Friday, July 4, 2008

From the Mind of a Double-Anti-Contemporarian

So, after my last blog post, I waited for a comment. I thought surely it was worthy of at least one, from someone, somewhere.

And then Zach posted this note in reply. He was going to leave a comment, but it got a little long-winded. I liked it rather a lot, so here it is.

It's worth the read, but if you don't like big words, don't bother trying. :) lol

I think I'm becoming re-addicted to this stupid venting thing they call 'blogging'...anyway, this started out as a comment on Caiti Butler's blog about going to a contemporary-worship service. Miss Butler grew up in a traditionalist environment, as did I. In fact, my mind was so unused to feeling syncopation that it fought back while listening to Charlotte Church and received an ache...yes, the 'classical' music of Charlotte Church used to give me headaches! Ah, and at the age of 13 I did a 'wild' thing of smuggling an Enya CD into my bedroom and listening to it from start-to-finish. Though I now listen to a smattering of hardcore and bang my head against some heavy metal, I still can't stand the ear-damaging noise-level of rock concerts...

Yes, very applicable blog to our divisionistic human natures. Perhaps this anti-traditionalist (or, better put, nor really anti-traditionalist as anti-anti-contemporary...h
mm, double-anti-contemporary, I like that...) blog should've been entitled 'Praise the Lord, yo!' instead of your Shakespearean form?

When was the last time anti-contemporary-ists checked the context before quoting John 4:23?

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

They use this passage to 'prove' that our worship should be in the 'truth' of classical structures. Yet this passage is of 'the woman at the well', and it immediately follows their conversation about Jews worshiping in Jerusalem but Samaritans in their little hills. I.e., this verse is saying that Jesus came to put an end to the formalities and forms of worship. Our body is the New Temple, and as such we may worship God in our 21st-century Jerusalems, as well as our Samaritan hills. Which antagonizes another point brought up by anti-contemporary-ists, that the Old Testament proves that God desires a specific kind of worship. Amen to that, but the specific type of music we use to express our loyalty and love is no longer given to our American equivalent of Levite musicians at the Jerusalem Temple. Yes, God desires a specific kind of worship--as this passage says, in 'spirit' and 'truth'--but neither imply the avoidance of pulse-heightening songs. But still anti-contemporary-ists insist upon using this passage to 'prove' that our worship should be in their traditionalist 'Jerusalem'.

On the issue of the healthiness of Rock, many cite early deaths of rock stars. To counter that evidence, all one needs to do is consider for a moment all the other factors possibly involved in the poor health of such persons. Still, I cede the fact that living in the non-ending presence of deafening noise could be adverse to one's health. But does that mean a little is bad? We know too much work can kill you...but does that mean we should avoid it completely? Also, a heightened pulse is a natural effect of, should we have no emotion in our worship?

Concordance definition of 'spirit':

2) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated

a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides

b) the soul

4) the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one

a) the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.

Concordance definition of 'truth':

truth as a personal excellence

1) that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit

If anything, 'truth' is double-anti-contemporary, free of biased affection for old hymns (and thus disaffection with contemporary worship), free of the pretense and simulation of ritualized worship, free of the falsehood and deceit which says that we must worship in Jerusalem. Having said all this, bleurgh on the awful mimic-quality of most contemporary musicians, and bleurgh on their awfully repetitive and shallow choruses--CCM artists are often like boys seeing how many times they can make a rock skip across a pond, without acknowledging that treasures lie in the depths of dark waters. But are hymns' depth worth anything more than this, if our mind dips its big toe in just enough to flick some droplets of words up into our mouths? Let us now worship our Lord in spirit and in truth, without the dumbingly-stupid and repetitively-redundant shallowness of most CCM, but neither chained by the Pharisaical belief that non-syncopated songs--or anything other than Grace--leads to holiness.

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