Sunday, December 02, 2007
More on Music . . . In Church
Whenever I see the great Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike & The Mechanics) and his unique 12-string/bass doubleneck, I get envious. I try to resist. Really. And that brings me to my real subject -- music in church.
Now, I know this will probably get me in trouble (not to mention probably odd for someone as biblically conservative as I am), but I do like rock. Especially the Genesis/Pink Floyd variety. Prog to the core. I don't mind contemporary Christian music either. I don't think Christian music has to be old hymns or country gospel to be truly Christian. So this comment isn't aimed at the genre really, but is more aimed at wondering what is really appropriate for Sunday worship.
I comment on this reluctantly. I am not a legalist, especially in terms of music. I actually used to enjoy a more contemporary style of worship music at one point. That is, until I began to miss hearing hymns. There's some really great theology in the old hymns, and I must say, that's something a lot of modern "worship" choruses aren't known for -- great or deep theology. After a while, I found myself missing the calm and quiet. I began going to the traditional service at my church instead of the later, contemporary one. I found it more conducive to actually focusing on the Lord and getting in the right frame of mind.
Today, because of circumstances at home, I had to attend the contemporary service this morning. It has been a while. I expected a bit of a rocked up arrangement, but when I was trying to focus on the words of the song we were singing, as soon as the chorus kicked in, the guitarist turned on an effects pedal. After the chorus, he let a lead rip. All of my attention went there instead of where it was supposed to be. Could it be because I am a quasi-musician myself? Maybe. But it also was very distracting. The message was good and biblical. No problem there. But on the way home, the more it began to bug me.
Is worship supposed to have the feel of a rock concert? Sigh. Maybe it's generational, although I wonder why. I grew up with rock and still listen to it (along with classical, Celtic and other styles). Maybe today's generation can somehow focus on the Lord and enter into a worshipful attitude despite the fuzz, wah, and distortion. But I really, really wonder.
After all, is worship supposed to be about us and our tastes, or is it supposed to be about Him? In Spirit and in truth. I think the question really needs to be asked.