If I had seen this on a TV show, my first reaction would have been something along the lines of how cheesy it was. Then I would think something about how cheesy TV was in the 1970s. I don’t deny the talent of those performing or the work they have put in, but…..
…This is from a church: Hillsong in London- and it was only done last year. What were they thinking…?
Leaving aside the song: ‘Silent Night’- the clue is in the words. However you re-imagine it, it involves ‘silent’, ‘night’ and ‘calm’; it is really hard not to miss that….most 4 year olds would get it….
Some Christians have complained about the ‘raunch’ or that it is not ‘worship’ and how terrible that is. I don’t really have a problem with any of those concepts: Christians can perform, guys. Maybe too it was in the context of something presented to people who don’t yet believe…that would be fine…but….
My biggest problem is this: if you believe it, the incarnation was small, frail, fragile and barely noticed by those in the ‘centre’ (the carol, old as it is, picks this up)… the way this song is presented misses this entirely. So I have the following points:-
-What is this about ‘big’ ‘loud’ and ‘better’ that seems to typify some churches? I can understand your desire to ‘reach’ people, but do it in a way that aligns with the message and does not try and ape the world that you are trying to give a counter view to.
-Someone,somewhere must have had misgivings about the artistic direction and given a dissenting view: ‘Nice idea, but….lets rethink this…’ before it got any further. Or is this the kind of place where ‘Leadership’ (capital ‘L ‘) is venerated above ‘community’ , so any kind of alternative view is ‘heretical’, ‘sowing dissent’ or ‘not being faithful’? I have been around churches and ministers like this and it is not pretty.
-Everything needs recontextualising or re-imagining from time to time. The best way of doing this is understanding the tradition you are changing and being sympathetic to it. The worse kind is ignoring any tradition and doing something different as we know best (I cringe at some churches blurb that goes along the lines of : ‘we are not like other churches- we are hip, happening and fun’….).
The most I managed of this video was 53 seconds….I challenge you to try longer.