NO! I CALM DOWN TO BLACK SABBATH!
Hymnals. The dreary dreadful sound of a church organ. There was never a moment in my Christian church-going life that I ever thought any of that music was enjoyable, entertaining or uplifting. Christian music, and indeed religious music in general, has always been self-indulgent and boring.
Sunday school at the involved singing. It always involved singing. The same friggin shit songs over and over and over again. No one could even come close to explaining how Jesus loves me because the bible told me so. The bible was so old, how did he know who I was? These seemed like legit questions to me. No one could answer them of course. “Jesus loves everyone who comes into the world”
“Really? How could he? I sure as hell don’t.”
I was wise for my youthful age.
The only real good thing about the hymn board is you could measure the time left in the service based on what hymn would be sung next. Whenever the presiding minister would say “our closing hymn,,,,” it was better than all the hymnals and religious music in the world combined. It was real music to our ears. Church was a few minutes away from being over. We could go home and resume what was left of our weekend. A few years later I started to really cherish my sleep-ins on the weekend. Even later on when I started to attend church willingly I rarely made it to the morning services. Instead, I opted for evening worship so I could still have my day with no interruptions.
Having long departed from religion, I have a different perspective on the spiritual path of Christianity. Hymnals were the musical interlude in between the robotic recitations of typical scripture readings. The church organist would hang back during service waiting for her turn to jump back in. The choir sat up in their special gowns making them feel just as important as the minister. The hard work of a one weeknight practice brought them to this moment. It is still the same. The songs are still bad. Still self-indulgent, and still boring.
If Jesus really was to come back, it would be to stop people from playing through these depressing sing-along’s.
Christian music only becomes so when it is given its’ title and lyrical schematics. There is Christian Jazz written as inspired thought from the “good book”. Where there is no vocals, it is easy to accept and get into the music behind the title. Take a look back at Classical music. How many of the thousands of those pieces were composed based on religious themes? If I were to do the research, the number of spiritually inspired symphonies would be very high.
There are a few exceptions to my disdain for Christian music. As a youth who wanted to play loud music and grow long hair, I gravitated initially towards Christian Glam-Metal legends Stryper. It might have been a way for me to bring more metal into the household. One of my best mates introduced me to heavier and more enjoyable Christian Metal acts like Believer and Mortification. With Christian Metal it becomes easier to focus on the music and set aside any perceived preaching in the vocals.
In the present day, those few exceptions still remain. Additional exceptions lie within a few Christmas songs. Those particular songs are attached to positive memories having zero if anything to do with faith.
Much respect to anyone who can make a living playing those boring hymns. Respect to anyone who has made a living in Contemporary Christian Music. Salute you for it. Make art, make money and make worship. All good.
I will stick to what is more enjoyable for my ears.