Without False Piety

When our first daughter was born my wife and I were divisional youth secretaries of the Salvation Army in Rio de Janeiro, the marvelous city. It was common to have to organize and lead several youth musical activities like the music festivals and music camps. It always stunned me how our baby girl could often fall deeply asleep between sound boxes and the drums going at full volume.

Each generation appreciates distinct rhythms and melodies played in different instruments and manners. People and times change and the music of the seniors is always considered old-fashioned and boring by the young and the music of the young is always viewed as too modern and annoying by the seniors. This difference is normal and part of the natural progress of times and should not be considered mundane nor scandalize us.

How wonderful it is when the older people understand that it is better to renovate the music and to have the young people at the church than to maintain the old music and lose the youngsters. William Booth, the Salvation Army founder understood this like no one; he would change the lyrics from secular melodies of his time to attract outside people in order for them to easily sing it. Thousands were gained for the Lord in this manner and this is a tradition worth following.

Between the Bible books there are the Psalms, a book which contains the songs of Israel. This book is there as a clear reminder that music is an integral part of the worship to God. Throughout its content the generations are encouraged to recall the acts from God and to sing it from generation to generation. May the modern generations be able to do it through the modern music! May God be praised!

  • Which style of music do you appreciate the most and which the least?

  • How can sacred music be contemporary?

(Praise God with instruments, Psalms 150:1-6 – Praise God with songs, Ephesians 5:18-20)


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