Monday, December 05, 2005

Christian Music II

Wow, three comments!

This topic tears at the fibers of many churches these days--the older generation (usually) digging in their heels wanting to stick with old standards like Count Your Blessings delivered with a song leader and hymn books and the requisit organ or piano accompanyment with the younger generation (usually) wanting new standards like Worthy is the Lamb backed up by full band and lead by three vocalists while lyrics are projected for all to see.

So, which is right?

Personally, I like both. The old hymns bring continuity, peace and steadiness anchoring us in changing times. The music reveals a timelessness of the church and God. Many strike reverent notes.

But let's not be Amish-folk here, stuck in the "ways" of the 1700s permanently singing musical versions of horses and buggies and turning up our noses at those silly inventions motorcars.

My point about certain Christian Rock tunes was that the music itself delivered an ungodly message even if the intent was to glorify God. It would like me wearing a diamond encrusted thong to God's glory while skipping naked at church--sure it's the best money can buy, sure my intent is to glorify God with beauty, but it is a THONG, for Pete's sake. (We won't even talk about how my naked body would defile the sanctuary. Let's just stop there.)

Other upbeat Christian tunes and even some reflective ones surely praise and worship God--drums, cymbals and all. What makes me uncomfortable is the wholesale swallowing of this new genre of music and checking our brains at the door. Of course, that has been done about other Christian music as well. Singing seven laments rarely has a place in the worship service--but it is done all the time usually by old white guys picking songs written by dead white guys from ages past.

Some questions to ask about any music played for God:
  • Is it Biblical? The truth shall set you free...
  • Is the music spiritual or sensual (that is God-based or Man-based)?
  • Does the music inspire or aggitate? Seek peace, pursue it earnestly.
  • Is the music understandable or confusing? God is not the author of confusion

All music in God's service should praise and glorify and lift up and inspire and unite and instill love, joy and peace. We have six days to bang pots and pans if that is what pleases our ear. One day, only one, is set aside for Sabbath Rest and worshipping our Creator.

Music is such a big part of the day and should be chosen lovingly.
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