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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Church music and worldliness

Some aspects of church music are too close to the world.
a) Showing off. This, by the way, doesn't have to be done with a guitar or a drum, or the lighting. Pianos and voices have been used to show off in churches for decades. If my main purpose is to draw attention to myself, rather than Christ, that's wrong. I seldom if ever know whether another musician is showing off, or trying to exalt Christ, but I usually know when I'm doing it myself.
b) I won't say that applauding a singer's or an accompanist's performance is necessarily wrong, but it may contribute to self-adulation, and often tempts that performer to pride. (I also have to be careful if I hold back applause when nearly every one else is clapping -- perhaps I'm thinking, "I'm better than those stupid bozos who are clapping for this stuff." That's pride, too.) How often have you heard a preacher applauded? Probably never, or very seldom. Or the ushers, when they take the offering? So why should musicians be applauded?
c) I wish it weren't true, but some of us probably choose our church for worldly reasons. I hope we would think it silly, or sinful, if someone confessed to choosing her church because of the pastor's taste in socks, or belts. It's just as bad, or worse, if we choose a church because it has a better organ, or organist, or because the soprano can hit high notes better, or because the drummer is more athletic. We should choose a church mostly because we can effectively serve there, and perhaps, secondarily, because we can truly worship in that place, and with those people.

This (I think) is the last of my posts on church music, for now. Previous posts were on some scripture related to church music, several rather random thoughts on the subject, and on what music may do to our bodies.

Thanks for reading.

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