Friday, June 22, 2007

Good to Remember

When it comes to "worship wars," I have tons of patience and grace when the conversation is held in terms of preference and personal likes/dislikes. When I tend to lose my patience is when the conversation is couched in terms of "right and wrong." It's important to remember that our relationships with God are deeply personal, our worship of Him does not look the same for all of us and as a result, music too will reflect a variety of styles...it must reflect a variety of styles. When it comes to "new worship music" and its place in our worship services, it is crucial to remember that even our sacred hymns were not always accepted in the church. Consider the following list of complaints about church music;

1) It's too new; like an unknown language
2) It's not as melodious as the more established style.
3) There are so many songs that it is impossible to learn them all.
4) This new music creates disturbances and causes people to act in an indecent and disorderly manner.
5) It places too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than on godly lyrics.
6) The lyrics are often worldly, even blasphemous.
7) It is not needed, since preceding generations have gone to heaven without it.
8) It is a contrivance to get money.
9) It monopolizes the Christian's time and encourages them to stay out late.
10) These new musicians are young upstarts, and some of them are lewd and loose persons.

So what's the point? These complaints are adapted from a document written in 1723 directed against the use of hymns.

My point is not to speak against hymns, but merely to make sure we keep the conversation pointed in the right direction. It's ok to talk about our likes and dislikes when it comes to music; it's ok to talk about our preferences and desires. However, it's mostly a discussion about just that, preferences. God can be honored with chant and electric guitars, with pipe organ and drums.

"...you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul" - Deut 4:29

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