(Editor’s Note: This video and introduction is brought to us by our BJS columnist Cantor Phillip Magness. He got the video from fellow cantor and BJS chapter founder in New York, Stephen R. Johnson. Cantor Magness writes the “Not Your Grandfathers’ Church” column for BJS.)
AND THEY WANT THE LOST TO TAKE US SERIOUSLY?
by Phillip Magness
We’re thinking of showing this to our junior confirmands and our high school youth,as an example of why we don’t embrace what most people call “contemporary” worship” (even as we use plenty of 21st-century compositions in our own Divine Services).
I know this seems “out there” – but musically it’s actually better-played than some of the stuff I’ve heard in LCMS churches trying to be “hip”. The point, therefore, is to illustrate how dated “pop lite” sounds just a few years later. I believe this was originally broadcast in the late 1980s, just a few years after “New Wave Music” ran its course. I’m sure those who hold up “freedom” as their ultimate ideal will think it is terribly “judgmental” to show this. But I believe we are called to have good judgment and need to teach people how and why the church seeks to make good, discerning decisions in the arts. Sanitized and behind-the-times even when it was originally performed, the mediocrity of the composition is exceeded only by the poverty of its theology. But hey, “who are you to pick on someone’s theology and their art when they are so obviously sincere!”
I think the show was “Hour of Power”, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone will recognize the host who comes on at the end of the clip and help us out.