I discovered another searcher who might like to sit down with our little social network for a chat and a cup of tea. Surfers, head over to a blog by exxn and peruse the wares.
The blog by exxn reminds me of a story. Now keep the audible groans to a dull roar, please. For those surfers too young to remember the pop singer Bette Midler, let me just say, think of Joanna Ampil with attitude. Not helpful, well, Bette Midler sang a popular song “From a Distance” that was catching on with Church choirs everywhere. I suppose that choirmasters are always looking for that hook that will uplift the congregation from their usual musical apathy coming from those stodgy old songs. If a popular song has God in it, then it is fair game for the choir.
With that in mind, dear surfer, I will lead you back to my story. I was attending a Church music conference, and I was in a conference session that was led by a foremost liturgical musician, Michael Joncas. He was warning us against the wholesale use of popular songs in church. The fact is that words in popular songs can be considered heretical, and we should be careful when selecting popular songs for church services. He directed our attention to the Bette Midler song “From a Distance” as a prime example. Then I overhead a woman sitting near me whisper in panic that her choir was singing that same song the next Sunday. Michael went on to explain that the words “God is watching us from a distance” go against the modern teachings of the Church and the current understandings of our relationship to God. When I realized there was panic in the room, I laughed to myself.
Okay, surfers, toss out all that “what the Church teaches” junk, and think about what you believe is your relationship to God. Is God out there somewhere, or is God inside you? Where do you think exxn comes in on this topic? Do you think there is some big master plan for you, or perhaps God just nudges you each moment to help build the kingdom here on this earth? I don’t believe that nudge option was part of exxn’s scenarios. You decide.