Saturday, March 26, 2005

251 Ten myths about Contemporary Christian Music in Worship

I enjoy contemporary Christian music--in my office, in aerobics class and in the car. I’m listening to some right now on an Internet radio station. So does Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk. He’s not too thrilled with some of the mythology concerning its use in worship. He writes a six-pager on this topic, so I’m including just the ten points with highlights of his essay. I think I’ve heard at least eight of them just casually talking to people in the narthex at our church about why they attend a particular service (we have ten, four styles of worship). You can read the whole thing--and it is worth every word and very funny in a serious sort of way--at From here on, it's all the Monk.

1. Contemporary Praise and Worship music is especially anointed of God. Advocates of P & W have lost the capacity to realize that Christian music companies will say anything to sell product.

2. God has sent contemporary Praise and Worship music to.....
A. Revive the End Times Church before the Rapture. This is patently ridiculous.
B. Break down "religious strongholds" in the church. I think this means that God wants us to act strangely and say it's the Holy Spirit. Loosing a "religious spirit" seems to be Churchspeak for doing something that used to get the ushers on your case.
C. Minister to the special issues of "this generation." "This generation" seems to be a movable term that most often applies to young people willing to fight you to turn the front of the church into a mosh pit.

3. Praise and Worship Music evangelizes without preaching.
Praise and Worship music falls somewhere between pretty good use of Bible texts to complete nonsense. Preaching, when done right, proclaims Christ and how to be saved every time it opens its mouth.

4. Praise and Worship Music brings down the Holy Spirit.
Among systematically goofy theology, this is one of the patriarchs. . . God PROMISES to be present with His people when they gather in His name. Music is completely irrelevant to the intention of God to keep his promises to His people.

5. Praise and Worship music brings a unique experience of God's Glory.
God's glory is a major Biblical theme, and encountering the glory of God would qualify as the greatest trauma a sinful human could experience. The contemporary Praise and Worship crowd apparently believes that Christians are now invited to become like Moses, and experience the glory of God routinely.

6. The overridingly important factor in deciding what church [service] to attend is MUSIC. [I]t's clear that church government, leadership, the sacraments, preaching, teaching, discipleship, doctrine and church support of the family are all areas where scripture gives some guidance of importance to any of us who are picking a church. Yet, I am not aware of any way to read the Bible that places music in such an important place in church life.

7. People worship better with contemporary Praise and Worship music. How lame is it to say that a mini-concert with hand motions is "worship" and everything else is what we did before, after or instead of "worship"? Since when do we worship "better" based on whether we are singing "A Mighty Fortress" with piano or "Shout to the Lord" with a band? Do these people have any idea what worship is anyway?

8. Contemporary Praise and Worship music is used by the Holy Spirit to bypass the mind and go directly into the human spirit where real change can occur. I feel dirty typing such an absurd sentence . . . This kind of kookicity seems to come from the spiritual warfare camp, where tales of doing an end run on the devil by slipping in through music are pretty common.

9. Contemporary Praise and Worship Music is taking music away from the devil and using it for God. Theology at work here: giving the devil credit for the appeal of the larger culture, especially music, and then sending the church on a mission to raid the pantry.

10. Using contemporary Praise and Worship Music is necessary for a church growth breakthrough. If growth occurs, we ought to be able to say with Luther, "The Word did it all!"

1 comment:

KJV ONLY said...

I totally agree with you. The new praise and worship fad has a whole different "spirit" to it than what I know, and my Bible says that my God "changes not."