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Church Music: A Brief Introduction

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

“Church music” is often confused with “Christian music” by today’s evangelical communities by and large, with some churches using both terms interchangeably while others having discarded the former altogether.

“Christian music”, when loosely defined, ranges from traditional hymns of centuries old to any music incorporated with a minimum reference to God. In essence, “Christian music” today is secular music genres being dubbed with Christian lyrics, and sometimes inevitably hinting questionable theology. And, as secular music’s purpose and function is to express the “self” and “feelings” of oneself, it is not surprising such “Christian” lyrics is often driven by expressions of emotions rather than doxology, opposite to the traditional hymns, full of direct quotations of Scripture. Thus, such “Christian music” has changed the way churches understand worship, and most importantly the purpose of our worship: to glorify God instead of to satisfy ourselves. The so called feelings driven “Christian music” is directing attentions to the individuals and their performances, as well as the individuals in the congregation and their feelings.

Corporate worship is praising God collectively. Therefore, it is meant to cause the attention of a congregation to focus on God and Lord Jesus Christ, the subject of our worship. One essential element for achieving that is to reduce the sense of “self”. It is time to recover the importance of “church music“.


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