Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Happy Intolerant Christian

Oh no, I'm not talking of being intolerant of YOU! That's another post.
I have tried-not often, but tried-to listen to Christian music being put out these days-drives me nuts.
Talk Radio I can handle. Listening to a good sermon is fine. But what passes for 'new' Christian artists and music these days has me turning to Jazz quicker than a liberal could shut off Rush Limbaugh.
I love music. My church is a singin' church, and we have a great hymnal of wonderful songs to choose from.
I'm not anti-CM. I'm anti-BAD CM.
Think of this: When Christians sing "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine-Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!"we are singing in agreement, in tandem, with every other Christian who has raised their voice in that Fanny Crosby anthem. We're all singing with Fanny Crosby.
The stuff being perpetrated on Christians these days? Forgettable weak pap. Won't be remembered tomorrow, while Isaac Watts is still going strong 260+ years later. He may be jamming with Fanny Crosby
up in Heaven right now, with JS Bach on piano.
Today's Christian music, much of it, is irreligious and insulting to both Creator and Christian alike.
Bad theology doesn't sound any better when it is chanted to a rock beat.
Christians, if you want to honor God, shut off your radio and open your hymnals. And start singing.


Doug said...

I mentioned Jazz in the post-tonight I was in the car, gave Christian radio a five second chance, then popped over to the local University radio station, hosting Jazz on a Sunday night.
Jazz-good Jazz, instrumental Jazz, has no barriers. You don't have to understand lyrics, you simply feel-if it doesn't feel right, you move on.
I have a recording of Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud" that is ruined, even with Monk at the piano, by some guy singing impromptu lyrics. Stinks.

James said...

You'll find this humorous, but as a theological liberal I have little affinity for "praise songs" and campfire Jesus tunes.

If God is real, He's not trivial. Our depiction in music should reflect the grandeur and reverence appropriate. Bach, Verdi, Beethoven. Some modern composers are worthwhile: Arvo Part and Penderecki (though the latter can be unsettling and dissonant).

Penderecki's St Luke's Passion and Te Deum are of another world.

Doug said...

"If God is real, He's not trivial. Our depiction in music should reflect the grandeur and reverence appropriate."
Absolutely yes, but also...
God can be worshiped in a simple song-one need not be Bach to honor God. I've written songs that I use in private worship. With Bach, it would be easy to 'worship the (magnificence of the)music' instead of God.
There are two types of God honoring worship music: Songs TO God and songs about Living for God.
An example of a 'Living for God' song is: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow-I sing because I'm happy. I sing
because I'm free-
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.".
A song TO God, addressing God would be:
"Holy Holy Holy-Lord God Almighty-
there is no shadow of turning with Thee."
James, I'm listening to the Penderecki music samples right now-
it sounds fine, but in effect you are responding to someone else's worship of God.
Address God yourself-sing that 'Holy Holy Holy' from your heart to God's ear...and you might just be able to remove that "IF' from before your phrase "God is real..."