Thursday, November 12, 2015

These Marines Prove That Contemporary Worship Songs Are Emasculating

Why tell you when I could show you?

Why do I say that contemporary worship music is hostile to men? Watch these two videos. Then look me in the eye and tell me traditional tunes aren't better vehicles for masculine expressions of praise.

Watch as much as you like of this first one. Maybe put a minute in? I mean, it's so anemic. oo-rah. And these guys are Marines. I thought they were the manliest of the services.


Nothing like what men sound like when singing a song that wasn't written for children and porridge-eaters.

On the other hand, we have here a congregation of seated people in a half-empty church, including women and children. Which sounds manlier? 


Why should it matter that men sing manly praises to God? Because all humans ought to praise God as they were made, and men will always be men. In fact, through sanctification, resurrection, and eternal life they will only become more and more the men they are to be.

No more sissy stuff, guys. Come on. And Marines, I know you can do better.

12 comments:

  1. Awesome. The past few years I have tried to be involved in Shape Note singing, an early American tradition of hymns. It is very invigorating to get together with men and women of all ages and backgrounds and make a triumphant noise. The method of singing, and style of song, lends itself particularly well to teaching people of all skill levels to sing powerfully in unison and harmony. Some of the lyrical traditions are sentimental, or too akin to "Poor Wayfaring Stranger," but there are many great, solid pieces as well. Isaac Watts and his peers have many, many songs in these hymnals.
    Here's a Shape Note/Sacred Harp rendition of the Russia tune to some Isaac Watts lyrics.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RizzF9HcDPw

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    1. I've attended a sacred harp group a few times as well, very fun, but mostly just makes me wish for more of the broader Christian tradition of Christian singing.

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  2. The 2nd song the Samoans were singing was "Father Abraham" which IS a children's song, and it sounded 10X manlier than "Days of Elijah" of which the singing wasn't the worst part, it was the swaying and hand motions like a teenage girls youth group.

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  3. So are classifying hymns and psalms as manly songs? If we're to praise God as we are made, are contemporary worship songs the womanly way of worshipping?

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    1. First, I would point you to Barber Trey's comment above.

      Two of the videos are just dudes. Dudes should always sing like dudes. The problem with contemporary worship songs is really that they're bad in a feminine way, that caters to the touchy-feely (if you say you're not touchy-feely I believe you). Bad in a masculine way would look like something else.

      What the Church should want and make, I think, is music that reflects the people of God as a whole, songs that manly men and womanly women would want to sing together.

      This is the worship version of what is happening in marriage today. You have a wonderful romance, but when you get into the home, there are all these modernist, individualist, and feminist ideas that have permeated the fabric of what you do. The home becomes hostile for men. So with the Church.

      Best treatment of this idea I've read is Leon Podles' The Church Impotent.

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    2. I'm not trying to throw shade here. Just curious about this concept of worshipping as we are made. I totally agree that a bunch of dudes swaying waving their hands like they're at Christian camp or a Taylor Swift concert is less than manly.

      What I really want to know though, is it inherent in the music or is our "performance" the determining factor? I think what you're saying is that much of contemporary worship lends itself more naturally to a feminine interpretation, or am I off there?

      Sadly, it doesn't seem that book is available in the Kindle store. Package delivery to Ecuador is...less than stellar, so I'll try and remember to look for it when we next travel back to the home country.

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    3. That's right, I'm saying that much of contemporary worship lends itself to certain expressions and interpretations. And I'm not saying everything lame about it is because it's feminine; for example, it's immature, but I'm not about to say that that makes sense 'cause women are immature! :-)

      Although it's possible to butcher or parodize something like Amazing Grace or the Kyrie, you have to work at it. It doesn't lend itself to crappiness. Lots of worship music these days pushes everyone to crappiness. And (back to the topic) worse for the guys, it's a feminine-oriented crappiness, all about feeling and whatnot.

      Ugh. Feelings.

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  4. I don't know about manly or womanly, but I would definitely say immature is a good word for what's going on in the marine video. But I think it's taking things a bit far to categorize all modern worship music based on "The Days of Elijah", which simply isn't a very good song-- no matter who's performing it or how. The Samoan video is awesome. But aren't those songs "modern", at least in comparison to Psalm 119X (which was also amazing)? There are good and bad songs from every era, and in every style.

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    1. I never said "modern". Well, I said "modernist" in a comment below the post. I said contemporary, and it's against that that I hold "traditional". Beyond that, traditional doesn't mean old, it just means it's in the stream of tradition. Sure, there's been plenty of poor stuff in ages past, and more in years to come. Nonetheless, our last 50 years have been exceptionally rich in dreck.

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  5. Rich in dreck. True story. I've never been fond of the contemporary songs. People tried to make me feel bad for it. But I've never disliked worship. I dislike bad songs. Bad lyrics, bad music, bad playing and singing. My music teacher used to say; just because you're doing it for church doesn't mean it can be bad. God has ears too. Do it properly. (this is for people who say that you should just let anyone be on worship team because they are "doing it for the Lord" or some such.) Bach wrote for the Lord. None of his music is bad or unmanly.

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