Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ugh, Play it Again

I have been grousing a lot recently about "the church" and its new-fangled "ways". If you listen to me talk, you might come to the conclusion that I dislike contemporary music, a sanctuary regularly overcome by laughter, smiling faces, and lively participation. Well, to quote the apostle Paul, "May it never be!"

To be clear:

  • I love listening to good contemporary Christian music with a positive message. I find listening to organ music only slightly more uplifting than having a root canal.
  • I love to laugh and believe that God does too. I believe that he is glorified when we can come together and regularly share some humor and a light spirit.
  • Smiling faces, what's the alternative? Who wants to be filled with a room of dour, joy-deprived sourpusses?
  • Participation is a sign that people are working to glorify not themselves, but their God.
I sometimes fulfill the role of a nabob of negativism. I grouse and complain and spew and whine when things are not done in the manner that I would like them to be done. Why do I behave this way? Well, who can say. I guess that I have a bit of Pharisee in me at times. Perhaps I am a bit more old-fashioned than I would like to admit. A bit of an old prudish prune.

At the pinnacle of my most recent fit of pique, a friend of mine shared a colorful anecdote that resonated with me. He told the story of an old man who came to one modern, growing church and sat through one of the services where he could be seen just filled with joy. Afterwards when asked about his experience, he stated that he did not care at all for the music, that he found the stage lights too distracting and too bright, and that the pastor's style was not one that he preferred. However, he stated, that if this place allowed the Spirit to move and bring people to God in celebration and revival, if it brought in the lost and disconnected, and strengthened the believers, then he considered it all a joyful symphony to his ears.

O.K., once more the bottom line is, it is not all about me.