Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This whole worship music thing...

Some of you will remember that it was just recently that I stepped out of the worship ministry at our church.

And yet, I was hit with a thought the other day about worship music that most of you won't care about, but I want to share anyway.

Some of you know of the debate "hymns or praise songs."

Point 1: Hymns ARE praise songs - they are just compiled in a hymnal, and not recently written.

It is rather a silly debate, with either hymns or contemporary praise music you can worship God.  Yes, styles vary, and every one will have their favorite, but

Point 2: No matter your favorite style, you can still learn the other one.  Contemporary music lovers can learn hymns, and hymn lovers can learn contemporary music.


Point 3: At some point, all this music was new to you.


Point 4: At some point in time, hymns were contemporary praise music and followed the musical styles of their day.
If you check out the copyright of a hymn, and then research music from that same year, you'll find it sounds very similar to the hymn.  Popular songs sung in 1864, sound like hymns from 1864.  Popular music from the 1940s, sound like hymns from the 1940s.  Popular music from today, sounds like praise music from today.  The only exception in all those statements is the theme.  Worship songs praise God, while popular music doesn't (most the time).

When John & Charles Wesley began writing hymns, they used PUB tunes to get the music, and just changed the words.

Point 5: If the Wesley's can redeem a bar song, than we can use music that doesn't necessarily go "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus."

And I do believe it is as simple as that.  I happen to enjoy a mixture of music.  One of my favorite hymns "Revive Us Again" had its music written in 1815, but the words in 1863.  "Dwelling in Beulah Land" (my youth group's favorite hymn when I was in high school) was written in 1911.  "He Brought Me Out" was written in 1898.  I enjoy all of those.
I also enjoy many Bill Gaither songs that were written in the '70s.  In fact, Mr. Curly sings one of our favorite's "There's Something About that Name" to the kids every night before bed.

And I enjoy the "new" stuff too.  "I'm trading my sorrows" from 1998 and "Indescribable" and "God of Wonders" from 2004.  Chris Augusts' "Starry Night" from 2011 and Afters' "Light up the Sky" from 2010.
Honestly, I missed a lot of new and good praise music for a couple of years simply because of where we lived the radio station was a little behind.  So I'm still playing catch up. 

But while I play catch up, teaching my kids something new, I teach them the classics.  Because all music, new or old, can lead us into worship of our God.

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