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Unread 06-02-2005, 09:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
No, I'm arguing that Hillsongs' / United's lyrics just generally suck.
Thats a really sad attitude to have. Sometimes it seems like some of you guys want every song to have a full gospel message included and have no me, or i's in the song otherwise its poorly written, stupid and cant be used to worship God...

I agree we have to be careful about what songs we sing and keep the emphasis on God and not on us, but that kind of disregard for every song that doesn't fulfill every requirment of some 1000 point theological checklist is kinda sad!

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Unread 06-02-2005, 10:57 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simo
Thats a really sad attitude to have. Sometimes it seems like some of you guys want every song to have a full gospel message included and have no me, or i's in the song otherwise its poorly written, stupid and cant be used to worship God...

I agree we have to be careful about what songs we sing and keep the emphasis on God and not on us, but that kind of disregard for every song that doesn't fulfill every requirment of some 1000 point theological checklist is kinda sad!
Many things:

1) I have absolutely no problem with songs that don't mention the Gospel.

2) I have absolutely no problem with songs that use more "me"s and "I"s than "You"s, "Lord"s, "Jesus"s, or "God"s.

3) I have absolutely no problem with songs that don't even mention theological topics.

4) Hillsongs' lyrics still suck.

Here are some songs from the newest album which is under discussion here. Observe:

Quote:
Originally Posted by All I Need Is You
Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray
Two verb tenses in one verse, and what the crap is it talking about anyway? Is there a coherent thought? No, not even remotely. Why are you on the road? Who knows? Why do the sentences start with predicates and lack subjects? Who knows? How are you falling to your knees if your apparently driving away in your car from the fears that you left on the road? Who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by There Is Nothing Like
Father true and merciful
Bound to me with love
Adopted in free from all sin
Even if some of this is typographical (i.e. "adopted in" is supposed to be "adopted, I'm," or something like that), none of this really makes much sense to me. The lack of subjects makes things very messy again. Who is adopted? Grammar and sound sentence structure would say that "adopted" would be an adjective modifying "Father" just like "true," "merciful," and "bound" apparently are. But that doens't make any sense at all. If you grant that "in" might really be "I'm," it makes a bit more sense, but randomly switching the subject (which is never really stated anyway) in the middle of a thought is just bad writing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeper
Light to men, love of God
Healing for the wounded heart
Like a child quiet my soul
Hear Your voice surround me Lord
Ok. This is fun. Once again, the lack of any kind of sentence structure makes for ambiguity and silliness. Grammar and sentence structure rules would say that "like a child" refers back to the "light to men," "love of God," and "healing for the wounded heart" (I'm assuming these are references to Jesus)... so, Jesus is apparently supposed to "quiet my soul" "like a child." Oddness. Jesus is not a child. The last line really throws a monkey wrench into things. It's an imperative tense... that makes no sense. Why would we be asking / commanding / requesting for Jesus (remember, sentence structure and grammar drops these phrases back to the "subject" of this sentence, as defined in the first two lines) to "hear Your voice surround me." That doesn't make sense.

Grammar = good. Dangling modifiers and ambiguous sentence structure = bad.

Once again, though, I have absolutely no problem (as far as I can tell) with the thoughts or meanings behind these songs. I have a problem with the fact that they're just written poorly. For example, I like the idea of the song "Ancient Words" as well (there are far too few songs praising God for giving us His written Word), but I just can't get past the ridiculous use of an unfulfilled transitive verb at the end of each verse. "Let the ancient words impart!" What the heck kind of a way to end a sentence or a song is that?

Oh well.

In His love,
Nate
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Unread 06-03-2005, 12:17 AM   #33
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Nice work! I wish I was as good at English as you are.

I agree, that Hillsong lyrics are just badly written and uncreative. Planet Shakers are far far worse though.
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Unread 06-03-2005, 08:37 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
Once again, though, I have absolutely no problem (as far as I can tell) with the thoughts or meanings behind these songs. I have a problem with the fact that they're just written poorly. For example, I like the idea of the song "Ancient Words" as well (there are far too few songs praising God for giving us His written Word), but I just can't get past the ridiculous use of an unfulfilled transitive verb at the end of each verse. "Let the ancient words impart!" What the heck kind of a way to end a sentence or a song is that?
Thank you for clarifying this. Point taken and noted. I would just say that you shouldn't include EVERY Hillsong song in that generalization. Most of them may be written poorly, but not all of them. And yeah, they aren't the only ones with bad grammar. For example, I realized the other day how many songs use double negatives and they mean the exact opposite than what they are trying to say. Chris Tomlin's On Our Side says "There ain't nothing gonna stand in our way." Oh, so there is something standing in your way, eh? lol
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Unread 06-03-2005, 09:10 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt4JC
Thank you for clarifying this. Point taken and noted. I would just say that you shouldn't include EVERY Hillsong song in that generalization.
Yeah, I guess so... generalizations are generally bad. ()

Quote:
Most of them may be written poorly, but not all of them. And yeah, they aren't the only ones with bad grammar. For example, I realized the other day how many songs use double negatives and they mean the exact opposite than what they are trying to say. Chris Tomlin's On Our Side says "There ain't nothing gonna stand in our way." Oh, so there is something standing in your way, eh? lol
Haha... I try not to sing those songs either.

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Unread 06-03-2005, 05:48 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt4JC
For example: "Everyday it's You I live for" which has been used as an example of how "selfish" songs can be. but what is it really saying? It's talking about how we need to live for HIM.
The song isn't talking about what we NEED to do, its claiming we DO live for Him everyday. I think thats a key difference.


Quote:
Many Psalms are more person-oriented than God-oriented. "Oh God, save me from my enemies!" etc...
Thats really something completely different though. Thats supplication. I don't think thats praise per se, but I think it has its place in corporate worship. Its prayer in song form. I have no problem with supplication when used as supplication.

Quote:
Yes, it is a big problem with ppl being hypocritical in their worship, but that doesn't mean we need to cater to them. They are the ones in sin, not the leaders who pick songs like that.
Actually I'm pretty sure that the leaders sin too. Both in small ways and big ways.
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Unread 06-04-2005, 12:22 AM   #37
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Well, if you guys just think the lyrics are just bad from a grammatical, and not a theological standpoint, then I can't argue with that. :-)

I think this is a case where United leaves some people scratching their heads because they attempted to be more poetic with their songs rather than going with straight prose, which is what we're used to. I don't think that the songwriters are gramatically inept, they're just trying to be more poetic and try something different.

But according to sallyjr, the ambiguities in the attempt at poetry certainly did not hinder people from worshiping the Lord. Maybe the meanings became crystal clear to those singing them, with the help of the Spirit.

I thought the grammatical criticisms were a little bit exaggerated though. ;-) There are a few hymns out there with subpar grammar, extended and strange metaphors, and some ambiguities. But they have stood the test of time and are still sung today, because of the power of the message behind it, and the comfort and encouragement it has given to thousands of believers. We may have to consider that some of the Hillsongs might be the same way in the future (Kind of a scary thought).

In any case, I have to at least give credit to United for attempting to come up with fresh expressions of worship to God. I'm not a big fan of their lyrics either, especially from their newest album. However, I do see that they are trying to be more creative, and as long as I contextualize all their weird lyrics on Christ and the cross, I'll sing these words right along with them. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
The song isn't talking about what we NEED to do, its claiming we DO live for Him everyday. I think thats a key difference.

In regards to the lyrics of Everyday, I'm not sure if I agree that it is entirely wrong in claiming that we do live for Him everyday. Please let me explain:

Indeed, we definitely do NOT consciously live for the Lord everyday. To proclaim that we have would not be true.

I was going to use Paul as an example, but instead, I would refer you to Psalm 26. (I believe it's worthwhile to check out many translations of this Psalm. I am using the NIV, but I do acknowledge that upon looking at the ESV or KJV version, the following argument I present is weakened). David makes proclamations on both what he will do and what he does. David proclaims that he does what is right and that he lives a blameless life. We know that no man, save Jesus, can do what is right and live a blameless life. Everything we do is tainted by sin.

So is David vainly bragging about his righteousness and blamelessness?Certainly not! Matthew Henry says in his commentary of the Psalm, "It is vain to boast of our integrity unless we can make it out that by the grace of God we have walked in our integrity". The integrity that David professed in verse 1 is his way of life, but he does not depend upon it in lieu of redemption and mercy, as we see in verses 11-12.

Isn't this the case in positive affirmations we make about our faith? To say that "I am no longer a slave to sin" does not carry the implication that we are boasting that we no longer sin. It indicates that though we sin, we have been freed by Christ to choose a life of obedience, and by grace, live a life that is not dominated by our sinful nature. The only boasting we're doing in making such a statement is boasting in the cross.

David understands that his proclamation of living a blameless life and living everyday for God is not true in the sense that he does it 100% completely in reality. No, he proclaims it to explain that the grace of God has enabled him to live such a life, and now he can proclaim that he does so (which technically isn't true, but the proclamation is meant to boast about what God has done for him, and not to boast about his own integrity).

Going back to the lyrics of Everyday, I agree that the lyrics of "Everyday, it's you I live for" would be a straight out lie if it stood alone. However, I think the verses of the songs set up the proper context in which we can make such a proclamation. I don't wish to write out all the lyrics, but I think Joel Houston has taken many pains to insure that the verses indicate that we are not proclaiming that we consciously devote our lives to God every morning, but rather that God has redeemed our lives, enabling us to offer up our lives unto Him, and now we are being conformed to be more like Christ everyday. In this sense, the apparently self-centered line of "Everyday, it's you I live for" does not glorify ourselves or proclaim how righteous we are, but it points everything to the work of Christ and His ineffable grace. Praise God that Christ has set us free to make such a proclamation that declares His purifying work in us!

Whatever the case, I'm glad that you all are critically examining the lyrics of the songs that you use in leading worship. Although we may not agree, we will definitely come to a better understanding of ways in which we can sing praises to God. :-)

Sola gratia,
Jeff
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Unread 06-04-2005, 10:50 AM   #38
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Quote:
Ok. This is fun. Once again, the lack of any kind of sentence structure makes for ambiguity and silliness. Grammar and sentence structure rules would say that "like a child" refers back to the "light to men," "love of God," and "healing for the wounded heart" (I'm assuming these are references to Jesus)... so, Jesus is apparently supposed to "quiet my soul" "like a child." Oddness. Jesus is not a child. The last line really throws a monkey wrench into things. It's an imperative tense... that makes no sense. Why would we be asking / commanding / requesting for Jesus (remember, sentence structure and grammar drops these phrases back to the "subject" of this sentence, as defined in the first two lines) to "hear Your voice surround me." That doesn't make sense.
actually it's Like a child, I quiet my soul. I think it generally makes more sense this way. Its from Jesus' teachings of "If you're not faithful as a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven". .but I consider this song as a prayer instead of a worship song.

Hillsong may not be the best lyricists around but some of their songs draw youth to praise and worship God. Even if the lyrics do suck, If God's spirit is there when you're praising Him, theres really nothing to argue about. God said He'll use the weak to shame the strong. Hillsong is used greatly in church services and praise songs. They may be weak in their vocabulary but I really think their aim is not the little "ooooo those lyrics gives me a chill" but their aim is to bring together a generation to truly praise to Go. And I think God is happy with it. Isn't that every Worship leader's aim?


Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me. and I will surely save those who obey me. Psalms 50:23
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Unread 06-04-2005, 12:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by xJonathanxLee
actually it's Like a child, I quiet my soul. I think it generally makes more sense this way.
Actually, that would be worse, because it could imply that you are the "Light to men, love of God, Healing for the wounded heart" that the first two lines talk about.

Quote:
Hillsong may not be the best lyricists around but some of their songs draw youth to praise and worship God. Even if the lyrics do suck, If God's spirit is there when you're praising Him, theres really nothing to argue about. God said He'll use the weak to shame the strong.
He also said to worship Him in spirit and in truth and to play skillfully before Him and to bring Him our firstfruits. I just wonder if Hillsongs is really the best that we have to offer.

In His love,
Nate
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Unread 06-05-2005, 01:25 PM   #40
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Congratulations, you win the award for most pedantic worship leaders in the world!

To be serious though, I think you'd find if you sat down and spoke with the United songwriters, you'd find that each song on the album was God-inspired and written for His Glory. Despite our inequities Christ is able to use us, and despite Joel Houston's English inequities Christ is able to use him, too.

I certainly agree that there are some United songs that aren't appropriate for what we so fondly refer to as "Corporate Worship", especially not in a "traditional" (read: "senior") service. However, we used 'Salvation is Here' at a night of praise, worship and seeking the Lord. It was very well received that night, so we used it for the Sunday evening (read: "younger people's") service as well. Again, it was well received. Perhaps part of this is, in fact, the simple form of the lyrics - they are much easier to learn, because there is less to them.

In the end, I suppose it's not a question of what is and what is not appropriate for the ritual of "corporate worship", but rather a question of where the congregation you are leading is at and what will lead them into a place where they can freely worship God.
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Unread 06-05-2005, 01:36 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Nate
Actually, that would be worse, because it could imply that you are the "Light to men, love of God, Healing for the wounded heart" that the first two lines talk about.
It doesn't, because the intonation (spelling?) of the song suggests that the first two sentences and the last two sentences are different concepts.

Quote:
He also said to worship Him in spirit and in truth and to play skillfully before Him and to bring Him our firstfruits.
Having attended Hillsong conferences and met with some of their worship team, I have no doubt that this is exactly what Hillsong do.

Excuse my pedantic side:
Quote:
Hillsongs
Hillsong. No S.

Define best. Gramatically and musically perfect? If that's the case, I doubt even the best of you will ever get it right.
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Unread 06-05-2005, 02:43 PM   #42
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once I leave the thread really takes off;
Interesting................
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Unread 06-05-2005, 05:40 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
The song isn't talking about what we NEED to do, its claiming we DO live for Him everyday. I think thats a key difference.
hmmm sorry, we sing it "Everyday, it's you I'll live for." That would be different. I made a typo in the first thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Actually I'm pretty sure that the leaders sin too. Both in small ways and big ways.
oh definetly. I was not saying we don't sin by ANY means. I was saying that it wasn't sin to pick songs like that.
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Unread 06-05-2005, 10:10 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by smudge8
Congratulations, you win the award for most pedantic worship leaders in the world!
Congratulations, you win the award for the most anti-intellectual worship leader in the world!

*the preceding remark was written in a style known as "sarcastic response." I do not really think you are an anti-intellectual, nor do I mean to belittle you with ad hominem attacks.

Quote:
To be serious though, I think you'd find if you sat down and spoke with the United songwriters, you'd find that each song on the album was God-inspired and written for His Glory. Despite our inequities Christ is able to use us, and despite Joel Houston's English inequities Christ is able to use him, too.
Yes, and despite Benny Hinn's "inequities" (for a person who complains about pedancy, you sure have an esoteric vocabulary; unless you mean "iniquities," which doesn't make a heckuva lot more sense than "inequities" would ), God is probably even able to use him. Heck, God used Balaam and his ass. Does that mean we should all go and aspire to find pagan prophets who talk out of their ass and follow them? I don't think so. Just because God uses or can use something does not mean that we have to use it.

Quote:
I certainly agree that there are some United songs that aren't appropriate for what we so fondly refer to as "Corporate Worship", especially not in a "traditional" (read: "senior") service.
I'm 20 years old, and I enjoy [even prefer] a "traditional" service. I'd appreciate if you wouldn't associated musical tastes with age. Believe it or not, youth can like hymnody and/or liturgy.

Quote:
However, we used 'Salvation is Here' at a night of praise, worship and seeking the Lord. It was very well received that night, so we used it for the Sunday evening (read: "younger people's") service as well. Again, it was well received. Perhaps part of this is, in fact, the simple form of the lyrics - they are much easier to learn, because there is less to them.
That's true, but I don't think that reception or ease-of-learning are the defining characteristics of a good worship song.

Quote:
In the end, I suppose it's not a question of what is and what is not appropriate for the ritual of "corporate worship", but rather a question of where the congregation you are leading is at and what will lead them into a place where they can freely worship God.
It's a question of what best fulfills the Biblical commands and guidelines we are given concerning worship. We are told to worship in spirit and in truth, so we cannot sing something that does not engage our spirit or does not speak truthfully, regardless of how much we feel it may "lead us into a place where we can freely worship God." By the same token, we should not (and, I would say, can not dare to) offer to God anything that is not the best that we have to offer.

Like I said before, I'm just not convinced that Hillsong's stuff really fulfills all of the Biblical guidelines for worship.

In His love,
Nate
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Last edited by Nate; 06-05-2005 at 10:56 PM.
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Unread 06-05-2005, 10:17 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by smudge8
Define best. Gramatically and musically perfect?
Grammatically and musically comprehendible would be more like it, I think.

If you can't write complete sentences, you don't go into the journalism business, because that's not the best you have to offer to the world as a member of the workforce. I fail to see why a person who can't even use grammar properly would go into songwriting, a discipline that focuses primarily on language as a means of expression (with grammar as the tool that ties the language and the expression together), and then claim that they are giving God their best.

In His love,
Nate
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Last edited by Nate; 06-05-2005 at 10:53 PM.
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