I've been stuffing this in the dark cave of unthinkable thoughts and unfeelable feelings for over a month now. Well, that's not solving the problem. So here goes.
I looked around church on Sunday and realized that of the 120 or so people present, only 8 of them were under 40 years old. . Do you know what that is? That is the sign of a dying church. Do you know why that is? In our case, it is largely because certain people in our church have elevated their personal taste in music to the level of core doctrine worth effectively de-fellowshipping the associate pastor over. Considering that, I expect I will eventually be de-fellowshipped myself, either for my foolishness in expressing my views on this, or because I will soon have to bow to my conscience and sing the special with my tambourine and a drum track, in one last ditch effort to prevent any visitors from being aurally bored and tuning out before the sermon starts, rather than being energized to focus their attention on its lesson(s).
Young people visit our church, find the music far too traditional (may I say dirge-like?) for their tastes, and move on, never to return. The associate pastor attempted to remedy this by bringing some slightly more contemporary music into the service. I'm not talking about drums or guitars or tambourines. I'm talking about recently written praise hymns, arranged in the most traditional fashion possible... that is to say, with only piano and clavinova as accompaniment, and slowed tempi. This was enough to provoke the folks who think that drums are demonic, guitars are going to cause members to begin fornicating in the aisles, and tambourines are an offense against the Holy Spirit, despite the fact that every week included at least as much traditional music as contemporary.
May I say that I am appalled by the arrogance and ignorance demonstrated by the weekly complaints? Horrified by the results? Completely at a loss as to what I could or should have done to prevent this? At even more of a loss as to whether a remedy is even possible at this point?
Do I need to insert all the relevant verses in the Bible about how we are to worship enthusiastically with song, AND musical instruments, and DANCE (oh, that horrifies some of you doesn't it, that a worshipper might actually be moved by the combination of music and lyrics to sway to the beat, or clap... in syncopation?).
Before you tell me that all the attention should be on the words and none on the music, let me ask you, if you heard Peter's sermon (Acts 2:14-39) in a completely expressionless monotone, would you even be paying attention by the 25th verse? Would you be cut to the heart as the original hearers were in verse 37? Or would you be bored, distracted, disinterested, annoyed?
Those are precisely the feelings of all those young visitors who find the staid, funereal, traditionally arranged hymns to be a pseudo-musical monotone. Not exactly spreading the Gospel, is it? Instead, it is constraining the Word into a narrow little definition that doesn't challenge you. You are comfortable with your self-righteous definitions, and the young are being lost because of it. I am horrified and ashamed.