I have seen this from Colson’s site and on several blogs in the past month or so. (Now posted at Christianity Today: Soothing Ourselves to Death). Radio host, author and and former Nixon adviser Chuck Colson wrote how he heckled a worship leader in a worship service. Colson seems to draw a line when Christian entertainment moves in and he attacks contemporary Christian music as "slipping across the line from worship to entertainment" Somehow it is an "either or" issue for Colson, not a "both and" in his article. I think teaching can and should be entertaining–at least in the respect that it holds people’s attention and accomplishes the act of teaching. I finally feel the timing to put my two cents in on this.
Colson’s opening line:
When church music directors lead congregations in singing contemporary Christian music, I often listen stoically with teeth clenched. But one Sunday morning, I cracked.
He loses me right here. Especially the part about shouting out loud, "NO" to the worship leader. At least he is honest about his views. But what I sense the real story is here is that Colson is miffed that his brand of talk radio is passe, perhaps. Here he shows those cards.
This trend is evident not just in theater-like churches where musicians—with their guitars and bongo drums—often perform at ear-splitting levels. It’s also true of Christian radio, historically an important source of serious preaching and teaching.
I think that a discussion about the content of music is great and thinking is truly important. But there is nothing wrong with the tool of what he calls "entertainment" which literally means "to hold ones attention." There is nothing wrong with also connecting to the soul. (See my post: Right and Left Brain Worship).
Judging the motives of music people is a stretch by Colson. This is an example of why his voice, which has a needed and tremendous perspective, is getting ever dimmer with the next generation.
When will our seasoned conservative voices such as D.A Carson or Colson learn to lose their caustic demeanor they show and have a real dialog with the next generation? This is so much needed.