We play quite a lotta secular stuff at church, often with lyrics changed to Christian content. Which is great as many people recognise them and enjoy them
I see a lotta people here don't listen to secular music. So i just want to see what people feel in general about playing secular stuff in church?
Any comments welcome :)
My point being that a melody is nothing by itself, it's no matter who made it. Forget about the words for a second.
I think what's going on in the New Testament is that sometimes, Paul implies that we should eat what is before us (so as to accept someone's graciousness) while at other times, we should not eat something if it causes someone to connect us to something not of Christ. In both cases, they were offered to idols.
At a musician's seminar, I heard Don Wyrtzen play a beautiful offertory, but during the middle laughter began to erupt. He had worked in "You Deserve a Break Today", McDonald's theme song, indicating it was about getting time for lunch. There are times when a melody bears the weight of meaning, but only if it is famous enough to communicate to the assembled audience.
Such melodies are not that common -- check out the collections of instrumentals for special music. It's the same thirty-odd songs, just different arrangements and medleys, that are recognizable enough to form a word-image in the mind when heard only as a melody.
Interesting point - the Hare Krishna references aren't really part of the lyrics technically - more of an impromptu descant. So you don't NEED to sing them to be true to the song. I agree, without that part, it's pretty "Jesus-y".
Horses for courses, if you remember where you are at the time. Singing to people who think like you or where people think of the Hindu meaning when they hear the song. The words and meaning play a very big roll in getting the message across.
Because the origin of the melody have nothing to do with it's rightness or wrongness. And because music has never been created in a vacuum. But how many people were inspired by Guggliemucci's song, yet he turned out to be a fraud? The origin and author's intent for the melody or the lyrics have NOTHING to do with a song's rightness or wrongness. There is nothing behind the scenes that can curse or bless a song. It's all right there in front of you - the message is in the content and the content is in the words - period. If some pagan writes a song, "praise God the Father" because he thinks it will make him money but the theology is correct etc., then there is nothing wrong with the song no matter his intent or personal belief in what he was writing. Of course you may not want to support him, but that's another matter. Eat things sacrificed to idols or not? Sometimes yes, sometimes no...
But a good melody is a good melody whether it comes from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Metallica or Mick Jagger. I can guarantee that one can trace the phrasings and melodic passages of any modern Christian artist to a wide variety of pagan and Christian influences. It's impossible to remove that influence from our minds.
What we should focus on is creating melodies and chord progressions whose mood and attitude match the message we're trying to portray. I wouldn't find it appropriate to take a Slayer thrash song and put uplifting praise lyrics to it. That would be a conflicting message - war and aggression being yoked with praise and joy. However, I might find a nice Metallica tune like "Unforgiven" and couple it with a Psalm of mourning or a Psalm of confession and it work quite well in portraying a very harmonious message. And then Metallica would call me and tell me I need permission.
Well if you could do that, why not ask for permission, the point there is"give caesar what is his and give God what He is due". I think there may be a seed planted in Metallica that may connect them with God.
To me, it is the intent and you are (we are) responsible to our own intent. Too many people don't always get the intent and just look at what they want - then, they judge you on the song for example and not your intent. They don't want to look too close or even go to the trouble of asking your intent.
I can agree whole heartedly with your " focus on is creating melodies and chord progressions whose mood and attitude match the message we're trying to portray. "
It is not just about churning out a song to entertain, but to reach people for Christ.
Better to get the message out than just play songs in church for ourselves, thats just too selfish to me. But also in saying that, then we need to keep close to what God wants the world to hear and the way it is presented.
I'm not sure what discussion we're actually having at this point...
Too far off course I think .
OK, I'll bite. Are you suggesting that we need to go memorize a verse of scripture? Or is this your personal repository of scripture verses? Or do you have a point?
You can't generalise like that, I am sorry to say. Music can be played in church ( and is often done) without thought of worship. As well as, not all musicians and singers in a church worship team are even Christians, and some are even paid to play; because the church can't get a good enough player for free.
I would love all music to be considered worship ( done in church) but alas not true.
Another general statement heard from the congregation is " the worship team aren't smiling, so they aren't worshiping....". This is not true either, but you hear generalisations like that all the time. Honestly, I have had players in my team that have just had their first lesson in playing an instrument on a stage in front of others. They are honestly scared and feel like a fish out of water but they are doing what they are called to do - they don't smile - but thats getting off topic, sorry.
But, getting back to the topic, if you want non christians to come to church, how do you get them to go or even stay - musically? Maybe, just maybe play a secular song or two, that is appropiate to let them know they are wanted in the church. Well, we are there to gather the lost and the sick and the lonely aren't we?
We are there to reach the lost, not play church for the saved ones.