Monday, March 04, 2013

good bad ugly: worship music

Nice post from MacKenze Mulligan on "The Good, The Bad, and the Swell: Thoughts on Modern Worship."    (My beef of course is that fact that"worship is not music")
Excerpts from each of the three sections (nice trinitarian touch):

The good:

Freaking awesome guitar solo as the bridge.
This is often one of the first things people attack in modern worship. But I think a very strong case can be made for the electric guitar’s rightful place in worship music.  In OrthodoxyG. K. Chesterton notes that “in this world heaven is rebelling against hell. For the orthodox, there can always be a revolution; for a revolution is a restoration.” Satan is the (temporary) prince of this world, and to Chesterton, to be a Christian is to be defiant, to be an ultimately triumphal revolutionary. And to my ears, nothing (except for maybe some trumpets) captures this sense of defiance triumphant as well as the electric guitar solo.
It is exuberant and loud and even disruptive (C.S. Lewis may well have called it “masculine,” in his lovably complementarian fashion). Even better, it’s a demonstration of extreme technical skill on the part of the player, harnessed and displayed not for his own glory, but for the glory of the one who gracefully created the player and (we assume) who also rejoices in the joyful noise.
Is it ideal for quiet meditation? Of course not. But all worship need not be quiet meditation, and for those times when you want to meditate loudly, then the electric guitar solo will help you do that. When you want to meditate on our calling to resist the devil, to be a light in a dark place, to cast off sin that’s been weighing you down, then the electric guitar is just what the Great Physician ordered (or, and I cannot stress this enough, some ska).
This reminded me of The Edge as Jesus playing guitar to Bono's Judas in "End of the World".

The bad:

certain modern worship songs are absurdly self-referential. We’re singing about singing. We’re singing about raising our hands (but only, as my friend James pointed out, in a purely metaphorical sense, because we look silly when our hands are raised). 

The ugly:

Let's just say the discission there reminds me of one of my favorite I Love Lucy scenes.
And the nod to personal l preferences of course reminds me of the Gaithers on crack:

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