My wife recently attended a worship service where the message was shaped around a popular country western song (rather than the text used) and then the secular song was the last set by the worship band. She left deeply disheartened.
The service raised an interesting question. Does the sacred influence the secular or does the secular influence the sacred? Now without a doubt there was some truth in the song. But why use a secular source to try to communicate eternal truth when it is the word of God that is the source of all truth? Maybe to illustrate but not as the source. There are many good illustrative stories from the secular world, but the source of all truth about God is found in His word.
In addition, how can a secular song as a worship set raise our hearts to the throne of God? Again, does the sacred influence the secular or does the secular lead us to the sacred?
What was more interesting was that many loved the song. Actually I like the song. But I question the discernment of those who believe that the secular can lead us to the sacred as an act of worship. In our effort to be relevant we often forget that the Word itself is the source of all relevance and that word, empowered by the Holy Spirit has amazing power to change lives.
Perhaps our drive for relevance is an indication that we don't always think the truth of the Word is enough. Paul did. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith' " (Romans 1:16-17).