"[C]harismatic believers have a right to develop their own theology and exegesis, and they have done this well." After all, it's a free country, and in the United States that freedom especially gives believers the liberty to design worship and forms of devotion geared to popular sovereignty rather than beholden to an official church or governmental liturgical agency. The trouble, however, as Hustad explained, is that charismatic forms of worship are not readily compatible with non-charismatic religious traditions. For this reason, he warned that "noncharismatics should not thoughtlessly copy or imitate [charismatics'] worship formulae, unless they expect to enter the same "Holy of Holies in the same way." Instead, religious adherents of historic Protestant traditions "should develop their worship rationale based on their scriptural understanding, and then sing up to their own theology."I offer this as food for thought, not as dogma. I don't profess to be a worship expert or even one of other fine minds. What is significant about this argument to me is that it is a discussion about music grounded in its overt theological purpose, not merely abstract arguments about form and message. The question is to what degree the form of music is shaped by the theological intent. Can non-charismatics sing non-charismatic words in a form adopted from charismatics in authentic, biblical worship? Is a form necessarily affected by the purpose of its origins? Are there other questions, perhaps even more important ones, that have not yet occurred to me?
To take it a step further, what if we applied this reasoning to conservative fundamentalist music? Given that so much of the music written in the past 150 years or so was explicitly revivalistic, or intended to prepare for or to elicit an emotional response to an evangelistic sermon, would the same line of reasoning not hold true? If Hart's argument is right, then those who are disturbed by invitation responses that are motivated primarily by emotions need to abandon forms that are rooted in revivalism.