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Give Love Away
August 23, 2008, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Christian Experience, Culture | Tags: ,

I was recently invited to a CD release party for a new worship CD called “Give Love Away”.

I’m pretty sure the CD won’t be given away.

{crickets}

Give love away, but my music is copyrighted and sold, thank you very much.

Should our model for the distribution of worship music be the model of pop/rock music distribution?

Keep in mind that the cost for the distribution of music is next to nothing these days.  Digitize it and throw in on the internet, and then Christians everywhere can listen to it for free, right?  (Minus the cost of having an internet connection and a computer, I suppose.)

NOTICE: I’m not criticizing the worship music, the musicians or the song writers.  I’m calling into question the system of distribution. If this sounds to you like a bitter, self-righteous tirade, that’s not my feeling or intention.

How does this system benefit Christians and Christian churches?

The only benefit that I can see with the current system, is for publishing houses and folks who want to become worship stars.  (A worship star is the worship music equivalent of a pop/rock star.)

We don’t need publishing houses any more, right?  The internet has rendered them obsolete, right?

Do we really want worship stars?  Is rock/pop star a good model for our worship musicians to aspire too?

I’m sure that most worship musicians and songwriters haven’t thought much about this.  I really believe their intention are mostly pure.  (That’s as good as anyone could expect, this side of the resurrection.)  But at the systemic level, I think this poses a huge problem for Christian piety.

I do think that Christians can be rock stars; but not without a lot of pitfalls and perils in their way.  Still, a lot of vocations have pitfalls and perils.  Just think of politics or any position of leadership.

I even think rock stars can praise God with their rock music.  (U2 does it from time to time, right?)

But do we really want worship stars?  Don’t songs for worship, sung in a worship gathering, clash with the rock star persona?  Isn’t the worship leader persona fundamentally at odds with the rock star persona?

What about pastor stars.  (That would be a the rock star or movie star version of a pastor.)  In our culture, our heroes are mostly rock stars and movie stars.  It is probably fitting that we admire and look up to our pastors.  But should our model for this be the admiration we have for rock stars and movie stars?

Don’t you think it is spiritually destructive to pastors when we idolize them?  Isn’t it spiritually destructive for us to so idolize them?

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