A friend recently received this letter:

Sir:
 
We have sought to find a church that honors our Lord and is true to the Scriptures.
 
There are churches that have Biblical beliefs and good Biblical exposition, BUT:
 
I experience suffering when visiting some churches. I suffer when music is a distraction from words, when the beat takes over, when there is mindless repetition of a word or phrase, when I can not mentally turn off the music and respond to the words, when the words are self centered, when the words main emphasis is personal feeling, and when the words are not words of worship of our Father in Heaven.
 
What has happened that churches have changed?  The gospel has not changed but the music has become distracting and very self centered.
 
Sincerely,

. . .

_________________

This is what happens when a "new tradition" (notice the oxymoron) in worship music is created by an isolated segment of the church according to its own theology and tastes.  Instead of offering what it has to a larger tradition of which it is only a part–a very risky proposition–and of which it is increasingly ignorant as it develops within its own envelope, its vision narrows and its parochial interests, particularly in worship, become increasingly offensive to those are, or become, out of sympathy with the beliefs and tastes of the sect, and whose argument against it is that its Christianity has become muted by its private identity.

The complaint we have in this letter, that the worshiper finds the music distracts from the principal thing–the words–may be anything from a sign of personal weakness to be addressed by personal discipline to a valid indictment of an entire movement's understanding of and approach to worship.  Without knowing more I would be hesitant to advise.  What I am more sure of is this: Churches that claim to be orthodox but are not vigilantly self-critical in matters of worship will eventually reap the whirlwind.  In that day it will appear that many of those who fled because they could no longer stand the service weren't just snobs or cranks (who admittedly abound in these environs), but partisans of the Necessary Things.