"Sweet" words on the permanence of praise music

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by All about Grace, May 6, 2003.

  1. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    One of the arguments I hear regularly against some P&W is its lack of enduring quality. A lot of P&W music has a short shelf life. Leonard Sweet, one of the leading cutting-edge thinkers in modern Christianity, addresses this subject in a recent interview with Relevance magazine.

    Sweet:
    "Sweet" words from Leonard.

    "When the church stops changing it dies. The very definition of impermanence is the definition of life."
     
  2. wizofoz

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    Amen. [​IMG]
     
  3. Pete

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    Yeah, the newer songs are the best....NOT! ;)

    Isaac Watts: 1674 - 1748.
    Charles Wesley: 1707 - 1788.
    Horatius Bonar: 1808 - 1889.
    Cecil Frances Alexander: 1818 - 1895.
    Fanny Crosby: 1820 - 1915.
    Frances Ridley Havergal: 1836 - 1879.
    Philip Paul Bliss 1838 - 1876.


    Most writers today could line their entire catalogue up against just one song from any of the writers above and still come up short.

    Leonard Sweet (whoever that is) compares the new stuff to "fresh fruit"..."Watered down fruit juice" would be a more appropriate term for most of it.

    Leonard has me thinking though, is this flood of "Christian" CDs full of wishy-washy sugar-coated songs (a lot possibly about cats...) planned obsolesce? Is the plan to release CDs with 1-2 good songs, and 11-13 "space fillers" because the latter take less time to write? Do they churn out all these "I Love My Cat" songs to keep the CDs flowing out and cash flowing back in? Based on current events I'ld have to guess answer to these 3 questions is yes.

    One writer that even the 7 I mentioned above would have trouble catching...King David 1040 B.C. - 970 B.C. :D

    Pete
     
  4. wizofoz

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    No one said the newer songs were best.

    They are a good compliment to the older, traditional songs. A good mix of both enhances the worship service.

    Don't go dismissing something if you haven't tried to fully understand it.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    Your reply supports Sweet's thesis.

    Dare we remember that thousands of Crosby and Watts songs are no longer remembered or sung. All music was at one time contemporary to its time.

    The fact you do not even know who Leonard Sweet is tells us plenty.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    Very true. Our hymnals are the “Best Of…” collection of Christian hymnody and sacred songs.

    There were lots of terrible efforts in ages past that have fallen out of favor (find some old hymnals and turn the pages sometime), but the good ones have remained.

    To make things even more difficult for the contemporary Christian songwriter, our culture understands less about the basics of Christian theology than ever before making it more difficult to find words that resonate with both new converts and seasoned disciples of Jesus.

    It’s easy to criticize. Instead of simply complaining about the poor quality of current Christian songwriting, try writing some quality material. (That’s what I’m doing.) :D
     
  7. RaptureReady

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    Your reply supports Sweet's thesis.

    Dare we remember that thousands of Crosby and Watts songs are no longer remembered or sung. All music was at one time contemporary to its time.

    The fact you do not even know who Leonard Sweet is tells us plenty.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry, but I still sing their songs. I also do not know who Leonard Sweet is, but if he has anything to do with Christian Rock then I care not to hear him.

    BTW, do any contemporary Christians out there know who Jaci Velasquez is?
     
  8. wizofoz

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  9. RaptureReady

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    I used to listen to Metallic, Def Leopard, Bon Jovi, and other 80's rock. When I returned to the Lord from the world, I knew what Christian music was compared to my music. I threw away every tape/CD that I had that reminded me of the past 16 years of the trash I was listening too. I never heard of contemporary Christian rock until I was back in church. I did decide to listen to it and if I can remember, I listened to Jars of Clay. The first couple of songs reminded me of "Hootie and the Blow Fish." You may or may not know them. People today say that it is Christian music because it mentions God. But there are plenty of seculiar music out there that mentions God, but is certainly not Christian music, especially allot of country music. To me, if the first thing to move is my flesh, then something is up with this type of music.

    Another rule of thumb for me is, if the drums are very present, then it is probably not God honoring music.

    The question I have toward contemporary Christian artist is why not the local church instead of a concert hall.
     
  10. Gib

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    Why do you (anyone) think about Mosie Lister, Camp Kirkland, Tom Fettke, Dottie Rambo, Bill & Gloria Gaither, Geron Davis, Don Moen? All have written some godly music and lyrics. Though they are a far cry from today's CCM, they would also be considered nontraditional hymn writers.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    You post a premise (pro CCM) and you get folks who will laud the choice, abide by it or condemn it. That is part of the BB! :eek:

    I have contact with almost ALL types and artists of CCM and have found little, if any, redeeming value.

    Occasionally some good words, but more along the line of "testimony" of Fanny Crosby, PP Bliss a century back.

    Occasionally some good music and use of tunes that are enjoyable and not inundated with the rock mentality.

    Very seldom a song that would be worthy of REAL "worship" or "praise" (which the name of the genre would make one assume the focus) like those of Watts, Luther, or even Wesley.

    That's my opinion.
     
  12. wizofoz

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    Uh, I don't recall any of those bands in CCM....Apples and oranges.



    So, you just naturally assumed that all music with that kind of beat was bad, not bothering to do any research. Typical.



    Yes, I've heard of them. I don't live in a shell. You base your opinion on one instance, on one song. It's like me saying that all bananas are bad for you because I tasted one once and didn't like it.



    Admittedly, there are some songs out there that claim to be Christian songs that really do not glorify God at all. But there are others that do. I used Rich Mullins for example. I've heard nothing by him that wasn't glorifying God.
    That's where discernment comes in. Don't just throw out the whole lot because of one or two bad spots. You are making too quick a judgment on the whole genre.
    Get a copy of "Shout to the Lord" and listen to it.



    Apparently, that's your rule. We use drums even with traditional hymns. It's an enhancement.

    Yeah, why NOT the local church? That's where praise and worship music belong, doesn't it?

    It's human nature to distrust and dismiss something we are unfamiliar with or is new and different. That doesn't mean we can't look into it and find out what it's really like.
     
  13. Pete

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    *phew* A lot to catch up on here.

    The quote posted implied it mate. "Frosted Flakes" vs "fresh fruit" :rolleyes: Watt's When I Survey is a night out at an AYCE restaurant, a lot today are not even a cold two week old greasy chip...

    I selected a bit of music at old Church, never looked at dates when doing it...

    Now THAT is a red flag to this particular bull...I was about to roll up sleeves and unleash a reply, but have to catch up a bit on this thread so will just say "...whatever..." [​IMG]

    = = =

    The number of Watts, Wesley, Crosbey, etc songs still around today disproves the Sweet theory quoted. Despite the attempts by many to throw these songs down the "memory hole", there are still people around who still consider them as fresh as the day they were written. "Frosted Flakes" :rolleyes:

    I really couldn't care less (I suppose I could try ;) ) wether a song was written 5 minutes ago, 5 years ago, or 5 centuries ago. Quality is another story, very few current songs go anywhere near matching those older ones. The way things are deteriorating I am beginning to wonder if perhaps Mr Watts and co were wrong and we should have stuck with metrical psalms..

    OY VAY! I do not know who Leonard Sweet is. Will I still get to Heaven somehow. How could I have walked this earth for this long and been unaware of this fountain of all wisdom and truth and....etc etc..Yeah yeah, I know I'm a mongrel, just can't help myself when I see a target [​IMG]

    I think I found the web page of the Leonard Sweet mentioned, the thing was too ugly to do too much digging though it, however elsewhere on web I found this: "Leonard Sweet is dean of the Theological School and vice president of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey." That is the bloke in question I take it? If it is he should know better and not come out with quotes as silly as that one above ;)

    = = =

    There are a lot of terrible ones today, they are just not disappearing fast enough. And even if they do disappear, there is another CD-full released to replace them..ARGH! [​IMG]

    I see a lot of people in the taxi, I think the culture is more "I don't care" than "I don't know". I am not quite nasty enough to suggest that some of them would have a better understanding of basic Christian teaching than some songwriters today...honest ;) (and I think I just ran out of graemlins on this post, so everyone use your imagination for the rest of this post.)

    I think new converts would be able to handle Mr Watts' & Mr Wesley's best efforts if the songs' meanings were explained to them. At old Church most of the Sunday school children were from non-Church families, I introduced some hymns to them by explaining a line at a time, they enjoyed them.

    No it isn't, have to listen to the stuff to do it..ARGH!

    I like to play around with all sorts of weird 2s, 4s, 6s, 9s etc on the guitar. Every now and then I'll write a word or two, then I think about some Watts or Wesley songs, compare the quality, and give it a miss and get back to annoying people on the BB.

    May God bless your writing Baptist Believer!! Let us know when we can get the CD.

    Pete
     
  14. Multimom

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    I find it quite interesting that people who are opposed to praise and worship music have failed to see that a large portion of it comes quoted directly from scripture.

    For example:

    Shout to the Lord all ye earth let us sing power and majesty praise to the King. Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of your name."

    This is taken directly from the Psalms.

    Or As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee.

    or:

    Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, and let the living proclaim. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

    I believe to say that songs like these will not stand the test of time is to almost accuse scripture of the same thing since these songs are direct quotes from the word of God.

    Does setting them to music change their viability? I doubt it.
     
  15. wizofoz

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    I think it's the TYPE of music the words are set to that people are objecting to.
    They automatically dismiss it if they hear drums or a guitar; it doesn't matter what the words actually say.

    If you put the words to "Shout to the Lord" to a piano or organ accompaniment only, they might accept it.
     
  16. Molly

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    "Sweet" words from Leonard.

    "When the church stops changing it dies. The very definition of impermanence is the definition of life."
    </font>[/QUOTE]I disagree with this quote,SBC,because praise is for God,not us. The music,style,and everything should match God and HIS HOLINESS,not our need for the day. Typical seeker sensitive stuff.... :rolleyes:

    Molly
     
  17. Molly

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    Songs based on scripture are good,if done correctly to fit the Holiness of God...but most of the current stuff is based on a philosophy that it will *reach* more people if we dumb it down...I can be okay with some songs,but I have to stand against the philosophy that backs a lot of it. It is hurtful to the church,IMO.
     
  18. Molly

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    "Sweet" words from Leonard.

    "When the church stops changing it dies. The very definition of impermanence is the definition of life."
    </font>[/QUOTE]I disagree with this quote,SBC,because praise is for God,not us. The music,style,and everything should match God and HIS HOLINESS,not our need for the day. Typical seeker sensitive stuff.... :rolleyes:


    Notice his quote said "what I need",since when is worship for man????
    Molly
    </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  19. Molly

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    How many times did he mention *I* in his quote...very interesting! I need this,I need that....this just supports my concerns. :eek:
     
  20. Pete

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    heh heh now replace "praise and worship music" in the above paragraph with "hymns" [​IMG] It is a two way street [​IMG]

    Although I would have to argue the "large portion" remark, there are good modern songs, there is also a lot of "I Love My Cat" dross out there.

    As a few here like to point out, we don't sing every song Mr Watts, Wesley and co wrote because the duds have evaporated. Great, fair enough. However cheering the loss of some duds while also cheering the gaining of new duds is a tad weird [​IMG]

    Careful there, you are on dangerous ground, you are almost contradicting the mighty Leonard Sweet (...whoever...) himself "But then they've got a short shelf life...They come and they go and that's okay." ;)


    Some here maybe, my objection is to wishy washy "Here kitty kitty kitty" lyrics. Be careful not to stereotype [​IMG] For the record I turn 34 this year, I play 6 & 12 string acoustics and a Strat.

    Which Shout To The Lord? Kevin Prosch's? Andy Park's Psalm 100? Or Darlene Zschech's (Hillsongs)?

    If you mean the latter, it is a great song, but to quote Bryan Adams "..played it 'til my fingers bleed.." Well, not quite, but at one Church I was at that song was done to death. I don't know about the rest here, but I just can't see the point of having Shout To The Lord at least three times every week when you can cut it to once a month and include something like When I Survey/etc now and then.

    Pete
     

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