Monday, May 12, 2014
When you are a part of history, you cannot see the change. Yesterday our history insert in the bulliten shared the huge shift in the early 1970s away from traditional piano and organ hymn singing to the use of guitars and drums and the simplification of the hymn structure to what came to be called worship and praise music.
It was simpler, more repetitive, less loaded with theology, and to be sung in unison without singing parts. Maranatha music took those first scripture based tunes and turned into the major publishing house for the new praise music, later adding the even more guitar and rock based music flowing from the vineyard church music.
It created splits, new congregations, young churches without old people who had been fed and raised on the meaty hymns and melodies that deeply inspired faith and devotion.
And there I was, and have been, stuck in the middle, influenced by both and loving both. For five years I played guitar and bass in a praise band, not very well, but with joy and enthusiasm. Of course we learned one of the unfortunate realities when music becomes performance, that people would leave one church if another church has better bands and music.
Yesterday after singing three hymns in tribute to blind writer Fanny Crosby, I watched the opening praise song in a local megachurch on TV. Dark stage with moving lights, dancing girls, and a rah rah attempt to get people clapping and moving to a song that had two lines of thought. Get to your feet people and get moving its time to praise Jesus.
Ive looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, its clouds illusions I recall, I really don't know clouds at all.
Some how, He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, moves me just as much as those days when the annointing fell on our praise band and we played a decent set. And for whatever reason good or bad, church has never been the same, change was inevitable, and when we all get to heaven what a sound of rejoicing there will be.