Thought provoking article by Russell Moore. Read the entire post here: http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/02/13/lets-have-more-worship-wars/
“…But the more I reflect on what I like, and why, the more I’m convinced that my preferences are almost entirely cultural and nostalgic.
I’m not saying aesthetics don’t matter in worship. The Spirit equips God’s people to sing and to play and to write music. So when music is not good this is often evidence of, at worst, disobedience, and at best, misappropriation of talents. And the Scripture commands us to worship in “reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28).
Worship is directed toward God, yes, but worship arises out of a specific community. The psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are teaching ( Col. 3:16). They build up the rest of the Body. That’s why we’ve got to care about what, and how, others hear when we are “addressing one another” (Eph. 5:17) musically.
What I am saying is that most of our varying critiques of musical forms are often just narcissism disguised as concern about theological and liturgical downgrade. That’s why I think we need more, and better, worship wars.
Thankfully, we don’t hear as much about “worship wars” these days, but I wonder if that’s because of growing maturity or if it’s simply because we’ve so segregated ourselves into services and congregations that reflect generational and ethnic and class-oriented musical commonalities. Maybe we need to reignite the wars, but in a Christian sort of way.
What if the war looked like this in your congregation? What if the young singles complained that the drums are too loud, that they’re distracting the senior adults? What if the elderly people complained that the church wasn’t paying attention to the new movements in songwriting or musical style?
When we seek the well-being of others in worship, it’s not just that we cringe through music we hate. As an act of love, this often causes us to appreciate, empathize, and even start to resonate with worship through musical forms we previously never considered.
This would signal a counting of others as more significant than ourselves (Phil 2:3), which comes from the Spirit of the humiliated, exalted King Jesus (Phil 2:5-11). It would mean an outdoing of one another, in order to serve and show honor to the other parts of the Body of Christ. And, however it turned out musically, it would rock….”
-Russell D. Moore, 02-13-12