An Acceptable Sacrifice of Praise and Worship Songs in Today’s Church

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An Acceptable Sacrifice of Praise and Worship Songs in Today’s Church

In this year of our Lord 2002, many issues beset the Church. Christians have always been called to interpret the ways of the world, and to live lives worthy of Jesus Christ, our savior and Lord. One of Christ’s commands was: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed with the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Today in America, this commandment is more than usually relevant, with the rise of popular or mass culture, which of necessity affects many Christians. But all Christians are concerned with popular secular culture, whether or not we admit to or are an active part of it. We need to not only decide how to interact with popular
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The physically-restricting hymnal has been replaced by texts projected on an overhead screen. The pitch-pipe-bearing song-leader has morphed into a worship team, often including drums, synthesizers, electric bass, other instrumentalists, and electronically amplified vocalists who encourage the audience/congregation’s participation. The music is simpler than in traditional hymns, with a unison melody over rhythms and pop-style harmonic lines which can often be successfully improvised by either the worship team or the congregation (Guthrie 318). In some churches, the atmosphere becomes that of a rock concert, with a subsequent emphasis on entertainment of the congregation (Price 11, Spence 7). In some congregations, this popular-based style has been interestingly described as "softer, gentler, more message-oriented, more balladeering" (Peterson 10).

According to most sources, the theological roots of praise and worship songs are in the Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, which in their turn grew out of Methodism and the Holiness Movement around the turn of the century. The singing of praise and worship songs is central to these churches, and the success of these songs there has led to their adoption in full or part by many mainstream denominations (Kavanaugh 201).

The music itself comes from the gospel songs of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, according to most sources. Donald Hustad,

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