Churches should not have non-Christian musicians involved in worship music groups, insisted a Christian professor.
“It’s an old dilemma: a church music ministry has a need, and a local unbelieving musician is available. But is it a match made in Heaven, or a manifestation of … elsewhere?” Matthew Westerholm, assistant professor of music and worship at Bethlehem College & Seminary, wrote on desiringgod.org.
Westerholm argued that churches should avoid using non-Christian musicians for worship. Otherwise, “church leaders confuse evangelism with excellence.”
âExcellence in music can be of precious value for worship, but it should not be the highest value of a church. And it certainly should not be smuggled into church practice under cover. of evangelism, âWesterholm wrote.
âChurch leaders assert another person’s profession of faith when they allow that person to have a prominent public role at the church gathering. And this assertion is easily misunderstood, in especially by unbelievers. “
Westerholm also objected to non-Christians leading worship, believing it to confuse “unbelievers about the nature of salvation.”
âIn general, non-Christians rely on their good works to impress and win God’s favor. However, this is the opposite of the gospel, âcontinued Westerholm.
âImagine, in the spirit of Matthew 7: 21-23, the tragedy of the unbelieving musician standing before the Lord on the last day. Imagine hearing him say, ‘But Lord, I played music for the church.’ “
Westerholm’s concerns about the involvement of non-Christians in a church’s music ministry come months after DesiringGod.com founder John Piper posted an entry claiming there is nothing that non-Christians can do to please God.
In response to a question from a listener about whether a non-Christian can please God, Piper replied in an entry posted in January that it was not possible.
âOf course, that doesn’t mean that unbelievers can’t perform acts that outwardly conform to God’s law. They don’t kill. They don’t steal. They don’t lie. In other words, they themselves. outwardly conform to some of the revealed will of God. What this shows is that it is not simply outward conformity to prescribed acts that pleases the Lord, ” said piper.
âWe parents know that. We don’t want our children’s outward conformity when their hearts are far from us. What pleases the Lord is a heart of trust and love. this heart pleases the Lord. “