Paramount Church places a high priority on music and singing. Like Martin Luther, we affirm that “…next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise…” However, we do not value music for music’s sake. There are several reasons* why we value music.
We consider music to be a wonderful and powerful gift from the Lord to His church. Music accompanied God in creation. In Job 38:7, Job reminds us that when God laid the foundations of the universe, “The morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy”.
We believe music is to be reclaimed and refined from this present evil age by the church in order to “taste with wonder (yet not to comprehend) God’s absolute and perfect wisdom in his wondrous work of music."
There is a theological reason behind our passion for music. Our chief concern is to bring the Word of God, particularly the gospel, fully to bear upon the listener’s soul (Col. 3:16). Music carries the Word of God in a unique fashion. Thus Martin Luther wrote statements such as:
“God has the Gospel preached through the medium of music.”
“…the fathers and prophets wanted nothing else to be associated with the Word of God as music. Therefore we have so many hymns and Psalms where message and music join to move the listener’s soul.”
“Music and notes…do help gain a better understanding of the text.
Our music is contemporary yet connected to the past, celebratory and contemplative, energetic and mild, loud and quiet. However, style (whether new or old) never takes precedence over content. Because music bears the Word of God, it is important that our songs teach truth clearly and accurately. We are particularly drawn to songs that clearly teach, declare, celebrate and communicate the life-changing truths of the gospel. Paul says the purpose of music is to drive the truths of the gospel deeper and deeper into our hearts so that it dwells richly (Col. 3:16).
Music and singing evoke powerful emotions. God designed music with a unique ability to combine accurate reflection with fervent affection. A true worshipper is committed to both knowing and enjoying God.
We reject the common notion today that profound reflection dries up fervent affection. True worship, as Piper notes, "...resists the idea that intense emotion thrives only in the absence of a coherent, exposition of doctrine. True worship, like true preaching (also music and singing-J.F.), insists and demands that the affections are to be ignited rather than extinguished by biblical truth (Desiring God, p. 97).
Our musicians are not performers seeking to manipulate people’s emotions through learned techniques. Our aim is to lead people to a profound sense of the wonder of Christ and not just leave them with warm, fuzzy feelings. Our music team's sole aim is to focus the congregation's minds and affections on the truth of the gospel and thereby point people to Christ and His glory.
When we praise God, we are doing exactly what we were created to do. We are called to glorify and enjoy God with our entire being (Ps. 29:2; 73:25; 1 Cor. 10:31). Part of glorifying God consists in praise (Ps. 22:23; 33:1; 66:2, 8; 67:3, 5).
Singing praise is a form of proclamation to others (Ps. 96:1-3; 149:1). It is a wonderful way the church publicly lifts up God's name in the world and magnifies Him in the eyes of others. Music and singing assist the church in declaring to fellow Christians and non-Christians the good news about Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20).
Singing praise also includes singing directly to God. Music and singing are not an option but a command (Ex. 15:21; 1 Chr. 16:23; Ps. 96:2; Isa. 42:10; Ja. 5:13). God wants to be served with gladness and singing (Ps. 100:2). The Lord calls His people to give Him praise with musical instruments (e.g., Ps. 33:1-3; 81:2; 98:4-6; 147:7; 149:3; 150).
Martin Luther taught, “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to human beings to let us know that we should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming the Word of God through music.”
Our music is not about entertainment, fund-raising projects, crowd-gathering, the adoption of contemporary forms for church growth or pep rallies for improving church morale.
Our music has one aim, which is to direct people away from themselves and focus their attention solely on Christ and His glory. Our corporate worship is the public savoring of the grace, love, power, wisdom and loveliness of Christ.
The gospel tunes our hearts to sing. We believe God has given music and singing to the church in order to show how Christ speaks in the gospel (Jn. 15:11). Loud singing and heart-felt rejoicing in God are always the responses of hearts that have been captivated by God's steadfast love and gracious salvation (Ex. 15:1-18, 21; Ps. 13:5-6; Zeph. 3:8-20; Lk. 1:46-55; Eph. 1:3-14).
The Gospel gives rise to strong, powerful affections for Christ. It creates an invisible explosion in the soul and music gives sounding form and visible expression to this invisible explosion!
Martin Luther wrote, “For God has cheered our hearts and minds through His dear Son, whom He gave for us to redeem us from sin, death and the devil. He who believes this earnestly cannot be quiet about it. But he must gladly and willingly sing.”
If you are interested in obtaining more information about our music team and/or learning how to get involved, please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org