Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#103 I WILL LIFT MY HANDS - by Vineyard

Get ready people, because right now your old buddy Andy is going to 'go there'. This may be uncomfortable for some of you, so drink your energy drinks, buckle in, strap on a helmet, and get your earholes and eyeholes ready for some capital T truth from the Andinator. Here goes:

This song cheats (oh, and I might start referring to myself as the 'Andinator')

There, I said. Do I regret it? I don't know. Do I regret being honest? No. Do I regret being true to myself. No. Do I regret killing that hobo in Saginaw, Michigan? Who's to say? I just know that someone had to say it, so I said it.

You see, back in my heyday leading the Grace Covenant Church youth ministry, we did worship all the time, and for a lot of the kids, it was pretty easy for them to show their worship in a physical way, with the raising of hands and whatnot (should what-not be hypenated? should hyphen-nated be?). 

But, of course, for some of the kids, it wasn't so easy. That's when I'd go to page six of the youth worship leader's handbook** and break out ol' reliable, "I Will Lift My Hands". Since the words I Will Lift My Hands were said like 67 times during this song, you virtually had to have your hands chained to the floor NOT to raise your hands. (page 7 of the youth worship leader's handbook instructed us to not chain our kids hands to the floor - they were pretty clear on that one).

**NOTE: Said handbook instructed you to go to 'I Will Lift My Hands' only if Audio Adrenaline's 'Get Down' didn't work. (spoiler alert: 'Get Down' is not on this list). 

With all this harsh truth, we needed a little shot of adorable.
I sort of recall thinking of this as cheating while it was happening, but I'm not sure that I really cared all that much. Modern worship music includes plenty of songs that instruct us to lift our hands, to raise our voice, to dance, to shout, to clap, and in general to just allow our inner worship to be expressed by outward manifestations. (Of course the song, 'Worship the Lord by Punching Your Neighbor in the Face' was not that big of a hit. Just another reason to avoid Hillsong's 'Something About Jesus, And Worship, and Blah, Blah, Blah' album).

All this brings up an interesting philosophical/religious question. Should we use some songs as tools in order to coerce people to 'get into' worship, or should be let it happen organically? I remember quite vividly the very first time that I ever raised my hands while singing a song, but there was no external prodding involved (this is a story I will almost certainly share later in the list).

And yet more questions probably deserve discussing as well:

1. Are outward expressions of worship NECESSARY in order to be fully engaged?
2. Could sort of 'faking' outward expressions and 'going through the motions' eventually lead to genuine outward expressions because you've opened yourself up to them?
3. Do outward expressions sometimes take the place of, and perhaps even eventually replace, real, true, Spirit-led worship?
4. How do you get dried moose blood off of a spatula?

Well, you know what? Maybe these questions go unanswered. Maybe in a few weeks or months people can hammer away at them in the comments section. As for me, luckily, I don't really have to worry that much about those questions anymore (except for the one about the spatula, I'm planning on having scrambled eggs in the morning). 

Touching the Father's Heart #29, released in 1997
As for the song itself, initially, I was going to leave it off the list entirely, because of my bias towards thinking it was a 'cheat'. But as I gave it another listen, I realized it still is a pretty darn good song; and that's what we're all about here at AndyPro, Inc. And even though the song comes in at a Stairway-to-Heaven-esque seven-plus minutes, it still deserves a place in the list, even if it's only as an alternate.

ANDY NOTE: Alternate songs outside the top 100 will only be able to serve in the top 100 if something happens to one of the top 100 songs. For instance, if 'Shout to the Lord' gets busted for heroin, then he's out. If 'The Heart of Worship' comes out as a lesbian, she's out. Heck, in our first list of the 100 Greatest Worship Songs of All Time (which came out in 1978), we had to get rid of 'How Great Thou Art' because too many kids were singing Fart instead of Art. 

ANDY NOTE #2: In case you haven't noticed, I like to start out most of my blog posts with a sort of mass appeal to everyone (nice images of worship, cat pics, etc). But then, as each posts progresses, it becomes more and more irreverent and offensive until by the end of the post there are only two people left still reading. So, since there are only two of you left reading, could one of the two of you tell me why I decided to make 'Shout to the Lord' a guy and 'The Heart of Worship' a girl in my little tale? 

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