The Church of Jesus Christ is embroiled today in intense controversy about the music that it should use. Through careful attention to some key truths from Scripture, we can move toward solving many of the Church’s music problems.
Recognizing the Extreme Importance of Music
God inspired various men to pen the 66 books of Scripture. Of those books, Psalms is the longest by far. It has the most words, verses, and chapters of any book. It also has the longest chapter in Scripture (more than two times as long as the second longest chapter).
When these facts are coupled with the truth that every one of the 150 chapters of Psalms is a perfect song written by God, we should be awed at how important music is to God! We must also learn that God has through these facts greatly underscored to us how important music is for His people!
Focusing on God’s Emphases in His Music
Because the book of Psalms is a perfect songbook written by God Himself, those who desire to resolve the Church’s music problems should focus on learning everything that God stresses in this book. Apart from such immersion in the book of Psalms throughout our lifetimes, we will never have all the wisdom that God has provided for us to honor Him fully with our music.
Submitting to Divine Wisdom about Music
In His perfect wisdom, God has chosen not to give His Church the specific, detailed information in His Word about musical styles, etc. that we might wish that He had given to us. His not providing us with that information should instruct us that such information is not what we need most to resolve our music troubles.
Instead, we are to learn that through the Spirit’s filling, which will only fully profit those who have immersed themselves in His own words about music, God is able to lead His people infallibly about what He wants them to do in worshiping Him in music even though they do not have specific information from Him about musical styles. Only by submitting to divine wisdom in what information He has seen fit to give in His Word and what information He has not seen fit to give will we be able to deal properly with our music problems.
Sanctifying Chosen Men for Musical Ministry
In view of the truths treated above, what the Church needs most today is men set aside for leadership in musical ministry who have intensely immersed themselves in His truth as He has given it to us in His Word, especially in Psalms. Such men should be directed to do what leaders in other disciplines do in order to excel: many years of intensive study in preparation for proper ministry.
Having been through a very demanding doctoral program myself, I believe that it would not be asking too much to ask such chosen men to read carefully through Psalms 50 times in a five-year training period prior to assuming key leadership roles in musical ministry in the Church. That pace of reading would require them to read an average of five Psalms a day for at least 10 months in each of the five years of training.
Glorifying God by Glorifying His Word in Our Musical Ministries
Men who devote themselves to glorifying God in musical ministry—by glorifying His Word in their own lives in the intensive manner explained above—will equip themselves to be used greatly by God for His eternal glory. They will be the ones who will be filled with the Spirit to resolve our music problems through their supremely exalting in their musical ministries the truth that He has given us in the book of Psalms!