Stylistic Snobbery

Stylistic Snobbery

Posted by on Jul 13, 2011 in Church Music | 2 Comments

One thing I’ve had to be incredibly careful to avoid (and have failed to on countless occasions) is a variation of what C.S. Lewis called “Chronological Snobbery“.

Chronological snobbery is the dismissal of things belonging to a past age as being inherently inferior to those of today. In my case, having moved from a church where Gaelic acapella psalms were the order of the day – to a church where we now have drums and electric guitars, it’s very easy to slip into stylistic snobbery. Stylistic snobbery says that “We’ve got the style right now, and this is the only way to do it”. In an American context, you might want to replace “Gaelic acapella psalms” with “Stuff written by dudes called Wesley” or “Stuff that was penned before the Clinton adminstration”.

The point is that style is just that. It’s a way of doing something. But remember, It’s the ‘something’ that we’re doing that makes worship worship. The heart of worship is that worship is from the heart.

Contributed by Iain MacKinnon, Worship Leader, Isle of Lewis, Scotland