Worship Disarmament

Church folks,

I’ve had enough of the following sentiment:

Contemporary church music is bad.

It has been repeated, like a loathsome fugue, with many augmentations and ornaments. Please stop saying this thing. Please stop sharing insightful articles that present these troublesome revelations about the state of contemporary church music.

Your music is familiar to you. You know the songs. You’ve heard them sung in church and on the radio when you were young. You have significant life experiences tied to those songs — weddings, memorials, baptisms, holidays. Those are all good reasons to like your music.

Please realize, though, that everything listed above applies to people today and their music.

Not convinced?

  • Why is your music with the correct choice? Might the music of the American Revival be better? Perhaps the music of the Reformation?
  • Why are instruments allowed? They weren’t always.
  • Why are non-professionals allowed to sing and play in church? They weren’t always.
  • Why are women allowed to sing in church? They weren’t always.
  • Why are hymns sung in your native language? They weren’t always.

In fact, why should we do things your way at all? Let’s find some robes and sandals and that scroll of the Top 100 Hymns of the ‘0000s!

While contemporary church music may be oversimplified, some find hymns vocally inaccessible. This is especially true if they can’t read music to find a comfortable part.
While contemporary lyrics may lack the grandeur and rich vocabulary of old hymns, some find the language flowery.
While contemporary music may be repetitive, some find it hard to focus on worship while processing so much language.

These criticisms are no less valid than yours because they are opinions like yours. You are not allowed to say someone’s musical preference is less legitimate than yours or that their experiences are worth less than yours. They are invested in their music just as you are in your music. You are certainly allowed to disagree with them… but you might take a look at Ephesians 4 before discussing the matter.

Brothers and sisters, there are problems in the Church. There are problems in worship. Contemporary church music is no exception and I am not in denial about that. If you have questions about or problems with a song or something that occurs during the worship service, talk to your worship leader. If you need to move beyond that, sit down with your worship leader and an elder or pastor.

Love each other. Serve each other. If you have Godly worship leaders serving your church, be thankful.

If you don’t — get new ones.