If your church has been singing “contemporary” songs for a few years, you probably know “Days of Elijah.” It’s a pleasure to sing for many, including myself—musically speaking, at least.
I seriously question whether these are in fact the days of Elijah, “righteousness being restored,” or whether these really are the days of Moses or of Ezekiel, “dry bones becoming as flesh.” It seems to me that some of these lyrics are rather gratuitous references to OT personalities and incidents, cobbled together mostly to get the congregation pumped up emotionally. They may also betray a theology of modern-day prophecy and miracles (the likes of which most of us have never seen), but we still sing about them as though we have. Are the pumpings-up based in reality? Are the assertions and theologies, as sung, meshing with actual beliefs, and are those lyrics and beliefs both corroborated by scripture?
And what about another CofC favorite of the past 10 years or so: “There’s a Stirring.” This song is so mixed up in its imagery that one never knows whether he’s praying for inspiration, calling attention to Jesus’ cross (or to His position at the Father’s right hand), or begging to die. Think about it: “My time has come . . . I will rise up … and bow down … and lay my crown at His wounded feet.” This seems to be expressing suicidal intent with holy purpose of worshipping later. I get weirded out by this song now, but I confess that I used to lead it, and I even have a recording of it. I think I’ll keep it around, just to remind myself how unprincipled I can be sometimes.
Not all of our songs—traditional or contemporary—bespeak sound theology, do they! Got any examples you’d like to share of songs with words that bug you?