“Worship is simplicity”
“I’m just here to serve”
“The band should just fade away”
“It’s not a rock show”
“That’s not worshipful”
“We are just being lead by the Spirit”
Cloak words. You’ve heard them, whether you realize it or not. You may have said them, whether you meant to or not. They are words and phrases that are part of the “christianese” lexicon that we use to cover our real meaning or justify our actions. They sound nice. Maybe true in certain circumstances. But right here and right now they are being used and a disguise to hide our true meaning.
Ok, yeah, so what?
I’m not really trying to say anything more than: BEWARE. If we are using cloak words we need to stop and speak straight and true. If a critic is using cloak words then we need to identify them and deal with the root issue and not the straw men that are put up to distract from the real problem. If its being used as an excuse by others, lets not excuse ourselves from doing the right thing.
“Worship is simplicity” and “the band should just fade away” falls under the “what does that even mean?” category. It sounds nice but try to figure it out in real world terms and you’ll be scratching your head. The person who is saying generally this means something else or has a personal preference and assumes that not only is this preference the only way but that you should know exactly what they mean by it. Usually when I heard “cloak words” like this I ask something like “is it?” or “can you show me an example of that in the Bible” or the classic aforementioned “what does that even mean?”
“It’s not a rock show” or “that’s not worshipful” fall into the “that’s not my cup of tea” file. It’s the person who doesn’t like the music and they don’t have a better way to express it. Traditionalists used this line a few hundred years ago when Booth and the Salvation Army started using brass bands and organs that they took out of the bars. The Hymn faithful used this line when “modern worship” was birthed in the church during the 70’s. Fans of the old Maranatha and Praise Band cassettes called Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman a ‘rock show’ and fans of “Contemporary Christian worship” want those darn kids to turn their rock and roll down. It’s nothing new and the cycle will continue. I haven’t even covered people who “just want to get lost”.
“I’m just here to serve” or “I’m just being lead by the Spirit” are in the “Covering myself” section. A worship band member who is always being disagreeable. The worship leader who doesn’t send out the set list until the night before or the band member who never practices, ever. Maybe it’s the band member who isn’t a team player and just want to do what he or she wants… but they’re just “here to serve”.
What AM I saying?
What I’m saying is that there is a time and place to ignore these things and a time and place to call say something. Most of the time it will be the former but there will be that time, even if it’s talking to the group as a whole to address these things will plain talk and biblical backing.