Thursday, October 16, 2003

Art, Worship and Entertainment

Art and Worship can be friends because creation or expression of art can be an act of worship. Viewing or hearing art can inspire worship. But entertainment finds no place here as a goal. Sure, one could be entertained by art, but that must be a by-product. If one seeks to be entertained, he will reject any art that doesn’t entertain him, he will miss the gift that was given him and play with the box.
As a worshipping musician, I have problems with being asked to package either my art or my worship in such a way as to satisfy the entertainment consumer who evaluates his worship experience like a new single on Bandstand . Its got a good beat, I give it a 93.
That mentality is fine for bandstand because that is what the music was created for – for people to like. Darn the day we started calling the music “worship”. Darn the day we started calling entertainers “artists”. Its easy to see how this happened. At some point the music existed as a worship vehicle so we called worship worship. Many thought that the term referred to the vehicle and so we stopped calling the vehicle “music” and started calling it “worship”. Music still means music, but worship no longer means worship. So when we evaluate “worship” we are reading the market and deciding if our product is still in demand. Yes? Then we miss whether the result is worship. No? Then we tweak the product until the answer is yes and we miss whether the result is worship.
G. H. would say, “read my lips”. G. W. would say, “make no mistake”, I am not willing to sacrifice even my music for entertainment purposes, let alone my vision for a worshipping congregation who no longer believes that I am trying to play a style of music that makes them emotional, nostalgic, or causes them to dance. I would so much sooner lead worship without music than continue to let music confuse the call of God to the foremost activity He has given man.
Who do you blame? There is a whole culture malnourished because they’re curbing their hunger with candy. They are so busy procuring what they want that they don’t even notice what they need.

© 2003 rod Lewis