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The Spirit Versus The Synthesizer

Music is so emotional that it can be tempting to “cheat” on Sunday mornings by manipulating people’s emotions. But if we’re relying on our own instruments and talents to “create an environment of worship,” we’re going to fail, because that’s the Holy Spirit’s job, not ours.

Bob Kauflin addresses this:

In recent decades ambient sounds have become omnipresent in church gatherings. Meetings start with a synth swell and every song after that is connected to the next with musical glue. Synth pads play softly behind prayer, Scripture readings, song intros, communion, and in some cases, the preaching. If you don’t have someone who can produce the necessary sounds, no worries. “Worship pads” in every key are available for purchase to smooth out the transitions…

Everyone knows a synthesizer is not the Holy Spirit. But judging from worship albums, YouTube videos, and comments I’ve heard people make, that point might need to be clarified…

So here are three ways a synthesizer (or piano, B3 organ, electric guitar, cymbal swell, etc.) can be distinguished from the Holy Spirit.

Bob lists three key differences between the role of music in worship and the role of the Holy Spirit. Seems like it should be obvious, but it’s definitely worth repeating. Check it out here.

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