Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Linking: The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music

I have no interest in the ongoing evangelical "worship wars." However, the older I get the more I prefer the great hymns of the faith to modern praise and worship choruses. While the hymns generally have both beautiful tunes and theological depth, the choruses seem designed to whip the audience into some sort of warm fuzzy through repetition. This difference does not always hold true; I'm speaking in generalities. Churches ought to sing a variety of songs of differing styles, all with sound theology.

The church would do well to reconsider its current love affair with praise and worship choruses. Frankly, it may just be the latest fad. Twenty years from now most of today's popular choruses will be long forgotten.

About a year ago T. David Gordon wrote an interesting piece entitled The Imminent Decline of Contemporary Worship Music: Eight Reasons. Gordon offers some solid insights into why modern worship music is already fading. While I don't agree with some of his views on church life, I do believe this article is worth reading.

Speaking of music, a few years ago I wrote a post named (not too creatively) My Top Ten Favorite Hymns. While I do not know whether or not all the links still function correctly, the hymns I've listed remain my favorites.

1 comment:

Tim said...

I think the writer misses the greater problem in church music. The greater problem is not hymns verse spiritual songs, because the scripture calls for both. The real problem is whether the singing is "one another" driven or platform driven. Do God's people come prepared with what they want to sing because they were singing it all week in worship to God, or are they coming together empty of God needing a boost or fix from what is delivered from the platform. Platform singing is once a week singing in a special building. One another singing is singing all week that overflows to the rest of the saints on Sunday.
Did the author give any NT scripture on believers worship? I don't think he did or be would have seen very specific "one another" singing. Not only is it "one another singing" it is "speaking to one another" and "teaching and admonishing one another" regarding what we sang and why we want to sing it, before and after.
Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Eph. 5:19 ...but be filled with the Spirit, addressing (speaking to) one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,...

If the author even knew about these texts, would he not have mentioned their complete absence in church gatherings? "One another" driven singing is driven by our identity as "members of one another". When we sing from an alternative identity (members of an institution) we have exchanged identities, much like alternative sexualities. Am I to harsh with this? The difference in practice and the quality of worship is vastly different between the two.