Bad worship songs

This is something that has always been on my mind. I’ve wanted to write about this, especially in a way that will provide more context than what I could give if I were to talk about this in a conversation. The subject is bad worship songs. I hope that no one reading will believe that I am conceited in the way that I pronounce my opinion on this subject, a subject that is dear to the hearts and minds of my fellow believers, especially those in the Korean-American Church. I write from years of reflection and observation, having watched the trends of what is popular in the contemporary P&W (praise and worship) scene. I write after receiving at times less than gracious counsel from a leader on this subject, someone who opposed too rashly any song that had to do with “modern P&W.” I write after seeing so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ uplifted and encouraged by some songs that frankly I cannot sing in good conscience.

So what’s the deal anyway? Songs written by Hillsong United, David Crowder, and Chris Tomlin are immensely popular and beloved in KCM and elsewhere. What could I have against such catchy, moving, energetic, and powerful songs? Let me first say that there are only a few songs that I despise in their entirety, which includes both lyrics and musical accompaniment. There are redeeming qualities in many of the songs that I choose not to sing as they are being played. But the most important component of a worship song is the lyrics. A song with solid lyrics can redeem a simpler and more modest melody. A song with horrible lyrics can never redeem the most moving musical arrangement.

I think many of us swallow what we sing much too quickly. Let me mention some of the characteristics which bother me the most. First, bad songs tend to focus more on us and our actions rather than God and His actions. The Christian’s response should always be grounded and rooted in God’s actions. There is nothing wrong with singing about what we want to do for God. But let both believer and the unbelieving visitor understand that we want to do these things because of what God has already done for us.

We Are Hungry – Passion Worship Band

Lord I want more of You
Living water rain down on me
Lord I need more of You
Living breath of life come and fill me up

We are hungry
We are hungry
We are hungry for more of You
We are thirsty, oh Jesus
We are thirsty for more of You

We sang this yesterday. I can imagine an unbeliever saying after every line: “Why?” Why do you want more of God? Why are you hungry and thirsty? Why do you need more of Him? What is the basis for your desire? One song that is probably the worst when it comes to being only about what we do is the Vineyard song Surrender:

I’m giving You my heart and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake of You my King
I’m giving you my dreams, I’m laying down my rights
I’m giving up my pride for the promise of new life

And I surrender
All to You, all to You

I’m singing You this song, I’m waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain

This song at least references Scripture in the second verse (Philippians 3:8), but it is all about me, me, me and what I do, what I promise to do, what I “want” to do. There are two kinds of people who sing and two kinds that don’t sing. There are those who sing the lyrics and want to mean them but show in the coming days that their words were empty; they break their promises. There are people who sing and don’t really want to mean them; they don’t feel like they want to give up everything. Similarly, there are people who don’t sing for that same reason. And then there are people like me who don’t sing because they know that on this side of heaven, in the “not yet,” we can never fulfill the lofty promises that we make here. Give me a song that acknowledges our imperfection (sanctification) and takes joyful refuge in the work of Christ (glorification):

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Moving on, bad songs use language that is much too casual, using terms that remind us of a callow romantic relationship. Great songs use words which convey gospel truths reverently and eloquently. Some examples of not-so-good songs from recent meetings:

Now That You’re Near – Hillsong

I stand before You, Lord
And give You all my praise
Your love is all I need
Jesus, You’re all I need

My life belongs to You
You gave Your life for me
Your grace is all I need
Jesus, You’re all I need

Hold me in Your arms
Never let me go
I want to spend eternity with You

And now that You’re near
Everything is different
Everything’s so different, Lord
And I know I’m not the same
My life You’ve changed
And I want to be with You
I want to be with You

And I will sing for You always
‘Cause in Your presence God is where I want to stay

The language is so casual (“Hold me in Your arms, never let me go, I want to spend eternity with You”) and references to salvation are so vague (“Now that you’re near everything’s so different”).

Beautiful – Vineyard Music USA

I need You like the rain
Come to me and sing again
I long for Your love so much
I’ve wanted Your pure touch

You are beautiful, beautiful
You are beautiful, beautiful
So beautiful, beautiful

I need You to be here
Come to me, I can feel You near
I love You, You are my hope
You love me as Your own

This song is particularly bad. No mention of God, Jesus, or the cross–just “I” and “You.” How is this a worship song to God? It could be me singing it to a girl! I was ashamed that we sang this song.

One more characteristic of bad worship songs that bothers me is ignorance of the weight of God’s glory and holiness. There are songs that say, “Show me Your glory,” echoing the request of Moses on Mount Sinai. But the rest of the lyrics do not support the utter fear and awe we should have should God actually grant that request. Some songs get close to profanity (as in profane, the opposite of sacred) with lines like “I want to see Your face” and “I want to touch You.” What’s up with that? It’s bad enough singing “Hold me in Your arms,” but saying you want to return the favor is a little crazy. Hebrews 12:18-19 says, “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.”

Fire Fall Down – Hillsong

Fire fall down
Fire fall down
On us we pray
As we seek
Fire fall down
Fire fall down
On us we pray

The rest of this song is pretty solid, as it is about the cross, about our response, about giving the glory to God. But this bridge bothers me. While fire here can refer to the fire of the Holy Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost, I feel uncomfortable singing about fire to fall down from heaven because I also think of Sodom and Gomorrah and about the fire which consumed Elijah’s burnt offering at the altar and caused all those present to fall down flat on their faces and declare that Yahweh was God (1 Kings 18:36-39). I also think of the phrase “consuming fire,” which shouldn’t stir warm, fuzzy feelings (Hebrews 12:28-29).

Instead of focusing on each song in particular, I also step back and evaluate the worship set as a whole. There are often sets during which we never sing a song that has to do with the cross! It is unbelievable that we would never sing about the life and death of Jesus Christ in a Christian worship service. Also, I think about what an unbeliever who is unfamiliar with Christianity would take away from our time of praise. If all that person hears during the worship time is a bunch of “I love you, I need you, I want you” worship songs and songs about giving our all and surrendering everything to God, he or she would be very confused. To that person, Christianity would seem like a spineless and mushy affair. Some may be drawn to the idea of God as the divine romancer and wooed by the soaring melodies and rhythms, but I think a steady diet of this would lead to a deficient faith, one that forgets God’s sovereignty and transcendence, i.e. how BIG He is.

I’ve spent nearly two hours writing this, and I am tired. I still feel like I haven’t said everything that I wanted to say. Despite this, I hope that I have encouraged those who have read this to be more aware of the lyrics they sing and to take care lest they are lured by mere musical energy. Soli Deo Gloria.


45 responses to this post.

  1. wow i found this completely by mistake.

    I just have to say that although your entitled to your opinion and taste I have to say this, when i read “I can imagine an unbeliever saying after every line: “Why?” Why do you want more of God? Why are you hungry and thirsty? Why do you need more of Him? What is the basis for your desire?” it made me think of two things. one reason we praise God in church is because we want him to move there. If His spirit is there, it will be what moves the unbelievers. The other thing is that those questions are things we want unbelievers to wonder. We want them to wonder why we want more of God, and be curious about or faith,so they will seek the truth for themselves.

  2. It seems the majority of people find this entry by mistake. Many are Google-searching song lyrics and come across this entry. I’ve had over 200 views on this entry alone, but no one has left a comment*, so I appreciate your taking the time to write your thoughts.

    One thing I’d like to say in response is ask you if you read the whole entry. Part of my answer can be found in the second to last paragraph. It’s great if the unbelievers ask these questions, but does the rest of the service answer those questions? I know many churches that ONLY sing songs having to do with what we do for God rather than what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. Not only that, but the sermon doesn’t mention Christ either. The gospel should be proclaimed every week, for believer and unbeliever alike. And it should be apparent through the songs we sing.

    I used to sing these songs without any reservation for many years, and then God opened my eyes to see how they started to take my focus off of the gospel. Let what I have written sit a little longer, and perhaps the Spirit will move you to understand my heart for the Church. Perhaps take a look at my other entries as well.

    Your brother in Christ,

    *For the record, someone did leave a comment, but I deleted it because I thought it was spam because all it said was, “get over yourself.”

  3. Posted by scott on November 2, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    I was one of the people searching for lyrics who found this.

    I agree with about 50% of what you said. Lyrics can very easily be about ME ME ME. The portion about common language being insufficient for a worship song I couldn’t disagree with more. It is because of songs that have fancy words and people hearing only the KJV that there is created a disconnect which makes people believe they must be eloquent and well-learned before they can come to our God.

    Have you read the Psalms? David, a man after God’s heart, praises God in endless ways. And the fact is, we are decrepit, broken, and wanting creatures. Sometimes our prayers (and songs), if they are to reflect what is really on our heart, ought to be asking for God to give us some of him. While we will someday be singing “Holy holy holy,” in this fallen world we both praise and ask for God to work in our lives.

    I think there should be balance. I’ve been to churches and organizations where all the worship is either only “ME ME ME” or “let’s-pretend-everything-in-life-is-perfect-and-praise-the-lamb-lest-we-show-any-sign-of-weakness.”

    I’m glad you’re concerned with type of worship sung where you are. My suggestion: if some of the songs don’t speak specifically to you, sing your own song (“A new song”) while those are being sung. OR, you could just not sing at all and listen to God during those times. I know for myself, these are some of the times God speaks to me more than ever.

    I hope my disagreement stirs some thought. Keep after God’s heart.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Scott. I want to defend some of the remarks I made, but I want to do it because I believe it will be helpful for future readers of this post and its comments, not because I want to win an argument.

    I never said that common language is insufficient for worship. I grew up with simple songs and never read the KJV or NKJV. There are many songs that I believe have solid lyrics despite being simpler. A few examples include “There Is a Redeemer” by Keith Green, “Lost in Wonder” by Martyn Layzell, “Who Is There Like You?” by Stuart Townend, and “Once Again” by Matt Redman. My remarks were pointed toward overly casual language, especially casual phrases repeated over and over to stir empty emotion.

    I have read the Psalms, and they have been an immense encouragement to me. You’re right that David praises God in so many different ways. I am amazed at Psalm 119 and all the different words there are for God’s law (at least in English): law, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, rules, word, righteousness. They are full of emotion, but this emotion is not contrived. In the depth of David’s desperation you know that his words are raw and real. You will realize that many hymns contain emotions that go so much deeper than many modern praise songs. A great example of this is “Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul” by Anne Steele. Of course, that’s not to say that modern songs cannot also have this.

    As for this next part, it isn’t me trying to oppose what you’ve said so much as taking your observation and expanding it. I think worship that is “me me me” and worship that is “let’s-pretend-everything-in-life-is-perfect-and-praise-the-lamb-lest-we-show-any-sign-of-weakness” are much less different than you suggest. Trying to hide our weakness is selfish, for it means that we think our sins are too big for Jesus to cover. Pretending everything in life is perfect is also all about me, me, me, for we put our confidence in ourselves and in our ability to make things right. As for balance, I do address some of it in the third paragraph of the entry. There is nothing wrong with singing about our response (me me me), so long as we’ve already sung about what we’re responding to (God’s work for us).

    Thanks for your words. I hope this discussion will benefit many.

  5. Posted by Kevin on December 7, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    I agree with a lot about what you said. Especially on the parts about lyrics like I want to Touch you and what not, I’ve always felt weird singing songs like that, and you basically put all my thoughts into words, Thankyou for that. I also agree with what you were saying about singing a set of songs and not one has to do with the Cross. While that may be fine for a family of believers, anyone that is searching for answers, might miss out, and because of that they might not come back to that church, which might be where they need to be. I actually lead the worship for my Youthgroup here where I live. and this helped me a lot, it made me think and I realized i already agreed with a lot of what you said, just never realized it.

    again I thank you for posting this.

    Thank you, and God bless


  6. Posted by Jeff on March 30, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    I am yet another one who found this on Google by mistake. But I’m glad that I did!

    I definitely understand where you’re coming from, Sam. In reference to the part about songs that say “I want to touch you”, etc: Talking from experiences when I would be singing those songs with unbelievers, I’ve never had anyone really mention anything about those words being weird or anything. I’ve heard people kind of “chuckle” at it before, but I’ve never had anyone be completely weirded out. I’m also only 20 and am mostly used to the Youth group setting, so the students usually don’t pay attention to what they’re really saying anyway.

    That being said, I also understand what you mean when you talked about the casual language part, and that is actually beneficial to me sometimes. I play drums in the worship bands both at the college that I go to and back at my home church, but I also very much enjoy playing worship songs on my own (outside when I can). And it happens fairly often that I’ll play a song that another Christian walking by doesn’t know. So that is where the casual language can come in handy. Not that you can’t learn songs with non-casual language, but I think sometimes it is easier to the learn the common language and be able to worship together without having the words with you. Of course it is a completely different story when you’re at church, but that’s just my way of looking at it.

    I had more to say, but maybe I’ll wait for a response to see if I can’t maybe tell where you’re coming from a little bit better. God bless!

  7. Posted by Spencer on June 14, 2009 at 9:52 AM

    i understand where you are coming from but i have to say that i disagree with you on many of the things you wrote.

    I guess my main disagreement is of you saying that there are “bad” worship songs. The people who are writing these modern worship songs are simply writing things on their hearts. That may not always be composed in great ways, with the words being anything other than common ones, but they definately are from the heart. The song Beautiful is probably one of my favorite worship songs at the moment simply because it is a LOVE song to God. People go through different seasons of their lives. I know i’ve gone through some where i’ve felt like i just needed to tell God how much i love him, even though my words will never fully describe him. So, I guess, I’m just trying to say that there are really no “bad” worship songs.

    This may seem biased. It is, but that is how i feel. i hope this doesnt make anyone upset.


  8. Hi Sam

    I think you have it right. Nothing wrong with songs in our vernacular but you are right that’s not the same as casual. And when references are vague it only confuses newbies – and some oldies! There are millions of songs out there and more being written so why should we settle for unclear songs or lyrics that depict God merely as an earthly friend or partner? I’m glad you raised the Fire Fall Down thing too it’s never been comfortable with me.

    A minor point of contention – love the hymns they are awesome. However Come Thou Fount is confusing in the second verse “raise my Ebenezer”. No one has a clue what that is if they haven’t read the old testament. But the depth in those lyrics makes your point which I do agree with.


  9. Posted by Amy on July 20, 2009 at 9:53 PM

    hey this is so refreshing to read. there’s been countless times when I felt so silly singing worship songs with mushy lyrics that make me blush, because they only make me think of relationships, instead of God.
    I’m also very curious about what kind of songs you like, and that are good worship song? I’m trying to make a mix CD of worship songs, and your suggestions will be very welcome. thanks!

  10. Posted by Dave Roberts on September 24, 2009 at 12:18 PM


    First of all, I would like to commend both the moderator [you] and everyone who has commented thus far for being rational and civil about this. Many discussions of this nature can quickly descend into name-calling and expletive-ridden rants [which is so ironic given the subject matter – it has made YouTube into a battleground =x].

    As far as the points you make, while I don’t agree with all of them, many of them do resonate with me. As a worship leader and songwriter, I understand the significance of being doctrinally sound in writing songs as well as picking popular worship songs for use with my congregation. Many songs can seem very ‘disposable’ at first glance, but it is not fair to the writers of these songs [who are worshippers themselves] to label their songs as ‘bad’ or unacceptable for use in worship. Many times these songs are intended to be simple in order to evoke a specific emotion or to emphasize a particular attribute of God. Some songs that use extensive 1st-person references are written this way to reinforce to the congregation what is expected of them – by singing in first-person they are affirming the statement made in the song. I have written songs from this perspective, as an outpouring of the emotions on my heart. Granted, my verbage is not romantic in nature – it is more about a relationship between the God of everything and a servant, but the emphasis is on the reaction of the created to the works and commands of the Creator [yes, God IS, and God requires THIS, so I will obey]. While I agree that not every song in worship should be this way, I do NOT agree with indicting it – these songs have their place and usefulness.

    Many times I appreciate songs that are more inclusive of the community of faith rather than the individual, as the point of community worship should be to gather as the people of God and respond collectively to the call given to us [i.e. “Rising” by Paul Baloche]

    we gather to worship
    becoming a choir to sing Your praise
    lifting our voices
    joining our hearts in this house today

    People of God
    in the power of God
    for the Kingdom of God
    We sing

    Overall, I resonate with the opinion you are expressing, and I do take issue with worship songs that you could address to a lover without any editing, but there is a place for simple songs and first-person songs in worship. Please do not misunderstand me – I do not mean any malice or ill-will, and I think it is a wonderful thing you are doing by introducing this subject for dialogue among believers. Thank you for that, and I pray for God’s blessing in your continuing ministry.

    Grace and Peace,

    Dave Roberts

  11. Posted by Dan Tait on November 14, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    Hey Sam,

    While I agree with some of the points spoken, but you must be careful that you don’t bring a critical spirit to the table. Yes, we do tend to write our new songs with modern language, and no, they are not all as profound as the great hymns of old; however, before we dissect the worship songs to pieces, we must also look at the fact that they are still “WORSHIP”, right?

    Artistic people tend to look at things more closely than just the surface, as such, you’ve pointed out that the worship songs today can sometimes be lack-luster. And as a worshiper, I also love touching God’s heart with proclamations of His character – as this seems to be the main focus of the revelatory worship model (Rev 4,5,7,11 all reference worship according to this style). Now here’s where the “BUT” comes in… There are also many references in Psalms where David reflects on the personal. I will use Psalm 131 as an example. Think about if a non-believer was to hear a song like that in church… They would surely think that we are all arrogant and proud, BUT this was seen as pleasing worship to God.

    I guess what I am mainly trying to say is that I don’t claim to know the hearts or the conditions of the hearts of all people who write worship songs, thus I won’t judge a worship song unless it is clearly non-biblical. Not all worship songs touch my spirit and move me the same — I suspect this has more to do with personality and preferences than the leading of the Spirit.

    Let’s take “Beautiful” for example. No, there are no mentions to the NAME of God; but, I also suspect that if a non-believer was attending a church service they would be smart enough to put two and two together and figure out that we’re singing to God, not the person beside you or the pastor. With that in mind, the lyrics do actually become quite meaningful, as it touches the heart of the Father when you declare His beauty. Set your heart upon Him when worshiping, no matter the lyrics (again, so long as they are not heretical), and He will enjoy it! (Psalm 91:14-16).

    I enjoy that you are paying attention though, as it should be – again, just make sure you’re not being critical of what God may just as well see as being AWESOME worship. Unfortunately a critical spirit can spread like wildfire.

    Take care, and keep praising His name (as surely that is our sustenance)!


  12. Everybody has his own way of worshiping God. After all, He created us all differently with specific passions and so it makes sense that each person’s way of praising Him is different. Praise through music, specifically singing, is no different. I agree that the lyrics should be most important, but musicality is also important in that each person is playing out and praising God whether it’s through singing, drums, guitar, or what have you. Moreover, the casual language you refer to in certain lyrics is not necessarily bad– after all, our relationship with Jesus IS a deep and intimate friendship. As for the “mushy affair”-like lyrics of love, is God not our friend and lover? Are we not brides of Jesus?
    Please be careful that you are not quick to judge and to pore over technicalities and details. The most important thing is the heart (with which you praise), which God knows better than any of us do.

  13. Posted by garry on February 1, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Re: Thoughts on my life as a Christian, updates on my church, and reminders of God’s blessing. Firstly, Sam I would like state that individuals like yourself are conceited to even believe you are the gate keeper for what is a bad worship song or not. The question I ask myself what are your credentials in regards to music? Do you have a degree in music? Have you written any songs let alone “Christian”? Do you even play a musical instrument? Attitudes like yours are why bands like “U2” were not accepted by the Church. Remember old time hymns were written to many bar room tunes. I am glad you can speak on the behalf of all those in those in the Korean-American Church that is an awesome responsibility, you must have incredible amount of contacts. Before you start making comments I pray that you have asked the HOLY SPIRIT to guide you in your comments. I had and continue to have opinions of what is for GOD and what isn’t, but what I have learned is I will let the GOD of the universe decide. He continues to show and change my opinion on raising hands, dance, waving flags, kneeing to pray, etc. it is not about what I think it is about their heart. My job as a Christian is NOT tear down others because of some doctrinal debate of what is right and what words are written in a way that I believe is correct. Most Church doctrine is not of GOD, but the doctrine of demons because we do not base it on the entire truth of GOD’s word. That is why the Christian Church is so divided, and the enemy of our souls must be laughing at all of us. There are a least 235 references to singing and Praises to the God in his word. My point Sam you DON’T get it, GOD does not care if we have it all together he accepts us the way we are, but will not leave us there.
    My background, play the piano, guitar, own tens of thousands dollars of music and an amateur sound technician. Listening to and understanding many types of music: classical, rock, to Christian. I have my preferences as you do, but I do not pick at what I cannot do.


  14. Posted by Brian on February 1, 2010 at 6:39 PM


    Before you go around and point and judge Sam and anyone else as “conceited” and make a thousand more extrapolated judgment calls, I would have hoped that you would have prayed for the Spirit to guide you as you respond to Sam’s post in love and wisdom, rather than come off as defensive and guarded as though Sam was personally attacking you and your musical credentials. Anyways, just onto a few points:

    To each his own – people might not necessarily enjoy/be moved by the same worship songs. It’s about the heart – though the lyrics/composition/etc may not be the “best”, it is their heart for God that matters most. And in Sam’s case, especially as I know him personally, I can say that he wrote this entry with a heart that burns for God and with the curiosity of how certain songs seem to or seem not to reflect God’s glory.

    It has been a blessing, reading through the various comments and seeing God’s people from all over, and I hope that we can all continue to love one another because God first loved us, and that these and any other future discussions would be for the glory of God and not for the satisfaction of our deceitful and sinful tongues.

  15. Posted by garry on February 1, 2010 at 9:52 PM


    These are Sam’s own words I quote “I hope that no one reading will believe that I am conceited in the way that I pronounce my opinion on this subject, a subject that is dear to the hearts and minds of my fellow believers, especially those in the Korean-American Church.” By calling down other worship leaders is hurtful to them and us as a body of Christ. This is tearing apart the work that Christ body is doing. Singing about sanctification and glorification does not mean your are better and/or closer to GOD. Ask yourself how Hillsong United, David Crowder, and Chris Tomlin feel about comments that have been made on this site about what they have written and lead others into Holy Spirit worship. These worship leaders have encouraged my wife and I, plus thousands of others. If Sam can write a song that has everything he believes to be the elements of a “good” Christian song. I challenge him to write it publish it for the world to see. If he does not enjoy other worship leaders songs, don’t listen or sing them, but please do not tear them down. (please do not publish your opinions specifically naming individuals and picking apart their lyrics. It is mean spirited, it is not helpful. Non Christians don’t know the what sanctification and glorification is, how do I know? Because I was one.

    Psalm 17:10 They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance.
    Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Lets quit dividing the kingdom by questioning what GOD is doing in others lives and stop making statements as I once again quote Sam “I was ashamed that we sang this song.”

    I have said what I believe should be said in the defense of those worship leaders, that have not read and I hope never get to read the comments that have be made. Myself I would feel sad and would cry how a brother in Christ would publish these comments for the world to see.


  16. Garry,

    The funny thing about this entry is that when I wrote it, maybe a handful people knew of my blog. I wrote knowing that even if I couldn’t express myself the way I wanted, my friends could give me the benefit of the doubt, knowing the kind of person I am in “real life.” The Internet has made it so that this particular post has become quite visible and suitable for strangers to stumble into my thoughts with no awareness of who I am apart from this one single entry. It has also made it too easy for these one-time visitors to make assumptions about me after only a few minutes.

    The first thing that we as Christians need to bring to an Internet discussion is the humble realization that it, as a medium of communication, is far less capable of sharing the “heart” of someone than a face-to-face interaction. This realization, coupled with the Christ-like attitude that seeks reconciliation rather than division, helps us to restrain our words. “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer” (Prov 15:38).

    This giving of the benefit of the doubt is the hallmark of all grace-filled discussions within the Church. To be honest, I don’t see this gracious attitude within your original post. Your original post is a little baffling to me. First, you say I am conceited and question my “credentials” while then flaunting your own (is it necessary to emphasize that you own “tens of thousands of dollars” of music equipment?). I can respond to your questions by saying that yes, I am a worship leader and I play guitar and sing every week at church. Yes, I listen to and enjoy all sorts of music: classical piano, hip hop, hard bop and acid jazz, orchestral rock, trip hop, indie rock, metalcore, trance and house music, as well as P&W. But just as the average moviegoer, who has never acted or produced or authored a script, can knowledgeably critique a movie’s acting, production, and dialogue, these qualifications are not necessary to to be able to discuss the musical and lyrical qualities of hymns and worship songs. This is why I don’t resort to asking a question like “Are you a pastor?” (which I am) to tell you your opinion on the theology of a song’s lyrics doesn’t matter.

    I don’t see grace in statements as blunt as these: “My point Sam you DON’T get it.” I don’t see grace in the suggestion that I am espousing a “doctrine of demons.” While others have disagreed on some points, they have been careful to balance their opinions by acknowledging that there is truth in what I’ve written (see responses from Scott, Dan, and David above). The thing about quoting Bible verses as pointed as Psalm 17:10 and Matthew 7:1, as you have done, is that it suggests a lack of willingness to understand the person to which they are directed. It is as if you are set on believing that I am conceited and judgmental and callous without engaging in dialogue with me. Unfortunately, this form of commenting (which is common in very ungracious forums such as YouTube) speaks more about the commenter than the person commented about. What it tends to suggest is that the person is less willing to listen and more quick to pronounce judgment. How is it giving me the benefit of the doubt if you bluntly ignore my “hope that no one reading will believe that I am conceited” to assert that I am? I hope you realize your words come across this way and I hope that you can approach future online discussions with more restraint.

    As for the worship leaders mentioned in my entry, while it may hurt them to read my thoughts on some of their songs, they should know and be encouraged that we still sing many of their other songs. A few examples: Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin), Stronger (Hillsong), O Praise Him (David Crowder), and Lord Reign In Me (Vineyard). You are too quick to believe that just because I feel one way about one song I must feel that way about all their songs.

    For Christ and the Kingdom,

  17. Posted by garry on February 2, 2010 at 10:11 AM


    I thank you for your responses to my comments it is appreciated. If have come across as offensive (I apologize) it is due to words can be construed by the reader as what they thought was the intent of the writer. We all have to be aware of how our words can be misconstrued. This is the dictionary definition of bad: not achieving an adequate standard; poor, evil, sinful, vulgar or obscene”. In NO way do I have it together, wish I did. As others this blog was brought to my attention not by my choosing. It creates a interesting point. If we do not want to world to see our comments, we must not place them on the internet for the world to see (even by accident). My purpose for commenting is not to hack at you or anyone with a difference in a opinion, but to remind us non Christians, the world is watching us 24-7 365 days of the year. If you are unsettled that I have commented on your comments it is to remind all of us we have a responsibility to not be construed as speaking on the behalf of GOD. I am a Canadian but in no way speak on behalf of Canadians. I am not a worship leader or singer, but appreciate those that GOD has gifted. I believe the talents, lyrics and melodies are given to them by GOD. As Brian has stated and I believe we all agree on “It’s about the heart”. If GOD does not like what they are writing and doing I truly believe he will remove them as he has and will continue to. There are many comments flying around out there on the internet and the world about was is and what is of/and not of GOD. We are many parts of the body with different gifts, as a body of Christ we need to work together for the unity of what brings us together as believers. I appreciate your concern with the lyrics, but if there is even a slight itty bitty chance that a non Christian will even ask why a song is being sung, the door has been open for us a believers to talk and share the gospel. Maybe a non Christian may even have door open through a song with a great melody to listen to even more songs. Non believers look at comments we make not as constructive, but divisive. When I was a non Christian I heard many terms in the Church: washed by the Blood, must die to self etc….. we forget, to the unbeliever this is all new. If concerns are brought up in a congregation about lyrics we should all be reminded that we can choose to not sing them, but to be careful that we do not discourage new up and coming writers of worship songs that they too can be criticized for content and intent.

    Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

    Romans 15:5-7 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6. so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

    I thank you once again – In Christ – to be one day united into HIS kingdom without divisions.

  18. Posted by elwen on March 13, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    I am a student doing research on this topic and would like to use this article as it is very informative. However, my professor requires the academic credentials of the author to show the credibility of the source. Would you mind giving me your full name and credentials? I would greatly appreciate it, as I enjoyed your article. Thank you.

  19. I’m updating & revising our lyricology study notes, and came across your very good post: I might paste your link. Have you come across And Now Let’s Move Into A Time Of Nonsense (Nick Page: 2004)?

    Much material is sub-orthodox, egocentric, boastful, and carries singers by the power of music, and has me asking why local church leadership doesn’t be more proactive in issuing playlists. Is it that pop culture has idolised lyricists that leaders relinquish pastoral authority to ill-named “worship leaders” to charm youth?

    Incidentally I’d be happy to email you a copy of the said study notes, now nearing completion.

  20. No, I haven’t heard of that book, but feel free to cite this link if you wish. And I’d be interested in looking over your study notes as well.

  21. Sam
    Please send me an email address you’d like me to send a copy of my lyricology notes to. So far they’re almost 28,000 words & counting, but should be completed in beta soon.

  22. Posted by Richard on March 15, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    “I don’t care if you’re bangin’ on a bucket, If you’re doin’ it for the glory of God, you’re doin’ the right thing. -Dr. Derek Staples

  23. The one line from Dr Staples is generally correct, and could cover, say, a humble drum beater rallying folk to an evangelist. If the evangelist is Athanasius then the beater has right attitude & right action, but if it’s Arius then right attitude & wrong action. Unknown to the hospital, an evil lunatic with good pharmacy skills secret has sneaked in & replaced some medicine with strychnine. Meeting every reasonable duty of care criteria, for the glory of God a Christian nurse (good intention) gives you what she believes is good medicine: it is medicine (good action); it is strychnine (bad action). Doing your PM, I say to the nurse “I don’t care. You did the right thing.” One Christian song-writer is boastful but writes only helpful songs (wrong attitude, right action), another is humble & writes only damaging songs. We should commend the attitude of the latter but not sing the song (actions), and sing the songs (actions) but rebuke the attitude of the former. Saul persecuted the church for God’s glory until Jesus stepped in (Ac.9:4); then he promoted the church for the glory of God. Even the church can persecute for the glory of God, as the Anabaptists can testify. Rm.14 covers the idea that what is not of conscience is sin (as attitude), and that commendable attitudes can be linked to errors.

  24. Posted by Olga Lou on August 14, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    dear Sam,

    I have NOT found your post by mistake. I have been agonizing over just this, trying to figure out whether there is any objectivity to good and bad worship music. My primiary concern is that it NOT be made a matter of taste, and that it DOESN’T become a source of division in the church – I’d rather tie a millstone over my own neck. There are certain harmony sequences that make me want to run away as quickly as possible, but that just shows my musical preferences and probably should not be taken into account. in terms of lyrics I am with you entirely. Just the other week at an international gathering of Christians I was listening to the songs we were singing and thinking: ‘Boy, between us we have amazingly rich heritage, literary and musical; why cannot we see just how bad these lyrics are as poetry and seek to write something better?” Of course I immediately remembered C.S. Lewis’s comments on the church and praise (and was grateful to do so). I also remember Chesterton’s words about “whatever is worth doing is worth doing badly” – and I agree, in that even a vasualery poor worship song is infinitely dear to God’s heart if done in simplicity and faith. But does it mean we can just stay poor? if worship is THE most important activity, surely the bit that involves music must command some reflection and effort?

    Of course there is a cultural dimension here as well. I am Russian by birth, language and mentality, I live and work in Russia. I am also bilingual and bicultural through my work and study (and Christian evangelical experience), which makes me even more torn. I do not equate Russian with Russian Orthodox; but the Russian part of my heart longs to be expressed appropriately (how? i do not know – and it’s part of tye struggle) and suffers from bad poetry (objectively bad poetry, not childlike simplicity of some lyrics) and too much casual familiarity as opposed to awe and reverence, so important in my culture. The Anglo-Saxon “I” (very understandable and appreciated by me as part of the emphasis on individuality, so sadly lacking in my own culture) grates on my frayed nerves when repeated again and again in worship songs (the subjective you and I you so well described above). I feel the need for the Russian (or oriental) “we” – especially in the context of CORPORATE worship services where being together is sort of the point and needs to be thoughtfully taken into consideration. Actually we need a balance, I think – of the I and the we, of personal experience expressed (so many of the Psalms do just that) but also of good, solid theology and God’s character and reality, reminding us of what it is that we should hold on to, what it is that we are singing about and who it is that we sing to.

    there are so mane more aspects of this that I am thinking about – but for now let me just say thanks for posting this and being so gracious in your comments. I guess you’re not alone – and neither am I =)

    Oh, and my name is Olga. Nice to meet you!

  25. The recent comment (Olga) triggered me to check back on this blog. Anyone interested in C S Lewis might like to note that in one context he expressed his desire for “fewer, better, and shorter hymns; especially fewer” (Lewis Christian Reflections (1981) 126). Our college study notes on lyricology, about 33,000 words be warned, are free for the asking for anyone interested in this topic. Please ask via

  26. Readers might be interested in 21#.

  27. As a budding worship leader, I agree with most of your post. It probably wasn’t necessary or constructive to list the names of the authors, though, as the lyrics are enough to make your point.

    My church has had an emphasis on corporate worship lately, and has changed the “I” or “me” in songs to “we” or “us” whenever it makes sense. It makes it a little awkward to relearn, but I very much appreciate the reasoning behind it.

    I never saw “In the Secret” the way you described it, with the “I want to touch You” and “I want to see Your face” lyrics, but I think I’d have a hard time singing it now that I’ve read this post. I get the point made by the song, but if God literally answered that request, everyone singing it would be dead.

    I do disagree with the part about songs in which we promise to do something. I view those songs as aspirational, but take it very seriously when I sing them. I see it as a recommitment to holy living, not that I’ll never sin again, but that I will endeavor to abide by Scripture by surrendering to the Lord’s work in my life.

    Before moving to a new area a few years ago, I attended a church whose evening worship service used to consist mostly of what I would call “desperately romantic” worship songs. When I first started attending there, it was uncomfortable for me, as I was in a serious romantic relationship (with a mere mortal), and I couldn’t really sing truthfully that Jesus was my only reason for getting up in the morning or that His love was the only kind I ever wanted. So I definitely get what you’re saying there.

    I also think songs with archaic lyrics or obscure biblical references should probably be explained to a congregation before they are sung, at least the first few times. Drew brought up the lyric “here I raise my Ebenezer,” and there’s another one I can’t think of right now but will re-comment when it comes to me. There’s also that song “Give Us Clean Hands,” which is otherwise solid, but says “seeks your face, oh God of Jacob.” That always seemed strange to me, since nothing else in the song really has anything to do with Jacob and “God of Jacob” is not a particularly common term. The other day I did the song “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken” and forgot to tell everyone what “repine” meant, as in “child of heav’n can’st thou repine?” Everyone sang it anyway, but next time I’ll make sure to explain it.

    Finally, your article expresses concern about singing the song “Fire Fall Down,” you can be assured that God knows what you mean. He’s not going to smite your town and then say “oops, he meant the Pentecostal type of fire.”



  28. Posted by Regis Scoubart on November 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Have you ever read the Psalms? Some Declare the greatness and majesty of The Lord by His Name and others are a hearts cry of a person longing to be closer to thier God. Psalms and songs are not written for the lost,unsaved. It’s not about writing songs so that the unbeliever will come to know Christ through a worship service.
    If you want to reach the lost preach and share the gospel, live the Christian life and pray for them. God has been so good to us to give us different types of melody and words to express His greatness and our need for Him. Read Psalm 42, is that a “bad song” because this son of Korah was “hungry, thirsty” for God? I agree that worship (in song or any other expression is not about “me”, but it is about our relationship with our God, our Father, our Savoir, our Lord , our Friend. A song may not work for you but for someone else it may draw them closer to The Lord.
    It’s ok let God be God and you can all relax now. Don’t be a Peninnah or a Michal, James 4:6-12 “Bad Song” or not worship Him in all things! Don’t be little.

    Here To Serve;

  29. Regis

    So let’s sing to each other, “abyssus abyssum vocat in voce cataractarum tuarum omnes gurgites tui et fluctus tui super me transierunt” (Vulgate), or “One deepe calleth another at the noyse of thy water pypes: all thy waues and stormes are gone ouer me” (Ps.42:7), or “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me” (KJV1769), or “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (NIV). A progression from Latin to English (Bishops), improved to KJV, improved to current speech. My point: good as Ps.42:7 is, how can it best teach us (Col.3:16)? Then again the Bishops’ had “the Lorde” (v8), while the KJV had “the LORD” – ‘Lord’ doesn’t even suggest God’s name, whereas ‘LORD’ at least is a visual reminder where the Hebrew used God’s name (Yahweh). That’s another consideration, especially if we wish to slow down our unitarian slide. Must we sing as happy heretics and/or halfwits? Few song writers are descent Bible teachers (even descent writers), yet most trust them more.

    Roman Catholicism long argued that Psalms should be stuck to for songs, as if we couldn’t go wrong with them. But psalms that looked forward to what we now look back to are misleading – do we give unbelievers a wrong idea (and they do listen in), must we mislead them as we do ourselves? 1 Cor.14:23 says that even the best praising, if not understood, can be daft. When did you last sing about offering a load of bull (Ps.51:19)? Like the Korahites, many Hindus are hungry for God – but would it not be darth to sing the Vedas?

    I think many Christians are happy to march into heresy if led by a great band. My own offer (see above, 14 Aug. 2011, 5.31pm) remains. I remain convinced that most Christian songs on the market have minor to serious spiritual viruses built in, and that like Nero we fiddle while the church burns.

    A quick list of subheading in my study notes (which give explaination): 1 = Archaism: verily, ye, sageism; 2 = Decontextualising: eg reversion to Sinaitic Covenant; 3 = Jesus Buddy/Boyfriend: gushy buddy; 4 = Polytheism: my good god; 5 = Possessive Consistency: Pete, pass me Pete’s book; 6 = Oil’s Well: re-anointed Christians; 7 = Thematic Consistency: keywords fit keytheme; 8 = Mixed Images: burning water; 9 = Monastic Suicide: only deity meaningfully matters; 10 = Incompletism: since/worthy dotdotdot; 11 = Boastfulness: me will do; 12 = Bless You: bless as TD; 13 = Directional Inconsistency: God I love you, don’t we; 14 = Trinity Confusion: Jesus sent the Father in the Spirit’s name.

  30. Posted by Ayo on January 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Interesting post: and I found this totally by accident as well! Just want to say songs are for times and seasons, and there’s definitely a place for very worship song. Having said that, I think your post serves the (wonderful) purpose of reminding us Christians of the need not to be TOO casual in our approach to God.

  31. Posted by Ayo on January 26, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    God bless

  32. Posted by richrockster on August 15, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    I found this deliberately, just to be different. :-). I’m tired of these songs that are all about me me me, how blessed I am, how gooey I should feel. If I based my faith on feelings, it is worthless (I suffer depressive episodes so feelings don’t work).

    Worship to me is the pure, unadulterated praise of our saviour, what He did on the cross. I find it difficult to understand (even though I’ve been there) that people will be transformed because ‘God is here’. I’ve attended many many services with an expectation of God to be there and experienced nothing. My own logical conclusion is that this is largely based on personal feeling.

    Some songs that I sing now I just weep, it hits me how much Christ did for us on that cross. Other bad theology songs I simply don’t sing, I’ll just sit and crack open my bible instead.

    Being in a charismatic/pentecostal church means sometimes things are whipped up (they really are, sit back and watch next time) is difficult when sometimes you’re overwhelmed on the rare song that shows God’s true love for us through His son.

    Of course, this is all based on worship just being about singing – I’ve since learned its not. Anyway, great post, nice to see some good comments and I’ll be looking at doing my own blog post soon, this will be a useful reference point.

  33. Very much my mindset, richrockster. Indeed if God is omnipresent, even demons should be transformed, if transformation is only towards goodness. I doubt that it is. I sometimes wonder whether Ps.139:8 was depression’s itch to escape from Yahweh. I know that itch. I live with my wife; sometimes I can sense her allurement. God is here; sometimes I sense his allurement. At such times we feel deep awareness of him, his goodness, his actions, his numinosity. Worship hits deeper than praise, more deeply even than salvation history. It brings the spirit down face to the ground in awe, a posture our whole life should be in (Rm.12:1f.) – the hola offering (Lv.1), humble obedience in reverence.

    Some songs do transform aright, lodging right concepts deep within. Brian Doerksen’s Remember Mercy makes me tremble in smallness. It is good seed. One the other hand Hilsong’s You ALONE Are God (Jesus!) makes me head for the toilet – a different kind of fear. It is bad seed, transforming as darnel. (God in THREE persons, praised trinity?) Unitarianism saddens me. Sometimes I too simply read the Bible and let sing those who will: some songs, while simply not in my language, might speak well to others. And sometimes songs can simply be short-term refreshment, like water holes in a dry & a weary place, rather than as long-term seed. It’s a big field.

  34. Since you seem to want to criticize worship songs here’s one you probably haven’t heard. Please do give your thoughts on it.

    Jesus I come before You,​help me open my heart to You
    I long to feel Your presence, and hear Your still small voice
    And I ask, that You would send Your Holy Spirit now to guide my way

    Lord I need You more than my very next breath that I’ll take
    You are everything to me my Father, my Savior, and bless me with things I do not deserve
    And I want Your perfect love more than the things this world can offer me
    Nothing could ever come above You, the King of all creation on Earth, and in Heaven

    Please give me a heart to follow You all of my days
    Don’t let me hesitate when You call me by name to do Your work
    Hold me close to You, don’t let me slip away.

    Does this qualify as a bad or good worship song in your opinion?

  35. Kay
    In Emma (ch.18), Emma accused Mr Knightly of being determined to think ill of Mr Frank Churchill. On the contrary, replied Mr Knightly, he’d love to think well of him, but evidence of virtue was lacking. I seek to criticise in the sense of analyse, but not in the sense of knock. The Bereans critiqued Paul.
    The song you have cited might keep a lot of people happy, but when it calls our brother ‘father’, it’s certainly got the Bible to answer to. There is also an issue with asking the lord (Jesus) for things. Asking even the father for such a heart ignores, I think, the idea that we got it at conversion. It’s request instead of thanks. And asking not to be allowed to slip away is, I fear, going against love that must permit the beloved to depart, unless the beloved is an automaton. So the content of the requests looks iffy to me. That Jesus (excluding his father & spirit) is our everything, is well-intended nonsense: God never created anyone to simply deem him their everything (Gen.2:18) – hermits are not called for. The Father is destination; Jesus is the road; the Spirit is the guide ever since Pentecost, so asking to be (“send your H/S”) what already is (he is here), is ill-thought. The Gospel according to John, posits the son with the father, and the spirit (Jesus’ presence) with us.
    On the positive side, its consistency of address (only to Jesus) is good. Prayer, as telling him things, and as devotion, is great. Some expressions (eg “more than breath”) are really good. A lot of the expressed desires are good, howbeit wrongly expressed as asks, not as thanks or exclamations. The writer is devotionally submissive to Jesus, and appreciates the heart already opened by him (via the Spirit), has felt & desires to ever feel Jesus’ presence and hear God talk, is aware of God’s grace, and seeks heaven above earth, etc.. Great.
    In summary, though the heart is warm, the head not so clear, and has confusion between the persons, in my books making this a bad song, though it could be improved to become – if combined with a good tune – a good one. Emma also said, ‘Your feelings are singular. They seem to satisfy every body else.’ How many my thoughts satisfy is moot.

  36. Posted by inthestars on January 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    To me, for what its worth, this is simply a matter of personal opinion, like all music. It is very true though that sometimes I’m not moved by lovey-mushy songs about God. I love Him with everything I’ve got. But I think a “love song” suitable for a husband is a little off for the Almighty Father. He is to be respected and glorified like no other. I dont boycott the song or get bitter about it. I simply pray and tune it out.

    HOWEVER – my first time at Christian church with lots of p&w, about 18 yrs ago, as someone new to the whole arms/hands raised, eyes closed, praying in very intimate ways that were foreign to me at the time: it made me very uncomfortable singing songs that basically made humans out to be weak, spineless little nothings. Saying “I love you, I need you, I want you, we are nothing…” is really not the way to speak to peoples hearts who may need it most. Sure, I get worship & now I’ve grown to totally love most of it. But in the beginning, it seemed like I was surrounded by too much syrupy sweet candy & not enough MEAT and potatoes. Depends on the church too, just gotta find your fit.

    I really appreciate your post, thank you for writing it. I, too, stumbled upon it looking for lyrics. :)

    All the best,

  37. Posted by Jared on July 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I would like to first say, it’s awesome that you have a desire to lead others to a greater understanding of why we worship and why we should be concerned about lyrics. God is most definitely worthy of all praise and worship. Thank you for your zeal brother.

    However, from my perspective, we can sometimes miss out on worshiping God because we are too busy thinking about theological implications. Do I believe songs should be rich in theology? Yes. Do I believe we should be deeply concerned with the lyrics we sing? Absolutely. Should worship be completely about God? Again, a resounding yes. But, let’s not be too harsh on those who have not been brought to this maturity yet.

    As for the unbeliever asking the question, “why,” in services, I understand your concern, but we should want unbelievers questioning why we do the things we do. If a good sermon follows, it will answer those very questions, but ultimately we know the spirit gives understanding. On top of all this, I would also say that I believe Sunday gatherings are for the saints, not the unbeliever. Yes, all are welcome, but the this is a time of celebrating our salvation, remembering, and learning. The majority of the answers for the “why” should be lived out in daily lives, along side the unbeliever. We are the fragrance of Christ to a lost world.

    I understand that this post was written in love, and with a desire to teach people biblical truths, but what if instead of, “Bad Worship Songs,” you wrote a post called “Great Worship Songs.” This way the focus is not on what we hate, but rather, what good, theologically sound worship looks like, how they minister to us, and what truths they teach about God. The world often knows what Christians hate, but rarely know what we love. I’m not saying we shouldn’t teach that songs could and should be more biblical, but we can do it in a loving and humble way. I don’t think you were being prideful. I think you are trying to be helpful, and for that, I praise God for men like you. From my own experience, I can be a sort of “spiritual sand paper”, and I just don’t want anyone else to fall into that. Thank you again.

    In Christ, Jared

  38. Posted by Liz on February 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Totally stumbled on this looking for a “Fire Worship Set” for tomorrow… :)

    The reference to fire is interesting. Old hymns are often deemed more scripturally sound than the worships songs of today. The Hillsong reference: Fire Fall Down – (from earlier post)

    Fire fall down
    Fire fall down
    On us we pray…….

    Reminded me of the old Baptist hymn, Revive us again…fill each heart with thy love, let each soul be Rekindled with Fire from Above…halleluiah thine the glory halleluiah amen, halleluiah thine the glory…revive us again.

  39. Posted by Phoebe on September 8, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    I read only the first few comments and I haven’t much digested all that you had to say nor scrutinized the songs that you have mentioned in your post (this makes me sound irresponsible in commenting LOL). I’m also tired and burdened and conflicted as I scrutinize praise and worship songs and sets in my own church and in the Christian community. I guess I was just relieved to find out I’m not the only one bothered by these things nowadays. But this doesn’t even begin to describe my discomfort in modern Christian churches. Would you believe a certain church actually sang a Bon Jovi song during tithes and offering as intermission (cause apparently “It’s My Life” somehow relates to the contents of the sermon that it’s not actually our life but God’s)?! Lord, help
    us discern.

    PS: I did Google “unbiblical praise and worship songs” which led me to this blog.

  40. My thoughts exactly. I want to worship in spirit and in truth and many of these songs would have me lie about my state with God. They give you the impression that God is just a good friend and nothing more, there is not fear of God in many of our worship songs anymore. He is just a loving Jesus with no wrath or righteous indignation. Sad so very sad I have had to stop sing most services as the songs are so watered down and the repeating of the same song over and over again drives me insane. I am glad to hear I am not the only one with this issue, it makes a church service frustrating to me, as I get so almost angry when we have to sing one of those dumb songs yet again and not just once but 5 times and then they repeat it again after the sermon. I want to sing the old hymns the ones that were looked at as being sound theologically correct, now a days we just accept any music and no one checks it against God`s word anymore. We need hymnals were we can see the music written, have our children follow along, and that way the songs are looked at first before they are added. Its all just entertainment now! Thanks for writing this if anything at least I know i’m not crazy and just being overly critical! Take care!

  41. Posted by Nemak Richie on February 3, 2016 at 2:37 AM

    Some people live to mislead Christians, reason, they are not spiritual matured. I think normal Christians like all u metioned cannot write songs without purpose from the Holy Spirit. Note: u cannot understand somebody’s vision than the owner of vision. So u can criticize worship songs de way u can. ” anything genuine no matter how u criticize it wll stand”



  42. I found this post by accident just like many of the others who have posted here.
    I absolutely understand what you are saying and I agree with you.
    I get very frustrated with some of the vapid, shallow songs that are sung in the name of worship. Too many times people get wrapped up in what makes THEM “feel good”. Who is worship for? What is worship about? If the answer is not that our worship is 100% about and for GOD, then we have missed the mark.
    Perhaps some of these song writer’s might want to double check the words of the songs they write… if the words “I”, “me”, “my”, are in every line of the song, then it is about US, not God.
    Look at some of the most powerful songs of worship, “How Great Thou Art”. “Amazing Grace”, “The Power of The Cross”, “There’s A Battle Raging”… these are songs about God, not about men.

  43. Posted by Daniel B on August 28, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    “First, bad songs tend to focus more on us and our actions rather than God and His actions.”

    So a whole lot of the Psalms are bad songs then.

  44. Having posted a few times on this, I’m pleased to say that my book on the subject is now available on Amazon (Kindle & Print options). I am still finding some Word to Kindle glitches (learning curve), but am ironing them out bit by bit. The title’s [Singing’s Gone Global], and even takes in a bit from this site! Feedback to Amazon welcome. It also kicked off I pray that God will bless through both.

  45. I’m glad someone else out there does not enjoy calling fire to fall down from heaven while worshiping God. Yes I acknowledge He is almighty yet He came (the 1st time) to save and not as a judge (1 john) the next time the earth sees Jesus it will be very different…we should be singing but please not for your judgement (though we deserve) Lord – Your WORD is the truth…YOU ARE the WORD and the LIGHT!

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