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The Hindu Roots of Worship Music

By Danimal ~

Perhaps my largest objections to the organized church is its music. Hymnbooks have been largely discarded in many churches in favor of "praise and worship" or simply "worship" music. The music and lyrics are simple, easily reproduced by any "worship team" with minimal talent. Unfortunately, the lyrics are often bereft of meaning and frequently repetitive. Consider the lyrics of this song:

This is the air I breathe.
This is the air I breathe.
Your holy presence living in me.
And I, I'm desperate for you.
And I, I'm desperate for you.

If you are like me, you are mystified by these words. Picture singing them six or seven times in a row. Worshippers will always have their eyes closed and maybe their hands raised. They often describe their minds as empty during these songs.

To a person with Aspergers syndrome or "Aspie" such music can be sheer torture. Because I am a highly visual thinker, I am unable to form pictures of worship music. In short, my thinking process stops, and I quickly become very anxious and even frightened.
However, I doubt most Christians realize how much Hinduism has permeated the church. In Hindu meditation repetitive phrases intended to empty the mind is called "mantra". Christian musicians have adopted this technique, and the sheep can't seem to get enough of it. I find the music phase of a church service to be highly contrived in order to manipulate emotions and attitudes.

I find it difficult to believe that a rational god would enjoy such music. However, we aren't dealing with a rational deity. I remember being severely criticized for not wanting to listen to christian music or keeping my car radio tuned to K-Love. Far better to tune to public radio or listen to some excellent pieces by Beethoven.

I wiggle my ears for your comments.


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