Kraavdran wrote:But what about songs that don't focus on emotional states but still, for a specific individual, feel like they are mocking God or just singing the song for the sake of completing the words?
Could you give me an example? I'm not sure what this would look like.
hm... good question. I've been away from music for quite a while, so I can't think of any ones off the top of my head. And, to a certain degree, I don't want to mention them even if I could. After all, lyrics mean different things to different people. Like with the "love's like a hurricane" song that we talked about a while back in this thread, their lyrics are completely valid and I don't want my incompatibility with their lyrics to dissuade them from singing that song or appreciating it. Although, now that I've mentioned it, perhaps that song would be a good example. As I sing it, I feel like I'm saying negative things about God. Of course, I know that everyone doesn't feel that way about the song.
In terms of the "just singing the song for the sake of completing the words..." I'd have to say that most songs are like that for me, for whatever reason. Perhaps they are too quick to reflect... or too slow/repetitive to want to keep track. Or the words just don't hit me in a meaningful way at a given time. Without music to help mesh everything together, many things can fall flat for me in particular.
Kraavdran wrote:From what you have described, I'm glad to hear how balanced (all encompassing) the songs are in terms of human nature etc.. That sounds really cool.
So when are you going to visit an Orthodox church?
haha, perhaps when I start feeling a bit better.
Kaori wrote: Please take this with a grain of salt because I am not a pastor and don't speak authoritatively for the Church (on the contrary, I am just a beginner in learning about Orthodoxy), but I'd like to cautiously say that probably the ideal would be attentive listening. To listen to the lyrics and contemplate the teaching and doctrine in them, to mentally engage and think about how those lyrics could be true and what they mean: for you, that would be participation. Generally, I think as long as you are mentally engaged that is a good thing.
Well, that was very well said. And, probably, the same sort of thing that I would tell someone in my own situation. And, maybe, it would work better if I visited an Orthodox church instead of one of these protestant churches
Kaori wrote: Speaking of my not being a pastor, have you considered asking your pastor what he (or she) thinks?
You know, I can't remember if I have asked him or not. I want to say that I've mentioned it in passing, but maybe I have not. Although, to be honest, he would probably be fine with it because he is ok with stuff like that. We even have an "abbreviated service" as the first service for people who don't want anything but a sermon (and discussion about it) and announcements. It is technically there for people who take care of the kids and stuff during the primary service, but many people go there so they don't have to go to the rest of the service (for various reasons).
Kaori wrote:Because you've been saying some things about feeling pressure to conform to what others are doing and being worried about not fitting in if you do not, it kind of sounds like you might benefit from going to a church that doesn't have much congregational singing and in which most people in the congregation don't sing (some Orthodox churches are like this, depending on the parish, and the RCC is also known for not having strong congregational singing, and my experience with the Catholic churches I have visited matches this stereotype). Some churches tend to have a few people who sing for the benefit of others, and while a few people in the congregation might join in, most do not. However, the kind of churches I can think of that are like this are liturgical (Orthodox and Catholic), so I guess you would not like their liturgical style.
That is a rather astute observation. Actually, I have felt that way in most of my church-visiting life (quite a few years now). I only recently (beginning of this year) finally switched to a (in my opinion) healthier church. It is really nice, but I don't think that I've fully detached from the feelings of musical obligation. But, it has given me the opportunity/freedom to wrestle with these types of questions and ideas. Hence why I started this thread.
Which, now that you mention it (and going back to the original post concept instead of my personal experience)... perhaps disliking music in a church service is not a terrible thing because a person can always go to the rest of the service. No sense "throwing the baby [church fellowship and teachings] with the bathwater [music]." Right? Church worship services do try to appeal to the widest audience, but can't cater to everyone (those who dislike music or can't jive with certain types of music). In this way, perhaps it is only natural to make music an optional part of church. Just thinking aloud.