Thursday, July 27, 2006

I,We and Me

I have this tension inside me when it comes to Christian contemporary music. This tension has to do with the rampant individualism lifted up in the music.

How many of the songs we sing in worship are about "me, myself, and I"? Have you ever stopped to think. Going back to the the Maranatha days there was "Lord I Lift Your Name on High". Then there was "Here I am to Worship" and "I Can Only Imagine" and even favorites today like "Lifesong" (Let your lifesong sing for me). Oh, sure there are a couple of good songs that sing about God and don't constantly use the first person but they seem to be getting fewer and fewer between.

I think we need to be cognizant of this and aware of the cult of individualism that is being reinforced albeit unknowingly I am sure. The community of faith I find described in scripture and throughout most of history is anything but individualistic. The Bible says we need each other. The Bible says to meet together. The Bible says we worship together. In our closed lives of individualism where the world tells us to look out for number one and to buy the package designed especially for you the church and its teaching need to be counter-cultural and thus temper this cult of individualism.

On the other hand, when it comes to music, we want a certain portion of the music to be personal. We want people to be able to appropriate the words into the core of their being and be able to demonstrate and live out those words in their life. We want people to know what it is like to praise God out of their whole being. So there is the tension.

Maybe the answer is to find a balance. One where the music balances the communal and individual aspects of this journey we are on.

1 comment:

Ken Morris said...

So what can be done is to change some songs from "I" (individual) to "we", "us" "our" (group/corporate) appropriately.

In a similar fashion, there are songs that describe God, but how many are actually *to* God? Chris Tomlin's song "Holy is the Lord God Almighty", instead of describing him, sing it to him "Holy *are you* Lord God Almighty. Yes we want to worship and praise him, just say it directly to him, not as a third person - not to be confused with the Trinity ;-).