Excerpted from part three of the explosive new book:

‘White British Christians’ due for release in 2018 by Jerry Finch.

This is strange to suggest that ‘Christian worship’ could actually be part of the negative ‘world’ that Christians are required to overcome. Let me explain.

Years ago, I attended an African assembly in London. I was already well used to the way they ‘worship’ God. As an honoured guest I was taken near the front and sat with my guide for the evening service. The music was lively and vibrant and went on for a long time. I tried my best as a rhythmically deaf white person to get the feel of the rhythm and enjoy the message of the songs. Near me in the front by the aisle was a middle aged black lady. After some songs she came out into the aisle and prostrated herself on the floor occasionally sitting up with her hands raised and tears coming down her face. She was trying I feel to express her love for God and praise him or ‘worship’ him. She was not unique, in fact I have seen a few other people do the same or similar in various Afro-Caribbean congregations in the UK and elsewhere.

I felt a real sense of admiration for her and also some sense that my own type of pride or personality would not permit me to rise to that level of liberation and become unhindered by the thoughts of my mind, nor the opinions of others and the devil. It was a beautiful experience I have never forgotten.

Conversely, and the point of this section, is I have attended probably scores of White British ‘worship’ sessions. They all have these similar shades of conformity: they all sing songs about the personal love of God for them as an individual. They all sing songs about the Lamb and the Cross. (nothing wrong there). They all sing songs about God is the ‘Sovereign Lord’ and is Holy and knows what He is doing. They all sing songs about everything is going to be ok with them and they are loved and comforted by the Holy Spirit and God. And….well that is about it I honestly and humbly suggest.

There are no or very few songs about: responsibility to God or being a disciple who is taking up his/her cross daily. There are almost no songs about sacrifice and the duties of a Christian soldier. There are no songs about war and fighting the devil and the world of today.

There are very few songs that tend to give the eternal vision of God’s power across generations, conquering all enemies before him. There are no songs about winning the entire world for Jesus Christ and our job to go into it. The songs I have heard seem to lay all the job directly at God’s feet.

There are almost no songs about commitment and growth and desperation to know Almighty God. There are almost no songs about deep confession and repentance. There are very few songs based on scripture or just pure scripture, so that the actual Word of God is seldom put into music itself.

These are my observations over many years.

Yet you will find many (non-traditional) churches in the UK absolutely thrilled and satisfied with their worship. With their one hand waving in the air, if they are brave or very dedicated.

Yet these types of songs I mention that are not there today, USED TO BE THERE. And they used to be there for centuries. They were certainly there during the missionary endeavours of part one of this book, but I am sure they in large part are not there today.

This cumulative effect of the lack of this message through music definitely has an effect and will be very detrimental. Our young people grow up without that knowledge of dedication, sacrifice, struggle and the requirements of our way of life. It’s wonderful to know God loves us and feel comforted and encouraged after a long week serving mammon in the UK, but the best way to know God and His Love I have found, is to know him in the storm, through the struggle and in the impossible situation where he came through and did the miracle at the eleventh hour, and if you read the book of Psalms which is really our handbook for worship, you will find the vast majority of that book is that type of song! Praise the Lord.

I wish to ask all songwriters and all ‘worship’ people everywhere to ask God for a better balance as a false balance truly is an abomination to the Lord. Start using either the old proven songs of blood and tears and victory or write your own. And you won’t be able to write your own unless you have done it or gone through it yourself and perhaps that’s why there are so few today. There is a famine in the land, for hearing the word of the Lord and the right balance of Christian worship songs.

So in my opinion Christian worship itself to some degree is harming the Christian in this land. Other lands do a lot better because they are not stupid enough to think they have arrived and are not so smug and self-satisfied with their ‘lovely’ songs.

I have found it immensely difficult to sit through songs in church in the UK and have regularly stepped out for a while, just so as I could get my mind on the Lord!

I pray these words will bear fruit and there will also be a new generation of songs leading us to God and His Love and our position and standing in Him.

A worship service in prison

And I’d like to add a longish postscript to this section about music and true worship. This is a testimony of an experience I had ministering to prisoners with a good friend of mine, John from Austria. We were in the Philippines where he had a ‘Prison ministry’. I’d like you to bear in mind as you read this, that we are all or have been prisoners of some sort in this life.

I remember we visited them from China and John invited me one Saturday to come down to this local prison in the provincial town of Tanay near where they lived! I was in for a (wonderful) shock! The local prison seemed to be bursting at the seams with both men and women. However here John was ministering to many male prisoners. As we entered the outer yard of the prison we were escorted to the men’s section and came to a small grilled gate behind which I think about 30-40 men were crowded into a hallway looking out at us and waiting expectantly! John had also brought one of his oldest teenage sons with him.

John didn’t waste any time and started singing songs to these men whom I discovered that most of them had been saved now for some time. They were a mixture of thieves, addicts, murderers, rapists and so on, most in there for some time and depending on their connections may well be in there as you read this now many years later!

As the songs progressed these men amazed me, they started to sing with their whole hearts. I had never seen the like fervour in the western churches anyway! People started crying and weeping and when we got to their favourite song: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, I won’t look back, I can’t look back*’ it seemed like we were just at the portals of heaven! The Holy Spirit was just about tangible as these men professed their love for their Saviour! All I could do was join in the best I could. (See end of this section for lyrics)

Finally, John delivered a simple sermon or message of encouragement and faith. The whole thing lasted about an hour after which he passed out a lot of Christian literature, prayed with a few new people who wanted to know Jesus and get the Word of God.

Saying goodbye was even difficult after such a short time, I realized these were our genuine brothers whom the system would possibly never help even though their lives had been changed in Christ. I left that prison a changed man. I was in a bigger prison than these men I felt, they were truly free even though it had taken prison to break them into vessels ready for Jesus. I on the other hand still felt I needed to be a lot more free in the Holy Spirit, I needed to decrease so Jesus could increase in me. The whole event taught me so much that stays with me today. Praise the Lord. Meeting them and talking with them briefly through the gate that separated us was a very touching experience.

Lyrics to "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus? Will you decide now to follow Jesus? Will you decide now to follow Jesus? No turning back, no turning back.

(Song accredited to S. Sundar Singh, the famous Indian evangelist.)