Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why do we use music to praise God?

So I've been thinking lately about how music is such a central part of how we praise God. Then I started wondering... why? Why did God give us music to praise Him?

Is it for God’s sake that we have music?

I mean, is more meaningful to Him than just saying the words of praise? If what really matters to God is what is in our hearts, then it means the same whether we sing it or paint it or write it or simply say it.

But maybe God receives aesthetic enjoyment from our songs. I guess this could be true, especially since Jesus is human, but still I imagine that the aesthetic value must be relatively small compared to the glory of heavenly music. I don’t picture God saying, “Let’s give music to the humans because I’m getting tired of all this angelic singing.”

Of course, then you might counter that it isn’t what our music sounds like that makes it beautiful to God, but what we’re trying to say to Him and what is in our hearts, right? Which brings us back to the idea that simple words of praise are just as beautiful and meaningful to God as songs.

Now, maybe I’m missing something here, but it seems to me that if God didn’t give us music for His own enjoyment and benefit, then there is only one option left… and just think of the profound implications of that!

Monday, October 12, 2009

By All Accounts, I Should Be A Disaster

From birth, I was destined to be destructive. Before I took my first breath, my cells were coming together, laying out my destiny ahead of me. As a baby boy, little did I know that four out of five crimes are committed by males. Little did I know that my parents would get divorced, doubling the likelihood that I’d someday commit a violent crime. All these statistics weighed heavily on me before I could even stand up and walk.

And as I grew, I made choices of my own, placing myself into more categories, into more statistical groups. I played the violent video games that are supposed to make people more aggressive. I rocked out to the angry music that is supposed to inspire me to take harmful, rebellious action against society. I watched the violent movies that are supposed to desensitize me to brutality.

In addition to that, I have the means. I own a number of weapons – guns, swords, daggers, axes, and so on. I am somewhat of a recluse. I like wearing black. I have vague anti-establishment leanings. Etc.

By all accounts, I fit the profile of killers like those at Columbine or Virginia Tech.

And yet, here I am sitting in my room – not locked in a prison or laying in a grave – typing up these musings. And, believe it or not, despite all the evidence, I have no desire to go shoot anyone, at a school or otherwise. In fact, I have no desire to harm anyone by any means.

Alas, my dear statistics, I have failed you.