First, this video is a brilliant piece of satire (you may want to watch it before reading my comments below). Check it out:
So I watched this video and found it to be hilarious – and once I stopped laughing, I found it unsettling. Awesome satire, it does an excellent job of critiquing the emotionally-manipulative/shallow aspect of feelings-based worship music. And here’s what it brings up for me: while the music I lead is a little different in style, I fully intend for it to be emotionally evocative, that it will hopefully cultivate an atmosphere of intimate encounter with God and community.
So here’s all the stuff I’m chewing on…
When does emotional music (or, for that matter, prayer/litanies/sermons) cross the line to emotional manipulation?
Is there a point at which our cultivation of the atmosphere of worship (sound, space, ritual) becomes coercive and/or exclusive of those who encounter God in other ways?
How do worship leaders know that we are approaching these decisions ethically?
I welcome your thoughts, wise friends.