Ran across a dilemma the other day concerning the music in our church, and wanted to throw it out there for discussion.
As you may or may not know, the LCMS Commission on Worship decided to review the praise songs most commonly used in the church and stamp with their seal of approval 100 with acceptable lyrics. http://www.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=13628)
To see the evaluation process: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=14538
But in considering these tunes in a vacuum, an interesting problem arises. One of the major publisher's represented on the list is Hillsong Music, a church with its own publishing arm in Australia. Some of the people represented by Hillsong are Reuben Morgan, Darlene Zschech, etc. Where is this going? The annual Hillsong Conference http://www2.hillsong.com/conferences/hillsong2009/home.asp
welcomes Joel and Victoria Osteen as their special guests. I don't think that I have to do much to explain that the Osteen's don't (or shouldn't) have much in common with LCMS theology. So when we "approve" music like "My Redeemer Lives, Reuben Morgan", or "Shout to the Lord, Darlene Zschech", do we not also give approval to the publishing house that produces it? We certainly do with our wallets. Most CCM music is purchased with licensing sites such as CCLI, and those publishers are paid whenever we use that music.
This is another consequence (I'm sure unintended) of working with publishing houses for whom we are unaware of theological standards. Another example is the trouble that arose because of this years youth gathering in Texas when a Non-Lutheran "song leader" was asked to lead worship.
Now... I'm willing to debate this in good faith. If a LDS composer creates a choir anthem based on a hymn text that we in the LCMS use, is it acceptable for worship? (This is an actual example - not a hypothetical).
I'd love to hear your thoughts.