A while ago, Michael and Lisa Gungor (of the appropriately-named band Gungor) announced that they would be taking the music they wrote as Gungor in a different direction. That music would be more artistic, secular in nature. Their more overtly spiritual music would henceforth be released under the name of another band they created, called the Liturgists. When I heard this, I had the distinct impression that very soon I would be listening to the Liturgists a lot more than to Gungor. But then we didn't hear anything about the Liturgists for a long while. Soon I began to believe that the idea of the Liturgists was long dead, and stopped looking for any proof of their existence.
Then one day, about a month ago, I received a text from my roommate. He was listening to Spotify while at work and had found the Liturgists, and it was not pretty.
He began to explain how it was very obvious in their music that their theology was wildly off course. The premise of each EP that they release is that there is usually a couple of worship-style songs and then a track which serves as a sort of devotional or meditation, with music accompanying it in the background. When I listened to it for myself, I kept fighting the urge to just turn it off until I couldn't take it any more.
The EP that I spent the most time listening to was called Vapor. This EP in particular has problems because it tries to blend evolutionary science and Eastern religious traditions while trying to call it Christianity. They quoted Scripture, yes, but they seemed to find most of their inspiration elsewhere. On their website, the Liturgists say that they "may experiment with influences and ideas from multiple traditions"; I'm afraid that they have taken those other traditions and tried to cover it up with Christian-sounding vocabulary.
For example, take their liturgy EP entitled God Our Mother. The entire premise of the EP is to think of God in a way that is never used to describe Him in the Bible! Everything about this EP had me utterly confused, and I had to stop listening after only about 5 minutes. To be perfectly honest, I was more discouraged than anything about how the Liturgists was taking shape. The music I had thought would catch my attention, I was now considering worse than Gungor's other music! (and longtime readers of my blog know my view on Gungor's latest album.) As my roommate and I continued to discuss it, we agreed that it probably would have been a lot better if the Liturgists had never been formed at all.
BUT, in the midst of all of this, I have to say that I like the format of their EPs. This idea of writing music specifically for the church, while including some sort of devotional that ties in directly with the music? I like that idea. I just wish that there were people doing this who had their religious convictions firmly planted in the Word of God.
Very soon, I'll be writing about another group that is writing music for the church, but it'll be a lot more optimistic than this post has been.
A simple servant of the Master.