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passion movement

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Perfect Theology:
Music Worship Part I

Perfect theology. Who has it? While listening to the final CD released by one of my favorite groups, I got to wondering why a good chunk of it was very latin-esque. The release is full of requiems. And there is something beautiful and haunting about them. Kind-of Catholic in their feel. What was the influence?

I did a little online research. I wasn’t happy with my discoveries. This has just led to more confusion for me regarding music and theology.

A lot of the lyrics in the songs are very repetitive. Some of the repetitions are a bit spooky. It seems the aim here is to put the listener into the mood of meditation, or contemplative prayer. This is where the whole thing begins to get shaky for me.

Christian music is a weird concept, if you step back and look at the big picture. I guess it serves its purpose. But how do I know if there is a different agenda going on with the bands and the producer, record label, etc? As a musician and former professional music critic, I approach my analysis from these angles.

It has been well documented that this band split because some of the members wanted to go off in one direction, and some others. One of them joined up with a big movement in the South called the Passion Movement. Here is where it will all get fuzzy, so try to keep pace with me.

The Passion Movement will certainly have its supporters. Most recently, 60,000, to be sure. They gathered at a conference that is held annually, growing each year. It is targeted at college students. Seems every big movement targets youth. Music is certainly a winning attempt.

College students are full of energy, vitality, hope and are malleable. They are students after all.

Without going into too much depth of this movement, the leaders are just another group of people professing special revelations from God. They lead people, chiefly through music, to “empty their minds of everything.” To repeat certain key words over and over. To meditate upon a loving God. To feel. But not to think. Not to meditate upon the holiness of God.

They can put a “Christian” label on these activities. But when you empty your mind of “everything,” part of “everything” includes the truth. The Word of God. What people do not realize is chanting biblicalthat when they do this, and chant phrases again and again, and sing phrases over and over, they enter an altered state of mind. And when you have an altered state of mind, you open yourself up to all the spiritual realm.

Darkness finds you. All that glitters is not gold. It seems beautiful. Something about it attracts. But be careful! The clearest way I can explain it is to give you an illustration. Lord of the Rings fans, it is like putting on the ring! It is like embracing a palantír, or seeing stone.

All of your thoughts, intentions, your whereabouts in the physical realm, your weaknesses, everything is being revealed and spoken to the darkness.

This practice is like partaking in Eastern religions and slapping a Christian label on it. These musical chants are nothing more than mantras. And contemplative prayer is holding hands with transcendental meditation.

Part 2

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