Monday, August 16, 2010

Undignified or just plain nonsensical?

So, haven't written anything in a while. Since I'm pretty certain my awesome girlfriend Anna is the only one who reads this regularly, I don't think anyone else will mind. So, got back from camp about a week ago, this time from counseling high schoolers. The band there was really great, and in addition to being really musically talented, they had a gift for directing attention away from themselves and towards God as they led our worship.

I had an issue with one of the songs they played, however. You have, perhaps, heard of, probably even sung, the song "Undignified." You know, "I'll become even more undignified than this, though some may say it's foolishness..." That song. A couple years ago, I read an article condemning that song, as well as a few other more modern worship songs, for being very shallow, mostly meaningless, and taking what was nominally its inspiration (2 Samuel 6) wildly out of context. I hadn't considered it that way before, but when I read the article and thought about the song, their critique seemed dead on. Fast forward a couple years to camp last week, and when that song comes on, immediately all the thoughts from the article come into my head. I immediately recognized that the song was meaningless, a stupid attempt to engage young people in worship, at the expense of everything worship should be. Well, I certainly wasn't going to fall for it. I wasn't going to humiliate myself by jumping up and down and waving my arms. I certainly wasn't going to "be mad for my King." Wait. That didn't come out right. What I meant was... that... um...

I realized something about that song, as my campers physically grabbed me and forced me to jump up and down. The words don't contain any important doctrine or theological idea. It certainly isn't a hymn or anything like it. And that's all-right, because that's not the point o fthe song. It's a very simple song, incorporating very simple actions, based on one very, very simple premise: the premise that worshiping God is worth more than our so-called dignity. As we get older, we tend more and more towards thinking that preserving our dignity is more important. We don't like to jump around because we think--correctly, in most cases-- that it makes us look ridiculous. However, for me at least, that was the whole point of the song. Whenever they played the opening notes of that song, and they played it multiple times throughout the week, I was forced to decide what was more important: praising God at the cost of appearing absolutely ridiculous, or preserving my dignity while all the other kids praised their heavenly Father and King. It took me a little while to decide correctly.

So, short post, just something I thought of at camp and wanted to share with anybody reading this. Hopefully in the next couple of days I'll get another one out, get back into the groove.

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