Are Our Worship Songs for Christ Alone? Or Could They Be Sung In a Hindu Temple?

by GfG on January 14, 2015 · 6 comments

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A few years ago, I shared about one of my favorite movies, Lagaan.  I adore all things from India, especially the food.  I also like Bollywood (and Bollywood dancing, even if I stink at it), which is where Lagaan entered my life.

There is one specific scene in Lagaan that stirs my heart every time, stirs to sadness and hope for those whose faith is misplaced.  Here it is… give it a quick watch (this isn’t the best online version of this scene [this one is much better, visually], but it’s the only one I could find that had the English subtitles displayed):

If you read the words to that song, which is just beautiful, and you think of Christ… it makes a lovely worship song.  There is nothing in the song that specifies Krishna or Radha specifically, other than the title Pure of Essence, which could still fit Christ.  They call him Savior.  They give him credit for creation.  They ask him for protection.

He is all they have.

And that struck a chord with me.

If I think of Christ and sing that song, I am worshiping.  My heart is on Christ.  I am praising Him.

But when the Hindus sing that song, their hearts are not on Christ.  And they are not praising Him.

Same song.  Different hearts focused differently.

And that scene haunts me every time I’m in a church service and we sing a song that could be sung by anyone, or nearly so.  When a song is so unspecific that a Hindu, Jew, or Muslim could sing it too, with their heart on their god…. then I feel like we are doing a disservice at church.

The place where we have come to specifically worship God the Father, through God the Son, equipped by the God the Holy Spirit.

I’m not saying that every song I ever sing has to be a worship song and must be specifically Christian.

I have started to believe that when we are together to worship, that our corporate songs should be specifically for the Church to sing to The Lord.  Christ’s Bride, praising Him.  Glorifying The One True God.

Our Worship Songs

In church…

I no longer have the stomach for songs that someone of another faith could sing in praise to their false god.

I no longer feel the Lord is most glorified with songs that are generic in praise and adoration.

I no longer want to sing songs in corporate worship that could be used in a movie praising Krishna.

Songs like In Christ Alone, Be Thou My Vision, Before the Throne of God, and My Redeemeer Lives  now speak to me even more.

O Paalanhaare is a beautifully sung song and how I wish the cast would come to know The Savior.

And how I wish that we, the Bride of Christ, would be sure to sing songs that can not be voiced to anyone but Him when we are at corporate worship.

What are your thoughts on this? 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Luke Holzmann January 14, 2015 at 8:28 am

Great movie! And, yes, that scene is hauntingly beautiful. And “Before the Throne of God Above” is my favorite hymn ever. Love it.

I’ve been watching the TV show “Arrow” on Netflix, and I realized the other day that the detective in that show is the bad guy in Lagaan [smile].

~Luke

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Heather January 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Can you believe I still have yet to see this movie?? I know :-(.

My thoughts…I think it’s all about our individual hearts when worshipping in church or anywhere. God knows my heart and yours and so on…I think we (“we” meaning as a collective “Christians” ) can get so caught up in details like type of music, wording, band or no band when it comes to worship that we sometimes forget it’s not about what we like or feel is appropriate, it’s about Jesus. And it’s personal. People still debate hymns over praise songs to this day. To me, we don’t even have to speak his name out loud but simply hum a tune to him or silently speak to him., because He knows our hearts. I think He is glorified through our actions and obedience not just our words. There is a joy and peace we show when it’s the one true God in our lives, I think, even when we don’t feel it.

That being said, I do completely understand why you feel this way, that others may never know Him because the songs can be generic to any “god”, but if that person is to be His, He will use the music (if that’s his plan) no matter. And if He is putting this passion of avoiding more generic songs in your heart then you are definitely glorifying Him through your heart and actions. :-). He has definitely put the longing in your heart for the people of India which is awesome.

I’m just learning more and more from God (seems I get reminders from time to time from my own thoughts or past actions…occasionally cringe-worthy )that it’s so much more personal then I was even brought up realizing. our passions and convictions are so very personal and its awesome that God takes that much time with each of us, reminding us we are different but all His :-).

He is continuing to open your heart to the lost and you are obedient, you are an inspiration, friend!! And I’ve rambled…it’s late…love you!

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Jacqueline @ Deeprootsathome.com January 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

There is so much to think and chew on here! I am pondering this…may just have to read reviews on Lagaan and watch it…Thank you!

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Jan January 16, 2015 at 7:05 am

I’ve been thinking about this and pondering. I sing old-school hymns to Eden at bedtime. (Grew up Church of Christ so my I have an extensive “menu.”) My favorite songs to sing are psalms set to song. As I was sing Psalm 95 = Come let us sing with joy to the Lotd…and realized it would not necessarily be recognized as “to Christ alone,” but rather to any creator. Hmmm. Context is key.

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GfG February 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

One thing to consider is that the word LORD doesn’t just mean lord. It isn’t a title. It has been translated as LORD, but when it is in all capital letters it is actually Yahweh, which is His name. So, when we see that word in a psalm, it’s not for just any lord or any god, but specifically for Him and it wouldn’t be used for any other god.

In remembering this, I started going through each psalm and not until 43 did I find one that didn’t have LORD in it. And then further study let me to see that many manuscripts have Psalm 42 and 43 as one psalm.

44: specifically refers to the God of Jacob. So, that’s pretty specifically singling out our God.

51: refers to the Holy Spirit as well as Zion and Jerusalem

53: again refers to the God of Jacob and Israel.

60: refers to specific battles of Israel

114: refers again to specifics and Israel

So, 45, 49, 52, and 57 (I wonder if God Most High in Psalm 57 is specific and only used of Our God?) are the only other ones that do not use LORD in them and have not other specific reference to Our God (His acts or His people) that I know of. So, four psalms out of all of them. Maybe.

They do use God and I have an email in to a friend to find out of that is a word that is actually something more specific. It’s titled, so it means God (the Father, specifically the God of the Israels and Christians), but I wonder if there is also more meaning behind the word that I don’t know.

So, capitalization is key! Ha!

More soon!

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Jill Radeke January 18, 2015 at 5:45 pm

I understand and I agree with you GFG. Thank you for putting into words the things I have been thinking about.

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