Anyone who checks the Usual Poll probably noticed that Sunday’s was different. I was angry and rude. I’m sorry for that. I thought of leaving the poll up in a spirit of confession–preserving a reminder for my own proper shame and evidence lest others think too highly of me (in the event that that ever becomes a temptation)–but it seems better not to offend people any more than I already have.
Here is, perhaps, a better way to address the topic that sparked my outburst. (Of course, just saying that probably provokes this obvious question: why aren’t I simply dropping the matter? The best I can answer is to say that I argue because I think something important is at stake, and that the something at stake isn’t merely my personal preference.)
Music is uniquely powerful. It can so easily be compelling, evocative, and memorable, more easily than almost any other activity in human history. Music can get caught in our heads, and as we repeat it, we’re repeating to ourselves whatever message it delivers.
Nowadays, churches use music to attract members. A lot of churches will create entire musical experiences as part of worship. In fact, for a lot of Christians, the music is synonymous with worship; if someone mentions a time of worship, they probably mean a time when people sing. Wouldn’t it be strange if something so prominent and powerful weren’t subject to careful attention?
At least that seems strange to me, and vexing because it seems to be the reality.