And so the documentary ends…

It is a sad and unfortunate thing, but the documentary has come to an abrupt end… without any pictures of the weekend to end it on. I apologize for those of you who were looking forward to some weekend pics, but the honest truth is I did absolutely nothing. I’m not even sure if I left my townhouse on Saturday. But the pics seemed to go over really well, and although I still believe the best part of this website is the writing, I’ll do my best to post pictures from time to time.

In the mean time, I have some more thoughts on worship, and I blame them partially on my class, and partially on these people:

Yep, that’s Bill and Gloria. Tonight my History & Philosophy of Worship class went to Huntington U. to hear them speak on worship, and it was an interesting time. It was a pretty relaxed format, where Bill and Gloria just stood up front and talked for a while, and then opened the floor for a few questions. I was both impressed and extremely disappointed with what they said. For most of the lecture part, they said some really good things. They’re very open to change within music, noting that they’ve seen a tremendous amount of it in their 42 years in the music business. They did address the content of the music, but that’s nothing my generation hasn’t talked about already. All in all, I was impressed with their stance on where music is going, and where it has come from.

The question and answer time quickly changed my opinion, at least of Gloria. While she seems to be the more Biblically grounded of the two, before long someone got her off on a rant about how she wants a singable melody in songs, and of course harmony to go along with that. Now, I love both of those things (though I don’t always find them necessary), but her next statement was ludicrous. She claimed theological foundation for singing harmony in the fact that the church is made up of many different people who often view things differently, but all must work together for the work intended us. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty ridiculous statement, and she digressed from there by basically becoming one of those old people who have no appreciation for where music is headed right now. And because that seemed like a complete reversal of what she said earlier, I lost a lot of respect for what she said tonight. I will hand it to Bill, however. He actually warned Gloria before she started off on her rant, and he was the one who eventually stopped her. Mad props to Bill, who actually seemed to be the one that had it all together when the night was said and done.

So being that this trip was to replace our class tomorrow, afterwards we had van discussion on the way back to Marion. Not quite the same as summer “van talk”, but it was better than your standard class lecture, so it was okay. We talked a lot about worship and the standard arguments about the role of the worship leader, and how to choose songs to sing, and what the criterion for choosing those songs are, etc. In the end, it became another one of those circular arguments that doesn’t actually progress anywhere and only ends up making people upset.

Now I don’t want to name names, but I feel like many of my fellow Worship majors approach worship from a very uneducated standpoint. Not to say they haven’t lead worship before–in fact most of them do it on a weekly basis–but rather that I feel like most of them create beliefs and views without ever knowing where the Bible and orthodoxy stand on issues. So I often get frustrated because so many Worship majors form belief without ever using scripture, whereas I try very hard to base all of my philosophies and theologies of worship soundly on scripture, with reason and orthodoxy as supporting factors. I’m not trying to say I’m some great worship mind–I’m far too under-educated to even consider such remarks, but I say that all just to convey the frustration almost all “worship” talks give me.

Today I had an epiphany of sorts, and maybe it was even revelation. While I was once again on my soapbox about how worship is SO MUCH MORE than just music and singing, I realized that perhaps this is the reason we are having such terrible ‘worship wars’ currently. Could it be that our warring is not ‘the right way’ versus ‘the wrong way’, but is in fact unfocused argument versus unfocused argument? Right now I am considering that our worship problems may not just be in need of compromise, but in fact of a complete refocusing of what we see as worship. David Peterson defines worship as our reaction to something God does; and for 5,000 years it has been expressed in many different ways, one of which is music (by no means is music the most prolific part of this worship, either; it’s just one part of it). The more I contemplate it, the more I believe our disagreements in worship stem not from stylistic differences, but from the fact we no longer understand what worship is. I think if the church can regain understanding of what true worship is, the stylistic differences would fade away… because we would understand worship is much more than an emotional response to a song. It is a conscious effort, a choice made to worship God through every last fiber of our being. It is so much more than just a song.

I would really like to hear your comments on this… remember it is still a fresh thought, and I would like to hear initial reaction to it, positive or negative. I really enjoy reading your comments!