Praise and Worship, Southern Gospel, and Abraham and Isaac Part Two – Dr. Tim Hill
Both Traditional and Contemporary Gospel songs can have their good and bad points. I think it can be said that what can be good and/or bad about one can also be good and/or bad about the other.
—Either can be unscriptural in their lyrical construction.
—Either can be difficult to sing with challenging rhyme and rhythm, and patterns that ultimately take away from the enjoyment of singing.
—Either can become redundant and lose at least some impact and effectiveness.
—Either can be too lyrically complex, utilizing words that only trained theologians can understand.
—Either can be irrelevant utilizing metaphors that are not as familiar, if at all, to some audiences, younger or older.
—Either can be constructed to only appeal to the emotions of the audience more than the edifying of our Savior. While emotion is inherently a part of our music and worship, it’s always much more important for a song to stir passion for and about Jesus than any other purpose it may serve.
—Either can be “over-used.” There’s a reason a song is called a “hit.” Every genre of Gospel Music has them. When a song is extremely familiar, it tends to get used a lot and can become a “crutch” to lean on if a singer or worship leader is unprepared or unrehearsed.
—Either can become performance-driven by the singer(s) rather than a led and inspired corporate expression of worship where everyone may easily participate.
On the other hand:
—Both can serve to lift up Jesus.
—Both can inspire people to a closer walk with God.
—Both can serve as discipleship and teaching opportunities set to music.
—Both can prepare hearts to receive the preached Word of God.
—Both can serve as a means of involving more people in the worship expression and experience.
—Both can be lyrically impactful to the point of being little “sermons set to music” that reach unconverted hearts with a message of God’s love.
—Both can put a smile on the face of Jesus evoking his “Well done, my good and faithful worshipper (servant).”
Everyone has an opinion, a preference, and a taste in music. Our Heavenly Father does, too, and here it is:
“Sing to the Lord a new song; for He has done marvelous things … Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth: burst into jubilant song with music. Make music to the Lord with the harp and the sound of singing. With trumpets and the blast of the Rams horn. Shout for the joy of the Lord, the King” (Psalm 98).