Friday, July 1, 2011

ARTICLE REVIEW: My Response To Carl Albrecht

On June 28, 2011, Carl published a piece on his web site entitled, The Calling of a Worship Drummer. In this article Carl encouraged praise musicians to take their spiritual office seriously by urging them to develop and hone their musical skills and to grow spiritually at the same time.

Carl cited five very relevant scriptures to support his points:
• REV. 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God.”
• II CHRON. 34: 12 – 13 “The Levites – all who were skilled in playing musical instruments – had charge of the laborers and supervised all the workers from job to job.”
• I CHRON. 25: 7 ““…all of them trained in music for the Lord…”
• I SAMUEL 10: 5 – 11 “…they will be coming down from a high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps … and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.”
• I SAMUEL 16:23 “…David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”

Carl also indirectly cited two scriptures without giving their references that were also very relevant to his premise:
• “The Lord truly inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psa 22:3)
• “He said He will be found when we search for Him with all of our heart.” (Jer 29:13)

It is basically a good article. The only issue that I have with the article is that Carl needs to get his terminology straight. In his 1,400 word article, Carl mentions the word “worship” in its various forms 20 times. Or 21 if you include the picture at the beginning of the article that shows Carl holding his drums sticks in his right while raised in the air, with the caption below reading, “Carl worshipping.”

Carl has the same misconception about worship that most Evangelical Christians have. Praise and worship are two completely different concepts. The problem is, most Evangelicals have difficulty making the distinction between the two and they end up using the pop cultural definition of worship as opposed to the Biblical definition. Take the photo of Carl at the top of his article. One raising their hand or hands is an act of praise, not worship. Here are just two scriptures that support the concept of praise being manifested through the lifting of hands:
• Ps 63:4 “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”
• Ps 134:2 “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.”

Praise is an activity based concept and the scriptures teach that praise can be manifested through: giving of offerings, thanksgiving, or a verbal declaration of praise; and/or by shouting, dancing, lifting of hands, singing and playing musical instruments. Those are all activities. This is why I refer to myself as a praise drummer as opposed to a worship drummer. There is no verse in the Bible that reads, “lift your hands in worship.”

Worship on the other hand is a posture based concept and not an activity based concept as praise is. This is where most Evangelicals go wrong. They associate worship as an activity and it’s not. The scriptures teach that worship is a posture and an attitude of bowing. The notion that worship is defined by lifting hands and music is simply NOT BIBLICAL. I challenge anyone to show me one scripture that defines music any other manifestation of praise of as worship.

Here are just two scriptures that well illustrate how praise and worship are different:
• II Ch 20: 18 & 19 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
• Ne 8:6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Some of you might be thinking,… “Gosh Matthew, aren’t you being a little nit-picky here? After all, you just said that Carl’s article was good, so why are you splitting hairs over the semantics of worship?” If you were thinking that, let respond to you this way.

Suppose you visited a church where the Ushers pass out the bread and wine after the Pastor says, “will the ushers please come forward to take the offering.” Then, the Ushers pass the offering plates after the Pastors says, “we will now partake of Holy communion.” I think calling communion, “the taking of the offering” and the taking of the offering, “communion” is just a ridiculous as calling singing and music “worship.”

So my point is we need to call things what they actually are and we as Christians should be using the Biblical definitions of those terms if a Biblical definition is applicable. So, if Carl were to go back and revise his article by replacing all the references to worship with praise, then his article would be even better than it is now. It is as simple as that.

BTW, I just recently bought Carl’s instructional DVD, Drum Grooves for Worship and later this Summer, I will publish a review on it. I will not make an issue of how Carl used the word worship in my upcoming review since I have already done that here. Suffice it to say, aside for the worship issue, I loved the DVD immensely, so you can expect my review to be more on the positive side.


  1. Hi Matthew,
    Your point is well taken. I would agree with you that the definitions you present are accurate. We probably use the term "worship" as a covering for all aspects of what we do when we are "praising", "offering thanks", etc. etc. - If this is approach seems too trite to you than I apologize for that. But I don't think my intention or meaning gets lost in the use of it. And in all of those, the attitude of our hearts is really the most vital part. Maybe the use of the term "worship" as seen in a dictionary would help make my point... but I don't think that will satisfy you. - This is how it reads in Webster's Dictionary:
    WORSHIP:: - chiefly British : a person of importance —used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)
    2. reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence
    3. a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
    4. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem
    Anyway, I'm not here to argue; I'm just trying to bring clarification. I think we desire the same things and that we both want to live passionately for Jesus and to be obedient to what He has called us too. Whether we call ourselves a worship drummer or praise drummer is really not important.
    Blessings in your journey with Jesus,

  2. Carl,

    Thanks for your reply. Keep on groovin for the Lord.

  3. Matthew: I totally agree with Carl. It's all about the condition of your heart. Be careful how you approach such things. These are exactly the reasons people get so bummed out by "Christians". God knows the heart, God knows what we are doing. I can be jumping up and down and waving my hand above my head in "praise" while at the same time, my heart and soul are bowing before the Lord in worship. In fact, I would say that some of my most worshipful moments are expressed in my praise, to use your definitions of each. Some of what you are delving off into is "religion". My sister, who I love and respect so much once told me, "Remember Marcus, religion kills, Jesus saves."