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“Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them” ~ A.W. Tozer
I am convinced that one of the problems in the contemporary evangelical church is the songs chosen for worship. I’m not talking about the differences between contemporary and traditional styles of worship. I’m talking about the content of the songs. As Tozer’s quote informs us, we aren’t singing what we honestly feel.
It seems to me that too many of the songs written in the past decade speak nothing of the difficulties of living the Christian life. There isn’t a hint of doubt or sorrow. Jesus was a man of sorrows and yet all we sing about is joy and awe, blessing and thanksgiving. There is certainly a place for those themes, but have you read the Psalms lately? The Psalms represent real people wrestling with real emotions.
Look at the Praise Charts and point me to a song that resounds with themes of weariness and grief (Psalm 6). Better yet, listen to Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul and recognize that it’s possible to be encouraged by a song that speaks openly of the Christian’s fainting hope and gloomy doubts. It’s encouraging because it’s honest. The Church needs more honest hymns like this.