Thursday, June 17, 2010

Contemporary Christian Music

When I was growing up, our Catholic church's idea of “contemporary” worship music consisted of acoustic guitars and folk music.  We sang such contemporary classics such as: Turn, Turn, Turn, Get Together, and of course everyone's favorite Kumbaya.  Maybe I'm just getting old and sentimental, but rather than evoking a worshipful spirit, these songs evoke images of teen hippie wannabes doing bong hits around a campfire...or a living room.  Especially Kumbaya.  Gag me.  Even now when I hear one of those songs I think, “Yup, lite rock for stoners.”  Anyway, it goes without saying that we did not “put our hands together” nor did we ever have a “Holy Ghost party” in our church service. (See the Kirk Franklin video and you'll understand).  We either attended a traditional service where we sang the usual hymns, or the folk service.  Consequently, I've had a negative view of contemporary Christian music until recently.  A few years ago, we started attending a large evangelical church with a well-known worship leader, Lincoln Brewster.  On our first visit, it was loud: electric guitars, drums,  I didn't think I would like it, but as I focused on the words in the songs I began to appreciate a new generation of Christian musicians.  New isn't necessarily better - I love many of the old hymns.  But old isn't necessarily better, either – old can become stale and smug with a “we've always done it this way” attitude.  So, rather than bicker about which type of praise music is better, let's give thanks to God that each successive generation of Christians continue to sing His praises.  Here are a couple of my faves.  Enjoy.

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