Sunday, December 26, 2004

Spirituality of songs

As somebody who doesn't massively connect with God through singing in church-it has always interested me why people do. Particularly people who have no experience of church, always talk about how much they loved the singing. Even at our church, where i wouldn't say singing is a massive focus-people always talk about how they loved the music.

I really connect with God through 'normal' music-but I've never been able to work out why that is exactly. I remember one day just having a massive God-moment listening to Clocks, by Coldplay, when I was just at home. It just seemed to connect with me on a different level.

Stuff like U2, Ben Harper I also really connect with-but thats maybe because those songs often intentionally have spiritual themes.

I was talking to a bunch of Yr12s from school, and they just seemed to know what Iewas talking about when I talked about those moments when we just really connect with a song-when it just speaks of something completely different in our lives.

For many people, just driving around listening to their favourite music is a deeply spiritual experience. There'sjust something about music.

Maybe thats why so many people love Christmas Carols? They crave the shared experience of singing, free from the need to prescribe to the religiopus beliefs implied in the words...


Darren said...

I think you could be onto something mate. I'm not really into the singing communal worship song thing in this phase of my life but find music to be deeply spiritual also.

Weird thing is though that I know a number of people who are not church people who really do love it.

One day I was at a wedding which I'd just been the celebrant for and one of the mates of the groom sidled up to me. He was a big hunk of a guy, footy player, rough as guts, hadn't ever been in a church until the day of the wedding. He pulled me aside and made sure no one was listening and then he told me that he loved the service because of the singing. He told me that he records the Christian programs that are on in the early mornings on channel 10 - especially the Hillsong shows. He said he can't stand the guy who speaks about Money all the time but he really loves the singing!

He would have been the last guy in the place for me to predict that he'd be into contemporary worship songs, but something was obviously stirred inside him by it... God never ceases to amaze me with how he connects with people....

Digger said...

Thanks for the comment Darren.

I guess my question then is how we do encourage people see that as an experience of God? Maybe our 'job' is to give people the language and knowledge to name such experiences as experiences of God?

Digger said...

In reply to your post which I think you made in the wrong area Blondzila-thats an interesting thought.

I have never been a big fan of that saying 'God is love' cos its just not one I really get my head around. It just sounds a bit too much like a crappy Christian cliche for my liking.

I have wondered though, if it is true-is truly and wholly loving somebody an expression of, or experience of God?

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought on the whole 'God is Love' verse- never thought of it that way before.

Been asking people lately whether they think it's posible for humans to love unconditionaly. People have such different opinions to this question caused quite a debate!- some think through God it's possible while others think that as humans we will always sin so hence it's not. I'm still undecided (prob need to experience more of the world to form an opinion). But now I'm woundering if even God loves unconditionally (though I spouse that thought go's against everything written bout Gods Love in the Bible).

Digger said...

What makes you wonder that anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Well, hear a lot bout how God is so loving and stuff but lately more people have been talking bout the 'other side' of God, the more angry, Jelouse side.

So, if God loves us all unconditionally then whats the whole beleive in me or go to hell thing if it's not a condition- if he love how can he allow them to go to hell? never sure how much power God has over earth- think sometime I underestimate it.
Not saying I beleive all this it was just a thought that crossed my mind.

Digger said...

Yeah great questions there. One's I still don't have answers too.

I'm always wary of putting human emotions, such as anger and jealousy, with God, as our human understandings are always way limited. And particularly looking at the OT passages, the culture and language are way different and stuff.

I heard somebody give a really good explanation of the jealousy thing. Its like-its totally understandable to get jealous if somebody else is checking out your wife or husband. Made sense to me.

In terms of the whole heaven and hell thing-I really don't know about that kinda stuff so it doesn't really play a big part on my theology, but I guess I'll have to work out where I stand one day. All I know is that God loves everybody here and now and thats good enough for me.

(I'm going away for a week so won't post any more here till then ok)

Anonymous said...

What kinda started this whole thought process was when a guest speaker form youth dimentions at our youth service was talking about not going against Gods will and used an example, from the OT, of how one guy who touched Gods ark, with good intentions, was instantly killed. sure I've hear the story before, but for some reason, this time it freaked me a bit- went against what I thought I knew about God.

I always seem to make assumptions, often about people, and a usually proved to be completely incorrect (one day I'll learn). So at the moment I'm challenging my assumptions of God- one being that he Loves us all unconditionally. More than likely I'll come to the conclusion that he does but I'll have come to that conclusion for myself and not just assumed it's the truth.
Didn't mean to write such a negative sounding comment!
As with humans loving unconditionally, I'd always assumed that we could but now i'm not so sure. Had a good discussion bout it with a friend who thought it wasn't possible as humans always sin, but the famouse 'Love passage' in Corinthians hints that Love is unconditional. So if you argue that as humans we can't love unconditionally then as humans can we love at all?- totally confused my friend with this thought!
I'm sure I'm trying to think too logically about it all and using Boxes where theres no need.
May never find any answers or even conclusions but I enjoy challenging myself, though at times painful, as I always seem to come out with a stronger faith.
As with the whole 'beleive or go to hell', don't know about you but we seem to get 'fed' that a lot- but haven't really thought it through.

Digger said...

Wow, thats some fantastic thoughts, questions and theological reflections there-great stuff.

I totally know what you mean with the whole questioning stuff is painful, I too hope eventually my faith will come out stronger at the other end. But then again-should we ever stop questioning stuff...

I've never really pondered the whole can we love unconditionally question, my initial response would be yes and no at the same time. I guess we can love as unconditionally as a human can, but that is also on a different level to the love that God has for us.

In saying that, the whole concept of God loving is at times one i struggle to get my head around-one I haven't really unpacked at a massive depth.

I can dig your approach to questioning everything, keep up the good work!

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