Written December 27, 2020
That term came to me during a worship set as I mentally had to check out for fifteen minutes as the worship leader started to cry and eek out words she could barely get out as she then led the congregation into a song, repeating the lyrics I just want to love you over and over again ad nauseam. The crowd remained pretty unaffected for the majority of it until the drums crescendoed and every was swept up into what they thought was the moving of the Spirit when in actuality it was musical manipulation. There is a tension in music just like foreplay and eventually there will be release. And this was the phrase that came to mind as I stomached 20 min of someone onstage having a gay ole time but incognizant of the experiences of those she was supposed to be leading.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever had a romantic partner write you a poem or a song or a card? Did it say I love you 18k times? Would you be moved by that repetition or would you chalk it up to laziness? I’m gonna bet the latter. And what if after 10 repeats you said, okay cool I get it, thank you, and they replied no I really want to keep telling you this one thing and you’re then like, cool?
So now I’m talking about lazy ass songwriting and musical masterbation all in one piece here. They’re two different things that plague modern Christian “worship” and I use quotes here because half of what I experience in church music isn’t worship. It’s shitty lyrics put to shitty chord progressions and I am BORED! And I have a sneaky suspicion, so is God.
Now let me ask another question, shouldn’t the people tapped into the Holy Spirit be the most creative powerful artists walking this earth? Shouldn’t non Christians hear a little bit of our worship music and be like, damn! What is that, that’s so interesting? But no. It’s Sesame Street music in its skill and intelligence, and I know no adult who gets super jazzed about singing twinkle twinkle little star on repeat. But that’s what we’re asking congregants in The Church to do, and I am not having it.
If the Church is the bride and we the church are waiting in earnest for our Bridegroom, our lyrics and music, which is an outpouring of our longing for God, should be seeped in intense, mature music.
The best worship music feels like a sexual romp. The best kind of romps - playful, engaging, building, intimate, deep, cutting into our souls until it culminates into an explosion of sound and release. And if the word of God is as sharp as a sword, cutting between bone and marrow, why are we not using the Word of God as our lyrics? I kinda feel like He’s already penned enough lyrics for the rest of time, let’s try some of them out! Not saying He doesn’t have some new things to say, but I’m pretty sure it’s not I love you I love you I love you 18k times in a row.
Be better Christian leaders. Dig deeper. God is worth more than pithy lyrics and simple music.