Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thoughts on today's popular "contemporary" worship music

I found this comment from Josh Schneider left on my blog a couple of years ago.  His words are an encouragement to me today.

...Regarding contemporary worship, I certainly agree that it can promote a false understanding of the working of the Spirit, and often the lyrics are 'me-centered.' I think contemporary music should be resisted mainly because it doesn't convey the Gospel well, and is subject to the idea that the music should be catered to people's likes and dislikes . It also is typically associated with a theology of glory. I don't believe contemporary music is sinful, per se, but for the above reasons I think there are much better alternatives (i.e. historic liturgy and hymnody). Also, I find that the contemporary music has very little 'staying-power', by which I mean you can get sick of it very quickly, and it has little lasting substance that might be of comfort in times of trial. I think in choosing worship music, we should always seek to present the best and the highest forms of music as our 'spiritual sacrifice.' Not watered down stuff that makes us feel good.

Posted by Josh Schneider to Be Strong in the Grace at 5/9/2005 05:48:12 PM

I also received these words of encouragement from an ELS pastor this morning.  I share them with you to illustrate the kind of pastoring I have experienced in my synod.  The ELS is my family's earthly refuge and heaven is where I am bound:

The ELS is a "little" synod but can be a complicated place! We are basically a miniature version of what the old synodical conference was -- Norwegian Synod (ELS), WELS, and LCMS born and bred people all attempting to co-exist together as adults.
Basically I want to tell you to take heart. You are in a synod that wants to be faithful to God's Word. Therefore the devil wants to rob us of our treasure, and all of this divisiveness is the result of his efforts. So you are in the right place. Also you are in a faithful congregation at King of Grace, with three faithful pastors. If there were contemporary worship undercutting Lutheran doctrine and practice taking place, I think you would know it. People who have fled something bad tend to know it when they see it crop up again. So ignore the attacks.
The best remedy I can offer you is: Look up Paul Gerhardt in the authors at the back of your Evangelical Lutheran Hymnody. Look up all his hymns. Sing them (esp. #377, 517, 448, 208, 57, 304, and 20), or at least read them through. Gerhardt's hymns are the best remedy for what you are feeling right now.

I will follow this pastor's advice! 

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