Harold Best on idolatry (3)

Just two passages from Best today.[1] These warn of the danger of giving music too high a place in corporate worship.

I wonder whether the Restoration Movement churches–traditionally relatively simple in terms of church music “programs,” and rarely, if ever indulging in all that many songs in a sitting–might be just as guilty of emphasizing music too much as the churches that have full-blown programs, 40-member choirs and anthems, a $2 million organ, 15 other instruments … or the charismatic churches that sing for a half-hour nonstop.

If we are not careful, music will be added to the list of sacraments and perhaps with some Christians become another kind of transubstantiation, turned into the Lord’s presence.  Then the music, not the Holy Spirit, becomes the paraclete and advocate. (119)

Idolatry is, at base, the act of shaping something and then falling under the assumption that it can shape us.  If we are not careful, then, music and the arts will be acting on us instead of us acting on and with them.  (121)


[1] Should anyone ever wonder about my intentions in sharing things other people have written, most often, there are two:

1.  To help others by boiling down messages and offering salient points that might be discussed and might make a difference in the Kingdom.  This seems efficient, and I’ve appreciated it when others have so shared with me.

2.  To encourage further reading and searching.  In the case of this book, Unceasing Worship, I recommend it without reservation to anyone serious about God and worship.

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