Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Music in God's Church

A Beginning... I don't know how long this will last, but I intend to try. This blog is meant for me to rant, to theorize and to in general give vent to feelings.

Today's rant and vent just happens to be on the most sensetive subject in churches: music. This is a huge issue. Some (mostly older people) do not appreciate the newer up-beat songs, while the younger generation seems to despise the older hymns and songs. This thought has made me rather angry at times and mostly I blamed the younger group (which I technically am included in) for being rebellious and uncompromisingly spoiled in their music tastes. Yesterday however, in the worship service at my chruch, we sang God of Wonders I love that song. It is lively and I just love that song; it is not a "rocky" song, or "modern" in any way accept when it was written. I was shocked though when in a congregation of over 500 I felt like I was singing a solo. Some friends of mine were singing, and my siblings, all the youth, but the adults were hardly singing. Now I could attribute this to the fact that they didn't know the song if we hadn't done it in church services before (this was the first time I actually noticed the quiet). I looked around, and there were hardly any of the older genrations actually putting their hearts into praising God. I got rather frustrated with them and mentally I was shouting "Why can't you just go along with a song like this? Why is it so hard to learn a song that you didn't grow up with? Is it that offensive to you?"
This really started me thinking on music and styles today. And I think it can be boiled down to two questions to ask yourself when choosing music: "Am I a believer in Jesus Christ?" and "Do I sing and listen to my music with the one goal of worshipping and drawing closer to God?" I am determined never to ask the question "Why not?" when considering what music I will listen to. God commands us in Phillipains 4:8

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Please notice that God does not say "Whatever things are not true, whatever things are not honest etc... Do not think on such things." We are not supposed to look at a style of music or a song and say "Oh it has no offensive language and I like it, so it must be ok." But God doesn't command that our choices not reflect evil, He commands our choices to reflect the new life that is in us.
But back to the intergenerational thing. Rebellion will always be a part of youth culture, even with the most compliant of us. Youth will always want to be different in their styles both of clothing and music as well as just about every other area. Christian youth, I think, see the subjectivity of music as a freedom and strike out for it. In a world where they feel trapped by God's standards to be like their parents they see music as an outlet of their expression and even if the styles they like are similar to their parents' they will migrate towards the wilder new genres.
So what can we do to fix this problem?

For starters, we, the younger generations, can stop pushing for what according to our conscience is not profitable; and the older generation needs to stop shuinning the music that according to their consciences is really alright even if it is not what they are used to. And then nobody will need to feel like they are singing solo in a worship service of 500+...

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