The Worship Music Wars Are Waning And Hymns Are Winning

The worship music wars are finally winding down now as Christians begin to admit that worship music sucks. Nobody likes worship music. Nobody ever liked worship music. Everyone just pretended to like contemporary worship music so they would fit in. They suffered through the jangly juvenile diddies hoping their sacrifice would lead young people to join the church.

News flash! The young people don’t exist. Birth control is what decimated the church. Not hymns.

So why did we waste the past twenty-five years arguing about music?

It’s so that we could passionately fight about something but avoid arguing about substance. The bible clearly teaches us to have kids. The bible clearly teaches predestination. The bible explicitly commands women to keep silent in church. The second coming occurs after the tribulation. There is no separate rapture.

When’s the last time you heard these subjects preached from the pulpit? Not since 1990. If ever. All of those things sound so awful and mean spirited. Preaching on them would just drive attendance down, right?

So in the 90’s the church began avoiding those weighty matters to chase a soaring spirit of musical worship. Out went all the hymns about blood and wrath and tribulation. In came the Christian Mickey Mouse club.

“Enter into the spirit!” the worship leader angrily yelled to the congregation, “It’s time for goosebumps and shivers in you spine.” Old people tried to sing along but got lost in lyrics projected on the overhead like this: YEAH YEAH YEAH x3.

People wanted to argue about music and dress. Young passionate leaders with real hearts took to the forefront. They staged demonstrations in committee meetings, ripping off their ties, condemning anyone who didn’t wear pajamas to church, and scoffed incredulously that the church wouldn’t spring just $26,852 on a new sound system.

By 2000 they started winning big time. Churches had that pivotal congregation meeting where the youth pastor insisted they could have hundreds of young people if they only voted to go contemporary worship. And everyone thought it would be suicide not to go contemporary.

So we’ve all been singing contemporary worship songs for like 14 years now. And what happened? Church attendance has dropped off steeper. There are fewer people now! We still don’t have the young people they promised. And the old people gave up fighting death because they hate worship music so much.

I hate worship music too.

Worship music reminds me of the delusional fantasy America descended into in the 90’s. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Bill Clinton campaigned and won on totally vain issues such as school uniforms. That’s the political equivalent of arguing about worship music.

That’s what we wanted the national political debate to be about. Vanity. For example, what if Bob Dole campaigned on destroying the Taliban? What if in 1996 Bob Dole warned us of Osama Bin Laden?

We would have said “Shut up Bob! Bill Clinton is jamming on the saxophone!”

Yet in just five years after that we were off to war in Afghanistan. 2001 was when a war that had been brewing for since the Cold War finally hit home. And when it hit us in an unavoidable way, we thought it came out of nowhere.

And so it is with the church. We have an unavoidable war with apostasy. We’re actually arguing about gay marriage in the church! That’s more than just a substantial matter. It is an essential matter! Yet it seems like it came upon us suddenly.

No. This apostasy gained ground while we chose to argue about worship music rather than learn about the mind of God through studying scripture.

The bible says to speak the truth. Okay. Worship music sucks. Nobody likes it. Everybody likes hymns but is afraid to admit it.

If we had stuck to preaching the word of God as written, we would have scared off all these wannabe worship leaders before they caused division among us.


  1. Ron says:

    As much as I appreciate your blunt-ness, I whole-heartedly disagree with every syllable of what you said. To put my feelings in a similarly blunt manner, I would like to point out that modern sermon topics and worship music have been aimed at growing believers and reaching out to non-believers, not creating hate and bigotry. Hymns have never stopped being popular, and as a worship leader, I often incorporate them in with modern worship songs (which people don’t seem to hate at all). The younger generations love hymns and modern worship mixed together, while the older ones tend to be the ones who cross their arms and express distain that this generation isn’t a carbon copy of their own.

  2. Brian says:

    Nice article. I used to tell churches that focusing on the youth would bring down income, ’cause they don’t tithe. I like a few worship songs, but the bulk of them are lyrically shallow, and most talk about what God can do for them, which is reverse worship. I wouldn’t miss it if it went away. I do believe in a rapture, however.

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