Those who lump contemporary worship songs into the same mold as old Protestant hymns, claiming that it is no more dangerous to pick and choose from contemporary worship as it is to pick and choose from the songs of Luther or Fanny Crosby, reveal a gross lack of understanding about the character of contemporary worship. While I have never heard of a fundamentalist or a Baptist church becoming Lutheran by singing “A Firm Foundation,” I know of large numbers of formerly separatist churches that have become emerging through the influence of contemporary worship. Does anyone really think it is merely a coincident that contemporary music is always at the heart and soul of these changes?
The multi-media video presentation entitled The Transformational Power of Contemporary Praise Music, featuring a wealth of still pictures, audio and video clips, describes the power of contemporary music to change the character of a “traditional” Bible-believing church. We document the dramatic changes that are happening among fundamental Baptist churches and analyze the reason why contemporary worship music lies at the heart and soul of the changes. We show that charismatic/ecumenical contemporary worship musicians such as the Gettys and Stuart Townend are actually targeting “conservative” churches for transitional change through “contemporary hymns.”
The transformational power of the music is two-fold: It lies in the music’s underlying philosophy and in the character of the music itself. We first document the philosophy of CCM, which is a doctrine of license under the guise of a more relaxed, grace-filled approach to Christian living and theology. On the musical side, we examine the elements of contemporary worship, every aspect of which is designed to create a sensual, mystical emotional experience. As Michael W. Smith says, contemporary music “helps you enter into the presence of God.”
The major elements of this experience are the syncopated dance rhythms, unresolving chord sequences, sensual vocal techniques, electronic modulation, the rise and fall in intensity, and the repetition. We illustrate and analyze each of these elements with music performed by a large fundamental Baptist college. This video presentation is available as a free eVideo download at www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, February 15, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)