Take the Book of Psalms, for instance -- a book full of songs that would never make it in the church hymnal.
I mean, try to imagine the people in your church all joining in a rousing chorus of, "strike all my enemies on the jaw; [and] break the teeth of the wicked" (Psalm 3:7, NIV).
This would be followed by the choir, singing it's arrangement of,
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks" (Psalm 137:8f, NIV).And for special music?
Why, Lord, do you reject meand hide your face from me?From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;I have borne your terrors and am in despair.Your wrath has swept over me;your terrors have destroyed me.All day long they surround me like a flood;they have completely engulfed me.You have taken from me friend and neighbor --darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:14-18, NIV).To be sure, there's some happy stuff too.
But for every round of the Hallelujah Chorus, you get another psalmist who is singing the Blues.
And just like the Blues, the Psalms sing about life in a world where it's not always easy to see God -- a world where hearts get broken (but people still fall in love) . . . a world where the bad guys win (but the good guys struggle on) . . . a world where we have every reason to give up (but we're not quite ready to throw in the towel just yet).
No, the Bible isn't pretty.
Not even the Psalms are pretty.
But then again, neither is life.