The Hymn Battles: Conflict and Lust, James 4:1

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:1-3

I adore my church. Being a member only since June, I find no flaw in it. It worships divinely. The teaching is solid.The people are welcoming and accepting. They follow God, walk in faith, and demonstrate true Christianity.

And they grieve.

Why,when all is so perfect?

A contingency had an argument and left. Sadly, the split is quite cliche: should we use the organ and hymns exclusively or mix it up with contemporary choruses?

Since the pastor decided to mix it up, and to take the control away from those who did not have the authority to dominate, a group of people picked up their hymnals and (if they could) their organs and went home.

The sad part is, the old order of worship had not been abolished, only updated and blended. 

I, personally, don’t care for hymns–although today I’ve found myself singing “Blessed Assurance” all day long (no pun intended–all the day long!). During my first visit to my church, all they sang were the standard hymns, and I felt the presence of God that compelled me to worship.

I still don’t like hymns. I still worship better with contemporary ballads–but when God shows up, I don’t care how.

Why the musical and heart-rending drama? Lust and power and envy dominated the spirits of those who packed up and trekked to a church more to their opinions. They left in their wake a faithful, and welcoming congregation now grieving because of the animosity the fleeing have created. They mourn the loss of their family.

Silly things to fight about.

The Zika virus is destroying lives. Refugees, from the Middle East, from Africa, from Central America, cannot find refuge. People succumb to addictions. Charlatans and crooks want to run our country. And our churches bemoan their music!

Pray for what you want, for your needs, for others. God will hear–IF we pray according to his will and not to consume our answered prayers on our own egos.

Have people’s lust and envy hurt you? How do you heal?

In truth, I’d love to hear of your experiences…together we can pray according to God’s will.

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