Remember how you used to love ‘rocking out’ on Sunday morning?
Remember how some days you just couldn’t get into the groove, couldn’t feel it, and felt that that Sunday church service was a bust? Was it even called a ‘church’ service back then? I forget.
And then you got bit by the reformation bug.
Remember how quickly your taste for high-octane spirit filled guitar solos dissipated?
Remember how you started equating those worship teams with failed 70s bands that only appeared on stage in mid-American farmer’s fairs performing their almost remembered hit to crowds of anywhere from fifteen to twenty-nine people-for free?
Remember how stupid you felt every time you recalled how emotional you got during ‘worship’ songs containing less then 2% real juice? That would be biblical content, folks.
You remember. So do I.
Ok, but we escaped, right? We came to understand what it meant to respond to our Lord’s Call to Worship. To Enter into His Rest every Lord’s day. To glory in Our Lord’s Glory. Worship came to mean everything; every part of the service came to be understood as an act of worship, not just the songs. And those songs! Those old, worn out hymnals and psalters. It was like singing the bible. Sure, maybe we’d think a bad thought now and again when the organist made a blunder and the building trembled and our ears bled a tiny bit, but we still don’t miss the guitar solos. Never.
But maybe, just maybe, you haven’t gone far enough. Perhaps, you used to REALLY be into that white hot spirit filled cutting edge rocking for Jesus worship music. Maybe it was YOU that played the guitar, stole that riff from your favorite song from Journey, or was it REO Speedwagon? Maybe there are ways to get even further away from that stuff, to escape the memories.
So, now you start thinking that it is probably a good idea to stick to singing only songs that are OT Certified. After all, God gave us a psalter, why should we think He wants us to make our own? So let’s only sing the psalms.
And now, those calluses on your fingertips start to ache at the first blaring note from that organ. She really is a sweet old lady, but no one else in the church can play that beast, and she is really pretty old; so maybe we should not be looking for a replacement. After all, aren’t these tunes just the 15th century equivalent to today’s Contemporary Crud? Or worse, wasn’t Martin Luther known to rock out, in a pub? ( I just had an image of Luther, in monks garb, wearing Elton John’s glasses, busting out A Mighty Fortress. I’d pay to see that.)
So lets only sing the psalms, using only our voices.
That’s right, acapella.
And that keeps you going for a while. It’s not pretty, but it sure isn’t anything even remotely how it used to be, in the Time Before. But well, objects in motion…
So what next? Maybe it’s time to stop singing altogether. Acapella was Ok, but isn’t there an R&B act that sings acapella? And they ARE popular…
So lets only chant the psalms. We don’t even need the psalter for that; as long as everyone is using the same translation we can read them straight from the Word itself.
It’s doable, especially since at this time you are already thinking KJV is really the only way to go.
I am imaging a future denomination where each Lord’s Day the community of ex-evangelical worship leaders and their groupies come together to NOT sing the psalms, in an effort to atone for those truly horrible, wretched years where we worshipped our emotional states in place of the Living God.
But I won’t be attending. Christ has forgiven me of my sins. Even THAT one. So for me it is ok to sing songs that embody the Holy Word of God, even if not literally. I can handle singing to a tune, accompanied by instrumentation, even one composed in the last hundred years. I can even recite a creed if it exemplifies the principles and doctrines of God’s Holy Word. All while upholding the regulative principal of worship. But I suck at juggling, go figure.
Paraphrase is not the enemy, it’s pride that comes before a fall. May The Lord watch our steps, and may He constantly direct our motion, heading ever closer to His wonderous presence.