Well everybody's said a lot and a lot of emotion has been put into this thread. There are some very interesting links here on the Highway that address this topic too. You may want to see what others have written about this topic.<br><br>Congregational Singing and the Ministry of the Word by Leonard Payton<br><br>Worship in the Melting Pot by Dr. Peter Masters where he writes about the contrast between "Sacred or Profane Worship?"<br><br>There's an interesting article here on the Highway that talks about Pleasing God In Our Worship. It's by Dr. Robert Godfrey and worth the read. Here's a section of that article:<br><br><blockquote>[color:blue]Music and Worship</font color=blue><br><br>Of all the battles in the worship wars, the battle over music probably has been the most evident and the most emotional. Changes in the style of music have divided, frustrated, and even angered worshipers. Should we sing old hymns or praise choruses? Should the music be classical, traditional, folk, rock, contemporary, country and western, or what? Should we use organs and pianos, or guitars and drums? Is music exclusively for praise in the service, or does it have other functions as well? The amount of time given to music in many services has increased greatly. Some services begin with a lengthy time of singing called “praise and worship,” as if singing alone were worship and the rest of the service were something else.<br><br>What are we to make of these matters?<br><br>A change in music — whether to something older or newer — is difficult because most worshipers are not musicians and simply like what is familiar to them. Most worshipers are not motiated by some aesthetic theory, but by the emotional links they have to their familiar music. Because music so powerfully engages and expresses our emotions, it is not surprising that it is an emotional minefield for individuals and congregations.<br><br>As with all ways of worship, we must evaluate music in the first place biblically. We must stand back from our own experiences and preferences and ask again, “What pleases God?” We should recognize that not all music and praise pleases him. Think of the worship and praise that Israel offered to God in the wilderness at Mount Sinai. They made a golden calf, called it the Lord, and danced around it (Exod. 32:4-6). Such praise was an abomination to God and evoked his wrath! We must carefully seek what the Bible says about how we should praise the Lord and make music to him.<br><br>When we think of music in the worship of God, we are really thinking of three issues: 1) the words that we sing, 2) the tunes to which we sing those words, and 3) the instruments we might use to accompany the singing.<br><br>The Words We Sing<br><br>Of these three issues the first is the most important. The words we take upon our lips to sing to God must be true and pleasing to him. The Cambridge Declaration reminds us that one of the problems we face today is what we sing: “Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of music.” How can we be sure that the words we sing please God? God has given us direction by giving us in the Bible a whole book as a model for what we are to sing. The Book of Psalms (which in Hebrew is entitled the Book of Praises) provides us with songs that God himself has inspired. The Psalms should at least function as the model for what we as Christians sing to God.<br><br>The Songs We Use<br><br>What do the Psalms teach about song? First, they remind us of the rich variety of songs that we can and should present to God. The Psalms contain joyful praise and thanksgiving. The Psalms are called the Book of Praises because they not only contain but also culminate in the praise of God (see especially Pss. 146—150.) But the Psalms contain more than praise. Some Psalms reflect on creation (for example, Pss. 19 and 104); others recount the great saving work of God in Christ (Pss. 2, 22, 24, and 110); still others meditate on the perfections of God’s revealed Word (especially Ps. 119). There are Psalms of lamentation and repentance (Pss. 32, 51, and 137) as well as Psalms that express the confusion and frustration that God’s people sometimes experience living in this fallen world (Pss. 44 and 73). John Calvin rightly observed about the Psalter, “There is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here presented as in a mirror.”<br><br>In some churches today it seems that only happy, joyful songs are sung. But joy is not the only emotion that Christians experience. Christian worship needs to provide times when sad or reflective emotions are expressed as well as happy ones. A variety of song texts, as we find them in the Psalter, are crucial for that purpose.<br><br>Second, the Psalms also model for us the substance of our singing. A few Psalms are short and have repetitive elements, but most are full, rich, profound responses to God and his work. Singing praise to God, the Psalter reminds us, is not just emotional expression, but a real engagement of the mind. Songs that are very repetitive or shallow and sentimental do not follow the model of the Psalter. The command to love God with all our mind must inform our singing. Mind and emotions together are the model of praise presented to us in the Psalms, and the modern church must work at restoring that union where it has been lost.<br><br>Once we recapture a proper sense of the texts we ought to sing, the other two issues about singing are relatively easy to resolve. What tunes shall we sing? We may use any tune that is singable for a congregation and that supports the content of the song. The tune should reflect the mood and substance of the song in light of the joy and reverence that are appropriate to worship. With those guidelines in mind (and a sensitivity to the congregation’s difficulty with change), the issue of tunes for songs should be resolved smoothly.<br><br>What Kind of Instruments?<br><br>What kind of musical accompaniment is biblical? In Old Testament worship a wide range of instruments was used in the worship of the temple. Yet in the worship of the church it appears that for almost the first thousand years of its history no instruments were used in Christian worship. Today most churches use one or more instruments. But where instruments are used, the instruments should aid the singing of the congregation, not overwhelm it. They should contribute to a deep spirit of reverence and joy, not undermine it.<br><br>Nowhere in the New Testament church are instruments clearly used for worship. They certainly have no central or independent role in worship. At most they should support the singing that the congregation is commanded to do. If that is their purpose, rock bands would be clearly inappropriate for Christian worship, but either an organ or a guitar might be used.<br><br>Music is a powerful and vital element in the worship life of God’s people. But precisely because it is so significant, we need to give careful thought to it. We must be sure that we are pleasing God and not entertaining ourselves. The temptation to turn worship into entertainment is great because as sinners we are much more inclined to be self-centered than God-centered. We are much more inclined to amuse ourselves than to serve God.</blockquote>We must be sure that we are pleasing God and not entertaining ourselves. It's more than just the words but the melody too that should be pleasing to God.<br><br>Wes<br>

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts