Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Music in Worship

For those who don't know, I play "lead guitar" with the (insert your favorite term here:  worship team, praise team, worship band, praise band, etc.) for our wonderful little church family.  Recently, our Worship Leader has started using Youtube if she wants us to hear a new song before we practice it.  I've enjoyed using Youtube because I can then link to other videos by the artist or other versions of the song, etc.  

Last week we played a new song by Misty Edwards.  Corinna (Madame Worship Leader) sent us a video of her performing the song live, and all was well.  As I watched the video again after practice, I decided to check out the comments, and I found that several were negative.  Some people just didn't like the song, and that's fine.  (Personally, I really liked it, and I thought our church responded to the song.)  I then noticed that some people were decrying the style of music itself.  (It was far from being a hard-rockin' song, but it did have a nice groove and electric guitars.  Gasp!)  One person even went so far as to say (my paraphrasing) that since our "spirit" is the opposite of our "flesh," then any style of music we might personally enjoy (in our "flesh") is not what God requires of us in our worship of Him (in our "spirit.")

Um . . . what?

If this is the case, then how can we, as humans, ever create music that is worthy of worship?  When Jesus and His apostles sang a hymn after celebrating Passover, was it a song that they hated?  If we ever dig up the sheet music to the Psalms, will we find the sonic equivalent of nails on a blackboard?  If that commenter is correct, I suppose we have to sing nothing but dissonant yelps with every instrument playing in a different key.  Better yet, we'll invent new keys and have every instrument play in a different new key.

I can agree with the spirit of that person's thought.  If I'm more interested in the music I'm playing than I am in leading my church family into the presence of Adonai, I am not correct.  If I'm more interested in nailing that solo than I am in playing my heart before God, I am not correct.  If I look at a moment of worship and decry it's value because it doesn't "rock" enough, I am not correct.  Unfortunately, those are all things of which I am guilty.

But the poster's  way of thinking just doesn't . . . seem right.  The Psalms seem to me to be filled with exhortations to praise God, and the word "joy" is even used.  Doesn't it make sense, then, that a person would joyfully sing praise in the manner that is most natural to them?  For example, the hardcore Christian metal scene has "gorship," the practice of using brutal hardcore metal to praise God.  Does God despise that?  I've been able to witness people using that music to worship the Creator in what appears to be spirit and truth, and I can't see God turning His face from that.

But just in case Mr. Commenter is correct, I'm tuning my guitar to Zilg-Minor-7th this Sunday.  Bring your earplugs, Vineyard Community Church.  We're going to worship the right way.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading.

Currently spinning in the truck:  Iron Maiden "A Matter of Life and Death"
Currently spinning on iTunes:  Run Kid Run "Love at the Core"
Most-recently read:  THE REGULATORS by Richard Bachman (a.k.a. Stephen King)
Most-recently viewed:  DUCK SOUP

The Blog About The Blog

So here it is.  I am officially blogging on an actual blogging site.  No more Myspace nonsense.  No more trying to turn a Facebook "note" into a blog.

No turning back.