Bible Answer

Does it matter if our worship songs have questionable theology?

Sometimes the worship music my church sings includes lyrics that contradict Scripture in small ways. The mistakes are not serious in most cases, but I wonder if this is a problem? When is it appropriate to raise concerns with the church over worship music lyrics?

Ideally, everything we say and sing in our church gatherings should be aligned to Scripture, but this is almost never the case. Pastors will misinterpret the Bible from time to time, prayer leaders may misquote the Bible as they pray on occasion, and worship leaders may lead us in songs that include questionable theology. Since we know everyone ministers imperfectly, we need to show plenty of grace to one another in the work. 

So we advise Christians to approach concerns over worship music theology in the same way that we might approach your teaching pastor with concerns over a sermon: go to him with your concerns prayerfully, privately, lovingly...and rarely

Unless your concerns are serious, you should probably stay silent. Playing the role of the critic is far too easy, and pastors, worship leaders, elders, etc. receive complaints from their congregation virtually every day. Being too quick to join in that criticism, especially over minor points of concern, may erode your fellowship with that ministry leader and work against unity in the body over time. In our opinion, correcting a minor (and debatable) theological concern in the lyrics of a single song is not worth risking the loss of unity or fellowship.

In cases where your concerns are more substantial (i.e., the discovery of significant theological error), these should be addressed, but we advise that you first find others in the church who share your concerns before approaching the pastor or ministry leader. Having more than one person in agreement in a matter serves to validate that your concerns are legitimate and worthy of complaint, and it also increases the likelihood that the ministry leader will listen and take the feedback to heart.

Pastor Armstrong's rule of thumb in this area is if you are the only one in the church concerned about an issue, the issue is probably not worthy of your concern either.