I have lamented for some time now that “worship music” has become a term referring to style instead of substance. It concerns me for a few reasons. First, the style is not all that challenging. Of course, the music was intended to be simple so that anyone could play it, and so that the focus would be on the words and not on the music. But if the music is to be the vehicle by which the message and the emotive aspects of the message are to be communicated, then “worshipping God” can be seen as trite, boring and juvenile.
Second, the style is not all that diverse. It seems as if the generation after the “hymns only, don’t listen to that devil music” age is starting to fall into the same rut. We’ve just cut and pasted the argument. So now the only acceptable type is the Tomlin/Redman/Crowder-type, or the Kirk/Fred-type. But what we call “worship music” is hopelessly Western. I don’t have a big problem with that, seeing that we live in the West, but isn’t our God so big that the highest heavens cannot contain him (1 Kings 8:27)? And isn’t he the redeemer of people from every tribe and language (Rev. 5:9-10)? Why can’t we sing with the nations? Why can’t we sing the songs of the nations?
To this end, I was encouraged to read a review in Christianity Today concerning a group named Aradhna. They are a group of American and English musicians who have done work in Central Asia, and it shows in their music. Their name actually means “adoration” or “worship” in Hindi. Their songs are actually in Hindi. Don’t confuse the language and the music for Hinduism, though. As I was reading the translations of their words, they are very Christ-focused. Check out the review and their website, and samples from their CD’s. Perhaps we could be singing these songs in heaven one day.