Saturday, September 4, 2010

What Happened To Christian Music?

My computer seems to be possessed or something, lol I have not been having the greatest luck with technology lately ; )

I am listening right now to what was called "The Love Song of the Welsh Revival," the title, "Here Is Love, Vast as the Ocean" No, I can't write it or say it in Welsh. Althouugh it would be cool if I could, Welsh is a beautiful language, and I think it is somewhat related to the Gaelic languages that my ancestors spoke in Ireland. I'm no expert on the matter though.

The songs and music of profound and meanignful spiritual awakenings, have profound and meaningful verses. I think it is fair to say that some of what is passed off as praise and worship music today is not too profound or meaningful. Don't get me wrong. I am not overly strict in my musical tastes, but what I do look for is meaning, depth and worship. Not something slapped together, generically, superficially, quickly and for the sake of consumerism. The follow the bouncing ball praise and worship songs in the Christian Entertainment Centers today rarely hold a candle to songs like "It is Well With My Soul," or "Amazing Grace." Even those Churches that think they are really holding the line when it comes to traditional Christian music aren't holding the line as much as they think. I have been rsearching and looking at old hymns that were sang by Americans in the 1700s and some of them were so excellent and yet they are nearly lost to time. Of course, if some of us would live lives like they lived back then, lives marked by service, prayer, fasting, some solitude, Bible reading, devotion-than we could be writing more of our own great songs instead of adapting songs from the new evangelicals ; ) Again, don't get me wrong, I think there is a time and a place meant for all sorts of different types of spiritual music but some of us are just lacking the music that has quality, depth and sincerity. You have to consider the source. Some music is made to SELL, but that it just not what we should be looking for in music designed to be both worshipful and edifying.

I've been in CHurches that aren't too into the contemporary, but all they sing are fast-paced, like marching tunes. Well, those songs have their place. But Keep on the Firing Line, just doesn't take the place of It Is Well With My Soul, or Holy, Holy, Holy. I think even of Lester Roloff, and how he took the time to re-introduce old hymns into the Church, some of which Baptist are still singing today! What a blessing! I think when we read the Scripture that describes, psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, that gives us our clue that there are supposed to be different kinds of holy music. We need to have balance. A lighthearted, happy song, can be just what the doctor ordered for your heart, but a deep, thoughtful, somber song, never hurt anyone's soul either. You can go from "Its' Amazing What Praising Can Do" to "There's Something Mighty Sweet About the Lord" to "Fairest Lord Jesus" just fine. They may be different in style and slightly in purpose, but they're all good. But I have to admit, I just don't buy into a lot of the contemporary praise music. My comments about contemporary music are MY opinions and thoughts, I'm not trying to pass this off as doctrine or Gospel. And I'm not saying none of it is any good or that it doesn' help ANYONE, but I do think it leaves something to be desired. There's just a certain amount of revernece and thoughtfulness that doesn't seem to go into some of the stuff made for the big worship screens....so many of them seem to say nothing but I, Me, myself, me me me, and they lack good doctrine, and reverence. Are they evil? Mostly No. But they are inferior. IF given the option of good, better or best. I'll take best. If someone wants to sing overused, touchy-feely slogans and cliches and bumper sticker sayings, that's fine. But I prefer something a little less embarassing.

I'll go further. It is easy for someone to read this and think, yeah, darn those mega-Churches and new evangelical liberal bubble-gum chewin wimpy Christians. lol But really, what got me thinking about this wasn't the Kingdom Bounch bunch so much, it was us old school baptists. It seems a lot either sing the same old few hymns, over and over and over completely neglecting all the other amazing hymns, or they just sing all the loud, 4/4 marhing songs over and over....and even more than that, soem say theyre singing the old fashioned music, but really, its' some popular, southern-type stuff, FULL OF CLICHES and not so thoughtful lyrics, written by and sang by all denominations all over the south.....hmm. NOw, I'm even surprising myself here to be honest. Its' easy to be misunderstood. I am not AGAINST any of this music. It's all good. I am just noticing that the calibur of music, and worship-time in general, all over the Country, just doesn't seem to be what it was. I think two things need to be remembered. 1. Is sincerity and praise and true HEARTFELT worship in every song is essential and 2. an awareness of our heritage, taking time to include songs written by our greatest heroes and containing our most important doctrines. Many of the old hymns sing of the Trinity the econd Coming, the SPECIFICS of what Christ did in His death, burial and ressurection. You can actually LEARN something from those hymns. It amazes me how many contemporary songs use the word "Holy" incessantly and yet they NEVER even attempt to describe what Holiness actually is. It cheapens holiness, in my opinion. And to say things like I give myself to you, I offer You the sacrifice of praise, etc, in flippancy, and unbelievably casually, just seems to make it mean a lot less. THis whole line of thought can bring about a lot of controversy...so please share your own thoughts, respectfully of course :)

2 comments:

  1. Good post Brother! It gets folks thinking and that's good. We mostly rush into church and sing the songs while we are looking around to see who's there and never stop to think about what we are actually singing....so in my opinion, that's not worship. We call it worship, but it's not worship. It is also hard to worship in song when the songleader (aka WORSHIP leader) looks like he's bored to death. I personally love the old hymns that tell of the the blood and the Gospel...the kind that have doctrine in them. The best songs are songs written from Scripture..in MY opinion. The BEST commentary on music I've ever heard is from The Lost Cause Series by Pastor James W Knox. Thanks for putting forth your opinion and not saying it was God's opinion. :-) Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Becky, I appreciate the feedback! If u check out my fb profile brother rodney houston also shared some good insight.

    ReplyDelete