Christianity Today online has an interesting article about an atheist visiting churches after he sold his soul on ebay. One particular line jumped out at me:
"He was also impressed with the live music, something absent from the atheist conventions he attends. The quality of the words, however, was another story: 'I have no idea who writes the lyrics to this stuff, but it sounds like what a four-year-old could write: "God is good. God is strong." And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.'"
Ouch!!! Let me give a defense of these songs ... well, um ... okay, I can't. He's right. So many of the worship songs used today are written by those with a convenient and superficial theology. Why? Why is it that this criticism, which has been ongoing for years, has persisted?
Well, when 'contemporary' music began to be used in the churches, most churches and schools that were capable of training people how to plumb the depths of the Scriptures were anti-contemporary music. So, who could these people go to? Where could they learn the Scriptures?
That created a problem: those who were writing good (or at least decent) music with so-so lyrics were not going to be exposed to great Bible teaching because they were shunned from those camps. Today, most (not all) of these people are in Charismatic circles (Matt Redman, Paul Oakley, etc). Typically (and yes, I'm stereotyping), they aren't known for their great Bible teaching (though Calvary Chapel has some very good Bible teachers). So, the song writers of today are drinking from a very shallow well ... and I think that is at least partially why so much of the contemporary music is shallow.
Don't get me wrong, I think some of it is GREAT. Some of it isn't shallow, but fairly deep. However, most of it isn't, and this atheist's comments were right on the mark.