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4th of July Weekend

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  • 4th of July Weekend

    Hey all. I am looking for some song ideas for the 4th weekend. Looking for contemporary songs that you are planning on or have done is your service.

    Let it rip! What are you doing next weekend?

  • #2
    We are emphasising Community Service this summer and are using God of this City as a theme song. So we will do God of this City, Hope of the Nations (Brian Doerksen) - will fit the sermon as well. and after that?? probably one patriotic type song to keep some of the natives happy - possibly done as special music. after that not sure yet

    Comment


    • #3
      OK, well, I'm planning my setlist now ... it's a battle every year, do you sing a patriotic song ... especially when your time is limited, and you'd rather be singing songs that really affirm our faith and relationship with God ...

      And if you don't ... is it worth the pushback you may receive from those who expect a patriotic song?

      That being said - what songs are ya'll doing?
      Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
      blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

      Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
      www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
      www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

      Comment


      • #4
        We did a "Freedom" theme last year...used "I'm Free" by The Who. We're neck deep in a series on Moses this year, and we're talking about the Ten Commandments this week. I'm sure we'll acknowledge the day, but not doing any patriotic songs.

        Nate
        Practical Worship

        Please Pray For My Wife

        Comment


        • #5
          One of the things I will do on a weekend like this when I don't want to, feel led to, or have a song we can do, is to check out sermon spice and find a video that I could use that will work with the holiday as well as connect to the service in some way. Works real well, communicates a truth(s) ties everything together honors the holiday, and makes those who want some special recognition of the day happy.

          my set list as of this morning
          Prelude - Let God Arise
          Main Worship Block
          Battle Hymn of the Repuplic -vs 1 and chorus
          Hope of the Nations
          Down at The Cross vs 1 and chorus into the bridge of
          Here I am to Worship to the chorus(not doing the verses)
          God of This City

          Offering probably a special music.(something patriotic)

          Comment


          • #6
            Patriotism has absolutely no place in the worship of God.



            (I'm not trying to be a jerk. Just trying to state the point up front so there's no confusion.)

            With that conversation bomb out of the way, ask the question, "are we worshiping God or worshiping America?" Even a song like "God Bless America" isn't really about God, it's about America. We would protest loudly if Christians in Venezuela sang songs about Hugo Chavez on his birthday; why are we comfortable doing the same thing?

            I know that many people expect it; use this Sunday as a teaching time. Address the topic in your prayers and your sermons. Thank God that we live in a land where we are free to worship him. Ask his blessing on our nation. Pray that our country might be a blessing to the world. Pray that our leaders would govern justly and wisely.

            Avoid the flag processionals, the pledge of allegiance, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Battle Hymn of the Republic (which has some terrible theology - namely, that our cause is always God's cause), Uncle Sam and George Washington.

            Comment


            • #7
              I couldn't disagree more. Your Hugo Chavez analogy doesn't add up - no where in "God Bless America" are we extolling a leader, a President, or a person. We are simply asking, as Christian Americans, for God to bless our land.

              This is scriptural - we're told that if we "humble ourselves and pray, and repent of our wicked ways", etc ... God would "heal our land".

              To say that one shouldn't sing "God Bless America" in church is to say that we should never pray for God to bless our country.

              Eric, you say "ask his blessing on our nation".

              Look at the lyrics:
              "God, bless America, the land that I love" ... "Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the Light from above ...."

              That song essentially prays and asks God to do exactly what you just said we SHOULD DO?

              When you pray, and ask God to bless your children ... are you worshiping your children? Of course not.

              When you pray, and ask God to bless the youth who just left on a missions trip for a week - are you worshiping the youth? Of course not.

              When you pray (albeit, you sing the prayer instead of speak it) "God Bless America" ... are you worshiping America? Of course not.

              Funny, how that got me all charged up ... and I'm not the one who really even gets excited about singing those songs, and I typically look for every reason NOT to do them ...
              Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
              blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

              Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
              www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
              www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: God Bless America,

                I have a hard time believing that Americans sing that song and think about their creator more than their nation. I'm not bashing the prayer, I'm pointing out the emotional attachments to the song - they're based far more in love of country than love of God. Why else would secular folks be so comfortable singing the song at baseball games?

                Re: Chavez,

                No, we're not extolling a person but we're extolling a country and not our creator. If you were in Sydney and they sang "Advance Australia Fair" in a worship service, you'd feel a bit out of place, right? Worship isn't the place for the exalting of any nation (even Israel, but that's another can of worms).

                >This is scriptural - we're told that if we "humble ourselves and pray, and repent of our wicked ways", etc ... God would "heal our land".

                2 Chronicles 7.14 is not about America. It's about Israel before the exile. Specifically, it's about Solomon. That's why the next verses read:

                15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
                Last edited by psalmsandhymns; 07-01-2009, 12:35 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  >This is scriptural - we're told that if we "humble ourselves and pray, and repent of our wicked ways", etc ... God would "heal our land".

                  2 Chronicles 7.14 is not about America. It's about Israel before the exile. Specifically, it's about Solomon. That's why the next verses read:

                  15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
                  So by that logic you're basically saying that everything in the OT must be taken literally and has no place in the lives and spiritual experiences of modern Believers?

                  Obviously, I know that's not what you're saying, but that statement only leads to that conclusion.

                  David writes about all of his life situations, battles, struggles, victories, ups and downs in the Psalms, and they are DAVID specific...yet we use them for the basis for the majority of our "worship" songs and prayers today.

                  It would be one thing if we sang "nationalistic" songs during our worship gatherings each week. But we don't. It's once a year. psalmsandhymns your points are good, a bit extreme, but I think they're OVERLY cautious about something that isn't really happening.

                  Plus, I happen to believe that if the majority of our people LIVED out whole life worship instead of the bulk of their worship expression being on Sunday at a gathering, then this issue would be moot. Why? Because when we become so adamant about not tainting "worship" with patriotic songs, we could possibly be elevating the songs we sing and the time we set aside for it to a place higher than what TRUE worship really is all about.

                  Reverence for God? Sure. Collective voices raised in praise? Absolutely. Should we hold it in high esteem? Of course.

                  BUT Sunday morning song time is not the end all be all of worship. In fact, I suggest that it really isn't anything of any significance if our people aren't worshiping with their lives during the week. It just becomes ritual.

                  We know it IS scriptural to offer sacrifices of worship (both OT & NT), but God clearly delights in obedience (or a surrendered, sacrificed life) over just ritual sacrifice.

                  Romans 12:1, paints a good picture of that by using the phrase "offer yourself as living sacrifices"...

                  Why am I bringing all that into this discussion?

                  Simply, to make a point that we need to be careful not to elevate the singing time (which is one of MANY ways to express a life of worship), as a ritual sacrifice of worship that we fool ourselves into believing God takes pleasure in and accepts as we breeze in and breeze out once a week, not once slowing down to acknowledge Him the other 6 days.

                  I guess, in my mind, in a perfect world, it wouldn't be a big deal (for OR against) if we sang a tune every now and then that wasn't specifically "worship" (in the narrow churchy sense of the word). And in this case specifically, it does NOT dishonor God to ask Him through a song to Bless America.

                  Personally, I think traveling down that road could lead us into all sorts of legalism.

                  Imagins throwing out Jesus loves me, because the song includes the word "me." Well, that can't honor Jesus, because it's selfish right?
                  Last edited by russhutto; 07-01-2009, 01:10 PM.
                  Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good word, Russ.

                    I think we tread on dangerous ground when we presume to know the hearts of those singing a song. It's easy to presume that "we're really exalting America, and not thinking of God".

                    As for the Aussie comment ... you know, I don't think it would bother me AT ALL, in context. If I were at Hillsongs in AUS, and it was their national holiday, and they sang a song asking for God's blessings on their country, I would think that was a totally cool experience ... much like the sense of respect and honor I feel when I hear the various national anthems being sung at the Olympics.

                    Granted, our worship services aren't the Olympics - but Russ touches on something valuable - and it's our loack of a holistic view of worship.

                    Our LIVES are worship. If I'm excited about the freedom we share in America, and want to express that ... I think that God is fine with that. I don't believe God's view of corporate worship is "if you're not singing to me, I'm unhappy". I think God has a more holistic view, too - and He has great delight in community, and in us expressing our joys, triumphs, as well as our tribulations.

                    Have you ever sung "Happy Birthday" in a church service before? (hahaha, probably not!) ... I've done it, been there ... let's say it's the Pastor's birthday, and we surprise him with a card and a special "take the weekend off at this hotel" get-away, and we sing ... I think that God smiles on this, and He sees us living life together in community.

                    Just some random additional thoughts.

                    Again, it's not a mountain I'd choose to die on ... I'm not an advocate either way, I'm just as happy with someone who does NOT sing a patriotic song in their corporate service as the person who themes a Sunday service to celebrate it. (assuming that theme is God-honoring)
                    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I posted on Fred's blog that we don't, and we don't. Not for any real reason, we just don't. The pastor has never said "Don't do it." and no one has ever asked that we do.

                      Growing up in a Catholic church, God Bless America and America the Beautiful were standard on 4th of July weekend, and I have no real problem with it, as I have no real problem with singing one of these songs at service - so long as it was a prayerful song asking for blessing and guidance for America (or any country.) As was mentioned, we (hopefully) pray for these things in prayer meetings anyway.

                      I noticed some folks in the other thread mentioned using the Pledge of Allegience or the national anthem during service... now that I might have a problem with. I don't believe that a worship service is the proper place to profess allegience to anything or anyone other than God. I think that would make me a little uncomfortable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I tend to agree, Mike - I would not really be into reciting pledges or creeds to the flag of country either.

                        I suppose it's each their own - last year, we didn't do anything.

                        This year, we planned on mentioning it in announcements, and maybe saying a prayer ... but I just couldn't shake it, a severe restlessness that I've learned is usually from the Holy Spirit.

                        What I've got planned for us at SSCC this Sunday will take no more than 1-2 minutes max, and I believe it will be moving and powerful, and will only enhance our corporate worship. I'm excited about it, actually!
                        Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                        blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                        Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
                        www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
                        www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by twc_admin View Post
                          OK, well, I'm planning my setlist now ... it's a battle every year, do you sing a patriotic song ... especially when your time is limited, and you'd rather be singing songs that really affirm our faith and relationship with God ...

                          And if you don't ... is it worth the pushback you may receive from those who expect a patriotic song?

                          That being said - what songs are ya'll doing?
                          I don't sing patriotic songs- I just don't really care for them (not that I'm not patriotic or love my country- I just don't like the musicality behind the songs) and it is very strange trying to fit patriotic songs into a worship set- and since, the fourth of july is on saturday- I don't feel the need to sing songs after the holiday.

                          I'm sticking to a regular worship set.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is tough for me because I identify with both sides of the issue. Honestly, at my core I've identified with psalmsandhymns' view, but I can look back and see where legalism crept into my personal life directly because of that kind of thinking.

                            On a related note, I am researching this whole "grace" thing to see if God had a valid point or not. :-)

                            Seriously, for me that line of thinking had some results that were less that Christ-honoring (personal -- nothing that saw the light of day by others), and I have let go of some of my stubbornness. Not saying you're stubborn, psalmsandhymns; I'm saying I was.

                            Russ presented the following zinger that I absolutely agree with; it's at the core of nearly every problem in the American Church:

                            "Plus, I happen to believe that if the majority of our people LIVED out whole life worship instead of the bulk of their worship expression being on Sunday at a gathering, then this issue would be moot."

                            If I'm able to sing a Miley Cyrus song with my Christ-following daughter on a Tuesday, I ought to be able to sing a song about the blessings of living in a particular place with my Christ-following spiritual family on Sunday. The top-level focus has to be fixed on God; not the blessing He's given.

                            I understand that Sundays are set aside as times of corporate worship and I'm not equating dad/daughter hang-out time with corporate worship. But I hope it helps make a point... I believe we begin to go over the top when we can't look at the good God has given and say, "Wow, this is good! stuff You've given! Thank you, God!" in the same way that moment by moment, I am literally thankful that God allows me to simply have fun with the amazing family He's given me to take care of and grow with.

                            All that being said, I do have some limits. The only song that I felt completely good about singing corporately this coming Sunday was "God Bless America," exactly because of the things Fred mentioned about the song. "America, The Beautiful" pushes me just a little bit, and "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" will never make the cut for congregational use while I'm leading.

                            Does that make sense? I went all stream-of-consciousness and what not.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Application of the Old Testament

                              Yes, because 2 Chronicles 7 is about Old Testament Israel pre-exile it cannot be about the United States of America. Can there be application for Christians today? Of course. Can we read the passage and substitute our nation for Israel? No, because Israel was in a unique position in a unique time and a unique place in redemptive history.

                              Re: The topic in general

                              Glorifying anything other than God in a worship service is idolatry.

                              I'm not going to convince all of you that celebrating a nation in a worship service that is allegedly about Jesus is a violation of the first commandment to have no other gods before the Lord. If you're not convinced, you're not convinced. And we're all coming from such varied theological backgrounds that much of the direction of this conversation is set by convictions that we haven't talked about (i.e. the purpose of corporate worship, etc.).

                              Re: Being accused of legalism

                              We have an incredible privilege every week. We, through no goodness of our own, have been called out of darkness into the light of God. We have been set free from the guilt and power of sin by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. We have been given the Holy Spirit. We assemble as God's people to worship him, to celebrate by singing and proclaiming his mighty deeds among the nations (as Psalm 96 says). We sing of being set free from sin, of a creation racked by sin being renewed, of people who were once enemies of God and of one another being brought to peace. We sing of new life and new hope. We sing of God's faithfulness despite our unfaithfulness. We were not merely underserving of God's love but, in fact, deserved the very opposite! And yet, he has called us and brought us to life! And not just us, individually, but the whole cosmos is being made right!

                              That's what Christians sing about. That's what Christians celebrate. That's what causes Christians to rejoice. Anything else withers in comparison to God and his magnificent glory!
                              Last edited by psalmsandhymns; 07-01-2009, 02:13 PM.

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