Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Saved From Ourselves

You can call it cynicism if you want, but what Christianity calls "the curse of sin" is manifest in that the more popular (hence the wider the net is cast) something is, the more watered down it generally becomes. In other words, there is an inverse proportionality between quality and appeal. If Wisdom was common, it wouldn't be valued. It is valued because it is uncommon. I see this effect in commercialization.

Just compare popular music to what music schools study. In other words, the music that the pop culture values is dramatically different than the music that educated musicians tend to value. I'm not trying to be a snob nor am I casting judgement on people's preferences. Believe me, there are plenty of three chord pop songs that I love (the latest is Celine Dion's "What Do You
Say"), but from an educated musician's standpoint, I recognize them for what they are. They are great for getting my toes to tap and putting a melodic hook in my head, but they are far from
bastions of creativity or musicianship. The more creative music becomes, and the greater the displays of excellent musicianship are present, the less popular the appeal of such music tends to be.

As a guitar teacher at Cedarville University, ( and at a local music studio, I frequently encounter young students who want to learn commercially popular music. I am able to teach them these songs when they are at a beginner level, but as they advance, I have to gently steer them away from most of this music because it ceases to present significant challenges required for their growth as musicians.

So if "the curse of sin" as Christianity calls it truly exists, then as Walt Kelly once said, "We have met the enemy and He is Us".

How do we get saved from ourselves?

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