måndag 19 november 2012

Is it all right to Rock for Jesus?

A friend of mine who used to be a free church evangelical asked me this question the other day. The use of Rock music in worship has respectable credentials, since it has its origins in the baptist Pentecostal churches, with congregation mostly of African origin, the the southern states of the USA. Elements of the style - its characteristic rhythm and tonality - come, no doubt, from the tribal music of West Africa, from whence it was imported along with the people, who were also imported. So what is the problem with it?

In principle, nothing is wrong with it, any more than there is anything wrong with Lutheran and Wesleyan hymns, or the music of the seventeenth century Anglican church. All of these are expressions of a Protestant from of worship and behind them is a Protestant spirit and a Protestant theology. If you hold to that, then it is perhaps hard to argue that there is anything wrong with Rocking for Jesus. But would Jesus join in, or purse his lips and leave? What music would Jesus want to sing and listen to when the Lord was to be praised?

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