Friday, May 13, 2005

I Love You, Lord?

A few months back, my wife (who's finishing up her MDiv in anticipation of doing a PhD in Theology and Liturgy. She's also a professionally trained flutist.) did a paper on how praise songs are used in many American churches. She observed that many songs emphasize an individualistic relationship with God that's full of touchy-feely language, and that they often are fairly shallow theologically. Ironically, one of the songs that seems to fall prey to this phenomena was intended to argue for greater closeness with God. The song in question is "Heart of Worship."

Mischevious type that I am, I sought to illustrate this issue by creating a parody of that song. Changing very few of the words, I came up with the following:
"The Heart of Praise Songs"
With apologies to Matt Redman

When the music fades
and all is stripped away
I am simply numb
Longing just to sing
More about my worth
God will bless my heart

He’ll bring me more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what I have required
I’ll search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
Till I’m convinced of my part

I’m coming back to the heart of praise songs
Where it’s all about me
All about me, myself
I know the Lord will agree I’ve made it
‘Cause it’s all about me
All about me, myself

I’m of endless worth
No one could express
How much I deserve
I’m not weak or poor
All I have ensures
I’m a crucial part

He’ll bring me more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what I have required
I’ll search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
Till I’m convinced of my part

I’m coming back to the heart of praise songs
Where it’s all about me
All about me, myself
I know the Lord will agree I’ve made it
‘Cause it’s all about me
All about me, myself
I'll be the first to admit that such a parody overstates the point. I actually think that emphasizing a personal relationship with God is a very good thing. However, I would also argue that we do not place enough emphasis on our need as Christians to come together in corporate praise of God. We should sing more songs (and they are certainly out there) that emphasize the "we," rather than the "I" in our relationships with God. After all, if I love God, I will also be attuned to the people around me, and not keep my love of God to myself.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I'll have to send this along to some of my friends who are worship leaders because it expresses so much of what bothers me about "contemporary worship."

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  2. you are so funny, mark. did you do this on the clock? -rachel m@ b109.com

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