Going back to Saturday's topic of shortcomings in contemporary worship song texts:
(And that is the topic. Please don't comment on how much better--or worse--you think contemporary music is than traditional, and please don't comment on contemporary vs. traditional worship issues. --Thanks!)
I believe strongly in the biblical principle of equality among members of the dear Lord's body, the church. That is a given in my congregation, as it is (or should be) in all United Methodist churches. In fact, I pray often and hard that throughout the whole Body, we may all come to embrace this principle of living in Christ.
That said, I am troubled by how exclusively masculine so many contemporary song texts are. If we were talking about traditional texts (smile), we could certainly level the same charge, but with this BIG difference: contemporary songs, by definition, have been written during the past twenty-some-odd years. Only during my nearly half-century of life has American English come to be relatively gender-blind, but that is the common language situation today. We should be singing, in large part, in the common language in our contemporary worship.
And mind you, I'm not talking here about language descriptive of God, though I have thoughts on that issue as well. I'm talking about our language concerning our fellow human beings. Like it or not, "man" no longer commonly means "the human race" or "humanity." It means a singular male human being. It's no longer either generic or plural.
So why in the name of all that's holy should so many contemporary worship songs still utilize generic masculine words and phrases? Why do so many current writers fall back on archaic usage that, frankly, offends a whole lot of non- and new Christians unnecessarily...and not a few of us old Christians, too? In my opinion, it smacks of a smug disregard for the need to present the Good News of Jesus Christ in a language that those seeking the Christ can understand without stumbling. The words people sing should lead them TO God, not away from the church.
[rant over...for now.]