Monday, July 7, 2008

Using Secular Music in Chruch

There is such a fine line between being "in the world" but not "of it." I think I understand the motivation behind NewSpring's use of Beyonce's Crazy in Love in their worship service this weekend. They want to reach the world by using its language and culture. Even Paul did this in Acts 17 at the Areopagus. Paul quotes two "secular" poets and uses their words to point the Greeks to Jesus.

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'"Acts 17:24-28

In this speech, Paul quotes what is probably Epimenides of Crete and Aratus’s poem “Phainomena” in order to make a connection with the Greeks. Is using Beyonce the same thing today?

Another question that we must answer lies in the place where the material is used. Paul was on the World's "turf." He was on Mars Hill, a place of philosophical discussion and debate, not in a church or even a synagogue (if there was a line between the two in Paul's day). If it can be appropriate to use secular music/lyrics to connect with non-Christians, is it also appropriate to use it in a worship service?

Here's the video. What do you think?

HT to Slice of Laodicea for the link.