Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I got an e-mail from a guy in our youth group the other day asking about a post he had read at the garage hymnal blog in response to the Briefing article on Hillsong and whether to sing Hillsong songs or not. I thought I'd post my reply to him because it explains a little of why we choose the songs we do at Church.
Yeah, I've read that garage Hymnal post. I like the way that Andy writes. He doesn't give his views he just humbly questions those of others. I admire someone who can write without arrogance but with humility and a genuine love of the truth.
You may or may not be aware that in our church context there are people who hold all kinds of views on whether to sing Hillsong or not. At Youth the general rule is (not saying it's the best one, or the worst one) - "There might not be anything intrinsically wrong with the song but lets avoid causing any problem and find good songs elsewhere". My personal view is that I would be happy to sing a song no matter where it came from if it is the best song to sing.
By best song I mean: Does it speak truth (with no grey areas), Does the music match the words in a helpful way that is easy to sing and captures the right emotions the words are seeking to portray, And does it fit with the whole direction of where the night is going or what the over arching theme is.
Often I find that the best songs to do this with are the songs we write specifically for the purpose of matching these three criteria. Why look for songs elsewhere if they don't match what you are looking for when you have people who love to write new songs right at your doorstep.
The other category that fit this are hymn texts put to music that can reflect the words in an appropriate way for our time. The reason Hymns are so great is that many were written by guys who were deep thinkers who make me feel dwarfed in their understanding of God and of language and how to use language for God's glory, and that there are so many of them, it's easy to find texts to match what we are studying.
That's why although I would have no problem singing a Hillsong song, I haven't found any lately that have jumped out at me to match these criteria in the best way possible. It's important not to just choose songs because they are popular in Christian circles or because new comers will know them. Lot's of things have been popular before in Christian circles that are bad! We choose songs to lead our congregation in giving appropriate praise to God. This is our chief aim.
Hope all this helps.
Posted byDan at 3:10 PM