wrapping your mind around modern worship and praise

"Modern Worship and Praise" (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)
“Modern Worship and Praise” (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)

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I’m guilty! Guilty of writing, leading and singing this kind of fluff.

Sometimes fluff feels good.

But it’s not good to stuff your head with fluff. Fluff stuffing.

I claim the biggest challenge facing the Church, Christianity and religion in general today is to meet the intellectual needs of our time. Who’s up to the task?

Someone, please!

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12 Replies to “wrapping your mind around modern worship and praise”

  1. No one of us is up to the task of meeting the intellectual needs of religion (& spirituality?) in our time. But together, we can do it!
    Let’s start with identifying those needs. what exactly are they?
    Singing warm and fuzzy songs probably won’t do much, but agape (love) has to factor in.

  2. In my Facebook response I said, “Don’t get me started.” All I’m going to say is this: It marks the creation of a new kind of worship, unconnected with and unconcerned about the past. Most of what has made the Church the Church is discarded as irrelevant and unimportant. In its place, we’re seeing the Hollywoodization and Pentecostalization of worship. The only problem is that it only mimics both. It aspires to be like show biz music, with all the noise and glitz, and there’s nothing authentically Pentecostal about it either. Closing your eyes, rocking on your feet and waving to Jesus doesn’t elicit the Spirit or make you spiritual. I’m sorry if I come across as cynical, but this stuff drives me crazy: I think it’s a muckleheaded attempt to be “relevant” when true relevance in the Church is found in community and relationships.

  3. I should add something: True relevance in the Church is found in preaching and the sacraments as well.

  4. Community – that’s just what I was thinking. And relationships are what community is built on. We can get that without the church buildings and the glitz. Maybe more easily without those. Preaching and sacraments? I’m not so sure about those. Maybe dialogue rather than preaching. Maybe the new kind of worship calls for recognizing new sacraments. Communion not as mystical wafer-chewing, but as part of community. Compassion is a good one. Humility.

  5. I think the phrase “mystical wafer-chewing” is a little harsh — I know folks who find Christ to be most profoundly present to them when they take Communion — but I completely agree with you, I, about the need for dialogue (alongside, and sometimes in place of, sermons) plus the development of community, compassion, and humility. Maybe humility most of all. I could use a good dose of that.

  6. I guess the point I was trying to make is that without communion with each other, communion in church may be little more than a ritual. I could have phrased it a little more sensitively, and I apologize if I offended anyone.
    Sensitivity. Another good sacrament to practice.

  7. When I attended church, I had the job of advancing the song lyrics in the projection system up on the big stage so everybody in the audience could more easily follow along with the band/performance. It was easier for me when the song lyrics repeated over and over again. I was always SO tempted to change the lyrics that were displayed but I never did. 🙂

  8. Ya know, I’ve called bad theology a reason for theological constipation, so I could also argue that bad theology can be fluff. “Trading the meal for the microphone” can indicate that we’ve traded community and communal discussion and disagreement for a harsh, maybe bloated message that none dare to challenge out of fear.

  9. While in between calls I occasionally provided pulpit supply for a happy-clappy church in our conference. It was painful. They sang the kind of drivel described above. Their favourite praise chorus was called something like “I could sing of your love forever” and after about the eighth time through I thought to myself “yes, yes, you could and it sounds like you’re going for it!” Ugh! 😉

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