Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

Yesterday we had a good discussion about some of the limitations of worship — or at least the modern worship movement, even though it defines worship too narrowly as “the singing part of a church service.”

And there are a lot of limitations, from vapid songwriting to theological confusion to an over-reliance on psychological/emotional touchstones like key changes, crescendos, and tempos.

I’ll readily admit to not being much of a problem-solver. I like to ask questions no one’s asking, stir the pot a little, and then let the discussion happen without getting too involved. That approach has its own problems, I know. But that’s always been my fleshly thorn: too many questions, and not enough answers. Also, too many chocolate chip cookies, and not enough celery. But that’s another blog post.

Let’s consider the annoyances mentioned yesterday in both the blog post and the comments and discuss what — if anything — can be done to fix them. It’s not as simple as saying “We need to return to the ancient hymns,” because some of those are just as goofy or inauthentic-sounding as any others. (I can’t sing “There is a fountain filled with blood…” without going all Stephen King in the theater of my mind.)

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How do we worship, then, if we hate the songs?

How do we worship authentically if singing certain lyrics makes us feel fake?

How do we worship if the forms of worship — the music, the outward expressions, our own hang-ups — distract us?

How do we re-educate the churchgoing population on the purpose and definition of worship?

How do we worship if we’re questioning the purpose of worship in the first place? Can worship occur amidst the struggle to believe?

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Now that we’ve complained about it, let’s offer some solutions. Let’s keep the discussion going. Your turn…

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