War of Words Over Worship Lyrics



Tonight as I’m trying to get my posts put together for the AtoZ Challenge I’m participating in during April, I came across a blog post on the theology behind one line in “Blessed Be Your Name”. 

The line says, “He gives and takes away.”

I’ve sang that song, and line, many a time. Powerful lyrics. Powerful song. Great worship.

Except today I come across a conversation between worship leaders about the above mentioned lyric. 

Sigh.

Several worship leaders have been asked to change the line or not to sing the song.

I’ve read the reasons. God doesn’t take “good” (ie, health, babies, marriage, etc.) things away from people. While we can cite the story of Job, we can’t cite NT examples seems to be the claim.

And yet everyday those of us who live our faith loudly are bombarded with the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” 

Do I believe God causes bad things to happen? Not necessarily. Do I believe that God works all things for the good of those who are called according to His purposes? (Romans 8:28) Yes! And that means that He works through bad and good to accomplish His plan.

I don’t know about you, but my life hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Yes, I’ve been blessed. I’ve also had my share of loss and trials.

God has been in control in both sets of circumstances.

Some of my low points were when I was serving as a worship leader. Over things as equally mind-boggling as this debate. 

Should “Blessed Be Your Name” be sang in a worship service as written?

Well, let me put this debate into perspective for you. Choose any “popular” song in the hymnal used by your denomination. Poll your congregation to see who feels the song is scriptural, who feels the song is an effective worship song, who actually can’t stand the song, and who just sings the song without even thinking about the meaning behind the song. I have a feeling you will find that every song in your book has votes against it.

For example, while it isn’t in a hymnal, the church we are members of typically uses the song “Mary Did You Know” in the annual Christmas program. Every year I cringe. A couple years ago I finally got bold enough to voice my intense dislike of that song. It turns out one other person agreed with me. 

Most people probably like that song. A few of us hate it. Everything about it. 

For every song we sing in worship, someone can find something wrong with it. For every sermon preached, someone can find something wrong with it. 

The song that reaches into the recesses of my soul and speaks to my spirit may absolutely offend someone else. So, in case “Blessed Be Your Name” speaks to you, please enjoy!

photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC via photopin cc

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