Saturday, July 16, 2005

Biblical Music

Sometimes, I just wish that the debate for the types of music used for worship would stop, for no one has ever been able to come up with a definite and conclusive statement for it. If you tell me that worship music should not stir up too much emotions or cause one to go out of control, then I'll recommend to you atonal music. It's so right, you can fit in words of praise with sincerity without needing to worry that it may stir up excessive emotions.

Pastor Tan just gave his personal viewpoint on music today. It's a pretty good guide for an average person who listens to music for simple pleasures. But take me for example, if that's the definition for worship music that I am supposed to follow, I might as well just chuck all the classical sacred music down the dustbin and listen to contemporary Christian music for Bach's sacred cantatas affect and touch me so much more than contemporary Christian music. But well, Pastor Tan did tell me on the way home that modern pieces from Les Misérables can easily make him lose control, but he did emphasise that it is good influence. Hmm, now we're back at the same spot we started, aren't we?

Moreover, I've opened myself to contemporary Christian music before and I can safely say that in the midst of immersing myself in the music, God was never out of my mind. It's so nice to be able to allow the emotions flow through the whole body (which is what music ought to be about), and at the same time, thank God for making me feel alive. And then try asking those people who are against such music, they'll just tell you that it doesn't sound godly, when they don't even attempt to appreciate it. Then what exactly gives them the authority to condemn such music for worshipping God?

More often than not, I couldn't quite connect with the traditional hymns they sing in church, especially when the hymns they sing aren't very tuneful and the meanings of the words are very shallow. If we're talking about glorifying God, I'm pretty sure that certain contemporary Chrstian music will do a better job. Maybe it's due to the fact that I've listened to more complicated forms of sacred music and have much higher expectations. But I'm sure that God would still be happy as long as the hearts of us are towards Him. And I wouldn't be surprised too, if I see bands beating the drum and playing the electric guitar while singing praises in heaven...

It gets me uneasy when people start to condemn dances too. Take Bach for example, his dances are completely spiritual in nature and connects you to a Higher Being while feeling this strong urge to dance to the music. And take other forms of dances in churches for example, how do they know that those people who are dancing have cast God out of their minds? Just because people have a mental barrier against such forms of worship, they condemn them by saying that form of worship is wrong. Can't they just see that what they're doing is completely self-centred, myopic and selfish, especially when they themselves do not even try to appreciate it?

There probably isn't a definite explanation on what kind of music or dance is acceptable onto God, for the Bible gives very little information on them. But one thing, if someone ever propose to use jazz, tango or latin music for worship music, you can be sure that I'll be the first person to bite his head off. No one should ever associate the music which comes up from the lowest level of society (red light districts etc) to the most Holy God. Now, if God wants a standard, the Bible would probably contain a chapter on dance steps and music scores or even a CD enclosed behind. Hmm...

No comments: