There is something strange that happens between worship music and myself, and also, i think, between other people my age that i know want to proclaim the christian faith. That strange thing is, i think, a kind of conviction.
The music enters with power, whether beautiful or not, into our consciousness, without any permission, without any question of its entering or not. It just comes into our senses whenever we hear it, our ears performing their listening abilities perfectly. And so, having heard the music, we hear the words, the gospel proclaimed, and our pasts and histories and our present lives are laid before us. The difference between our lives and the words, and our lives and the life described in the words, becomes painfully apparent.
It is important to say here that it doesn’t matter whether the lyrics are shit or not, or whether they are even theologically sound! that reasoning is yet to come. what is immediate to our souls and senses is the experience of distance from the witness of these songs. Before a word is said, if we have the feeling that it is a religious song, we are already worried that it will lay bear, or at least accuse, our spiritual inadequacies. Perhaps we should criticize this, but who do we criticize? No, instead we should pay attention to our fear.
We are afraid of being found out, of being “outed” as spiritually bankrupt. Beyond this, we are afraid that the people around us will realize that we in fact DO care if we are spiritually bankrupt or not, that it does matter to us that we cannot lift our hands in praise, cannot stomach most church services, cannot maintain even the simplest theological dialogue with a person from a different generation. These are deep points of embarrassment.