Video from a Florida Georgia Line concert in Atlanta went viral last month. Interestingly enough, the video wasn’t of the popular country music duo; nor was it one of their many hit songs. It was Chris Tomlin, a well-known Christian song writer and worship leader, singing “How Great is Our God.” Many say the concert was transformed into a worship service as people sang along and held up lighted cell-phones in participation. The six-minute video has been celebrated as a “God moment.”
“How Great is Our God” beautifully expresses reverence and gratitude for the Lord, praising God’s infinite greatness. Anyone attending church in the last 15 years has probably sung this worship song. The founding members of Florida Georgia Line are no exception. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are both professing Christians. They talk often about their faith and their roots in church music. Still, something about this celebrated moment bothered me.
What qualifies as a “God moment?” Well, in Scripture God’s presence was met with reverence and awe. This particular worship song always makes me think of Isaiah’s vision of the “holy, holy, holy…Lord Almighty” seated on His throne in Isaiah 6. After seeing the greatness of God, Isaiah said, 1) “Woe to me!” and 2) “Here I am, send me!” God moments are transformational. People who encountered the Lord when He walked the earth were forever changed. Jesus called His followers to whole-hearted devotion…and He still does.
So, was the remainder of the concert transformed because of those six minutes? Did people put down their beer and begin to pray, repenting of personal sin? Did the lyrics of the remaining songs also honor and glorify God; reflecting whole-hearted devotion to the Lord God Almighty?
It’s about here that some will say, “Well, Jesus ate with sinners” or “we’re under grace now.” Both statements are true. But what happened when Jesus ate with sinners like Zacchaeus? Transformation! And remember the intended purpose of grace, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12).
Evangelist Vance Havner once said, “The church is so worldly and the world is so churchy that one can hardly tell the difference.” Even though Havner made that statement over 50 years ago, there’s still truth in it. In my opinion, this six minute moment was the world acting churchy. It may have been a nice moment; and I certainly see how it was a feel-good moment. But we need to be careful in what we qualify as a “God moment.” An encounter with a Holy God is life changing.