This is an issue I have debated from a while regarding worship music in the church. I had a discussion with some brothers in Christ about this issue, which one of them said, when you expose a church to a song from a church with questionable theology, you expose the church to that church's theology. If a church is known of preaching the prosperity gospel but the worship is solid, does that mean the song should not be sung?
We have songs in the church that has been sung in various Christian CDs whether it is a live recording from a service or just a studio album. A lot of times, churches sing songs because they are popular on the radio. How many times have you heard a Chris Tomlin song on the radio and in a church service combined.
I posted an article on one man's reasons on why he stopped singing worship anthems from Hillsong, which I thought were valid points and got chewed out by a lot of fellow Christians. Was it because they were devout Hillsong fans? It is possible or maybe I was causing some divisions in their mind.
Our church, as well as other churches, does not sing a majority of the popular worship songs heard on the radio or on Hillsong CD, but our church is very theological when it comes to the corporate singing of the church to exalt the Living Christ. We sing songs by Sovereign Grace, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and other song writers you normally don't hear on Christian radio. Not because we are being a reformed, Calvinistic church, but to honor God in our worship.
So the question is, should we be theological in our approach to worship songs? Yes. How can we do that? Here a few ways I think that can help us?
1. Do the songs worship God in truth?
This is the first and most important truth to consider in any worship song. Does the song resonate in truth that is taught in the Bible? Is there questionable content in the song that makes it feel like it is not honoring to God? Here is one thing to think about when looking at songs for your worship service, is this a song that you think will be sung in heaven>
2. Does the song put Jesus at the center or me?
If the song has to many I's in it, unless it confesses our need for Christ, then the song is more likely a feel good, self-help song more than a song of praise towards our King.
3. Does the song edify the church?
Ephesians 5 tells us we should "be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart" (Ephesians 5:18-19). Do the songs we sing as a church benefit the congregation as a whole or are they songs to make noise or fill in a spot in the worship service?
Just like preaching, congregational singing should be dealt with theologically. In fact, the preaching and singing should be on the same page and I am not talking about sing a song with the theme of the sermon. If we expect healthy preaching, we should expect the same thing in our corporate singing.