What is it about Praise and Worship music...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, May 13, 2003.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    ...that is disagreeable? Is it the words? The music? The look of those who sing it?

    For example, one of my favorite songs now is called "Famous One" by Chris Tomlin.

    The chorus goes like this:

    You are the Lord, the Famous One
    Great is Your Name in all the earth
    The heavens declare You're Glorious, Glorious
    Great is Your Name in all the earth

    For all You've done and yet to do
    With every breath I'm praising You
    Desire of nations and every heart
    You alone are God
    You alone are God

    Or how about this one by Caedmon's Call:

    There is life in the blood of the Lamb who was slain
    There is power, there is power in His name
    There is love pouring out of the wounds that were made
    Pouring out, pouring over our shame

    So praise the God who saves
    Praise the God who bled
    Praise the God who was nailed to a tree
    And wore our sins upon His head

    There is truth in His body, raised that third day
    There is joy in a stone rolled away
    There is hope pouring out of the tomb where He lay
    Pouring out, pouring over the grave

    (chorus)

    For He lives that we too might live
    And he loves that we might also love
    And know the glory of God above

    (chorus)

    ----------

    Questions:

    1. For those who do not care for Praise and Worship (or who are against it all together), is there anything in these lyrics that you find objectionable?

    2. If these words were used with a hymn tune, would you be okay with singing such things in church?

    3. If these words were used with a new hymn tune (with four part harmony and standard chords, rhythms and instrumentation) would you be okay singing these songs in church?

    4. If traditional hymn texts were used with new tunes (with four part harmony and standard chords, rhythms and instrumentation), would you be okay singing those hymns in church?

    5. If traditional hymn texts are used with their standards tunes, using gutars, drums, and other instruments, are these okay?

    -----------

    This will help me better understand the rationale of those who seem to be against such praise and worship songs in the church.

    Thanks!

    SEC
     
  2. Eyes on Jesus

    Eyes on Jesus
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    In the Hymnal the OlD RUGGED CROSS, they sing- so I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown.

    And in the Hymnal I WILL SING OF MY REDEEMER
    they say it was a cruel cross Jesus died upon,
    so, does this not sound confussing
     
  3. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    I haven't the foggiest what you mean here.
     
  4. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    Scott,

    Good discussion starter.


    1. For those who do not care for Praise and Worship (or who are against it all together), is there anything in these lyrics that you find objectionable?

    ANSWER: I am not against Praise and Worship though I do consider most of it to be inferior to classic hymns. I think there is a place for Praise and Worship songs, I just do not think they should dominate a song service. My reasons,

    On a whole they contain less doctrinal or theological content than say classical hymns such as Crown Him With Many Crowns, Amazing Grace, Holy, Holy, Holy etc..I think there is a place to suppliment the more meatier hymns. I think our songs should teach and have a strong dose of theology.

    I have a problem with the way some music directors lead Praise and Worship songs. I love "I Love You Lord" but to have this chorus sung over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over seems to turn a good song into a boring mantra.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Not really. The first lyric is awfully short which means when played it is probably repeated at least once. One of my biggest issues with the way much of praise and worship is presented is that it is extremely repetitious. Some churches know how to keep worship moving forward where the spirit and mind can worship, but most churches I’ve experienced “park” on a praise chorus and repeat it 5 to 10 times before they move to anything else. It deadens the mind with churchy mantras, but doesn’t do much for worshiping with both mind and spirit.

    Sure. As I mentioned before, my preference is for longer texts.

    Sure.

    Sure.

    Sure, as long as it was a good arrangement. Most of the hymn arrangements I’ve heard with drum kits sound terrible to me (that’s including professional musicians releasing CDs to the “Christian” market).

    I was a member of a church for three years that had selected a contemporary worship style for the congregation. During that time we rarely sang hymns and tended to sing only about 20-25 different praise songs during my time there. Most of the time the praise time had little to do with the sermon (we sang nearly the same songs in the same order every week).

    Currently, I worship in a church that has worship times that are usually traditional worship, but everyone seemed to love the Cat Stevens arrangement of “Morning Has Broken” that started worship recently. Our musicians were well-rehearsed and we had a good arrangement. When our musicians and worship leader plan contemporary music well, very few (including me) seem to mind. When it is done poorly or repetitiously, it detracts from our worship experience in my opinion.

    Further thoughts:

    I’m not against praise and worship in the church, I just don’t like the way it is usually done and I don’t like much of the current praise and worship music. It’s a personal preference and I recognize that fully. I know that much of the music ministers greatly to others, so I can offer no condemnation.

    BUT…

    Too many churches put together “praise bands” that are not well-rehearsed and are lazy about arrangements and selection of quality material.

    Too many praise and worship songs sound the same – like bad 70s lounge music.

    Too much praise music seems designed to appeal to the emotions and ignores the mind.

    HOWEVER…

    I can understand and appreciate the difficulty of writing contemporary music for the church. I am the lyric half of a songwriting team at our church. It’s tough to write good lyrics and even tougher to write good lyrics that will please both the older and younger generations.

    Who am I to throw stones at those who are trying their best? :D
     
  6. thetaterkid

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    Some of it is tradition, personal taste, not being familiar with the new song (s).

    I went to a church in Texas and the choir opend with the song, Sanctuary. They sang it 3 times. The worship leader led the congregation in singing it 6 more times. 2 times with all musicians, 1 time with no instruments, (by now the choir and prasie leader were the only ones singing) once with drums and bass, and 2 times with everyone.

    It's a great song and so is Holy, Holy, Holy. I would not want to sing the 1st verse to Holy, Holy, Holy 6-7 times. This situation is played out over and over again in many churches. When the congregation is no longer participating, what is the point.

    On the other hand my home church sings the same welcome hymn, doxology and closing song at every Sunday morning service for months at a time. All hymns. Why? Are they to lazy to pick new hymns for those spots? Who knows?
     
  7. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Just curious,
    What is "four part harmony"?
    I'm sure I'd know what it was when I heard it, but I just need to know what it refers to.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    It's a common way of splitting the voice parts to achieve chords in vocals. Usually in mixed choirs the four parts are soprano, alto, tenor and bass.

    Most traditional hymns found in hymnals have four part harmony.
     
  9. Haruo

    Haruo
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    I find unmotivated switching between "You/Your/Yours" and "Thou/Thee/Thy/Thine" (or switching motivated only by the rhyme scheme) annoying. Several of the better praise songs are marred by this.

    Haruo
     
  10. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    I think this is something that many songwriters are addressing. The two I presented have good "theology," at least as much as Crown Him with Many Crowns or Holy, Holy, Holy. Of course, I believe that songs should worship GOd above any kind of teaching.

    Agreed. But this is a problem with music directors, not the songs itself, other than a lack of lyrics.
     
  11. ScottEmerson

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    The first lyric has other verses that I didn't type due to time restraints. The song is somewhat slow, and overall, it is chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus.

    Most churches? I've never been to a church where they've repeated it that many times, and this includes my own church (our "big worship" service or the youth service), Northpoint Community (Andy Stanley's Church), or anything that has been done by Passion. Perhaps charismatic churches... Again, this is the problem of the worship leader more than anything else.

    Agreed. However, there are songs, (such as At the Cross) that have a two line verse, then a much longer chorus that repeats four times (if not five). Sometimes hymns can be the same way.

    I fully believe in leading worship that the songs must accompany the message. I also think that we need a good variety of songs, otherwise, as you have said, our songs become a mantra.

    Tonight, the band was practicing our set for tomorrow. We're a loud band - playing for students kind of demands that. The man closing up is around 75 years old. He's been at the church a long time. He just sat down and listened. I thought it was so neat that he appreciated and understood what we were doing. He asked if we would play on Sunday mornings. I said that we'd love to if we were sure no one would have a heart attack. He laughed. (We have, on average, about 1,500 people on Sunday morning, many of them seniors. I imagine many of them would pass out if we played!)

    That said, we do what we do with excellence. This is why we put in the hours of practice that we do. Whether one plays hymns, praise and worship, or whatever, it should be done to the best of his or her abilities.

    I appreciate this statement. I wish that people on both sides of the fence could echo the same sentiments.

    Or just as bad in my book, try to do the songs EXACTLY as it appears on a record. They become a cover band instead of a leader of worship.

    I would slightly disagree. I would say that such music is out there, but it is not as prevalent as those who are not "into" praise music would think.

    That is why I'm a music guy.
     
  12. Pete

    Pete
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    Bingo [​IMG] Right first time [​IMG] (I'll expound on this with an example or 20 later)

    The parts of those couple you quoted sounded ok.

    1: No worries with the ones you quoted.

    2 - 5: Whatever.

    Pete
     
  13. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Pretty shallow words. I would not waste my breath on them.

    "You are the Lord, the Famous One" - I find that extremely odd language. Nowhere in any version I've found is "famous" a character trait of God.

    "There is truth in His body, raised that third day" - Again, very odd choice of words that find nothing in Scripture.

    Nothing "bad", nothing dramatic, but just very shallow. IMHO.
     
  14. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    Shallow?

    Joshua 9:9 talks about the fame of the Lord God spreading across the land. Isaiah 66:19 states that God will spread his fame across to the lands who have not heard of Him. Habakkuk 3:2 talks again about the fame of the Lord God.

    Another verse is:

    "The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
    There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard..." (Psalm 19:1-3)

    Tomlin writes:

    Perhaps your mind may change now that you have Biblical support behind it.

    Truth in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? That's not found in Scripture? Sorry, Doc, but you're being nit-picky here.

    I'm not quite sure how you define shallow. Would you care to delineate between shallow and deep? Is it the language? I think you said in an earlier post that one of the praise and worship songs you like is I Love You, Lord. How is this not shallow compared to the lyrics posted?
     
  15. samuelhenry

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    QUOTE:"One of my biggest issues with the way much of praise and worship is presented is that it is extremely repetitious."
    it seems to me that the bible contains a great deal of repetition. just take a look at the psalms. repetition is a great way to get a message across. if God approves of it, i would not feel comfortable disapproving. if it praises Him, then it is good worship music. quite simple really. God never said not to praise Him with the use of certain instruments.
     
  16. A_Christian

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    I feel the real issue is are we praising and
    worshipping or just enjoying the beat. Oh,
    I rate it an 80. I love the beat and it's good
    dance music.... True worship music should bring
    one closer to GOD and not ones self.
     

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