For as long as I’ve been going to church I’ve had to hear about “music wars” in the church. Contemporary music was never an issue for me as I hated the music at the old Presbyterian church I went to from 5th grade through 10th grade. Seriously, half of the words in the hymns meant nothing to me. It was just music to be sung. (Nothing against the music director, who is still there!) Later in high school I went to a church which sung more contemporary hymns and some praise music… and the terms “worship” and “music” finally connected to my emotions.
There is a great post about music wars by Dan Kimball on his blog. He writes, “It is fascinating how our own personal choices and preferences dictates what we feel is appropriate worship or not.” Certainly at Romeo that was a word I learned to hate… “appropriate.” In my eyes, if it was meant or used to honor and/or worship God’s name it was appropriate!
He also illustrates the churches most controversial instrument, the organ! It seems the standby of worship we all grew up with was once battled over in a music war of its own.
Also included in this excellent reflection on hymn favorites. Check out what was said about the hymn, “What a Friend I’ve Found in Jesus.” This letter comes from 1890.
“What is wrong with the inspiring hymns with which we grew up? When I go to church, it is to worship God, not to be distracted with learning a new hymn. Last Sunday’s was particularly unnerving. The tune was un-singable and the new harmonies were quite distorting.“
Check out the rest of his post, it’s intriguing and centering on the core of the music war issue.