—1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NASB)
For nearly all my life I’ve heard the recurring argument—most often associated with music, but with other such things as well—”Don’t you want the best for God?” This well-intentioned, sincerely presented point has been put forth to justify why someone is not “good enough” to be on the worship team, why certain music is “better”, why so much of a building’s budget has been dedicated to ornamentation and decoration, and for a myriad other things that will present a church or activity at the highest earthly quality possible.
You should hear the responses to my initial rebuttal, “But how do YOU know what’s best?” The initial argument then gives way to the deeper root problem that these people are convinced they’re really the only ones who can provide that answer and therefore everyone else should follow their lead. And when it gets down to comparisons to define what is “best”, they are never biblically based but in reality worldly standards they earnestly desire to be co-opted. (Like the church that declares, “Let’s do ‘Godspell’ the RIGHT way.”) Rarely do they get the point that they have replaced what God wants with what man actually wants.
The most extreme example of this was a young man who explained that he didn’t just simply want to bring the best and hippest music to Christians, but to prove to the world that “Christian artists” (I could write a book on just what’s wrong with that phrase alone) were just as good as “regular artists”. His ever-so serious plan was to not just have a band with the latest sound, hottest gear, and Hollywood-quality costumes and stage sets, but to have the group chauffered in limos and traveling with entourages and the like so that “Christian artists” would be indistinguishable from “regular artists”. In his words, “God would then have musicians as good as the world’s.”
—Matthew 23:6-12 (NASB)
Lord, that you would teach me to see every person the way you see them, according to the quality and condition of their heart, and not according to my own exalted yet deluded exterior standards. And that I would strive to be seen by You according to the same standard, having a heart worthy of Your attention, stripped of any worldly reputation.†††