This troubles me.
For starters, that was me in '98. I went through a very judgmental streak where I was a 22 year old Reformed Nazi. I had just been bit with the John Piper bug (click here) at the first Passion conference, and I thought the problem with Christianity was all the man-centered nonsense. "Man-Centered" was the denial of any of the five points of Calvinism (TULIP).
Although I'm not currently a card carrying "Calvinist", I still consider myself infected by the Piper bug. In a good way, I think. I love the Puritans for their grand view of God and awareness of their depravity (and therefore love of grace). I also love Piper for his prophetic voice to the modern church. But it's hard to have a conversation with myself 11 years ago, vicariously through these fellow worship leaders.
These Reformed worship leaders gladly stand behind Calvin, a man whose praxis led him to murder a guy (or two...click here for more on Calvin), but are unwilling to do Hillsong music because of accusations of "prosperity gospel." Which of their songs has anything other than Christ-exalting, God-entranced, and biblical lyrics?
I was reading one of my books on Scottish Church History, and came across this quote. It's long, and boring for those of you who are already confused by this post. But for those that are still reading, it made me laugh to think about how far we've come in our corporate worship:
"...the Reformation in Scotland, as in Germany, was born in song, and much of this music at the beginning was derived from Germany. This was especially true of the Gude and Dodlie Ballatis...published for the first time between 1542 and 1546. This collection includes metrical Psalms, metrical versions of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, a catechism in metre, popular spiritual songs set to ballad tunes, carols and anti-Romanist taunt songs such as 'The paip that pagane full of pryde', and 'God send everie preist ane wyfe, and everie nunne ane man'." (Dictionary of Scottish Church History, P. 895)
Forget this modern me-centered, prosperity gospel coming out of Australia. Why can't we get back to the good ol' days? You know, back to the days of God centered, Reformed, and anti-Romanist taunt songs.
Nevermind, let's stick with Hillsong.