I Changed My Mind: Contemporary Christian Music

Going to non-denominational churches meant that I heard a lot of the newest contemporary worship music out there. For those of you that don’t know, the worship space in most of these churches is set up like a concert venue with maybe a pulpit and a cross at the center. Music and Bible Study take center stage.
Toward my end of being involved in that movement I was disheartened by the music and it’s sentimentality that lacked theological conviction. I started to amount this musical depth to “Jesus you’re my boyfriend.” You know, the type of song where you could replace the name of Jesus with your lovers name and no one would know the difference. I wanted music that had some theological depth and breadth that could stand that test of time, namely hymns. There are still some songs I can’t hear without laughing out loud, the “Victory Chant (Hail Jesus)” and “Shout to the North.” So I stopped listening to Christian music all together. And frankly for that amount of time I was better off. I learned to like other music again. But, something started to happen to me. I started to reevaluate my prejudice. After about 6 hears I have began once again to listen to some contemporary Christian music. I won’t defend all contemporary Christian music, because let’s face it, there is a lot of bad music out there.
There is a quality to some of the music that echoes scripture and has an integrity and deep sense of theological inquiry, which relies heavily on the same questions and longings that the Psalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs, and Prophets espouse. So, I changed my mind. I will not bash contemporary Christian music anymore. I will judge it on a song-by-song basis.
I could never go back to non-denominational worship services. I like being firmly established in a liturgical tradition that takes Word and Sacrament as the mode by which our Triune God comes to us. But, I might be playing it on my ipod every once and a while.

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