I’ve mentioned here that what is considered to be “sin” changes in the Christian church. There is no universal standard, it’s just what fits the culture and conventional wisdom of the time.
The same thing applies to “church music”. What is considered to be blasphemous to one generation, or one branch of Christianity, is the holy music somewhere else.
I had an uncle who was a missionary. When he returned to our small town church, where he grew up, I remember him remarking at the Sunday service, “It’s so great to be back where real Christian music is sang, without the syncopation.”
I was watching Pat Robertson answer “viewer mail” several years ago when someone asked him if Christian rock music was Christian. “If it doesn’t have a strong bass beat,” was his answer.
It worked both ways. Church music performed in black churches in the South was taken, with little change I’ve heard, into the bars to become the blues. There was much criticism by the gospel community of this church music gone drinkin’.
All this was brought to mind by an article this morning on a Christian web site where a Christian rock artist spoke of the barriers to performing his music in churches. It must be as true today as it has always been that some music is what God wants in His church, and the rest is music of the Devil.
It’s just that God tells different people, and different generations, different things about church music.