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Body Piercing Saved My Life

Tim Challies did a very interesting review of Andrew Beaujon’s book, Body Piercing Saved My Life.

Although Beaujon is not a Christian, he has been attending Christian concerts and events, since this is a subject that intrigues him. Read the commentary by Challies to see how Beaujon views Christian contemporary music.

I would like to comment on something that Challies wrote,
On a more minor note, he [Beaujon] often focuses undue attention on the music itself rather than the lyrics. While music is no doubt important, and while we should clearly attempt to bring before God music that is excellent, he expends little effort in examining lyrics. Many Christians, as much as they love a good melody, wants songs that speak of the great truths of the Scriptures more than they want songs that are memorable or even musically superior. There are two dimensions to songs and he seems to give preeminence to the wrong one.

I don’t disagree with Challies entirely, since in principle he is right in saying that “Christians, as much as they love a good melody, wants songs that speak of the great truths of the Scriptures more than they want songs that are memorable or even musically superior.” What I do disagree with is the word “many that he starts his sentence with in this case. I am personally not so sure that there would be many modern Christians that would think like that.

From my experience with the church I have seen a very different dynamic in the church. It seems to me that many Christians–whether my many is more or less than Challies’ many is disputable–are more interested in the entertainment value in the Christian music they listen to than the actual words being sung. I have noticed this even concerning worship music, to the point that I am calling it worshitainment. I have written about this already (Worship at a price, Big words and worshitainment and most recently Praising God down!).

Churches have become so worshitainment centered that it would be almost inconceivable that they would use so-called “boring” music with good Biblical words that speak to the soul. Please, believe me when I say that I have nothing against good professional sounding music, modern or old! That is not the point! What I do have a concern about is that many Christians think that the music is the worship. To them, the sound and the vibe it gives is the worship. It all comes back to the entertainment value intrinsic to the music.

Sure, there are churches out there where the Christians are more concerned about the actual words of their worship. However, many times they are at the opposite side of the spectrum, where the music itself has no real value. The fact is that our worship is about the words and the meaning they convey, yet that meaning may have different vehicles by which they are conveyed. The vehicle may be writing, preaching, or even in song. The fact is that in each of these cases we must ensure that the vehicle that conveys the message is a good vehicle.

My point is that there are Christians out there that do believe that the lyrics of our songs are important. However, there are also others that find it more convenient to be titillated by music, rather than actually use their brains to think about what they are singing!

Just thinking
Polemical Commentary on
the State of the Church

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