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March 10, 2006
Vol. VI, No. 4

"Easter Services Canceled?!?"
Some months ago, I received an email from a community member informing me of a book entitled "Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader." I ordered the book, by Dan Lucarini, and, when I finally got around to reading it, I was glad I did. Here was a book that actually took a stand against Praise bands and their music.

It's one thing to complain about traditional music and pipe organs being pushed out of churches and it is quite another thing to publish a manifesto against this movement, complete with supporting chapter and verse from The Bible. Lucarini's book pulls down each pillar of the Praise movement's defense and does so outside the realm of personal opinion. Nicely done.

I recognized the brands of churches Lucarini talks about in his book. I have Rampaged in the past about churches that remove all traces of the Cross from the sanctuary and skip those parts of the Bible that talk about sin so as not to make anyone feel bad about themselves. And I almost Rampaged again when stories started hitting the wires last year that the mega-churches were planning on being closed on Christmas Day because it fell on a Sunday. I still have a few printouts of those stories and it's interesting to go back and read them after reading Lucarini's book.

"If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched..." begins a quote from a church spokesperson in one of the articles. Lucarini addresses this kind of flawed reasoning. A church's mission isn't to simply reach the unchurched but also to minister to its members--all of them. Not just the ones who want to stay home on Christmas or hear rock music in church.

In the same article, another church spokesperson says, "We believe that you worship every day of the week, not just on a weekend, and you don't have to be in a church building to worship." Follow that argument to its logical conclusion and you'll find yourself wondering why you need a church at all. Hardly an argument to rely on for a church that wants to keep its doors open.

In referring to the mega-churches giving the day off to their volunteer workers, another spokesperson actually compared these mega-churches to shopping malls. Too fitting!

The main problem with the arguments for praise music or closing the church on Christmas is that they aren't based on theology so much as they are on making sure people feel good about themselves. Otherwise, why would the members keep showing up. What I'd like to know now is whether these churches are going to remain open on Easter, seeing as how it falls on a Sunday. And how do you explain Easter anyway without discussing the Cross or sin? Can you explain Easter with an Easter egg?

Click this link to read comments and offer your own:

Musical Question of the Century III -- VOTE NOW!!!
Is there a Praise Band active in any of your church services?

Rampage Follow-up
It was brought to my attention that "Brahms and Liszt" is Cockney rhyming slang for being drunk. Being further clueless about Cockney rhyming slang, I did a little research and found this website:

Also, a couple of "eagle eyes" correctly spotted my misuse of the term Conspicuous Consumption. The concept I was actually reaching for is called either Engineered or Planned Obsolescence.

Updated Pages
Composition Free Exchange:
Added are compositions by community members Christian Faddegon, William Kistler and Roberto Spadoni. I apologize to each of them for the great length of time it took me to post their compositions. In particular, William Kistler's is an Advent piece and I know he submitted it long ago in hopes of having it available for downloading this past season. On the bright side, Advent is only nine months away!

Musician Jokes:
Added is a new knee-slapper, hee-haw!

Book Store:
Added is "Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader" by Dan Lucarini. "For many churches today, music has become one of the most important factors in both their mode of worship and their attempts to reach unbelievers with the gospel. Writing from his own personal experience as a former worship leader, Dan Lucarini questions the use of contemporary music in the worship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and shows why he believes many churches have been deceived into using ever increasing worldly means to 'reach their lost.' He has seen at first hand how an emphasis on music, and the ultimate move towards rock music in particular, has caused divisions in the church, and turned the emphasis in worship away from the Lord towards ourselves. This warm and heartfelt account is intended to highlight these dangers and to help churches wishing to reverse this trend return God to his rightful place as the centre of our worship."

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO..."Rock and Roll Over" by Kiss. It had been a long time since I last heard this album in its entirety. My favorite group from Jr. High days, Kiss helped put the spectacle in rock and roll music. I also happen to think they write some pretty good songs. This album was recorded during their peak in the 70s and it is nearly flawless. Click the link below for more information on this CD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's CD Club:

WHAT I'M READING..."Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse. I was a teenager when I originally read this book so I really didn't remember anything from it other than I liked it. It's a quick read, compelling yet peaceful. I prefer this particular translation as it seems more poetic than the others I've looked at.
Click the link below for more information on this book:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's Book Club:

WHAT I'M WATCHING..."Working Girl (1988)" Starring: Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Melanie Griffith. Director: Mike Nichols. I found this in the Comedy section, hadn't seen it in a while. A nice little story about 'stickin it to the man,' or the woman in this case, with great music by Carly Simon. Always fun to see a movie set in New York City, too.
Click the link below for more information on this DVD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's DVD Club:


Have a great week!

Dan Long

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