Sweeping Generalizations Hurt The Church

I love this post by Thomas Irby at Seedbed. It’s called The Case For Contemporary Worship. Thomas shares a pet peeve of mine wherein people dismiss contemporary worship music wholesale, refusing to see value in any modern song:

In holding up the problematic theological statements and poor lyrics of a few songs they often ignore the many wonderful modern worship artists that are reflecting upon our ancient faith in profound and beautiful ways.

While Thomas admittedly prefers older hymns, I like how he addresses that issue:

I’d also like to point out that the mere fact that hymns are published in a hymnal does not make those songs any more sacred or theological than a song written two years ago by someone who likes to play the electric guitar. There are many hymns that are as poorly written and as theologically problematic as any contemporary worship song (might I remind you that “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” are both in the United Methodist Hymnal).

That’s always been a source of irritation for me: the folks who insist that anything in a hymnal in automatically superior – musically, theologically, and in all other ways – to anything published recently. I certainly don’t discount the timelessness of “How Great Thou Art” or “Holy, Holy, Holy” but don’t ever tell me that “The Old Rugged Cross” is theologically better than “How Great Is Our God.” 🙂

Okay, stepping down from my soapbox, I highly suggest you check out Thomas’s post. I think it’s essential that all generations find some common ground when it comes to worship. We don’t all have to worship the same way, but we can’t dismiss each other with the wave of a hand, either.

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