Walking out of a movie once, I started discussing the movie with a friend, raising questions about some its themes and a few inconsistencies in the plot. After a few minutes, one of my other friends got rather annoyed and asked why we had to analyze everything. Couldn’t we just enjoy the movie?
At first I found his response confusing. For me, understanding the movie was part of the experience. You enjoy a movie both by watching it and by trying to understand what you’ve just seen. That’s why I’ve always thought the traditional “dinner and a movie” night was backwards. It’s more fun when you have dinner afterward so you have time to discuss the movie.
Over the years, though, I’ve come to realize that many people are more like my friend. For them, things like movies and TV shows are just meant to be experienced. And analytic reflection interferes with the experience. It’s like watching the sun setting over the ocean, casting its amber rays over the slowly darkening waves. Talking ruins the experience. Shut up and enjoy.
And I often find this same mindset when it comes to worship. Many get frustrated if you press on the lyrics of the songs, asking questions about what they’re saying (or not saying), digging into the song’s implicit theology. For them, that kind of analysis is antithetical to the experience of worship. You’re being too critical, too picky. Shut up and worship.
No one says that, of course, but they’re thinking it.