Archive for June 8th, 2008

My first born for a song

There are many things I love about church on the traditional model (whatever that means) as opposed to a more modern church service (again whatever that means…) like some of the liturgy, the reverence and respect given to our humble position before GOD, the mind numbing lifelessness of the congregation that reassures me I’m there for JESUS CHRIST and not my own entertainment – well maybe the last one is an unexpected side effect as opposed to something you might actually want.

But I will never quite get over the ability of a congregation to murder a perfectly good song. I’ve been doing music in the church for over 10 years. I have played in all variety of churches, all variety of songs with all varieties of quality.

Let me make plain that how we do the music is the least point of church (well not the least, probably what color the cushions in the pews are is less important but I’m just making a point) – we have so many more important things to do, like loving one another, learning what it means to love and follow JESUS, understanding what the Bible teaches, choosing the colour of the cushions in the pews etc… errr…  Maybe the music and the nature of the service can sit somewhat comfortably under these issues of priority.

But there comes a limit, that when you can ruin/massacre/throttle such a tune as In CHRIST alone then that’s something special. Tunes and melodies and (dare I mention it) the rhythm of a song and their effect on the emotions are not unimportant. Talented people have written these songs so that points of theological interest with significant implications are highlighted by certain chord movements (maybe the same is even true for Father Abraham though that may be pushing it…). To neglect these as mere artistic indulgence (and in some way putting your soul in danger of hell) is a big mistake and robs the song of much of its impact. Maybe we should just come out of the closet and declare ourselves reformed presbyterians and abandon the music altogether. Though maybe even the melody of unaccompanied music may be too much for us.

Even the fact we can’t have a good laugh about it all (and ourselves of course) cause we’re such repressed Presbyterians annoys me, in the same way we’ve lost the ability to applaud anything that happens in church.

We are so scared of making an idol of what the hand may make or the ear may hear or what the eye may see that we need to sit for a while at the feet of Galatians 4:15



June 2008
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