Sunday, October 28, 2007

Na na na na na na HEY!!


I feel like a rant.....

Everyone who knows me knows I'm not the greatest fan of contemporary 'worship' music. I've been feeling particularly aggrieved recently. When you go through a hard time music can be crutch, expressing part of your soul that words can't. But it's hard to find Christian music that does this.

I find it so frustrating that when we worship the great Creator that we often sing such dreary, trite, repetitive music. Around the world we have created Christian singer superstars (check CCM magazine). Our own celebrity sub-culture to match the world's. Except ours is crap.

Big-selling albums with one decent tune and a load of fillers. The same chords and lyrics in a different order. Surely God deserves better. I seem to find the fingerprints of God far more in music that is supposed to be secular.

Its especially difficult to find any Christian songs that speak in an articulate way about a world that is seriously screwed up. If we want a song about mission we have that 'God of Justice' tune and that's about it. Or else the Delirious song 'Our God Reigns' in which we leave out the verse because it's not 'congregational'.


Anyway here's my 5 favourite and 5 least favourite worship songs:

Least favourite:
1. Come now is the time to worship
2. More love, more power (How can we ask for more....He died for us!)
3. I Love , I Loooooooooooove, I love your presence................................
4. Over the mountains and the sea (How can a river run over a sea? Also, I don't really 'feel like dancing' at 30 bpm)
5. I'll let my words be few (Becomes ironic after repeating it 12 times)
(Bonus number 6- The one that goes 'Na na na na na na Hey!')


All this cynicism has worn me out.....I'll do my top 5 next time!

15 comments:

Molar said...

John mate, I'm totally with you on this one. For years now I have felt that I just cannot worship to some of this crap. Most of these songs are the equivalent to the talent of Steps-pure bubblegum crap! Where are our modern day psalmists, the worshippers who express the joy of the people as well as the deep sorrow! Where is the rugged, broken worship. How many worship leaders spend hours with their bands trying to fine tune and polish their performance? And thats the problem-worship has become a performance, not something we give God. Sorry, I know I may seem just as cynical, but I just wish we could really tune into some of this stuff.

What is the answer though?

davymull said...

In our chats & this blog there are two different things you mention:

1. The fact that most christian music is crap.

2. The making of a christian music 'industry' that is separate in the sense that it rarely impacts the world, yet seems worldly in it's dealings - all about money, celebrities & flashing lights.

I agree but struggle to see what the answer is? Does a focus on making number 1 better not increase the power of number 2?

Maybe a silly comment but interested to know thoughts?

Anonymous said...

made me laugh alot...some of ur comments are so true...refreshing to kno someone engages their brain!

charlie said...

try this john boy.

http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/lettertosongwriters.pdf

Anonymous said...

John, i'm surprised at this post. As someone who leads worship from the front it saddens me to think that you're hearts not even in it? you do look good in those black cut off arm T-shirts though. As for Christian music being crap? Micheal W Smith? Third Day? Sonic Flood? catch a grip man. There is nothing wrong with mking a few bob out of the Christians, sure most have 3 or 4 holidays a year, why not spend 15 quid on a CD of quality worship music rather than a wordly band such as U2 or Muse? Sort yourself out. Get back to basics and start doing the simple things again.

Barney said...

While there may be some truth in your thoughts, I don't think it's helpful to take the piss out of what others have written as their gift to God?

If you don't like something maybe you should close your mouth, or else say something good about something you DO like, and skip this part.

You were right at the start - that's complete rant.

J-Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J-Mac said...

Dave: I don't think your two points are exclusive. We try to make the music better by getting flashing lights, bells and whistles. Making it better should involve singing songs that are real and relevant and bring more focus to God rather than us. Having lyrics and melodies that are from the soul.

Anon/Barney: I was writing with tongue in cheek. Sorry if that you missed that. I do like a lot of 'Christian' music (see next blog) but think a lot of it isn't up to much.

When I'm playing drums in worship my heart is in it I can assure you. (I used to lead worship until John Guy kept telling me I was a crap singer!) I love worshipping God in a congregation of believers as well listening to good music on my own or walking with a few mates in the mountains.

Please don't cast aspersions on my integrity....leave your name if you are commenting....and chill out!

ps. I'll take U2 or Muse over those other bands any day!

J-Mac said...

I just read that anonymous post again. If it is Wiggy or Stefan taking the piss then I feel a bit stupid now!

zico said...

Hmmm, feeling under pressure to post some Christian videos on my blog...

dave wiggins said...

haha i knew i'd get you with the U2 and Muse bit!!!

The Wee Italian Chick said...

I only wanna say, I am with you on this one!
There are times I wonder how much better some secular songs express worship than some pop Christian anthems!Cheers for speaking that out!

Brian said...

i chuckled Jon, I wonder how many other anon comments wiggy leaves. Context helps the music, I have found some cheesy songs really helpful just before we go out on the streets or when we come back after a stressful moment. It's probably more about consumerism than the actual product. In the construct of a Sunday morning meeting it can just feel like a show.

Kathryn Evangelista said...

Tounge in check or not, you have totally missed the point that worship is worship not because of the words , the music, cut off armed t shirts, a good or crap singer and a 100 bpm or 30 bpm...worship is about your heart attitude.
You can worship to a bretheren hymn, hillsongs, or a durge if your heart is to worship God. If you dont wanna sing it, or you dont mean it, or you dont like it,or you disagree with the words (which i could totall agree with that if you had made that point) then dont sing it, and continue to worship in your spirit and heart regardless of surroundings or stimuli. And the whole shock factor thing...tiring. very tiring. You need to get back to basics....a spirit of thankfulness would be beneficial, then the rest of that stuff wouldnt bother you.

Il not be back.

the irish one said...

words are what determine what we become - hence what we sing works it way out in our actions...

how much of modern worship actually focuses on God? how much focuses on 'me'?

should our worship reflect the same individualistic approach to life as the world? or should we as a community be worshipping out living God together and not as wee islands?