Monday, October 27, 2008

Fried Cheese

I don't know if you realize it, but Chili's Restaurant has taken away the Awesome Blossom. For those unfortunate few who have not tried it, the Awesome Blossom was an onion sliced into many tendrils like flower petals, battered, deep fried and served with a sauce. Now if we are to return to Chili's, we are forced to order the fried cheese (also battered and deep fried).

Oddly enough, this made me think about music. Specifically the role of music in the church. I have been, rather unsuccessfully I think, trying to explain my feelings toward the current crop of contemporary Christian songs (how's that for alliteration?). I finally hit on an analogy that I can live with: Hors d'oeuvres. Who doesn't like hors d'oeuvres (or appetizers as most of the restaurants call them). You've gotten to your favorite eatery, the smells are wonderful, the place is abuzz with the noise of the crowd and your stomach reminds you that you are starving. At just the right moment, a nice young man or woman says, "Can I get you something? Maybe some nachos or even fried cheese?" Knowing full well what this will do to your cholesterol, you say, "Sure, I'll have the fried cheese."

That's my philosophy towards contemporary praise in a nutshell. It's a mighty tasty appetizer. Think about it: it's quick, easy to digest, and comes before the main course. There's nothing wrong with an appetizer. Most people enjoy them. But they are not the reason you came to the restaurant. In fact, if you only had money for one item, it would be for the main course and not the appetizer only. Or, if you needed to cut down on the superfluous food and focus on healthy choices, you would stick to the main course. In other words, appetizers without something solid just don't make sense. They will leave you fat and unsatisfied. While it may seem like the less expensive option to just get an appetizer, in the long run, the cost will be greater...either in empty calories or just bang for the buck.

So for those out there who have an enormous desire to introduce contemporary praise, do so. But do it with the same care and expertise that is required of the main course, and don't leave out the meat.

1 comment:

Leann said...

I agree -- the music is like an appetizer. I just wish the appetizer at our church tasted good. Or at least followed the rules of "good music". I don't know which hymnal we use (my husband could tell you) but for some reason the songs don't have an actual tune to them. They seem to be the result of a congregational attempt at chanting (best left to the pastor/cantor in my opinion)

I hate to say it, but I truly miss the familiar melodies of the church I was raised in. I don't care if morning worship doesn't feature a big choir swaying behind the pastor, I don't even want the singing to resemble a rock concert. I just want an actual melody.

We attend an LCMS church, and probably always will... I'll just hang in there until the melody catches up with the hymnal some day.