Monday, February 05, 2007

Songs in Church

There seem to be two main schools of thought as regards songs in church, and two things people are fussy about.

The first is theological soundness. This is something I am very fussy about. I find it very distracting when I realise I don't agree with what I'm meant to be singing. For example, on Sunday I was subjected to this offering:

Gonna shout out loud,
Gonna deafen the crowd,
Gonna send my praise to heaven.
...
When you’ve got such a lot,
When you’ve got not a lot,
What?
Be happy!
from "I'm gonna jump up and down (Be happy)" by Doug Horley

I couldn't escape the implications that:

  1. singing louder means it's more likely that God will listen to you (which kind of goes against what Jesus says)
  2. it's important to be happy in every situation (rather than joyful even through the tears, which is very different)

The second thing people tend to look for is legitimate emotional expression - the singing should be joyful when it's praising God, sorrowful when lamenting our sin, etc. I find it distracting when they get this wrong too, but nowhere near as distracting as with the soundness.

Sad to say, people in charge of singing seem to come in two categories as well. The type who are very good about soundness and don't care about the tunes or the emotion and the kind who are good with the tunes and emotion but aren't fussy about the lyrics. Both are necessary.

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