"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Friday, June 28, 2013

Why Secular Love Songs Make Us Love More

Again, many Christians may beg to disagree here, but if you're honest enough (and religiosity aside) you'd see how most secular love songs sound better and more inspiring than Christian love songs to God do. For instance, you'd see how lots of Christians are familiar with secular songs but few in the world are familiar with Christian songs. Or worse, many Christian composers imitate the tunes of secular songs to ride on their popularity.

Sometimes, when I listen to the radio, familiar tunes are playing which I know to be secular. But then I discover that they are actually Christian songs patterned after popular secular songs. I get disappointed because the Christian world seems fond of pursuing after trends in the secular world. Don't they have the imagination to create originals? Why imitate?

Well, the songs of some Christian artists, like Don Moen, are exceptional. You can readily sense how they have original tunes as well as lyrics. None of them were derived from pop music or songs. They originated from Holy Spirit inspiration. You cannot have a Christian song sounding like a popular secular tune and claim God's inspiration. Worship songs should be as unique as the Word of God is in the bible to say they are Spirit breathed or inspired.

Secular Love Songs Sound More In-Love

Most secular love songs sound more in-love than some Christian love songs that are supposed to be love songs to God. Why is that? Sometimes I can't help but ponder on this. Even believers tend to be more in-love when they hear pop love songs on radio and easily get carried away, even getting the lyrics right so easily. With some Christian songs, especially local ones, I sometimes struggle to see what they're talking about. Then I realize they're often talking about the same themes that pop songs talk about--they just put in the name of God to make the difference. But the genuine inspiration of love isn't there.

Now, because they are Christian songs, many folks dare not find something wrong in them, or else be labeled as heretics. We shouldn't be religious like that. We should use our God-given discernment to check things out--whether they are of God or the world. So, why aren't the songs inspiring so much love for God in us as they should?

I mean, look at pop love songs. The moment they play, folks both young and old begin to love at their best, do sacrifices in the name of love, become sleepless over their loved ones, do amazing things they've never done before, and display dedication, love, and affection for the person they love. Love songs do that, or at least inspire people to do these things. And often, it all eventually end up in a life commitment--marriage.

Now, why don't Christian love songs do that to us? Why can't we end up with a serious and desperate life commitment to love God alone and sacrifice and become sleepless over Him and do things we have never done before? Why are so many of us just content to attend church and sing songs and be active there but not live the radical life of my Jesus that turned the world upside down?

We're not Loving God as We Should

The answer, I guess, is that we're not loving God as we should. We're not that crazy in-love with him. I often look at how pop singers sing pop love songs. They're intense and so emotional. They feel the song. They absorb the song and don't care how their faces twist. Then I also watch how Christians sing in church. Most of them are so conscious about how they look, being careful not contort their faces as they express the song.

A lot of "worship leaders," on the other hand, do nothing but do poor imitations of their favorite pop or rock singers. There's no real, sincere emotion; there's only stage presence. 

Real Love-Experience Factor

The factor probably missing in most Christian love songs to God is the "real and personal love experience." Pop love song composers and singers get their inspiration from true-to-life love experiences. The thing is so real in their lives, so they easily express it. They live it and can even "touch" it because it's so real to them.

Probably, to a lot of Christians, God isn't that real yet. The love they feel for God (or think they feel for God) is all theological, a matter of doctrinal belief. The love is yet head knowledge and hasn't gone down to the heart. Yeah, you love God because you're supposed to, as a believer. Or, you love him because you're afraid to go to hell. Believers do things for God to avoid his ire, not because they're madly in love with him. You mouth lots of stuff on loving God, but it's all empty talk, mere intellectual belief. And it shows so obviously during "worship." All they can do is close their eyes, look sweet, and softly shake their heads.

Some even don't do that. I've seen pastors busy reviewing their sermon outlines, paying no attention to the congregational worship. I've seen worship teams busy about what song to sing next during worship while others are busy with the projector. Real worship with God's genuine presence makes every human activity stop because of his awesome majesty. Temple worship in the Old Testament produced God's cloud so that the priests could not perform their usual, ritualistic worship duties. That's what I'm talking about!

Sometimes, after a while, everything gets boring in church worship. So what they do is adopt or borrow tunes from pop or trendy secular songs to add flavor to the Christian songs. It does the trick sometimes, but not for long.

We need to honestly and genuinely be in love with God. That's the first step to improving the quality of our Christian songs. Maybe, we need to go up and down Mount Sinai several times just to hear God speak. Imagine Moses, in his old age, going up and down Sinai several times, just because he loved to hear God speak! Some Christian stage performers worry more about how their voices sound or how they blend with each other, instead of forgetting about all that and zero in on their desperate love for Jesus. And that can only happen if we desperately love HIS WORD, if we seek His Sinai voice.

Some church folks think falling madly in love with Jesus comes when you keep singing Christian songs to him and sing expressively and lively. Wrong. It only comes with desperate and deep searching of the rhema Word of God. Then, as Jesus promised, he will love us and come to us, along with the Father, and show himself to us. Then we get the real-love experience factor without meaning to.