I’ve received so many comments regarding the lack of variety and inclusion of worshipful hymns and songs that truly glorify God in our churches, that I have decided to include parts of just a few of them so you might see what some readers are thinking. These have come as a result of several posts pertaining to the monotony, general lack of Biblical content, and “me” centered songs, rather than worshipful, melodious, Christ-centered ones. Here are a few examples:
“This is real frustration felt by so many of us “old-timers”….I for one really loved the old hymns, and they still evoke a myriad of emotions in me…the new worship choruses, not so much. Even so, the Holy Spirit speaks to hearts through music in spite of how it changes…all it takes is a receptive heart.”
“We have talked about taking ear plugs to church….”
“I struggle every week during worship with resentment at the worship team’s choice of songs. Almost all are unfamiliar, “unsingable” due to complexity or range, or simply focused on the worshiper instead of the Lord. And then the congregation applauds at the end of each song, which to me is praise for the singers, not the One being worshiped (it is not ‘clapping to the Lord’)….”
“The single largest problem the church faces today is having its priorities out of whack. Worship and glorification of the Lord must come first, everything else including evangelism comes after.”
OK, so is it just disgruntled old “fogies” who are upset because their hymns have been replaced with contemporary worship songs? Do these people really hate lively songs with a good beat, including bass, guitars and percussion, preferring old, stale, slow, quiet hymns of another era? Or could it just be, perhaps, that they would like something called “variety” in worship?
Recently my husband and I attended a live, on-stage performance of C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters“, in which his famous book is portrayed in monologue form. The late writer used allegory, symbolism and a hint of sarcasm to portray Satan and his demons at work on earth and especially in the church, among the saints who professed faith in Jesus Christ. Let me try a little of his brilliant technic (however, probably not quite as brilliantly and cleverly as his was)!
I recently went to a buffet (or smorgasbord, as the Swedes call it) to hopefully try a variety of foods for my palate. I was starved and looked forward to heaping my plate up with lots of goodies! To my horror, I discovered that every dish on the serving line was filled with “Cold Pea Salad” as the signs indicated. Now, I love “Cold Pea Salad” and started to take a heaping spoonful, but then I realized that the next spoonful and the next would be the same….my plate was soon full of “Cold Pea Salad”! When I asked the manager what this was all about, he smiled and told me very politely that the restaurant had tried serving “Cold Peaches” about ten years ago, but people got weary of them. So, about five years ago they switched entirely to “fish”; of course, the same thing happened, he said…people got very tired of fish before long! So, now they were serving what he was sure everyone loved, “Cold Pea Salad”! When I asked him if there was any chance of getting something else to eat, he promptly told me that a restaurant up the street was serving “Green Bean Salad” to all of its customers and I might like to try that one. I thanked him and left. On the way out, he shouted at me, “Oh, by the way, ma am, next Tuesday we’ll have a special menu; it will be ‘Chilled Pea Casserole’. You might want to come back for that!” Thankfully, I found a restaurant a few blocks away with a varied menu and enjoyed my meal!
Now, of course, you can see how ridiculous this is, but in many ways, it seems the Church has followed this line of thinking. When it observed the world coming out with a new style of music, it was not too far behind in following the trend, instead of setting it! If a survey showed that people of a certain age group (and this is certainly our target audience; who cares about the rest!) enjoy one kind of music, we shall bend over backward to please them, ignoring the cries of, “Can’t we have some variety? I like this kind of music, and the guy over there likes another. Can’t we sing both styles occasionally?”
I made a promise to myself and to my blog followers on my first post that I would not write a “negative rant” for a blog. I have tried to keep this promise! If I point out a “negative”, or a problem, for example, I would like to follow it up with a “positive”. That is why I am going to post Part Two of this blog next week with some possible solutions to this situation. I have prayed and asked the Lord to guide me in what I write and I feel that the Holy Spirit has given me some good ideas that may be a blessing and of some benefit to worship leaders and those in the congregation, as well. ‘Til next time, be blessed!