mardi 20 janvier 2009

The language of expediency

I meant to write about this last fall after driving by a church that had the following message on its sign: TTYL, I'll BRB. - Jesus

Personally, I believe church signs end up being more humourous than life-changing whereas others are just mind-boggling (as in why?). Remember the church sign generator that was a big hit in the blogosphere a while back? Well, I figure some of the real ones are probably funnier than anything I could ever come up with.

Anyways, back to this particular sign. As much as it's a groaner, it definitely points to our culture's use of shortcuts in language. We're so used to having everything instantly that even our speech is shortened to make this possible. This made me think about the songs that we sing in church, especially the songs that are sung during the young adults worship services.

I know complaining about worship music isn't new but this has been a growing frustration for me. Why is it that the majority of the songs that we now sing are composed of three or four word sentences? Without naming any particular songs, here is an example of what we seem to be singing nowadays:

God is here / Let us come / We raise our hands / And lift our voices / To worship Him / With our songs / And our hearts / Together we sing / Of His love / etc.

So not only are we singing simple sentences, one after another, but they don't say very much at all (yes, I know I made three references to singing all at once but there are some songs out there that do this)! These songs end up becoming more about us than about God. There's a lack of theology and of the richness and beauty that accompanies the hymns and psalms that we once sang. I don't want to lose that in the quest to reduce things into smaller, shorter, quicker "packages". I'm not advocating that we go back to archaic language that says a lot and isn't easily understandable but I am suggesting that we be more intentional about what we sing as we praise God - are we singing these songs just to get lost in the emotion or are we worshipping God in spirit and in truth as He has revealed Himself through Christ and the Bible?

Okay, maybe I'm a bit biased as I do prefer this to this :)

What finally prompted this post is this text abbreviation post from SCL. Hilarious. And I hope not true... although WOTAM fits in nicely with what I've just written.

Libell├ęs : ,