Q. My son is a pastor and is fighting the contemporary vs. traditional church music controversy. I’m sure you’ve fought this one or at least may have written some pieces on it. Will you help me to help him?
A. The purpose of music in church is to help people praise God and worship Him. Whether a particular song was written yesterday or 100 years ago should be irrelevant as long as it serves the purpose of bringing people closer to God. The idea that God picked a date and declared that all music written before (or after) that date would be unacceptable to Him doesn’t make any sense to me.
But it isn’t just the music. It’s the format too. Contemporary services are very different from traditional ones. These differences often contribute to the problem, because people have preferences and can be pretty stubborn about them. Pastors whose congregations aren’t big enough to offer both traditional and contemporary services often have to choose one or the other and risk losing people who don’t agree with the choice.