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We watched this in a class I’m taking this semester. It’s hilarious and at the same time – deeply true. What do you think? In what ways does “worship” often become “me” centered? What evidences of this have you encountered?
As a corollary of this topic, I was thinking in church yesterday how to focus of the worship was on the worship experience itself (repeating descriptors of what we are doing as a congregation…lifting hands, raising voices, bending knees). This seems to be the sanctified way to place ourselves at the center of worship without the absurdity of the video above.
I am always a little weirded out by songs that describe actions (we lift our hands, we bow down…etc.) especially if we aren’t actually doing those actions… “we will dance for joy like we’re dancing now…” – doesn’t happen in our stuffy church. I just don’t sing these parts.
That video is always good for a laugh, but you’re right, there is definitely some truth to it. To answer your question, I think worship can become “me” centered when it becomes more about the experience of worship than the object of worship. I know that sometimes I can become more focused on how worship makes me feel– because hey, it’s fun to sing uplifting songs with a big group of people– than on the truth of the words that I am singing. That is perhaps a less obvious way that worship can be “me” centered, but I still think it’s a dangerous one.
There is a lot of self centered worship these days. For example, in songs like “You and I were made to worship” and ”Here I am to worship” (and many others), the ‘subject’ of the song is us, not God.
And like Michael’s comment pointed out, many of the songs talk about what we are doing rather than talking the one we are worshipping.
Plus, a lot of them appear to be more about finding a good rhyme than proper theology:
“I lift my hands to believe again….” Huh? The elevation of my hands affects my belief?
And some nice musical sound effects can add to the depth, right? A nice “whoa” or some “la la la… la la la….”s added to the mix really let you know what we’re singing about…..
I agree with you in general. Much of our modern, white, evangelical worship music is not that great and very self focused.
But some songs, like “here I am to worship” actually have some great theology. the verses and chorus of the song alternate between what God has done and the singer’s response.
But that is me being nitpicky with your comment. in large part, I agree with you.
“Great to share with your friends, if you have any.”
Excellent. It is meant to be absurd, but it’s no more narcissistic and self-indulgent than much of what goes on in the evangelical church. Thanks for sharing.
For a more “contemporary worship” flavor on the same idea, watch this:
There are to groups of people in this world, those who think
it’s all about them and those who understand that it is all about me.
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