And yet many in the church today believe that both congregations and singers, especially young ones, can only connect with the most recent of musical constructs. If something historic is done, then it at least needs to be done in a “contemporary” way. Now I am all in favor of new interpretations of existing melodies. It is a time-honored church tradition after all, and one of the strongest arguments for using traditional hymn melodies is their objective strength, i.e. they are sturdy enough to “hold up” various styles and musical treatments.
But it struck me after the service that all this emphasis on “new”, “fresh”, and “contemporary” assumes that somehow singers and congregations today are different than those of previous generations. Somehow what has served the Gospel well for dozens of years and even dozens of generations can no longer “work” today. No reason is really ever given for this, it is just assumed that “that was then, this is now.” But do we really have different chromosomes, brain cells, and hearts today? Has our technology or our culture really changed us that much? Or are we in 21st-century America just full of ourselves. I think it is the latter. The church suffers because of it. The proclamation of the Gospel suffers because of it.
Perhaps instead of trying to “change” the way worship is done in hopes of bringing people in, we should place more trust in the Lord. For it isn’t the music during a worship service that will bring people to God, it is the Holy Spirit working in their hearts as they hear His Word.
- Contemporary Worship, Adiaphora, and Being Benificial (confessionalgadfly.blogspot.com)
- Seven Reasons Why Lutherans Should Not Jump on the “Contemporary Worship” Bandwagon (realrealityzone.com)
- “Why Non-liturgical” Worship Cannot be Lutheran” (confessionalbytes.com)
- What is REAL Lutheran Worship anyway? (intrepidlutherans.com)