Death by Association (abridged version)

In response to an anonymous blogger who was trying to figure out the mechanics of “blended’ worship

(sorry for such a long post – don’t fall asleep readin’ it)

Usher: What in the world do we tell her?

Deacon: You’re openin’ up Pandora’s box Usher

Usher: She asked

Deacon: Up to you

Usher: WEll Betty, what you’re trying to do cannot be done.  Even though you think buzzards can’t sing, we did worship for 30 years.  Once we found out what we are writing below, we gave it up and resorted to worship amongst ourselves in meetings without liturgies and order, titles and assumed leaders, programs, building funds and goofy directions dreamed up by people who have never lived in the trenches).  It goes kind of like this……

Worship in today’s church is about performance.  Don’t be offended if you believe you are a true worship musician.  You probably are.  Regardless of your heart or intent, it’s not about that, it’s about the platform.

A little history for you…Music in the church (not the worship spoken of in the Word) originated out of pagan and Roman culture in the 3rd century.  Choirs were trained and put in place to perform for the Eucharist.  Preceding Constantinople’s times, Christians were not recognized, but Constantinople actually made Christianity an honorable thing (prior to his time, Christians were persecuted).

Music in the church also fits into the traditional liturgy established partly by Paganism and partly by the Catholic Church in the 6th century (look up Will Durant) by the monk Gregory the Great.  If you study this you will find there is almost no difference between the “liturgy” or order of worship in any denomination of church as we have come to know it (Catholic or Protestant).

So now to the answer of your question:  People want what they prefer and no matter how hard you try, blending a worship will lukewarmly satisfy both sides of the fence.  Why do people prefer hymns over contemporary?  Because they associate their times of being touched by God with music.  This is human and has nothing to do with the spirit. Yet, it’s all we can do.  We resort to the grand times of the past as part of our human nature (So you want to go back to Egypt?)

Me and Deak call it “death by association”.  Typically each generation prefers the music of their youth.  Because music has such a short shelf life, you have two or three camps in any church with a large congregation.  After you endure the same people from each camp critiquing your worship every Sunday for about 10 years, you’ll come to know that it’s no use.  You cannot please man and no matter how hard you try, it will never work.  If you resort to pleasing one or the other, the ones you please will stay and the others will be disgruntled at best or simply leave and go where their preferences reside.

Hopefully you’ve made it this far and are over the fact that you’ve probably engaged in something dear to your heart, yet realize that if what we say is true, it could be all for nought.  It’s not all for nought!  If you are a true worshipper, then worship Christ outside the “church that man has built”.  Worship him in freedom outside any order man establishes or pushes on you.  Be encouraged in finding those who just want to worship, to sing a new song and not to perform.  Your personal relationship with Him is all that matters.  The confines you have experienced in this “church that man built” are extreme, debilitating and stifling.  The church of the 1st century didn’t know any of these.  Today’s generation is finding this out.

God Bless,

Deacon & Usher

Excerpts taken from Pagan Christianity?  Frank Viola George Barna (Chapters 3 and 7)Copyright 2002, 2008

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4 Responses to “Death by Association (abridged version)”

  1. lionelwoods7 Says:

    I believe the most biblical music is Christian Hip Hop! That keeps me happy! Great and very gracious response brother. I have you my RSS so I get to enjoy your post daily without forgetting.

  2. Alan Paul Says:

    So great and holy buzzards (tongue firmly in cheek), what’s the answer?

  3. Deacon Says:

    Deacon: Usher, what’s your answer to what I assume is Alan’s question of what is she to do?

    Usher: Regardless of what we think, life on earth is about you and Christ and not really anyone else – I think Mother Theresa’s 8 steps say it best:

    1) People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.

    -As you forgive, you choose not to be lowered to their level and thus rise-up higher to inspire. People who gripe about life would like nothing better than to hurt successful people. Why give them that satisfaction? Why not inspire them to transform instead?

    2) If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

    -Be kind because this is your nature, not because you have ulterior motives. Be genuine and you will attract sincere, like-minded people to assist you with your pursuits.

    3) If you’re successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.

    -People will disagree with you or be offended. Ignore these reactions. As you learn to avoid relationships of convenience, you can build a reputation of integrity.

    4) If you’re honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.

    -Treat others as you would hope to be treated. Rise above a fear of dishonesty. Set examples.

    5) What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight. Build anyway.

    -As you give life to your inner passions, you share joy because it gives your life meaning. If anyone burned your writings or destroyed your creations, you couldn’t help but continue. You sense this is what you’re meant to do.

    6) If you find serenity and happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

    -People around you always benefit from examples of happiness. Even grumps might come around.

    7) The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

    -Give of yourself not as an effort to seek approval but to uplift or cheer people for the sake of it. Visit friends, relatives and strangers in nursing homes or hospitals. Brighten their spirits.

    8) Give the world the best you have; it may never be enough. Give the world your best anyway.

    -As you detach yourself from desired outcomes, you’ll be surprised at benefits of your efforts. You aren’t meant to predict all the events you touch. Many are beyond your scope and control.

    – Mother Theresa

  4. Pastor Joe Says:

    “Your personal relationship with Him is all that matters.”

    That’s why, as a worship leader, I often remind the congregation that together, we are the worship team, singing to the “Audience of One”. All too often, I sing a wrong note, strum a wrong chord, break strings, sing a song too fast or too slow, a little too high or a little too low, but I rejoice in these things when they happen, however accidentally. As a musician, I feel mediocre at best, but I know that God, who is surrounded 24/7 with quality worship isn’t so much concerned with my abilities as much as He is with my heart and my attitude.

    Christianity is simple. Man complicates it. I personally don’t think that we have to undo 2000 years of the evolution of the church — we just need to remind people that, at the core of it all, it IS our personal relationship with Him that matters most.

    God bless you!

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