Chris Rosebrough does a great job of helping christians think critically as he examines sermons both good and bad.
Pastor at Kongsvinger Lutheran Church and Captain at Pirate Christian Radio
So its only fair that this critical eye be turned on him as well. I want to make it very clear that I am not calling him a liar or accusing him of heresy in any way. No. I love Chris and am very thankful for his show.
That said this defense is not tongue in cheek but it is by no means hateful. I think it is important that he be called on his own issue.
Chris consistently mocks and attacks churches for their choice in music. Particularly in style more than substance. He seems to imply that if you are not singing from the Lutheran Hymnal then you are singing heresy. He often equates modern praise music with Seeker Churches and liberal theology. There are bad songs that contain bad theology but just because you repeat a chorus of praise over and over and let it resonate with you is not unbiblical. Many of the psalms are very short and were very likely repeated several times. They were performed with the instruments of the day and there is no prohibition as for melody or rhythm. There is no prohibition to perform the same songs with todays instruments in modern melodic fashion. Many of my favorite praise songs are taken directly from psalms.
Its seems Chris’s most hated song is “The Air I Breathe” – Let me say that I dont really like this song either but its not because of the content of the song. Just not one of my favorites its a preference thing but I can worship to it. I can get into the words because they are straight from the bible and I can turn to all of them. Below is ALL THE WORDS and they are ALL in the bible and in context they mean the same.
This is the air I breathe – Your holy presence living in me John 3:8 Acts 2
This is my daily bread -Your very word spoken to me Mt4:4
And I I’m desperate for You – John 15:5
And I I’m lost without You Luke 19:10
I admit freely that there is not a ton of words to the song but what is there is solid. It is simple and clean.
As for the song being repetitive, if Chris Rosebrough plans on being in heaven he might want to get use to that: “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Rev 4:8 (Isa 6:3)
I am fine with Chris not liking the song. The point is that it is a matter of taste, and not one of doctrine or even principle.
“Cue Sappy Music” is heard from almost every podcast.
The term sappy is a subjective term not indicative of any particular genre.
He also accuses contemporary music as being “manipulative”.
Soft music (guitar or organ) playing in the background during an alter call or invitation is nice. In addition it is practical to help focus on prayer and not your neighbors growling tummy. Accusations that this is done to mimic the Holy Spirit are never backed up with any evidence. In some churches the band plays throughout the service.
The only judgement you can objectively place on songs sung in church is whether or not they are expounding sound doctrine in their lyrics.
All else is preference.
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Eph 5:19
I am very sorry Mr. Chris Rosebrough but David one of the greatest psalm writers ever and he “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.” I seriously doubt that was done to stuffy old organ music and lutheran hymn. -just saying.
Conclusion: There is nothing heretical or wrong about singing praise songs or choruses in my church.