List of the day

From apathetic:

A comment on the part of Doug’s statement that he can easily identify the CCM stations after a few bars or notes due to breathy singing.I possess a similar talent in easily identifying Southern Gospel stations after a few bars/notes/words. I can also train others how to easily identify the SG stations when travelling through unfamiliar territory.

10. If you feel like you have just stepped back 30 - 50 years musically, you might be listening to a SG station.

9. If the last note sang on every song is held out for 30 seconds, you might be listening to a SG station.

8. If some uneducated, hacking hillbilly who is only preaching because someone in his small church prophesied to him and the rest of the youth group that they were all called to preach, is yelling in your ear, you might be listening to a SG station.

7. If you have heard 10 different versions of Midnight Cry or The Lighthouse in the past hour, you might be listening to a SG station.

6. If 90% of the band/group names have a surname in their title you might be listening to a SG station.

5. If you here an advertisement for a “saaaangin’” or “singin’” you might be listening to a SG station.

4. If the vocalist sounds like a wanna-be country singer with more twang, you might be listening to a SG station.

3. If it sounds like every song has the same musicians playing the same intro’s, turn arounds, licks, etc. you might be listening to a SG station.

2. If you confuse the melody you’re hearing on the station with a song you have heard on one of your children’s or grandchildren’s Barney, Dora the Explorer, or Sesame Street DVD, you might be listening to a SG station.

1. If you suddenly smell Geritol, Ensure, Polyester and Brut or Old Spice cologne, you might be listening to a SG station.

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  1. Give Me SG wrote:

    Give me SG over Christian Contemporay anytime… It’s better to hear that twang or those long held notes, than to think I’ve hit a hard rock station…. I don’t even give those stations time to hear the words, the music is offensive enough… I hope all my spelling is correct…lol My fingers don’t want to obey my brain…

  2. Judge wrote:

    I would much rather be someone that shares the good news about Jesus, even if it was a little predictable than someone that is too busy to share the good news of Jesus because they are trashing others that do.

  3. Wade Cardwell wrote:

    If # 2 works Jesus in 2xs in a 3 line post or the DJ says… Bless their hearts…listen to the words and let them touch your heart or any apology for the quality because it is the ministry that counts YOU HAVE TO BE LISTENING TO SGM station.

  4. Alan wrote:

    You know, Judge, in just a few lines, you said a lot. And all too often here, I say an amen to your remarks. Notice how rarely you’ll read criticism from someone who’s actually on the front lines, trying their best to spread the Gospel. Sure, we all need all the constructive criticism that we can get, to get better at what we do. But when it’s potentially destructive, even masked as humor, it can be really counterproductive.

  5. apathetic wrote:


    If you think humor, even with a little truth behind it, is destructive you must live in a very sheltered little world. Neither Humor, nor Truth are either one destructive.

    This was just a response to Doug’s comment giving criticism to CCM music. Let me remind you of the line under the title of this web site, “Criticism and commentary on southern gospel music and culture”. That is what it is. If you don’t like it, don’t come here.

    You are pretty naive if you think something said on this site is going to be “destructive” to an effective ministry.

    Lighten up, the Old Spice comment must have really hit home with you.

  6. Jeremy Carter wrote:

    Drive up on Sand Mountain in Alabama and it’s really easy to find a SG station. Just flip the dial to AM and every frequency has one.

  7. Glenn wrote:

    Actually, the only reason any of us are here or attend all of those concerts is that we love the music, we always have, and we always will.

  8. Irishlad wrote:

    Apathetic,i agree with all the points you made,however,there is a small proportion of sg devotees out there who don’t fit the usual perceived stereotype of sg fan. Why this minority(i count myself in)should appreciate a genre which is often naff and corny mystifies me. Is it just the high tenor and low bass that appeals or maybe a subliminal marketing force at work?

  9. Kyle wrote:

    He forgot one….if you repeatedly hear of artists getting in a tissy over some guy named “Avery”….

  10. apathetic wrote:


    I am on the front lines over 120 dates a year, about the same as you or a little more. Even so, I would not tell someone who isn’t that busy that their criticism is invalid. I don’t have to be a chef to know that my steak is over cooked.

  11. nonSGfan wrote:

    In my perosnal opinion, Apathetic, (as much as we disagree) is right. I personally believe that a few changes would help the industry from these stereotypes that apa listed. Just do ONE album without the long held notes, unprogressive music, ect. You don’t have to totally go away from those things, but start small and work your way toward change gradually. I worked in a small market AM southern gospel station for several years. Good assessment apa

  12. apathetic wrote:

    Thanks nonSGfan. It’s good to see there are some things we can agree on. Glenn (#7) also had a good point. For all of the knocking I do on SG music I do actually like some of it. I grew up on it. However, I do prefer the more modern stylings that defy most of my top 10 List. You know the ones, the groups who get bashed for being worldly for having messy hair, not wearing 3 piece matching suites, more progressive music, etc. Jason Crabb, Crabb Revival, Mike Bowling, Austin’s Bridge, etc. (3 out of my 4 have Surnames in the band/group title just like #6 in my top 10 list) LOL

  13. Leebob wrote:

    nonSGfan - Look at you being Mr. Agreeable today.

    Humor and Truth should not be an issue with people. I like my Truth served up with a generous dose of humor because it certainly helps it go down alot better.

    I am not one that is real wild about the screaming tenor and growling bass. I prefer to have the tight harmonies rather than have the chord spread out over the 88 notes. There are appropriate times for the upper range tenor, but too many of these guys are singing themselves out by getting up there every song. Brian White with Shiloh once told my youngest brother at a choir event to save those notes fo rwhen you need it. That was probably some of the best advice he has ever received.

  14. George Lane wrote:

    I’ll take Midnight Cry, I Am Redeemed, Champion Of Love, etc over those glamored up, constipated looking, 7-11 singers any day.

  15. wackythinker wrote:

    I’ve always try to remind myself the Biblical instruction for telling the truth adds the phrase “in love”. “Speak the truth in love,” Paul said.

    Too often our “constructive criticism” lacks the constructive part, and it’s hard to feel the love. Does that mean we shouldn’t give critiques? No, not at all.

    I remember when I was in school (about 100 years ago) the most helpful teachers were not the ones who just told me when I was wrong, but those who HELPED me get it right. They SHOWED me how to solve the math problem, or write a better sentence, or sing/play the passage properly, etc.

    Some of the criticism we read here is constructive, but we all could probably do a better job in that department. Show the love.

    Can I get an “amen”?

  16. Chris wrote:

    I gotta agree with #3. The other day, I had set my MP3 player (loaded with SG) to random play. When each intro would start, I thought it was a Greater Vision song. But it ended up being The Perrys, Legacy Five, Palmetto State, The Hoppers, The Whisnants, or The Mark Trammell Trio. Something is definitely wrong with that.

  17. Videoguy wrote:

    There’s only so many ways to play D, G, and A.

  18. Glen Harlow wrote:

    This is the struggle I face programming WZAP. If the dj is professional sounding, and the music is mixed like secular radio, “it just can’t be gospel,” acording to some of my listeners. We have programmed ourselves to believe a “true” southern gospel radio station must have a hick behind the mike, and what ever you do, don’t play a song where the artist can actually carry a tune, and the band can play in time. Plus even though King David’s band included percussionist, (Psalms 150), don’t get those drums too loud, they are of the devil.
    If southern gospel is to prosper we must grow with our great traditions as its foundation.
    21 year Southern Gospel radio announcer

  19. Greg wrote:

    You can’t blame it all on the artists. They are just producing what the fans are responding to. If they weren’t making money and selling product, if the stations were not playing the music, they would change to something that works.
    Southern Gospel music will never have the market of CCM because they settle for less. The artists, the stations, the promoters, and the fans. The quality and promotion may not be of comparison but the substance is as good if not better than any genre on the airwaves. SG does not have the mega businesses backing them with mega bucks and part of that is because for the most part the writers and artists don’t settle for a watered down feel good message when they write or sing a song.
    Sure there are areas for great improvement but if we lose the message it’s not doing anyone any good. It’s so easy to look in from the outside and judge and reinvent the wheel without knowing the hearts and convictions of the artists who sing for ministry over money.

  20. Jason Miller wrote:

    For once, apathetic and I are in total agreement!

  21. apathetic wrote:

    Jason Miller AND nonSGfan both in agreement with me on the same post???? I need to buy a lottery ticket. Oh, wait….that’s a whole other post. Ha!

  22. quartet-man wrote:

    #15. Amen
    #17, it is D, G, and A. it is I IV and V. Not all songs are in D you know. :)

  23. quartet-man wrote:

    Sorry, it should have read it isn’t D, G and A. My bad.

  24. music lover wrote:

    i think that the music is slowly changing… i know we all seen the post about doyle lawson being #1 for sept. it could not have come at a better time, nqc month.. and from what i can tell about the schedule they are on main stage at nqc 2 nights.. it is good to see something diffrent than the same old 4 guys and piano!!!! what do you guys think…

  25. music lover wrote:

    i think that the music is slowly changing or a bluegrass artist that doesn’t do just gospel wouldn’t be #1… i know we all seen the post about doyle lawson being #1 for sept. it could not have come at a better time,(imoa) nqc month.. and from what i can tell about the schedule they are on main stage at nqc 2 nights.. it is good to see something different than the same old 4 guys and piano show!!!! what do you guys think…

  26. Neil Enloe wrote:

    Something is wrong when the songs we all sing in church omits such words as, “Jesus”, “Cross” and “Blood.” These components are the basic elements of our faith.

    I’ll personally be glad when the “Praise & Worship” music era gives way to doctrine, discipleship and soul-winning. Our current church music is largely ensuring that the dumbing down of our country is being copied by the church.

    There will always be a Church, whether it sounds like or looks like the way I think it should. But we dare not abandon the key elements of our faith even in our songs. The recital of our belief system through singing in our worship services is a key to passing along the truths that non-theologians might not otherwise learn.

  27. apathetic wrote:

    Neil (#26),

    Can you tell me what Praise and Worship songs your church is singing that do not glorify God? My church sings plenty of P&W that glorifies God, mentions the cross, the blood, etc. Mostly, they “Praise and Worship” God. After all, that is what God created man for.

  28. Leebob wrote:

    I heard one of the most amazing stories the other day. Phil Cross was tlaking about receiving “hate” mail because “Champion of Love” did not have Jesus, God, or point words such as this. Christians sending hate mail. The whole death, burial, and resurrection (the major tenants of the gospel) are in that song but because certain words were not in it it was unacceptable to some.

    Again…TWO REASONS FOR SONGS: Singing to God and singing about God. SG gets it right on the singing about God but fails miserably on the singing to God. CCM gets it right on the singing to God but fails miserably on the singing abotu God. Balance is needed on both sides of the track and until we do this we are either going to have people who know about God with very little heart or people with all kinds of heart but haven’t a clue who God is.

  29. Leebob wrote:

    Neil, when P&W does give way, it will be to fullblown CCM and that is a day I hope not to see in my lifetime. At least alot of P&W has hymns in them. It may not be the tune as you know it but I do find myself paying attention as the tune changes.

  30. Alan wrote:

    I didn’t mean to come across re: your post as you took it, Apethetic. Sorry. Some of it was kind of funny, actually. And I love humor, but never wear Old Spice. LOL.

    I was on the road for 271 days last year, with 11 trips out of the country. A little more than 120 dates. :-) I’m glad to see that you’re also out spreading the Gospel, and pray the Lord’s richest blessings on you and your ministry. I wish you’d use your name and allow us to view your website. Any chance?

    It does slightly irk me at times when the folks who honestly don’t have a clue, can sit back and anonymously poke all kinds of fun at people and criticize those who are trying. That’s all. Your top-10 list certainly didn’t do that.

    A big Amen, Mr. Enloe. Every word was necessary and exceptional.

  31. Joe wrote:

    Last night I tried to post on this, but for some reason it didn’t get on. What I said mirrored Neil Enloe’s comments closely.

    I had listed 4 words in SGM that are rare in CCM, then a whole lot more.

    Wanna know the huge difference between the two genres? It is contained in the words of the gospel.

    I had listed sin, the cross, the blood, and grace, as the 4 words that I thought of first. Then…heaven, hell, forgiveness, mercy, Savior/saved, redemption, and so on.

    Listen to XM 34 for an hour. You will hear these words 100 times more, in an hour. than you will ever hear in a day of CCM.

    The truths of the gospel, totally irreplaceable, are what set this music apart. Say all the negatives about SGM you wish to say. I’ll take this music at EVERY opportunity over CCM, which is mostly generic,often empty, boringly repetitive (didn’t Jesus warn against “empty repitions”?), and sadly ascriptural in some actual cases…

    Just listen to the Perry’s “The Blood of the Old Rugged Cross”, or the Kingdom Heir’s new “What We Needed”, or Gordon Jensen’s “Come Into the Ark”…or, Neil Enloe’s “Statue of Liberty”.

    Those songs have it. And for this reason, so many of us love this music, and are willing to overlook much of what has been said here. The message is what matters.

  32. apathetic wrote:


    Thanks for clearing up the intent of your post. 271 days? You are a very busy man! I was just going by the dates posted on your site for this year, which I know don’t always reflect the true schedule of an artist.

    I enjoy my anonymous status. Things I say on this site may not reflect the thoughts or feelings of others in my band so I do not post that info. Last year we played over 120 concerts in 13 different states. Days on the road, as you know, are more than the number of concerts held. European tour scheduled next summer. So, I may not see it all, but do see a lot out there on the road. We are not a Southern Gospel band (surprise, surprise), we are CCM, but all have roots in SG. We share the stage with a lot of the CCM bands that are criticized on this site. That is why you will usually find me defending that genre. I know a lot of these people and know their heart for God and ministry. Before having a CCM band I traveled with some of the SG bands mentioned here and know that the SG bands also share a heart for God and ministry. I have seen a lot of good and a lot of bad on both sides. That’s what really gets to me. CCM takes a lot of flack here and I have felt much more love and a lot less competitive spirit on the CCM side than I experienced on the SG side. Not that CCM doesn’t have it’s share of bad too. However, I think CCM gets much more of a bad rap on this site than it deserves. SO, that is a little bit about me in a nutshell.

    Keep on keepin’ on brother Alan. We may have different ways of spreading the gospel, we may have different audiences, we may not agree on everything from a theological standpoint, but we all serve the same God and preach Him Holy, Sanctified, Crucified and Resurrected to a lost and dying world. No matter our differences we can’t knock that.


  33. Leebob wrote:

    “Oh the wonderful cross, Oh the wonderful cross bids me come and die that I might truly live again” P&W words in between When I survey the wondrous cross.

    “My chains are gone” P&W words in between verses of Amazing Grace.

    Where do you people come up with P&W not glorifying God when many of the songs are based upon words form the hymns? Please someone other than nonSGfan explain this to me.

  34. Alan wrote:

    Awesome, Apathetic - good for you. As for this years schedule, yeah, it is lighter. My wife of 28 years died in March of ‘05, from cancer, just 24 days after my Dad died. I fell in love with a TX beauty last year, and we got married on May 25th. Knowing the changes this year, we’ve tried to keep some time for blending families, moving, and the like. For the 18 years before my first wife got sick, I averaged 258 days per year away. So far, 6-1/4 million miles, to 58 countries. It’s a great life; I also do a lot of speaking, as a visiting speaker, so I have the best of all worlds.

    I was raised on sgm, and it’ll always have a soft spot in my heart. But, for whatever reason, I guess I’ve found my own niche, which is hard to characterize. My last CD features 12 songs of Heaven, hope, and loss…it was dedicated to my parents and Carol, all who died within 17 months. I covered Mercy Me’s great
    “Homesick”. Also a Sara Groves song to finish the CD, “He’s Always Been Faithful”. CCM has some magnificent songs. In the darkest moments, friends suggested that I listen often to P&W and CCM. It worked. And in fairness, so did a lot of sgm. The Whisnants song “A Greater Yes” was a special favorite. Good songs transcend their genre, don’t you think? I think that to be honest, a percentage of real early CCM and/or P&W music was pretty “light” in both theology and content. Maybe you won’t agree, Many of the artists were fairly new Christians, from very different backgrounds than I was privileged to enjoy, and their lyrics reflected that. But, a number of sgm songs don’t really say very much, either! I love watching an artist grow, and to hear that growth reflected in their deeper lyrics. Many on here might not care for certain musical styles, and that’s fine; but behind some music that we may not appreciate, there are some great lyrics. I’ve wondered how people could fault songs whose lyrics are mostly Scripture set to music?! A fair number of CCM and P&W songs are just that. And hey - no matter the genre, every song written recently is a contemporary (Christian) song!

    You and your band keep on keeping on, Apathetic, win souls for the Master, and keep on being a blessing to the church. Maybe hit my website and then the “Contact Me” tab, and if you would, e-mail me your website, ok?

  35. Alan wrote:

    PS - sorry. I forgot one point that I wanted to mention, and it goes back to Neil Enloe’s post. If anything, maybe some churches have gone away from a balanced diet; too many never, ever sing the older hymns anymore. There’s a reason why some of them have endured for decades, or even centuries. There’s a world of theology in many of them, and they take the focus away from us - our blessings in Christ, our service and worship of Him - and direct us entirely to the Lord Jesus. My only point at times is to encourage our public worship singing to be more balanced. A mix of older with newer. Am I alone in this? I used to think that old hymns were written by old people. Recently I was told that Isaac Watts was 18 when he wrote “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.” I know that Helen Howarth Lemmel was 17 when she turned a poem entitled “Turn
    Your Eyes Upon Jesus” in as an 11th grade high school composition project. When I analyze their words, and then many sets of lyrics written today, there really is a vast difference. Does anyone else agree on the need for balance?

  36. Neil Enloe wrote:

    Thanks for the lively exchange. The truth is that all genres of Christian music have their successes and failures among the songs that enjoy popularity.

    I was not being critical of P&W, because I praise God and worship Him like all of His children do. I was trying to merely point out that there is more to our Christian life than only praise and worship. The following is certainly not meant as a boast, but I’ve sung in over ten thousand churches during my fifty years as an itinerant music evangelist and I haven’t gone with my eyes and ears closed. My heart grieves for the rich doctrine left behind when we abandoned the hymns. And they praised and worshiped as few other songs since have done.

    Make no mistake, there are some excellent songs on the P&W wall. But many P&W proponents have put the hymnal in a lockbox, and that’s a fact. Perhaps the biggest issue on the table is the rift among the many preferred music styles represented in the Christian community.

    My skin is not so thin that I cannot absorb some criticism. I’m often wrong. But it seems to me that we are headed down a path of division over . . . music styles. Not persecution, not doctrine, not deception; but music styles. If the machines of war ever fly over our comfortable homes, we will not care what particular style of Christian music our brother subscribes to. We’ll become aware of our common need for security and fellowship. We American Christians are rich, overfed and secure. So we argue about . . . music styles.

    I say that we should get back to loving, serving, praising, worshipping, soul winning, studying His Word, committing to Him, etc. Lord, let it start with me.

    Well, I’ve done it again. See the target on my back? Ready, aim, fire!

  37. apathetic wrote:


    I am extremely sorry for your loss over the past year. I can’t imagine losing both my wife and a parent. I commend you for having the strength to keep on going. I’m sure all of us would say something like that would not deter us but never know what we would do until we are confronted with that situation.

  38. nonSGfan wrote:

    Leebob, come sit at my feet, my child. Learn of me. :)

    Prasie and worship, I believe, is a form of music that reaches Upward, and not outward. Of course this sounds redundant, but we must have both to function. SG provides bread for the eater, but im afraid there is no aroma of that bread making it’s way to heaven. God doesn’t get glory out of worshiping heaven. Today, the industry worships heaven more than God. However, southern gospel has focused also greatly on the blood, the cross, salvation, ect. Which is a good thing for the Gospel sake. These are absent from most seeker friendly churches, and it’s repulsive. like I heard a fine preacher preach last night, today’s church want’s to protect people from Jesus. He said “We wan’t to make Christ as invisible as possible, then slip him in their pocket when they least expect it”. How true it is. He said ,”whats next, having men in Jesus costumes doing cheerleading in the corner during the sermonette”. LoL. We need both WORSHIP, and GOSPEL in blended harmony.

  39. apathetic wrote:

    I agree with nonSGfan (have to return the favor, right?) that there needs to be a mix of both outward and upward in a service. However, I think both P&W and SG lack severely in another area. The Lost. P&W focuses its efforts on worshipping God, that’s great, that’s what God created us for. However, to a lost soul in the service, it does nothing. SG focuses its efforts on messages to the church, to those who are already saved. This also does nothing for the lost soul sitting in the service. I would like to see more of that in each genre. There are a few exceptions on each side, but not enough. IMO

  40. J wrote:

    Boy I especially like contemporary. It is so multi purpose. You can either sing it to the Lord or your significant other!!

  41. Pedantic wrote:

    Somewhat related article about the death of CCM

  42. nonSGfan wrote:

    J, A big LOL from me.

  43. Leebob wrote:

    LeestinkingBob, nonSGfan, and Apathetic agreeing within a few posts of one another? The last days are indeed here.

    With one exception, Apathetic, how in the world do you think that SG does not reach out to the lost? We have all agreed that SG is more direct on the content about God and all that implies.
    And , if it were the case, the vast majority of our crowds are already Christian, or at the very least, know about salvation.

    NSGF (getting tired of hammering that out) I have been preching what you said only with different terminolgy. Thank you for finally coming to my side of the tracks. LOL!!!

  44. apathetic wrote:

    LeeBob, it has been stated on this and multiple other threads that a majority of SG songs are songs about Heaven. Not much conviction in a song about a place. I will give you that SG has more songs that would have conviction for the lost than P&W music, but I still find it lacking when most of the songs are written/marketed to an older generation of those who have already received salvation.

  45. Leebob wrote:

    I guess I am far more selective of our music and am completely out of the loop. Very few of our songs are about heaven. Here goes practical Leebob again:

    If the majority of our crowds are already saved I am not real sure I see where the problem is. When I read the Psalms of David they have very little to do with the heathen except that God would do away with them or overthrow them. Throw that out there for the “do not judge” crowd. The vast majority of evangelistic efforts are better served through the preaching of the Word and the witnessing of the saints. If I can encourage the saints toward the latter I have done far more than what I could ever do simply singing about salvation to the saved.

  46. Larry wrote:

    The comments were made that SG songs have the same into and some of the groups sounding alike and whatever all the other comments made. I’m 57 and have been listening to Southern Gospel music since I was a kid and still love it. At least it has a message. I just don’t get much out of songs that say the same chants over and over again

  47. apathetic wrote:

    That’s what makes the world go round Larry. We all have different likes and dislikes. If you would rather have a song that sings about Heaven than one that praises God, different strokes for different folks.

  48. Not Beavis wrote:

    Bluegrass, my dog will sit and howl - SG, she just yips and runs out of the room

  49. Harry Peters wrote:

    First of all, Harry Peters and I’m willing to bet a lot of other people really don’t care how much of a south end of a north bound mule you guys make of yourself trying to outdo each other on the number of days you are on the front line. 120 or 270 or 365 doesn’t impress me a bit. Some groups have to do that many dates to make a living, I guess.

    Second…Neil, my man. Harry Peters does not particularly like Praise and Worship Music either. I love the old hymns that have been a way of passing down theology from one generation to another. Since almost all praise and worship music’s lyrics are quotations from scripture, I don’t really see a good argument against it. Let me ask you a question that Randy Vader (a real out there contemporary writer who writes for Bill Gaither’s publishing company) asked me one day. Do You believe that God can use something that you personally can’t stand to draw people to Him? My honest answer to that question was life-changing for me.

    As far as sticking to our heritage as a church, I’d be curious to know how many of you recite the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed in church. You know, 90 percent of the mainstream Christian denominations do. They are two of the oldest statements of faith in the church, probably pre-dating a lot of the Bible.

    Anyway, I’m planning to go to the “Fire Baptized Baptist” church this weekend to worship with the brothers and sisters there. I don’t know what their worship service is like, but it sounds like it will be lively.

  50. wackythinker wrote:

    Harry, if you think Randy Vader is “real out there contemporary”, you’ve not been listening to much contemporary Christian music for the last 20 years. Randy’s TAME, compared to a lot of what you hear on Christian radio.

    I would say that Randy’s no more “out there” than John W Peterson (”No Greater Love” and many other church choir cantatas that are considered classics today) was in 1965 or Bill Gaither was in 1972. And not NEARLY as “out there” as Ralph Carmichael (”Reach Out To Jesus” and “The Saviour Is Waiting”)was in the late 60’s. Randy is where most small evangelical church choirs are — middle of the road.

    One thing I’ve been taught lately, that many people don’t seem to understand: Worship is not a musical style. It’s a lifestyle.

    And I’ve heard someone else teach that when we come to church on Sunday morning, we’re not supposed to be singing to each other or ourselves, we’re supposed to be singing to God. So the question becomes, “what does HE want to hear us sing?”, rather than “what do we want to hear/sing?” It’s not about me; it’s all about HIM.

    Interesting perspectives.

  51. cynical one wrote:

    wacky — I guess that stuff about singing to God would only matter if it’s not supposed to be entertainment.

    I heard someone say there’s 2 kinds of Christian music: music for church and music for entertainment.

    I go to a church whose pastors think it’s not a “southern gospel church”, meaning the congregation doesn’t like s/g. But anytime the choir, a soloist, or a quartet sings a s/g song, the congregation LOVES it. I think a lot of people have a stereotype in their heads about what they think s/g is, and their range of taste is actually much broader than they realize.

    And I LOVE the Vader quote. Thanks, Harry, for sharing that.

  52. BBB wrote:

    “One thing I’ve been taught lately, that many people don’t seem to understand: Worship is not a musical style. It’s a lifestyle.”

    Actually, that’s also the standard answer given by worship leaders to quiet those who wish they could hear more than just one style of music — like the loudly boring, sound-alike praise & worship songs. “It’s a lifestyle” is just code for “Please shut up; you’re not spiritual if you don’t love these songs.”

    The hymn lovers may have been in control in the past, but the praise & worship bands currently have the iron fists. Why is musical variety so hard to find in today’s church?

  53. mp3guy wrote:

    I think the first time that concept fully hit home with me was listening to Casting Crowns CD “Lifesong” - the whole album just reinforces that it’s not just our music that should be worshipful, but our entire life - and if your life doesn’t back it up, then no matter what style of music you “do” on Sunday morning, it’s just empty words. If my Monday thru Saturday “life” is in the correct place of worship, then the musical style of Sunday morning is not going to get me bent out of shape, because it is the Lord I am worshipping, not the song leader or the hymn book.
    BBB, it all depends on your attitude - I have told someone “let me pray about it” and had them react with “that’s just BAPTIST for NO” - I’d caution you about labeling someone’s “code” without the benefit of eye contact or vocal inflection. A few of the posters on here are actually reasonable, caring people.

  54. BBB wrote:

    True, those who post on this blog and those who choose music for a church can be both reasonable and caring — and at the same time, stubbornly convinced that only one style of music is worthy for worship. Period.

    But it’s not only the US-born who need to be drawn to worship by non-boring, modern music, but also people from different cultures who are now in the US — who need a way to connect to the gospel THROUGH music that might be a little more meditative.

    Churches today just seem to have a very hard time finding balance in the music that’s used. In corporate worship there is room for both quieter classic songs or hymns, and current praise & worship music, *AND* everything in between, but it’s usually one extreme or the other.

    Any one-sided musical approach shows a lack of creativity and respect for the Creator — no matter which end of the spectrum is being run into the ground.

    Of course worship is more than a corporate moment, but the gathering of believers should not willfully leave out very valid forms of music that can help reach different hearts.

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