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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Missing the Forest for the Path

"Oh no," I groan, but only loud enough so my wife knowns I'm upset.

I'm not really interested in disrupting the rest of the congregation.

It's a Sunday morning and the worship team has just started an incredibly lame song. In fact, it's a song that makes me a little uncomfortable because I don't think the theology is very sound. In fact, it may be bordering on heresy. And I'm not a big fan of heresy.

Another song begins. Another loser. 'No wonder people hate church,' I think to myself. 'This song is horrible. So much of our worship music is just so lame.'

And then I see this video where p*rnographer Ron Jeremy talks about how much he enjoys worship music.


He says, over and over again, that the difference is posture. Christian songs make you smile, lift your face. Contrast that with rock and roll type things where people are scowling and banging their heads while staring at the ground. But worship music, you can't help but smile, he repeats.

How did I miss that? How have I walked this path for over two decades and never noticed that distinction? And why do I find myself scowling and staring at the floor so often?

I still believe that songs should have good theology and focus more on God than us. ...but my bad attitude certainly isn't honoring God. Far better would be to take my complaints to those who can do something about it. Far better to seek to make things better than to just complain. Far better to stop wandering down my path for a moment and notice the trees.

For all the rotting bark and dead leaves, the light sprinkling through the foliage is beautiful.

Sunlight through Trees

I appreciate Craig Gross' take on who it is that Jesus loves (the linked article is where I bumped into Ron Jeremy's video clip). Craig talks a little about looking outside our Christian group, and I think it's something to think about.

Hat Tip

I wonder: What do we, as members of a group, miss that strangers to our midst see and enjoy? I often think, rather bitterly, about all the things the people not on the homeschool path must think of us. I rarely--okay, never--think about what joys and beauties they may notice that I've overlooked.

Has anyone noticed something about your home education that you hadn't seen before?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

*I'm bleeping this word for the family filters.


Celee said...

I know what you mean about worship music. There's this one about nowhere I'd rather be than dancing with you or something like that and I'm always thinking, but I don't even like to dance. I love the oldies, but goodies. In fact, the older the better. I guess that's not always true. The Getty's have turned out some awesome "modern hymns" for lack of a better term. And I love singing the Psalms- can't go wrong there. I'm fortunate, though, my husband's the pastor so rather than scowl, I can take it up with him later : ).


Sarah said...

Hey Celee, I'm not a dancer but I like that song. ;) We all have different likes. I happen to like the new ones, but some old ones. I cannot stand the ones that are not theologically correct, such as asking God not to take his Holy Spirit from us. That was David, before Jesus, before the Holy Spirit came to dwell within us. He's not going to cast us away from His presence because we have JESUS in us.

That's my issue with songs.

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Tammy said...

Interesting topic, Luke! I guess when I think of worship and music...well, it isn't really about the music that someone else provides for others. It's what *I* bring from a heart of praise and love for my Heavenly Father that makes it worship :-)

Hmmm, but back to your real question...I don't realize how different my relationship is with my homeschooling kids who are teenagers compared to those of the same age who go to public schools. Others notice it and wonder how I got my kids to "talk" so much to me because their teenagers hardly say a word. No doubt about it that pouring your life into them when they are young makes a huge difference as they grow older :-)

Tammy ~@~

Luke Holzmann said...

Celee, I honestly could take it up with the people at church too. ...I just don't <smile>.

Sarah, I'm wish you. Bad theology is too rampant as it is, we don't need to reinforce it with poorly conceived songs.

Karen, there are a couple. I honestly don't recall what they are titled because I don't pay too much attention to them once I decide they aren't any good and the really bad ones tend to phase out relatively quickly .

Currently "Our God" by Chris Tomlin feels odd to me because he alludes to a bunch of Scripture passages (water You turned into wine /
open the eyes of the blind) and then switches to a mythological allusion (out of the ashes we rise). Not saying that's a horrible thing, but feels odd in a worship song...

From my Youth Group years I know I had a problem with "Spirit Of the Sovereign Lord" which has the line "This is the day of the vengeance of our God"... which is straight out of Scripture (and, frankly, rocks when you're singing really loudly ). My issue was that Jesus quoted that passage but stopped before that line to make a point. Hence, why everyone stares at Him (why'd He stop early?). I didn't feel good about singing a line that Christ purposely skipped. ...that was my reasoning at the time.

But you're right on: There is a "posture" thing that I do too often ignore.

Tammy, great point. You're right on and I should remember that more when I'm having a bad attitude. On the other hand, a song with bad theology is still problem.

Thanks for sharing your bit about your teenagers <smile>. That's a good thing to remember.


Karen Joy said...

Oh, bummer. I made a really long comment (surprise, surprise) on this, about the imagery of rising from the ashes to be entirely biblical (among other now-forgotten) points. I know it had something to do with Isaiah 61, especially verse 3. Oh, well.

Karen Joy said...

Wait. I found it on your FB page. If you have no time to respond, that's OK, but if you do, I'd love your thoughts. I'm going to copy it, here:

Brace yourself for nitpicking, and ignore if you'd like.

I really like "Our God" written by Chris Tomlin, et al. I have no problem with... redeeming imagery that may have been used elsewhere. That phrase is particularly poignant t...o me, in fact, because I'm from Phoenix. So, its meaning has multiple layers for me. :)

AND, speaking of Isaiah 61, verse 3 mentions "a garland instead of ashes", so it's not like the image of rising from the ashes, or exchanging the ashes of mourning for joy, is entirely unbiblical.

As for Jesus reading from it... well, I can see your point -- he stopped at an interesting point. But, unless I'm mistaken (and I very well may be), Jesus was talking about those words from Isaiah being fulfilled in HIM. Jesus didn't come for vengeance! There is a time for vengeance (much as I dislike the idea), but the "year" of Jesus was not one for vengeance.

Did you -- do you -- go to a Vineyard? When "Spirit of the Sovereign Lord" came out, Vineyard worship was being sung mostly just in Vineyards. (Just curious.)

Luke Holzmann said...

Karen, I hate when the computer eats stuff. Glad you found it <smile>.

I'm okay with redeeming imagery as well. In fact, I love doing that. What's odd is that it's coupled with clear references to Scripture. <shrug> If the song included more than just that one "redeemed" allusion it wouldn't have struck me as so odd.

I think you're absolutely correct that Jesus stopped where He did because He was tying it back to Him. Absolutely. What gave me pause was not knowing if that's where we still are or not. Is this the day of the vengeance of God? Or are we still in the year of the favor of the Lord?

Nope, haven't been to a Vineyard church. I'm spent much of my life in the Foursquare denomination, for what it's worth <smile>.



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