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  • Looking for a particular style of Contemporary Christian Music

    It's my job to select music for our worship services. The congregation is Presbyterian, so part of the Reformed Tradition. We already sing a broad range of congregational music. The minister is pressuring for more "modern" music, so I am trying to selectively comply. We have a lot of seniors, but are not exclusively a seniors' congregation.

    So far, I have had success with the music of Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend, but it's time to branch out. Are there other song/hymnwriters in this style that I could explore? It's difficult to find a list of "Hymns and Songs by Style or Generation."

    My people don't listen to Adele or Lady Gaga, so they're also not going to connect with the 'newest' of Contemporary Christian Music. This is more of a Frank Sinatra, Doris Day type of crowd, so our version of "contemporary" is actually about 20-40 years behind. Still, it gives us an opportunity to expand our horizons and slowly move ahead. If I continue to choose successfully, trust will be built and we can explore further.

    By exploring 'folk music' rather than 'praise band' music, I have had success occasionally integrating a band into worship.

    My weakness is knowledge of people who write (or wrote) older contemporary music.

    Themes that I like to explore - praise, social justice, loving your neighbor, God as creator.
    Things that I like to avoid - blood sacrifice, being saved to the exclusion of actually living life as a Christian in the world, praising God until you have no time left to love your neighbor.

    Thanks in adance for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Look at "With One Voice" from Augsburg. It was published in 1995, so it is not cutting edge. However, it has a good selection of newer hymns from the '80s and early '90s as well as alternate settings of older hymns. It also has full accompaniments instead of just the melody line like some hymnals. You can get copies on Amazon for essentially just the cost of shipping:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0806600519/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

    Comment


    • #3
      Augsburg is the publishing house of the United Methodists? I'm pretty ecumenical but I always look first to see if the publishing house of whatever denomination I'm serving at the time has material made to order. I have to think the Presbyterians have put out a Contemporary Christian supplement to the main hymnal that's where I would start. I find a lot of Contemporary Christian music works better as instrumental or vocal solo music than congregational. Make friends with a Catholic church musician, the Catholics have a slamming collection of contemporary tunes. Their "Journey Songs" and "Gather" hymnals are pretty impressive. You probably won't use their published materials in your church services but I found them enlightening. I am going to mention, in no particular order some contemporary songs and hymns that you may or may not have come across.

      God and God Alone -- Phil McHugh
      Lamb of God --Twilia Parris
      You Are Mine (Catholic)
      Here I Am Lord
      One Bread, One Body (Communion)
      Give Thanks
      As The Deer
      Alleluia
      People Need The Lord (Old time, right up your people's alley)
      Holy Ground
      Majesty
      You Are My All In All

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by regeron View Post
        It's my job to select music for our worship services. The congregation is Presbyterian, so part of the Reformed Tradition. We already sing a broad range of congregational music. The minister is pressuring for more "modern" music, so I am trying to selectively comply. We have a lot of seniors, but are not exclusively a seniors' congregation.

        So far, I have had success with the music of Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend, but it's time to branch out. Are there other song/hymnwriters in this style that I could explore? It's difficult to find a list of "Hymns and Songs by Style or Generation."

        My people don't listen to Adele or Lady Gaga, so they're also not going to connect with the 'newest' of Contemporary Christian Music. This is more of a Frank Sinatra, Doris Day type of crowd, so our version of "contemporary" is actually about 20-40 years behind. Still, it gives us an opportunity to expand our horizons and slowly move ahead. If I continue to choose successfully, trust will be built and we can explore further.

        By exploring 'folk music' rather than 'praise band' music, I have had success occasionally integrating a band into worship.

        My weakness is knowledge of people who write (or wrote) older contemporary music.

        Themes that I like to explore - praise, social justice, loving your neighbor, God as creator.
        Things that I like to avoid - blood sacrifice, being saved to the exclusion of actually living life as a Christian in the world, praising God until you have no time left to love your neighbor.

        Thanks in adance for any suggestions.
        I'm smiling at your "things to avoid" list! So much of our praise music today is so shallow and it is very "sensational". This business of repeating a phrase 10 times in a row is so very common these days, and it does not really do anything to make the worship experience any deeper. The whole "blood sacrifice" thing seems to be a resurgence of this generation's desire to connect with the traditional worship styles of the old testament. Unfortunately, they don't realize that we really have no need to sing about blood sacrifices unless we are talking about the sacrifice of Christ's blood on the cross for our sins - that is something that I LOVE to sing about no matter what style of music! I think that the challenge is to remember that all our music goes one of two directions: We either sing TO the Lord or we sing ABOUT the Lord- either vertical or horizontal worship. We need both, but both must be theologically accurate and not shallow.

        May I ask a question? Could you explain what you mean by " the exclusion of actually living life as a Christian in the world"?

        You have a challenge in finding appropriate praise music that actually has theological substance to it. The Getty's are excellent songwriters who have taken hymn contexts and brought them up to speed in a contemporary way. We use a lot of their music in our worship services now. I would do a search online and see what you can come up with. Otherwise, you might want to look at some of the older praise and worship music from the 80's and early 90's. If your congregation is more traditional, look at the Maranatha Praise albums - their music was very simple but still good in my opinion. If I think of more, I'll post them here in the near future.

        - - - Updated - - -

        Originally posted by crapwonk View Post
        Look at "With One Voice" from Augsburg. It was published in 1995, so it is not cutting edge. However, it has a good selection of newer hymns from the '80s and early '90s as well as alternate settings of older hymns. It also has full accompaniments instead of just the melody line like some hymnals. You can get copies on Amazon for essentially just the cost of shipping:
        https://www.amazon.com/dp/0806600519/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
        I agree with you on this series..I think it would suit well...
        Craig

        Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leisesturm View Post
          ... I'm pretty ecumenical but I always look first to see if the publishing house of whatever denomination I'm serving at the time has material made to order. I have to think the Presbyterians have put out a Contemporary Christian supplement to the main hymnal that's where I would start. I find a lot of Contemporary Christian music works better as instrumental or vocal solo music than congregational. ...

          God and God Alone -- Phil McHugh
          Lamb of God --Twilia Parris
          You Are Mine (Catholic)
          Here I Am Lord
          One Bread, One Body (Communion)
          Give Thanks
          As The Deer
          Alleluia
          People Need The Lord (Old time, right up your people's alley)
          Holy Ground
          Majesty
          You Are My All In All
          Thanks Leisesturm,
          The Canadian Presbyterian Book of Praise has some good things but is basically a poor hymnal. Hymns that appear on two pages in other hymnals appear on three pages here - imagine a page turn into the refrain of "O Come, all ye Faithful" for EVERY veres. Some hymn texts were printed with no music and no reference to a tune. Indexes are printed so small, it's almost impossible to read. Etc. But that's not the point. We have learned some more contemporary things there. And we DO sing:
          Here I am Lord,
          One Bread, One Body,
          As the Deer
          Alleluia

          I've always been fond of Talbot's "Be not afraid" but we don't have copyright access to it, unfortunately.

          - - - Updated - - -

          Originally posted by musikfan View Post
          I'm smiling at your "things to avoid" list! So much of our praise music today is so shallow and it is very "sensational". This business of repeating a phrase 10 times in a row is so very common these days, and it does not really do anything to make the worship experience any deeper.
          Exactly why we don't like them - that simply isn't who we are or what we like for ourselves.
          Originally posted by musikfan View Post
          The whole "blood sacrifice" thing seems to be a resurgence of this generation's desire to connect with the traditional worship styles of the old testament. Unfortunately, they don't realize that we really have no need to sing about blood sacrifices unless we are talking about the sacrifice of Christ's blood on the cross for our sins - that is something that I LOVE to sing about no matter what style of music!
          I have had problems with the idea of blood sacrifice for a long time. If I were not a Christian and did something wrong, I would not kill an animal, so the idea of Christ as a replacement for that has no significance for me.
          Originally posted by musikfan View Post
          I think that the challenge is to remember that all our music goes one of two directions: We either sing TO the Lord or we sing ABOUT the Lord- either vertical or horizontal worship. We need both, but both must be theologically accurate and not shallow.
          Agreed.

          Originally posted by musikfan View Post
          May I ask a question? Could you explain what you mean by " the exclusion of actually living life as a Christian in the world"?
          Example. "I'm sorry to hear that you are hungry, but can't you tell that I'm busy reading my bible and praising God? Please come back later." Or "I'm sorry to hear about your life, but I'm busy asking for forgiveness, even though I only asked for forgiveness 10 minutes ago - I might have thought something bad and I don't want anything to prevent ME from getting into heaven." Christianity, like many other things, can become a selfish obsession.

          Originally posted by musikfan View Post
          You have a challenge in finding appropriate praise music that actually has theological substance to it. The Getty's are excellent songwriters who have taken hymn contexts and brought them up to speed in a contemporary way. We use a lot of their music in our worship services now. I would do a search online and see what you can come up with. Otherwise, you might want to look at some of the older praise and worship music from the 80's and early 90's. If your congregation is more traditional, look at the Maranatha Praise albums - their music was very simple but still good in my opinion. If I think of more, I'll post them here in the near future.
          ...
          The idea of checking older praise resources is good. Some of the problems involve language and imagery. Inclusive language when referring to humans is a must for me. I can't expect to stand in front of the congregation and say "Well, men, let's stand and sing..." and expect the women to join in. That has changed. Also, some imagery or language is simply dated.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sympathy for the kind of material you're trying to find and avoid.

            Have you considered some of the material that comes from the Iona Community (Wild Goose Publications) and the related hymns of John Bell & Graham Maule. There should be no problem introducing the words to a Presbyterian congregation and the words of Bell & Maule have some contemporary cutting edge theology. These hymns could often be considered to fall into the folk-type tradition

            The hymns from Bernadette Farrell usually go down well with an age-mixed congregation.

            I'm also increasingly becoming a fan of the words from Martin Leckenusch whose contemporary words are often sung to 'traditional' tunes.

            Total sympathy, too, for the apparent non-ability to print 'new' hymnbooks with any regard to the practice of playing without constantly turning pages forwards and back. My denomination recently published a new one where the 'type setters' clearly don't actually understand the practicality of playing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Regeron,

              You might find some things in one of the Maranatha! series of Praise Music. Here's an Amazon link for one of them: https://www.amazon.com/Maranatha-Mus.../dp/B000LK2Q24.

              In the Catholic tradition, I have played out of the Glory & Praise series (3 volumes, last I remember). I'm thinking you're after songs written by the likes of Twila Paris, Phil Kelveren (Sp.?), Michael W. Smith, Keith Green, etc.

              I hope that gets you started.

              Michael
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

              Comment


              • #8
                Regeron,

                If you may be interested in using some newer hymns, two of my favorites are "Worthy of Worship" by York (lyrics) and Blankenship (music) and "Be Strong in the Lord" by Linda Johnson (lyrics) and Fettke (music).

                Later,
                Allen
                Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

                YouTube Channel

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by regeron View Post
                  ...I have had problems with the idea of blood sacrifice for a long time. If I were not a Christian and did something wrong, I would not kill an animal, so the idea of Christ as a replacement for that has no significance for me.
                  I can't say that I fully understand what you're saying here, maybe it's worth clarifying? There are many great hymns and praise songs with relevant text, so it might also be worth saying that God is no less just than he is love and therefore Christ's 'blood sacrifice' is essential. I'm not meaning to accuse you of anything since, again, I'm not fully sure I understand what you're saying. But I do get sad when hear of people in churches who want to avoid talking about unsightly things like sin and Jesus' crucifixion lest it put someone off or make them feel bad about themselves, because it's hard for me to imagine how someone can develop genuine faith unless they know what they are being saved from and who to thank for what they went through to achieve it, and as a result of that repent and turn to God with love.

                  Not that I want to encourage a theological debate here. Lest it turns that way I won't make any further posts on this
                  Viscount C400 3-manual
                  8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                  Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
                    I can't say that I fully understand what you're saying here, maybe it's worth clarifying?
                    Besides the theological discussion, there is another elephant that needs clarification. One person's Praise & Worship may be another person's Hymns of Praise. Protestant hymns from their hymnbook did not begin appearing in the Liturgical service until the late 1960s through the 1970s when most Liturgical services began being presented in English rather than Latin. I still remember Latin services from my childhood.

                    In contemporary music since the 1960s, there have been several divergent genres of Praise & Worship, depending on one's theology. There was the Catholic/Lutheran (liturgical) Folk music (think: Morning Has Broken), vs. the Protestant version of the Folk music (think: Alleluia, by Jerry Sinclair; and Michael, Row the Boat Ashore). These two divergent styles--more in content than style--began to converge in the last decade or two, so now there is less difference between the two main theological sides of the house. The divergent thought now tends to be more in what one would call Liberal, open, and welcoming theology vs. Conservative, structured, and standards-based theology (not necessarily closed).

                    During the time between the 1960s and now, there were several generations of Praise & Worship music which changed based on the changing times:
                    • Folk music (1960s>1970s)--Brought about by the teenage rebellion to the Vietnam War, and introduced more use of the guitar into worship. In addition to the songs listed above, some like He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, and Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog came from that era.
                    • Maranatha! Praise & Worship music (1980s>1990s)--Continued the use of the guitar, but attempted to re-establish some of the theological content to the texts of the songs. This was mirrored in the Catholic/Liturgical churches by the Glory & Praise series, and the use of guitars as well. It somewhat followed the Charismatic movement in some Catholic churches. Praise & Worship songs would include: Our God Is An Awesome God by Steve Greene, There Is a Redeemer by Keith & Melody Green, etc.
                    • [Not sure what to call this next era] (1990s-2000s)--The music between Protestant & Catholic churches began to become more similar than divergent, with some of the music we still hear in churches today as Praise & Worship. The standard publishers (i.e. Broadman Press, Word Inc., Zondervan/Singspiration, etc.) became marginalized as many people began self-publishing via the Internet, and their own labels. Often, the music has at least 3-4 piggy-backed copyright holders. Songs would include: Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone, How Great Is Our God, Come, Now Is the Time to Worship (Vineyard Songs), How Deep the Father's Love For Us, etc.
                    Underlying all of this from the 1960s forward is the Southern Gospel, Stamps/Baxter-style music of the Gaithers, sprinkled with some of John W. Peterson's music. They attempted to remain relevant and contemporary, but with the advent of the Internet, they were overwhelmed in popularity by the folk-style contemporary music.

                    So, when one talks about Praise & Worship, Folk, or Praise Band music; the road is fraught with opinion (above I shared many of mine), and misunderstanding because everyone experienced those generations in a musically different fashion. Regeron, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing you're asking for music somewhat around the era of the 1980s>1990s and maybe a little earlier.

                    I'm not a Music Historian by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have played, attended, and worshiped in all sorts of denominational backgrounds during the last 50+ (you guess how many ) years. I hear what Regeron is asking, but I'm not sure anyone has academically pursued the study of Christian music of the last 1/2 of the 20th century, or categorized it in any way. So, until they do, I hope what I've written above provides some sort of rough guide.

                    Michael
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Michael,

                      You made some excellent points and observations in your last post. The world of "praise and worship" is quite complicated at times!
                      Craig

                      Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                        ...

                        ...
                        During the time between the 1960s and now, there were several generations of Praise & Worship music which changed based on the changing times:
                        • Folk music (1960s>1970s)--Brought about by the teenage rebellion to the Vietnam War, and introduced more use of the guitar into worship. In addition to the songs listed above, some like He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, and Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog came from that era.
                        • Maranatha! Praise & Worship music (1980s>1990s)--Continued the use of the guitar, but attempted to re-establish some of the theological content to the texts of the songs. This was mirrored in the Catholic/Liturgical churches by the Glory & Praise series, and the use of guitars as well. It somewhat followed the Charismatic movement in some Catholic churches. Praise & Worship songs would include: Our God Is An Awesome God by Steve Greene, There Is a Redeemer by Keith & Melody Green, etc.
                        • [Not sure what to call this next era] (1990s-2000s)--The music between Protestant & Catholic churches began to become more similar than divergent, with some of the music we still hear in churches today as Praise & Worship. The standard publishers (i.e. Broadman Press, Word Inc., Zondervan/Singspiration, etc.) became marginalized as many people began self-publishing via the Internet, and their own labels. Often, the music has at least 3-4 piggy-backed copyright holders. Songs would include: Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone, How Great Is Our God, Come, Now Is the Time to Worship (Vineyard Songs), How Deep the Father's Love For Us, etc.
                        Underlying all of this from the 1960s forward is the Southern Gospel, Stamps/Baxter-style music of the Gaithers, sprinkled with some of John W. Peterson's music. They attempted to remain relevant and contemporary, but with the advent of the Internet, they were overwhelmed in popularity by the folk-style contemporary music.

                        So, when one talks about Praise & Worship, Folk, or Praise Band music; the road is fraught with opinion (above I shared many of mine), and misunderstanding because everyone experienced those generations in a musically different fashion. Regeron, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing you're asking for music somewhat around the era of the 1980s>1990s and maybe a little earlier.

                        I'm not a Music Historian by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have played, attended, and worshiped in all sorts of denominational backgrounds during the last 50+ (you guess how many ) years. I hear what Regeron is asking, but I'm not sure anyone has academically pursued the study of Christian music of the last 1/2 of the 20th century, or categorized it in any way. So, until they do, I hope what I've written above provides some sort of rough guide.

                        Michael
                        Thanks Michael,
                        Yes, I'm looking more for the kind of music that would have been common in the 1980s/90s. As mentioned before, a lot of today's music references pop music styles and icons that my congregation wouldn't listen to - think Adele or Lady Gaga. While they may be excellent within their genre, that genre has little-to-no connection to what my congregatin would listen to on their radios.

                        "Folk Music" sounds appealing. "Praise Music" doesn't. With "Praise Music", I envision more of a performance style - a praise team NEEDS to lead the singing; everyone else just sings along with the soloists. I'd rather teach my people something that they can eventualyl lead themselves. (No offense to those who use praise bands and do praise music. If it works for you, that's great. But it doesn't work for us.)

                        I let the Great Commandment guide me - 1) Love God; 2) Love your neighbor as you love yourself. We have LOTS of music to fulfill part 1). I'm looking for music to fulfill the second part.

                        Another thing I'm realizing that I want to avoid is "God, I'm SUCH a sinner. Save ME, forgive ME, make ME whole, purify ME, sanctify ME, etc." This is what I referred to as "Christianity as a selfish obsession." While God is probably happy to have people who offer their praise, my understanding is that God also needs people who will actually get out and do something for others.

                        Our current pastor also focuses on the first part of the Great Commandment. Another reason that I try to use music to remind us of the second part.

                        - - - Updated - - -

                        Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
                        I can't say that I fully understand what you're saying here, maybe it's worth clarifying? There are many great hymns and praise songs with relevant text, so it might also be worth saying that God is no less just than he is love and therefore Christ's 'blood sacrifice' is essential. I'm not meaning to accuse you of anything since, again, I'm not fully sure I understand what you're saying. But I do get sad when hear of people in churches who want to avoid talking about unsightly things like sin and Jesus' crucifixion lest it put someone off or make them feel bad about themselves, because it's hard for me to imagine how someone can develop genuine faith unless they know what they are being saved from and who to thank for what they went through to achieve it, and as a result of that repent and turn to God with love.

                        Not that I want to encourage a theological debate here. Lest it turns that way I won't make any further posts on this
                        Hi rjsilva,
                        I guess I was trying to say that I believe the blood-shedding part of Christian theology to be irrelevant to today's life.

                        Start with this fictitious scenario: I and my community are not Christians. We believe that if we do something wrong, that wrong can be righted by offering our gods the blood sacrifice of an animal. Then along comes a Christian missionary who tells us that we don't have to do that anymore, that Christ offered himself as a human/divine, perfect sacrifice, as a "sacrifice to end all other sacrifices" so we wouldn't have to kill animals anymore. That would make sense to me, because I would have grown up believing that shedding blood could 'correct wrongs'.

                        However, I did not grow up in a community where wrongs could be righted by killing an animal sacrificially and spilling its blood. Therefore, there was no "imperfect" sacrifice that needed to be replaced with an "perfect" one.

                        I haven't had to explain this to very many people, so I'm still in the process of refining my language and comparisons, etc. My apologies if it's not very clear.

                        But even if I did believe in the value of a blood sacrifice, I still get put off by people who spend a lot of time singing about it, to the neglect of the needs of the humanity around us.

                        I won't knock those who believe in sacrifice, but I also won't promote it as an image that makes any sense in today's world.

                        Regarding "God is Love". I find this to very helpful and often will interchange the one word with the other, depending on the situation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As a worship leader in my church, I think that one of the most significant principles that we need to follow is that we are continually presenting a clear picture of the gospel in our music. The gospel is central to everything related to being a Christian. We need to hear it and be reminded continually of it as it is the very crux of our lives. I wonder if some churches have found a weird niche where they are focusing too much on these unusual issues such as "blood sacrifice". I personally have never experienced this as we always sang about the blood of Christ - that was our focus - and how that was the avenue towards salvation. We all learned about the old testament practices, but the focus of the message was always more on how Christ came to fulfill the law and abolish the need for the blood sacrifices of animals to forgive sins. Still, the picture of the blood sacrifice is actually very powerful because the old testament is a perpetual foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice that was to come through Christ. The continual use of that blood sacrifice served to remind people of how serious sin really is, and also the fact that the result of sin is death. It makes a person think hard about how much we need the forgiveness of Christ. But still, I can see how one would not really want to continually sing about animal sacrifices as they are irrelevant now. At any rate, the gospel should be in the forefront of our worship as this is essential. We definitely need to be serving our communities and showing them the love of Christ through meeting physical needs, but they also need to HEAR the gospel as well. Otherwise, you have people who are fed and clothed but still have no saving relationship with Christ which ultimately nullifies anything good we do for them when you look at it from an eternal perspective.
                          Craig

                          Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks Craig, for those comments.

                            I guess I need to go back to one of your earlier posts in this thread, where you mentioned the need for both vertical and horizontal relationships. I agree with that image. My problem is that our pastor focuses on the vertical relationship. In the last four years, he has barely mentioned any horizontal relationships. He has never preached on 'loving your neighbor'.

                            With that in mind, I have tried to seek some balance by bringing the horizontal relationships forward in our music, which I get to choose. When I look to contemporary Christian music, I see lots of vertical and hardly any horizontal relationship. The vertical relationship is not bad, but it requires the co-existance of the horizontal, and the horizontal is grossly under-represented.

                            As far as blood sacrifices go, I think that's one of those theological areas where people will have different points of view. Jesus' personality and activities allow people with different spiritual and emotional needs to connect with him in ways that are most meaningful to them.

                            When I was a child, my favorite hymn was "A child of the King" - although my earthly family had little money, I could dream of being the child of a spiritual, supernatural king. As an adult, my point of view has changed and I no longer need Jesus to be a king. Instead, I now see people around me whose lives are impacted by loneliness, mental illness, discrimination, etc, so the Jesus that I look to now is characterized by his actions toward people in need.

                            When my self-esteem was low, the thought that someone would give his life and allow his blood to flow FOR ME, was an uplifting thought. That carried me to a point where my self-esteem became more stable and I could move my focus to images that are more helpful for my current state of mind. The blood sacrifice carries no meaning in my current spiritual life

                            I won't judge others for their point of view; I only hope that it is truly based on who they are and where they are in their lives, not on what they feel expected or compelled to believe because of what others around them are saying.

                            In the end, the more we can express the diversity of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit's ways of interacting with humanity, the richer we all are. If God's character is as rich and complex as we say, we need more names and images to describe that.

                            Thanks again for the good comments here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by regeron View Post
                              Thanks Craig, for those comments.

                              I guess I need to go back to one of your earlier posts in this thread, where you mentioned the need for both vertical and horizontal relationships. I agree with that image. My problem is that our pastor focuses on the vertical relationship. In the last four years, he has barely mentioned any horizontal relationships. He has never preached on 'loving your neighbor'.

                              With that in mind, I have tried to seek some balance by bringing the horizontal relationships forward in our music, which I get to choose. When I look to contemporary Christian music, I see lots of vertical and hardly any horizontal relationship. The vertical relationship is not bad, but it requires the co-existance of the horizontal, and the horizontal is grossly under-represented.

                              As far as blood sacrifices go, I think that's one of those theological areas where people will have different points of view. Jesus' personality and activities allow people with different spiritual and emotional needs to connect with him in ways that are most meaningful to them.

                              When I was a child, my favorite hymn was "A child of the King" - although my earthly family had little money, I could dream of being the child of a spiritual, supernatural king. As an adult, my point of view has changed and I no longer need Jesus to be a king. Instead, I now see people around me whose lives are impacted by loneliness, mental illness, discrimination, etc, so the Jesus that I look to now is characterized by his actions toward people in need.

                              When my self-esteem was low, the thought that someone would give his life and allow his blood to flow FOR ME, was an uplifting thought. That carried me to a point where my self-esteem became more stable and I could move my focus to images that are more helpful for my current state of mind. The blood sacrifice carries no meaning in my current spiritual life

                              I won't judge others for their point of view; I only hope that it is truly based on who they are and where they are in their lives, not on what they feel expected or compelled to believe because of what others around them are saying.

                              In the end, the more we can express the diversity of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit's ways of interacting with humanity, the richer we all are. If God's character is as rich and complex as we say, we need more names and images to describe that.

                              Thanks again for the good comments here.
                              You make some equally good points, friend. I agree with you that we tend to lack focus on the horizontal realm of worship. We all need each other in the body, and those relationships are so very crucial. Funny you should mention that song "Child of the King". That was one of my favorites when I was very young, too!

                              So glad to read of your journey in the sometimes complicated world of "praise and worship".
                              Craig

                              Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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