I Dig Rock ‘N Roll Music… but

Yes, after a very long hiatus, I’m back!  🙂

After coming face-to-face this weekend with what many churches these days consider a typical praise service, I asked myself (in the spirit of honesty) just why I object to opening a church service with a full band (including an elder on drums and a deacon on bass guitar).

I even discussed it with a few friends and came to the following conclusion…  I enjoy music and think that both rock and what I would call more ‘spiritual’ music have their place.  But employing rock in the church setting seems to me reminiscent of the early church deciding to celebrate Christmas as a means of expanding their congregation – after all, why not adopt a pagan holiday, if it means more congregants?  I can’t really judge what is going on in the brains of others, but it seems to me to be selling out (pandering, even) in order to appear successful.

Come to think of it – it even reminds me of the movie Blue Chips in which Nick Nolte is sadly educated in the commercialization of college sports.  In order to remain competitive, he has to woo his players and the sport is cheapened.

What do you think?

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One Response to “I Dig Rock ‘N Roll Music… but”

  1. repercussio Says:

    Wow, I was *just* thinking about adding a post since my last one on Aug. 31(!), and decided to check out yours and see if you had added something…the cosmos at work. Well, I’m not ready to post, but I’ll comment.

    So, what happened? Was it at the convention? Anywho. Being raised a Bible Student, I’m with you on the reaction; it’s not really our culture. I’d suggest two things:

    1) A historical perspective. It’s all relative, because it’s all cultural; this is a moral judgment only in so far as music is a reflection of its culture. What we (conservative Protestants) consider appropriate music (4-part hymns) would in many cases be considered unacceptable to various early periods of the church. Consider also the music of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods, where it was common to take a secular love song and use it as the basis of a Mass movement–talk about borrowing. And that music is something we consider to be “high worship”. My point is that the varied expressions of worship is a matter of culture and style.

    2) Craftsmanship: I like my worship to either be simple–something everyone can enjoy and participate in or, if it’s going to be “high” worship, with specialization, then I like it high craftsmanship–contrapuntal, rich textures, literary texts, etc.

    For me, it’s the craftsmanship that separates Josquin’s borrowing from Amy Grant’s borrowing. Josquin borrowed and elevated it to the sublime, whereas contemporary Christian music mostly just imitates, in order to attract, but does not elevate. This gets to your point about selling out. Why does Christianity borrow from secular sources? To relate to the everday, but I think that’s why I like the extremes of style–it’s makes a clearer demarcation.

    I’ve come to realize that faith is very much a question of temperament/style.

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