Your Guide to Contemporary Christian Music

06/19/2008



By Dale Peterson

Thank you for choosing to worship with us today. If you are from a church that uses traditional hymns, you may be confused. Please take a moment to read through this guide to contemporary Christian music.

In our church you will not hear "How Great Thou Art," "Wonderful Grace of Jesus," or "Like a River Glorious." (Generally, hymns that have words like “Thou” are not used. They are too archaic and are normally replaced by words like “awesome” and “miry clay”). Yes, okay, we may do "Amazing Grace" or "Peace Like a River" at some point, but as a general rule we avoid songs with too many different verses or those that can't be played easily on guitar and drums.

If you are new to worship here, you may wish to know the reasons for this. One is that deep theological concepts do not belong in contemporary Christian worship. We frown on songs that change more than one or two words for each verse. For example, our version of "Holy is the Lord" consists of repeating that phrase six times per verse and then changing "Holy" to "Worthy," "Mighty," "Jesus" and finally changing "the" to "my." Isn’t that much simpler to sing and easier to remember? The twin goals here are a) repetition and b) chanting quality. We don’t focus on what we’re singing, but how we’re singing it. The main thing is to get that kind of tingly, "olive oily" feeling. Don't worry if you don't get this right away. It will come as you learn to disengage your intellect. Just free yourself. Immerse yourself. Relax.

Christian music guide

Nevertheless, a traditional hymn may sometimes be used. For example, we’re not averse to "Holy, Holy, Holy." You may be tempted to sing this as you would have in your former church, but please note that it is sung here with changes, mainly the fact that we repeat it several times and try to sing as slowly as possible, thereby emphasizing the funereal nature of the verse.

Repetition is very important in contemporary Christian music. We repeat: Repetition is very important in contemporary Christian music. Just because a song may have one verse and one chorus does not mean that you only sing it through once. Old hymns have several verses, each of which introduces a new theological concept, and are meant to be sung once followed by "Amen." This is no longer how it’s done. The correct procedure is to sing the identical verse and chorus at least three times. Often it is preferable to repeat the verse two times initially before moving on to the chorus.

Also the worship leader may want to repeat a verse or chorus found in the middle of the song. This is signaled by “calling an audible." When this occurs, the worship leader will say the first few words of the verse or chorus he will be singing next. Sometimes, due to the similarity of the verses, this may be confusing and the overhead projector may flash several pages of text until the correct one is arrived at. Don't panic, this is normal. Just continue singing as though you know the words and soon either the correct slide will appear or a new chorus will begin.

After the verse and chorus are sung at least three times, it is permissible for the song to end. However, the chorus must first be repeated in its entirety, then the last paragraph, then the last line. When singing the last line it is important to slow down a little and look upward. Raising a hand is permissible and often done at this time. This may take a little getting used to but don't worry, if you just join in, in a short time you won't even notice and soon you will forget that you ever did it any other way.

We are just really glad you chose to share the worship experience with us today. Thank you and we hope to see you again soon.

Thank you and we hope to see you again soon. Thank you. Thank.


Comments(282)

arryq | 11:31 am on 6/25/2008

Does it have to be an either/or?

Anonymous | 11:11 am on 7/13/2009

AMEN

kmad | 04:12 pm on 11/17/2008

Speaking of sarcasm…

So it's your opinion that singing in Church should say nothing about who God is (definition of theology)? We also shouldn't be using commentaries for Bible study or write Christian books that explain how to know God or how to grow as a Christian, yes? In fact, there probably shouldn't even be any preaching––just send everyone home and tell them to read the Bible. Gotcha.

Of course, the Bible is the fountainhead of all theology and 'everything we need for life and godliness', but there is nothing unbiblical about using all of the means God has provided to the Church for reinforcing those things, including music that teaches–particularly as we are commanded by Scripture to do all these things.

I enjoy singing both myself, but I certainly do tire of the 'Jesus is my boyfriend' variety of 'worship' songs that say much more about my own feelings than they do about the God we are supposed to be worshiping, as is playfully pointed out in this typical Door work of satire. It seems we try to find the 'power' in the way we sing, the energy of the musicians, and all the other rev-up-the-emotion tools, instead of finding it in the actual objective content of the gospel and the character of the Holy One in whose name we gather.

Satire can be a helpful tool when it's pointed at our weaknesses as a Church, which is where The Door usually aims and hits.

postalirv | 09:04 pm on 5/14/2009

Ah, yes. Can't believe it took so many posts before we got to the Emotion issue. (I know. Just being "playful.")
Here's a little project for you Bible scholars- find a single example of music used in corporate worship in the Bible that wasn't loud, energetic, and filled w/ (groan) EMOTION!
And they used crazy, wordly stuff like horns and cymbals to "rev them up." Can't believe they didn't just rely on the objective truth of the Torah.

kyrie eleison | 03:01 am on 8/15/2009

Your comments catch the true idea behind this article.
We are exhorted by the Bible to encourage each other with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. If you've ever tried to encourage someone, repeating vague and nebulous concepts to them is not very helpful.
As an aside, the best way to fight truth is to take something that is mostly truth and introduce a little error into it. Taking the focus of church music away from honoring God by proclaiming Biblical doctrine in song and putting it on developing some kind of emotional "nirvana" while singing (why else have the endless repetition?) is introducing a little error into the purpose of worship, which when combined with other innocuous errors can become the basis for a set of false doctrine (the Emerging Church??).

Paul | 06:52 pm on 11/19/2008

Wesley, Luther and all those great hymn writers from years ago, wrote hymns for the masses to TEACH theology because the written Word was not that available and many could not read. The Door in trying to be cute about modern worship being trite by repeating choruses over and over are not familiar with the worship being written by Sovereign Grace Ministries or much coming from Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin or many others from the new hymn writers in Europe. "This is the day that the Lord hath made" was sung 30 years ago, but the Door thinks that is today's standard.
Door - do some homework. Satire is only funny if based on truth.

anthony | 03:52 am on 5/24/2010

hey people:

read the Bible book by book.

okay, if that is too much, then read just the book of Isaiah. All 66 chapters

then judge for yourselves if CCM ever comes close to the theology of the hymns

There was already an English Bible in circulation when Wesley et al began writing hymns!

rev. luna | 12:35 pm on 12/10/2008

If you think you learn theology from only reading the Bible you're kidding yourself. Do you ever listen to sermons? Do you ever read another book besides the Bible? Do you ever engage in conversation with other thoughtful believers?

Oh, grow up already | 01:30 pm on 1/13/2009

I assume you prefer people to sing empty vapid songs instead.

BJ | 06:45 am on 6/20/2008

1 AND can it be, that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour's blood`?
Died he for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

2 'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel-minds inquire no more.

3 He left his Father's throne above,
(So free, so infinite his grace!)
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race:
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

5 No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, and all in him, is mine!
Alive in him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

budda | 12:12 pm on 6/20/2008

My all-time favorite hymn, BJ. Wonderful.

BJ | 12:45 pm on 6/20/2008

I'm sorry Mr. Wesley we can't use your song in our worship service this week. To tell you the truth it's kind of a buzz kill. I mean gettin buzzed in the Spirit is what we are all about. You're just a little to wordy. If the lyrics won't fit on the church sign then we can't use them.
We welcome you to submit another song when you've had more experience in song writing. You shouldn't begin a song with the word And. May I suggest an online course I took in order to become the worship leader in our church. "How to have them raising their hands and drying their tears in 3 easy lessons." The second phase of the teaching is great also, "8 Steps to Creating Altar Traffic". I'm sure you will master worship song writing in no time.

m-p | 06:38 am on 7/03/2008

I love it!

postalirv | 09:10 pm on 5/14/2009

God forgive you for your pride. God forgive you for appointing yourself the Holy Spirit, and deeming yourself worthy to critique the sincere worship of your fellow believers.

Anonymous | 10:06 pm on 12/11/2009

Since music is subjective, like art, dance, and many other arts, it would be fair to say that there is generally a spirit of trying to achieve the best in bring glory to God. That is why practicing for three months to do the Brahms Requiem is not the same as sing one word 50 times on the spur of the moment. I would just like on quitar player to learn how to play the giant pipe organ with full orchestra and choir, in a huge cathedral, that is 1000 years old, with violins and other intruments worth millions of dollars, played by God loving Christians, and then write a book about the difference between that and CCM. There is no humbler feeling than to have a musical gift like that, as you improvise a 10 minute postlude, recognizing that the gifts came from God in the first place. Not looking down on CCM, just wanting the great heritage of hymnology and other great music not to be lost in a cultural fad. PS I did graduate from Fuller Seminary, with an actual degree! Not looking down on CCM, not looking down, not.

Anonymous | 03:32 am on 4/03/2010

Well said!

T'cher | 08:05 am on 6/24/2008

I tried to play this one, but it was no fun kicking off my distortion pedal so I decided not to. After all, if someone heard the lyrics, their heart might actually be pierced and we can't have that!

thirdbasecoach | 08:54 am on 6/25/2008

Yeah!Wow!

Anonymous | 01:23 pm on 7/16/2008

You are my all in all......

Anonymous | 02:09 pm on 7/08/2009

Have you ever considered the words to "Power Of The Cross" or Wonderful, Merciful Savior?

Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day
Christ on the road to Calvary
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
Nailed to a cross of wood

This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us
He took the blame, bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross

Oh, to see the pain written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of all my sin
Every bitter thought, every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow

This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us
He took the blame and bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross

Now the daylight flees, now the ground beneath
Quakes as it's Maker bows His head
Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life
Finished the victory cry

This the power of the cross
And Christ became sin for us
He took the blame and bore the wrath
We stand forgiven at the cross

Oh, to see my name written in the wounds
For through Your suffering I am free
Death is crushed to death and life is mine to live
Won through Your selfless love

And this the power of the cross
Son of God, slain for us
What a love, what a cost
We stand forgiven at, we stand forgiven at
We stand forgiven at the cross

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we've hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we're falling before Your throne

Anonymous | 02:37 pm on 11/14/2009

That's the best. CCM doesn't come close. Where once contemp music was scripture set to music, that's rare now. You might get one little snippet of scripture here and there. Some songs sound more like ads for feminine hygiene products. There is one that has intimate, intoxicating, extravagant and secret place all in the same song. I cringe. For depth, meaning and texture like Amazing Love, you have to go back a ways.

Nello Barbieri | 07:20 pm on 5/09/2010

I love this hymm but - "Emptied himself of all but love," - ahhh no thanks. I hope nobody learns their theology on the person of Christ from this line. It's almost as bad as the song I heard sung at a church in Queendland Australia - "Jesus you're more intimate than a lover touch". Yuck

In the end good lyrics are good lyrics and bad is bad - the same can be said of the musical quality. I don't care too much about the style of music just please give me good lyrics that are christ centred and gospel driven and the music to drive them from my head to my heart.

Anonymous | 04:40 pm on 1/06/2009

The real Wesley would agree. He got his theology from the Holy Spirit's revelation of God's Word in his personal study time. He then wrote songs to convey those revelations, in a style that was CONTEMPORARY to the day.

Christian worship leaders today do much of the same. They get their revelation of the Word form the Holy Spirit during their personal study time, meditate on the Word, and write songs that reflect those meditations. If those songs happen to sound contmeporary its because, well, its no longer the 1700's.

dook | 11:39 am on 4/24/2009

I agree, Mansion over the Hilltop presents a very distorted view of Heaven, basically turning God into the great contractor. Follow me, and I will bless you with a great piece of real estate. (Sorry for all of you who don't find sarcasm funny, it's probably because you don't get it!)

VenerableBean | 04:19 pm on 5/13/2009

"I would be concerned with those learning their theology from hymns, old or new ..."

Well, if this is true you aught not to be singing any of them! In the orthodox Anglican tradition we believe that our liturgy is our theology in action. If it is bad theology it doesn't belong in your worship. Perhaps you haven't been exposed to genuine sacred music before - which, with contemporary Christianity aping the worst of pop culture, that would be no shock.

Lets start with "Ah, holy Jesus" sung in Lent and Holy Week.

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

Words: Johann Heermann (1585-1647)

Or how about the words of The Exultet written somewhere between the 5th and 7th Century used at the pre-dawn Easter service. It places us in the tomb awaiting the light of Christ's Resurrection. After this hymn is sung, scriptures are read and then people are led to the Baptismal font. Hence, Christ our Passover and the Red Sea as seen as a foreshadowing of Baptism.

The Exultet

Rejoice now, all ye heavenly legions of angels,
all high things that pass understanding
for the king that cometh with victory
let the trumpet proclaim salvation!

Sing with joy, O earth, illumined with this celestial radiancy:
and enlightened by the eternal God, thy glory,
believe and know thou has put away
all the darkness of all mankind....

The night is come,
whereby all that believe in Christ
upon the face of all the earth,
delivered from this naughty world
and out of the shadow of death,
are renewed unto grace,
and are made partakers of eternal life.

The night is come,
wherein the bonds of death were loosed,
and Christ harrowing hell
rose again in triumph....

By all means - keep the insipid praise choruses droning. God might be an awesome God, but contemporary Christian music far from awe inspiring. Praise teams are for people not talented enough to succeed anywhere else. Let the mediocre entertainment begin!

Did my pocket book grow? Did the prayer of Jabez give me a solid 10% return on investment? Or did it all go the way of The Promise Keepers and WWJD? What's the next fad to pacify me?

previouslydead | 07:48 am on 5/25/2009

Dear Church,
The examples listed above are so rich with truth, they truly are awe inspiring! But they wouldn't be that to me, if I didn't take the time to think about their meaning. This holds true for any song or liturgy. Many churches use their liturgies repetitively, to the numbing of their congregants. I would suggest that it is neither the style, nor the repetition that is the cause, but the spirit of the worshipper that makes it vain... or not. Scripture says avoid vain repetition, not repetition.
We know that all of our actions are to be done corum Deo, as worship - so if you cannot in good conscience praise God with contemporary simplicity, then don't. If you can't satirize or read satire with good conscience, in Love...then don't.

Anonymous | 03:06 am on 4/03/2010

Oh, my!! One of the ways to "critique" a hymn is by the theological content. Have you ever heard the phrase: "The Psalms are the Hymnbook of the Church?" Think about it - the magnitude of hymns that are direct quotes of a Psalm or verse of a Psalm or based on a Psalm. Also, the hymns based on the Scriptures in general. Study the Scripture based index of a "good" hymnal - The Presbyterian Hymnal 1990,for examle - and find out the Scriptural content of the hymns. You may learn a great deal - of theology, and you will remember the Scriptures when you sing them! Children do!! Good hymns can open the door to allow you to worship and adore God, find peace in time of turmoil, comfort in time of sorrow, sing praise to God - morning, noon, evening, celebrate the Seasons of the Church Year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent (including Holy Week), Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time (or the Time After Pentecost), and all of the Festival days of the Church Calendar. FURTHERMORE, THE CHILDREN IN MANY CHURCHES ARE BEING DENIED THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING TAUGHT THE GREAT HYMNS OF THE CHURCH. THEY WILL NOT KNOW HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF JOY AND REAL "AWE" THAT COMES WHEN ONE SINGS "AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW", FOR EXAMPLE. Please know that the work of great poets are set to EQUALLY GREAT MUSIC.

UNCLE KENNY | 09:07 am on 6/19/2008

Hmmm. . .

I don't know, Dale. Maybe my Grape Nuts were too soggy this morning, but your article didn't sit well as I read it over breakfast.

Your attempt at satire seems to fall pretty flat. It is one thing to be a bit snarky or tongue and cheek while making a point, but it doesn't seem to be what you are doing here. Maybe I am not reading you right, but it seems like you might be a bit jealous of folks that have discovered intimate worship and decided to go after them with a sharp stick, rather than thought provoking humor.

Even Leonard Ravenhill gets modern worship and I have a feeling he would slap you around a bit theologically, even though he is a traditional hymn kind of guy, just for being so mean-spirited. There is a difference between being a comic and being a jerk.

I don't know what saddens me worse; your lack or sense of humor, or the fact that maybe you haven't yet had an experience in whatever flavor of worship you might like to the point that you are so profoundly impacted that all the stylistic and technical aspects are moot.

Besides, you haven't heard what worship can be like until you have seen a Nigerian all-drum worship band. Maybe I was just having one of those "olive-oily" moments you criticize, but I sure sensed God smiling at it, and I don't think he really cared how simplistic it was.

Steve W. | 09:53 am on 6/19/2008

One of the things that I have noticed about Door articles is that we think they are funny unless they satirize something we do. I don't always agree with the points made, but they do make me think and consider why I do what I do. This was one of those articles.

I remember a friend saying that he went to a contemporary service where they sang "We bring a sacrifice of praise" about twenty times. He went to the bathroom and came back and they were still singing it. The way the mind works is that you stare at something long enough and the optical receptors shut down - the left side of the brain disengages. The same thing happens when you sing the same stuff over and over again. You go into a right brain trance and feel a euphoria that is not really that different from chanting a mantra or having a stroke in the left part of your brain (See Dr. Jill Taylor's book, "My Stroke of Insight").

There are many beautiful and meaningful contemporary hymns, but there are a good number of meaningless ones, too. That is true of traditional hymns too. The structured, liturgical worship of the past had it's problems and has been the brunt of much deserved satire. Similarly, contemporary worship had earned every word written in this very clever and funny piece.

King of Wit | 12:59 pm on 6/25/2008

I read it, I agreed with it, I thought it was an average critique and poorly concieved humor. Anyone for smashing LCD projectors with me after hours tonight?

dawna | 02:51 pm on 8/17/2008

Do you have any scientific reference for the statement you made above: "You go into a right brain trance and feel a euphoria that is not really that different from chanting a mantra"?

Obviously Dr. Jill's stroke lead her to believe in New Age techniques to "disengage" the rational left hemisphere of the brain and allow the right, "feeling" side to dominate. The question is, is this what our creator God wants from our worship? It seems to me prayer and worship are to activate the mind and open it to communication from God, not to shut it down. Hypnotisim, drumming, dances, Eastern medication, Yoga and chanting are designed to shut down the frontal lobe and rational thought. Moral decision making, that which sets us apart from animals, is rational and informed, based on active decision making,not feeling orientated.

I am looking for scientific information not just personal opinions.

Thanks for introducing me to Dr. Jill, it was a most interesting viewing.

Anonymous | 05:27 pm on 10/17/2008

Hypnotism, et al, all designed to shut down 'the frontal lobe' of the brain?

It is you who needs to render some scientific information, rather than simply your opinions. The practices you decry, whether or not they are agreeable, are hardly 'designed' to shut down anything. Repetitive activities (which might include the singing of multiple choruses) do tend to create a change in ones conscious mind, but this speaks more to the conscious mind than it does to any ulterior design motive.

And I dare you to prove that moral decision making is necessarily rational and and informed. From what I can see, it is simply acculturated. If it happens to be on the right track, then all the better.

previouslydead | 07:57 am on 5/25/2009

* repeat after me....relativistic psychobabble, relativistic psychobabble, relativistic psychobabble.......

kmad | 04:22 pm on 11/17/2008

What you said Steve.

I've squirmed under the gaze of door satire before. And two of my favorite things to sing in church (or anywhere, come to it) are Be Thou My Vision and In Christ Alone (an old and a new, in case anyone missed it).

Walther L. | 03:21 am on 12/10/2008

Your comment reminded me of when I visited a local "non-demoniational" (Sp?) CCM Church a couple of years back. They sang Hallelujah (The word and only the word) for about 45 minutes non-stop.

I myself am a worship leader in my Church and I admit that we are guilty of some of the things that this article talks about. Although we do try not to be.

VenerableBean | 04:29 pm on 5/13/2009

having a stroke in the left part of your brain...

HAHAHA! (wipes a tear from his eye) That's great! A stroke would be a welcome relief!

I am glad I'll never have to hear some jackass with a gee-tar sing irreverent crap like "I'm stoned on Jesus" again. This was just one reason I quit teaching at an Evangelical high school. I couldn't take the meaningless irreverence for one more week. Seven years was ENOUGH.

Anonymous | 10:00 am on 10/28/2009

It is not suprising that at time when there is practically no difference between the world and the church that worship has become just a form of entertainment at best or self indulgent psuedo worship at the other end. Not all methods are acceptable in worship and when there is just a chance that the music and ambiance created by this new found type of worship will not lead people to worship in spirit and in truth it's wrong. I am afraid that what may seem like a good idea given all of the arguments about changing times etc. does not change the fact that God is a jealous God and will share His Glory with no other. There is no fear of God in any discussion that can seriously compare the worship of the heavenly host in the very presence of the Almighty God and try to explain that we have in modern times able to reach that type of worship by modern methods.

Anonymous | 03:25 am on 4/03/2010

This is so beautifully written! Thank you for you directness and clarity of thought. I heartily agree with your statements!

Anonymous | 11:32 pm on 6/22/2008

The correct cliche is "tongue-in-cheek," not tongue and cheek.

Anonymous | 11:46 pm on 6/23/2008

You can put your tongue right here.
You pervert!!!!!!

portwes | 02:16 pm on 6/25/2008

UncleKenny,
Lest you forgot, or didn't realize, The Door is a Christian "satire" site (emphasis on "SATIRE".

If it puts you in a bad mood, I suggest you miss visiting this website entirely.

Seth | 07:08 pm on 7/15/2008

134 posts about worship is probably too many. Are we really called by God to have our worship primarily be in song? Many have assumed that we are but where is that in the Bible? Sure, it is good to sing praises to God, but is it ever the sum total of our worship of God? It seems like we have a culture determined to use singing as a way to know God, but you can't worship that which you don't know in truth. Just another way to assuage our guilt brought on by the notion that we can prioritize God as #1 on our life-lists...when we should find God to be all and in all.

Anonymous | 11:55 am on 10/15/2008

Huh huh hhuhuhhh

You said soggy nuts.

DinkyDauBilly | 09:21 am on 6/19/2008

Oh, Uncle Kenny. Like, what's wrong with you, dude? A worship service where the music was all written before 1918 is like, dude, the only way to worship. All that hypnotic repetition is like, you know, kind of pagan, doncher think? Puts the mind in a state where you get all 'olive oily' and receptive and lose yourself in one of those almost trance-like states and listening to God...but wait! That's only for Old Testament prophets! Can't have moderns getting all receptive and suchlike. And raising your hand? Jeez (no disrespect intended) but that sounds like one a them Godless rock concerts with all those hands waving in the air. Can't have that in church. Might cause God to lose his focus or something. Might wave in The Debbil.

Dale. Dude. Get a sense of humor that you are aware of. You do indeed fall a bit flat with this one.

JoshH | 02:11 am on 6/21/2008

Funny that you mention "trance-like." I was a good little evangelical boy for most of my life; one night I went to a rave (and of course, one of the genres of music is called "trance"...which is what got me on this tangent) and then went to my church's early service and then went to the Friends meeting. The contrast between the three helped me cultivate an appreciation for finding the spiritual in shutting up for a while. Eventually, I dropped the evangelical church and just went Quaker. I've locked horns with a few family members who've been aghast at the idea of not having professional ministers or exuberant hands-in-the-air worship and having tolerance or even *gasp* acceptance of "immoral" (i.e. gay) people. I simply found that for me the best way to listen to God is to (pun intended) shut the hell up.

Maybe that's 'cuz I do a bunch of talking...I don't know.

Happy Canuck | 09:46 am on 6/19/2008

Loved this article! Funny and oh so true! I can't stand the elevator music that passes for "worship" and miss the days when songs actually meant something! Give me some Larry Norman, Keith Green or Bob Dylan please! There's a whole bunch of "religious" fellow musicians I want to annoy - hope you won't mind if I lead them to this page!

budda | 11:23 am on 6/19/2008

The best worship service I was ever involved in was in downtown Managua, Nicaragua at about midnight, they had been going at it for a few hours and I only understood about half of what was said. That one service has stuck with me for years. It didn't matter what style the music was. It moved me like nothing since. Although, U2 at Notre Dame came close.

I love playing modern worship 'cause it is so easy. Guitar solos and bass runs are fun with no worries about grabbing a fist full of the wrong strings, but I can't stand listening to the stuff. If I'm not on stage playing it, I would rather not have to hear it. Probably for the same reasons I like playing it.

Great article, Dale. Looks like I'm not the only one to impute motives around here, Kenny. What was the phrase you used earlier, "no need for the adult diapers"?

UNCLE KENNY | 03:49 pm on 6/19/2008

Well, I did say my Grape Nuts were a bit soggy, budda. I could also be sleep deprived. SOS week in Cincy is fun, but I am getting old.

Lilly | 09:33 pm on 6/20/2008

Dear Uncle Kenny,
So far, we have figured out that you are to old to keep up with the kids. Also, your Grape Nuts are soggy because, while you were asleep, the campers pissed in them.
Consider yourself "called" to another mission.

budda | 10:48 pm on 6/20/2008

HEY, Nice to see you again, Lilly. When did they let you out:)

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