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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Church music

It's Church Music Month on iMonk, which is leading to lots of interesting discussions. Here are a few snippets:
I’m somewhat angry about having this avalanche of industrially produced music forced on me for a dozen insufficient reasons. The way the church’s canon of singable, theologically meaningful music has been detonated in the name of anything that creates what growth oriented churches demand is stunning. We’ve been brutal in this process and we’re going to be sorry in the long run.
   (Singing in the Evangelical Liturgy)
There is such a thing as too much music, even when all the music is good music, in the same sense that there is such a thing as too much food even when all of it is nutritious. Musical gluttony is not uncommon either in general culture or in Christian music making. In fact, it is virtually beyond argument that music is so nearly omnipresent in our lives that it has become absent, not in the acoustical sense, but in the sense of having true significance.
    (Harold Best on Sound and Silence)
... it is my opinion that ... this kind of music and many other practices in evangelicalism are used in corporate “worship” — because people are seeking an emotional connection to God.

The historic traditions look at it differently — we are already connected to God through Christ in the Gospel. Worship is primarily objective not subjective: it involves reenacting and announcing and celebrating what God has already done to reconcile us rather than trying to have an “experience” of becoming or feeling connected. He is already present, we don’t need to “make” him present. We are already in the closest possible union with him because of Christ, we don’t need anything else to “connect” us.

We come together to meet with a Savior who is already present and who blesses through Word and Table, regardless of my emotional condition at any given moment. And, I might add, even if I felt nothing or failed to “experience God’s presence” after a worship service, I can still truthfully say, “I worshipped this morning.”
    (Three worship songs now in the top 25 - in the comments)

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