I’m still away with Julie on our 30th anniversary trip, seeking to bless her for God’s glory.
This is another quote from Harold Best, this time from his book, Unceasing Worship. He is helping us to distinguish between music as an act of worship and music as an aid to worship.
We make and offer art because we worship; we should not make it to lead us into worship. We can carry [this concept] into the weekly corporate gathering. Since Christians come to such gatherings as continuous worshipers, it should now be obvious that it is erroneous to assume that the arts, and especially music, are to be depended on to lead us to worship or that they are aids to worship or tools for worship. If we think this way, we fuel and stop, and worse, that music or some other artistic or human device bears the responsibility for doing the starting or the facilitating…Music and the arts have a kind of power in themselves that can be falsely related to or equated with Spirit power, so much so that the presence of God seems all the more guaranteed and the worshiper sees this union of artistic power and Spirit power as normal, even anticipated. This thinking lies behind comments of this kind: “the Lord seemed so near during worship time.” “Your music really helped me worship.” And to the contrary: “I could not worship because of the music.” Senior pastors, ministers of worship and worship teams must do everything to correct them. 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. God is reduced to god and music is raised to Music. Thrones are exchanged, lordship reverts to its fallen hierarchy, and conditioned reflex replaces faith. (p. 119)
In other words, music is never to be the ultimate means by which we worship God. Only Jesus, working through the Holy Spirit, can fulfill that role.