Monday, November 12, 2012

Musings on Woven Hand and Worship Music

Woven Hand's "Winter Shaker"
The circle is vicious of
Thoughts altogether vain
Haunted by battles lost
Still living on Idian land
I clap my dirty hands
Given over to self and left
To own devices
A quaking in the person

All his glory

All his glory

Deep devotion

At the bottom of the sea
Iniquity goes down like water
I have been staff struck
By a finger in the sand

All his glory

All his glory

This circle is vicious

Spoken behind the hand
It is the storm
That brought me in


It may not be a secret, but I do not enjoy worship music or what passes for worship music these days. That does not mean I don't find value in it, nor do I think we should be rid of it. I know many who find fellowship and solace in songs and hymns of old.

I considered for a little bit that it could be hardness of heart. The idea troubled me for a little bit before I realized that as a kid I didn't enjoy worship music that much either. Also, Braveheart manages to make me cry like nothing whenever I watch it. Maybe it is something different.

Maybe the painting of a different portrait upon the same canvas is necessary. In Winter's Shaker, you have native American ritualism, but instead the lyrics are perfectly Christian. I have found the song to be a little confusing, though I'm mildly confident that David Eugene Edwards has based the first stanza on the first three chapters of Romans and coupled it with his background.

In some ways, I do wonder if the Holy Spirit is speaking to the person through his own culture, or if the person giving praise is worshiping his own deity. However, thinking about being "star struck by a finger in the sand" harkens back to Daniel's interpretation of the "writing on the wall" and yet reveals something far stronger: what happens after? The recognition of sin or the 'vicious circle.'

'Spoken from behind the hand' could indicate fear or oppression (consistent with how we treated Native Americans) and yet the doxological (new word) statements of praise seem consistent with Paul in Romans 1l.

Either way, the song offers plenty to chew on.

I consider the song to be as pure worship as I can ever imagine, as not only do I find God in the music speaking to me, but I can sense community and fellowship with the original artists. I do not go to worship music to be propped up or torn down, but to get a glimpse of the Divine calling amidst human longing and our often pitiful attempts to communicate the transcendence of God. This in fellowship with others creates community and a desire to listen further.

Or, to put it more personally, I would be terrified encounter David Eugene Edward's God. Maybe that is what worship music should do. Just thinking.

For a snippet of an interview with David:
David I’m curious about your upbringing, I'd like to hear it from you what it was like to be raised in such a conservative protestant church.
We grew up under the law, we grew up in the Nazarene Church. It was a part of the holiness movement, which started out in Texas in the 20’s I think. It was all about your behavior. You didn’t play cards, you didn’t go to movies, you didn’t drink, you didn’t smoke, you didn’t dance, women didn’t wear makeup, women didn’t wear the color red, and so on. From one Sunday to the next Sunday, if you did any of these things you were constantly told you’d go to straight to hell. And so you had every Sunday to re-give your life to Christ. But if you died in the middle of the week, you were going to hell. That’s what I was being thought as a child.

You abandoned this church at one point…what happened?
My mother had a nervous breakdown, she just lost it…and that was it for me.

That’s not a way to live a life...
No it’s not. It’s no way for anyone…no one can measure up to it. And the people who think they are measuring up to it are lying to themselves. Or maybe they deceive themselves to the point that they actually think they are better than others. But they’re not, and I think most of the times they know they are not, and they’re just playing a role because people will think of them as sinners if they didn’t. That’s why you see when a TV preacher or a public person makes a mistake and is being caught with another woman, the world just jumps on that like a lion.

Right, because they’re hypocrites...
But that’s the whole point you see, every man is a hypocrite! Every man! The man pointing at the hypocrite is himself a hypocrite. We are all liars, whether we preach to large crowds or friends. Every one tells other people what they should and should not do, what’s good and bad, as their own set of laws. And then every person in its turn does the same. I’m telling you, there is no end to the laws; you have to drop’em all, you have to drop’em. You have to say to yourself I can not keep the law, I can not do it. The only way to stop sinning is to realize that you’ve already been forgiven. The only way to stop doing evil is to realize that God does not longer hold your sins against you, because of what Christ has done for you. There is no tally up in Heaven as in Oh, look what he did now – that is what the Devil does, and he brings it to God’s attention every time. He is the one who keeps a track of that and brings it up to God every time, Look! And God says I already paid for that with my own blood, thank you very much. It’s a finished deal. This was taken care of on the cross. But we’re still living this creation out, until it’s the time to be done. His kingdom is not of this world, it doesn’t belong to the Catholic Church, it’s not in Rome, it’s not in a building, it’s not in a box hidden in somebody’s crypt. There’s no magic in anybody’s bones, there is no magic in any of this stuff.  There is only you, the complete sinner - and God has completely forgiven you for what you’ve done. And you still have the free will to receive what he is offering to you, which is complete absolution. If you choose not to, then this is the only thing that you will be condemned for, because it is your choice. Everybody’s sins, everything evil anyone has ever done, has already been forgiven. And you can take this to Hitler, or to the best person you know.
For the full interview, enjoy it here.


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