Here's a nice take on contemporary worship, written by a relative outsider to the debate:
I would invite you to note specifically his observations on the emotional appeal being made in this type of activity:
I felt prodded by all the techno-gadgetry to become emotional rather than feeling free to engage in the kind of worship and praise that requires no pomp and circumstance, no elements of a major theatrical production. I felt as if I was being induced into a hypnotic state of spiritual euphoria by the on-stage stimuli that failed to lift my thoughts even beyond the ceiling. It was for me all simply a distraction, an impediment, to worship.
This confirms, once again, our hypothesis that CoWo is essenentially an emotional pitch. As we've discussed, emotional appeals in Church carry serious risks, including:
- Eclipsing the objective truths of Scripture,
- Creating a human-centric experience (what then, are we really worshipping?)
- Relegating Christianity to an Oprah-Winfrey like therapy (or jazzercise?) session.
God's gifts in the Word and Sacraments are lost, and the spiritual health of its participants are at risk through this kind of service. It is my prayer that Pastors and Musicians repent and forego the momentary allure of the pop-music service, and trustingly defer instead to the saving powers of God's Grace through the power of His appointed Means of Grace.