe that music matters? I’m glad you asked. Let’s consider several reasons music matters.