Tom’s asking “Does Jesus want to be my friend forever?” finally prodded me to post this (it’s been sitting unfinished since November).
During my college days, I attended a church with a more “contemporary” style of worship. Despite attending for three years, I never found it easy to worship seriously there. At the time, I rarely talked about it, nor was able to put a finger on why that should be the case.
Eventually, I figured out one thing, made obvious when “Shout to the Lord” by Darlene Zschech was sung during the service. There was a particular point during the song when, without fail, a bunch of people would shoot up their hands and do the hand-waving thing. This was when there was a modulation (change of key) and the volume was kicked up a notch.
It was the music itself that was eliciting such a response from the congregation, not the song’s content. (Perhaps this is one of the reasons that music is frowned upon in Islam?)
While at my parents’ house some time back, a second point was revealed. One of the articles in the October 2007 issue of Tabletalk discussed contemporary worship. Here is what Gene Edward Veith had to say:
They are mostly in the form of secular love-songs to Jesus. They are often from the feminine point of view, singing “Jesus, I am so in love with you” in a way that makes men squirm. Sometimes, “Jesus” is never mentioned, with the song being addressed to a “you” who could just as easily be a human lover.
These “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” types of songs can be sacrilegious or profane.
Now I remember. That always felt weird to me, even as other students tried to convince me it was not.