Monday, July 25, 2005

Why Contemporary Christian Music Should Not Be Allowed in any Lutheran Church!- Installment Number 1

Greetings in Jesus,

Sorry for the delay. The summer is supposed to be a quieter time.:-) Anyway, these thoughts have been on my mind for many years. So, over the next several weeks, I am going to try to lay out for you why I think that Contemporary Christian music should not be allowed in any Lutheran Church for any reason. Many of us are trying to start a return to Confessional Lutheranism. I believe that one of the major tenets of the movement is our objection to the Contemporary Christian movement and praise worship in all its various manifestations. This also includes "blended worship." It should not be allowed in our churches. It is wrong and should be rejected!

Why am I against Contemporary Christian music? Why do I feel so strongly? I will tell you why. It causes division. St. Paul encourages us to stay away from those would cause division or put obstacles in our way (Romans 16:17). Even those who are in favor of Contemporary Christian music in our Lutheran worship must agree that it causes division.

At St. John's, CCM caused a major division. They had a Contemporary Christian entertainment service for a short time, a few years before I came. For various reasons, they decided to end the service. Some people got quite upset and left the church over it. In various places where I have been, I have seen it cause heartache and dissension in the church of God. The CCM movement should not be allowed in our Lutheran churches.

As I stated before, and will say again, the historic Lutheran liturgy provides all that is necessary for Lutheran worship. For those who understand the depth of the liturgy, nothing else is even comparable.

One of the most troubling things about our current Synod situation is that we have allowed or given approval to congregations to dabble with "alternative worship forms." One of the worst things we could have done! It has caused division in our Synod.

One of the things that bothers me is when people complain about something and don't provide any solutions. I don't claim to have all the answers. There are many brighter and better educated pastors who can flesh out how this can be done. But, in order to stop the ship from sinking we must plug the holes. One of the holes that must be plugged is the Contemporary Christian movement in the Lutheran churches. All congregations should use exclusively TLH (My person favorite), LW or the HS or the new hymnal. If we are going to start being a caravan again, we must not allow for dissension and division in our churches. Stay tuned for future installments.

May God bless our movement according to good and gracious will.

In Christ' service,

Pastor Haugen

23 Comments:

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous terence said...

Here's a story of a Cleveland LCMS church (St Paul in Lakewood) that went "contemporary."
http://www.concordtx.org/opinions/cas_close.htm
Let's get that laity out of the dark with respect to the LCMS' crisis.

 
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At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For God's sake, for Jesus' sake, for the sake of the dying ... slowly but surely dying church which refuses to acknowledge that there are hurting, dying, desperate people who first and foremost need salvation, hope, and directioh in a way they understand it and not in a way we cherish come hell, high water or a cold dead body of Christ ... GET A LIFE!!!!

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

I respect your views but I think your totally wrong. You blogging your opinion is what creates division. Your focus on the Lutheran Church creates division. Why not title your blog: "Why contemporary Christian music should not be listened to by anyone." Your example of a church that had a contemporary service and then stopped having it is a terrible way to state that contemporary christian music causes division. In your example it was not the contemporary music that caused the division but the change of taking it away. What about young members of the church that think traditional church music is boring? Shouldn't they have an option for a worship style that pleases him or her?

Whether or not to have contemporary christian music in a church is one thing, but contemporary music is deffinitely a better option than popular modern artists who have lyrics about casual sex, drugs, and other things that create huge division!

God bless

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

now listen carefully. You...are...a...dingbat!

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Keith said...

I'll let you in on a little secret, and yes this is proven.
All Praise and Worship music was Contemporary at one time. Sorry, but I believe God wants us to get to the present time, dealing with present people and get out of the 1940s and 50s, or older.

 
At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Pastor near you (of a different, mainline denomination) I feel as though I need to express my concern. Why do you fear potential divisiveness? Maybe that is God's way of pruning when people up and leave. I agree with what another responder said when he commented that all music was once contemporary. The question we should be asking is: How can we use contemporary music and worship services to reach the lost of today without comprimising the true integrity of worship. Do away with "contemporary music" is ridiculous and maybe you should re-examine if God has called you to be a pastor of "maitenance ministry" or a pastor of "transformational ministry!"

 
At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Kevin Lauer said...

If they used the same logic in Bible times, then Paul and John Mark would not have been permitted to preach in the New Testament Churches, as Acts 15:37-39 states that there was contention between them. Even Jesus would have been expelled from the temple for breaking the status quo. The problem isn't the style of worship, it's the stubbornness of those on both sides who demand to have it their way. Simly have two separate services, one contemporary and one traditional. People can choose whichever worship style draws them personally closer to Christ. It works for many churches in my area and should work for yours, if people are willing to give it a try.

 
At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your old music is a stumbling block and an obstacle.

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To use the argument that a certain form of worship should not be allowed simply because it causes "division" also puts even "traditional" forms of worship under the very same criteria. So be careful about what you ask for here. Because there is no denying, much division has arisen in many churches due to ritualistic rigidity in worship and those who arrogantly hold to it (see Isaiah 29:13)...much like you are doing with your personal opinions. Perhaps YOU are one of those whom the church should avoid! Your law-driven agenda is so lacking in grace! And you are a Lutheran? You might want to rethink your premise and allow room enough for God the Holy Spirit to work through the Means of Grace, even in and through diverse forms of worship.

 
At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Proud Lutheran said...

I disagree with you but I think that the people who left the church (when the contemporary music service was removed) are also in the wrong.

I attend the typical Lutheran church - but I LOVE (keyword!) Christian heavymetal music. Does this mean I'm going to leave my church just because they don't play the music I want?
NO!

But you need some re-evaluating too! When Jesus came to Earth, he didn't use a BORING & OUTDATED form of media to preach God's word & salvation. He used the CONTEMPORARY (at that time) method of story-telling in simple language that the everyday people could understand.

Well its my lowly opinion...

Take care & God bless!

 
At 1:12 PM, Anonymous maggielou2too said...

Have you even MET Jesus Christ? Or read any of the Gospels? Do you think Jesus was afraid of creating division in the temple when he overturned the moneychangers' tables? It sounds to me as though you'd prefer to worship Luther and liturgy than Jesus Christ. I'm really quite worried about you and any congregation you're allowed access to. I pray you find Jesus soon--and that you won't kick Him out of your heart or your church--because He undoubtedly will be listening to contemporary Christian music!

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous carolW said...

Thank you. Praise music depresses worship attendance at our church in Chicagoland. I think it's to benefit 3 girl singers as no other young folks attend.
Traditional worship is better attended representative of all ages.

I'm trying to track down the name of the song sung at the only praise service I attended. The first 8 bars were definitely the YMCA song and I'm sure some ambitious lawyer could file a copyright suit.
Thanks again for telling the truth. Praise songs sound like pubescent 'boyfriend' music.

 
At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you've missed the point. In the last 50 years, music has taken a gigantic leap. You no longer hear Beethoven or Mozart or Bach on a typical radio station. People are changing, and if you hold strictly to traditional ways, those who do not understand them will not come. What will you do if (I say if, not when, for hopefully this doesn't happen) the younger members of your church leave, and the older members reach the end of their time on this earth, and you're left with nothing? If we cannot make an ancient message pertain to a modern world, the message is lost and we fail in our ministry.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The failing of the Catholic church was to believe they knew the "right" way. Their desire to hold so strongly to it caused a division, giving birth to Lutheranism. If you wish to cause more division, continue your overzealous desire to hold back worship in ALL forms. Who cares how the message is packaged, so long as the world hears the message? Will God condemn one who worships because he/she went to the wrong service?

 
At 7:07 AM, Anonymous TOM DEFRANGE said...

35 YEARS AGO I WAS HIRED BY A VISIONERY PASTOR TO PROVIDE ANOTHER LUTHERAN CHURCH IN OHIO A CONTEMPORARY ALTERNATIVE WORSHIP SERVICE. I PUT THE TRADITIONAL SERVICE MUSIC INTO CONTEMPORARY SETTINGS AND WROTE HYMNS AND ANTHEMS THAT FOLLOWED THE SCRIPTUAL THEMES AS PRESENTED IN THE LECTIONERY. WE SANG THE SAME MESSAGES AT OUR CONTEMPORARY SERVICE AS DID THOSE ATTENDING THE TRADITIONAL, BUT WITH A BEAT,AND MODERN MELODIC FORMS AND HARMONIES. FOR 35 YEARS ALL WENT WELL UNTIL WE GOT A PASTOR THAT WAS MORE LIKE YOU. HIS INABILITY TO APPRECIATE OR UNDERSTAND THE FORMAT CAUSED THE PROGRAM TO BECOME GRADUALLY TRUNCATED AND DESTROYED. AND, YES, THEN THERE WAS DIVISION. AS WE "RETURN TO OUR TRADITIONAL LUTHERAN ROOTS" A CONGREGATION THAT ONCE HAD A CONTEMPORARY SERVICE, A PRAISE SERVICE AND A TRADITIONAL SERVICE WILL SOON BE REDUCED TO A SINGLE TRADITIONAL PROGRAM SERVING A MEMBERSHIP REDUCED BY 60%. I RECENTLY RESIGNED.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Rev. Auringer said...

So what you are saying is what I'm seeing. Our youth are leaving the Lutheran Church for a more contemporary modern style of worship and the Lutheran Church does not want to offer that! If they do not open their minds that a good Lutheran Contemporary service can have all the liturgy just a different style of music there will be no Lutheran Church as the older congregation has found their home in heaven. Fair to the Youth, I think not!. Remember everyone thought Jesus was a freak but he moved forward and did what he needed to do to save us all!!!

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just accidently came across this blog by accident. I am not Lutheran. but feel this Contemporary Music is wrong! When we can't tell the difference between the world's music and Christian music, there is something wrong. If your Church preaches the gospel being saved by faith, not of works, then why not depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit to do its work saving those who are lost. Instead we make the excuse, well we are trying to reach out to the young people. As if we can't reach them w/o this contemporary junk!? Let's get serious about God, the gospel, and music in our Churches!

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Evangelicalism took my peace away, fundamentalist took my beer away, and now that I'm a Lutheran they are trying to take my music away.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Anonymous T said...

Thank you so much!!! You expressed my opinion perfectly. His example of division was obviously a result of them CANCELLING the service because the worship was contemporary. NOT because they had contemporary music in the first place. I think the cause of division in regards to music is because the elderly congregation only wants hymns. Well needless to say, for most young people, hymns are boring. I love church, but have honestly stayed away for a while for various reasons, including not finding one who's worship I can relate with. I think the greatest thing we could do is have a COMPROMISE. I honestly don't think keeping your style of worship is worth losing souls. Do you???

 
At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's very rare that I see contemporary music keep the Christ Centered Cross Focused message of the Gospel. It usually changes from what Christ has done for us on the cross to what we do when getting "Pumped up for Jesus". Changing the instrumentation isn't the problem unless it changes the theology behind it, which it almost always does. For those who have kept true Lutheran theology and practice in a more contemporary setting, more power too you. I find them often incongruent.

 

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