It may seem strange to many people that we gather up on Sundays to sing songs. They may think, “I don’t particularly like to sing.” Or, “I’m not a good singer; I can’t imagine singing in public like that, where other people can hear you.” Actually, we’re not supposed to sing because of a particular fondness for it or because of a talent for it. Here are some of the reasons the church is supposed to sing.Continue Reading...
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In this episode of the CrossTalk podcast, Wes, Sam, and James discuss the topic of singing songs of praise to God. What is singing all about? What are some of the common pitfalls we should avoid? What does it mean to sing with your heart? These are some of the things discussed on this week’s episode. We hope you find it edifying.Continue Reading...
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any time at all, you know I am a firm believer in congregational singing in the worship assembly. I believe it is biblical and I believe it is beneficial. But I also believe our congregational singing can become wrong if we are not careful. If we think we are right, simply because we are singing each Sunday, then we better re-examine what the New Testament actually says. Here are some times when our congregational singing becomes wrong.Continue Reading...
I regret that I have written several posts explaining why I am opposed to the use of mechanical instruments in worship, but I have never written a positive post, simply explaining why I believe in congregational a cappella singing. So in this post, I would like to explain – in purely positive terms – why I believe in congregational a cappella singing.Continue Reading...
Last weekend, around a thousand Christians gathered together in Oklahoma City to worship, fellowship, and study God’s word. The singing was out of this world! But I have been to some assemblies where the singing was less than God-honoring. So what can Christians do to improve the singing in their congregations?Continue Reading...
My favorite part of camp is singing at the bonfire. Here is a video of the kids at singing, “Light the Fire” tonight. I apologize that the sound is difficult to hear.
I think we all need to be singing and praying that God lights a fire in our souls!
I love you and God loves you,
P.S. What are some of your best memories of camp? Feel free to share below.
I realize many people are passionate in their defense of mechanical instruments in worship to God. It is interesting though, how few have stopped to even question whether or not this practice comes from God or from man. If one simply studies the New Testament, I believe you will find that the use of mechanical instruments has no place in making music to God.
Put simply, the reason I don’t use instruments in worship is the same reason I expect a pizza I purchase to be topped with only the toppings I order. When I call up and order my favorite pizza from Papa John’s Pizza (a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza), I expect to receive a pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple. I will not be pleased if I receive less than this and I will not be pleased if I receive more than this. I will not accept a pizza with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and pepperoni. Pepperoni might be a fine topping, but if I have not asked for it, I do not want it.
This concept is so simple! When a person asks for something specific, then their silence concerning all other alternatives is prohibitive! Put simply, when I ask for a specific type of pizza I have automatically eliminated all the other possibilities concerning the type of pizza I wish to receive. There are a thousand alternatives to any given set of instructions, and it would be ridiculous for someone to have to exhaust a list of what he doesn’t want. All a person has to do is be specific about what he does want.
If however, I simply wanted a pizza and did not care what kind of pizza I received I could be generic in my order. I could simply say, “Bring me a pizza.” I could not complain then about the toppings which were on it because I did not specify want kind of pizza I wanted. This is a generic command.
The question then, as it concerns music in worship, is: was God specific or generic about music? Some are quick to say, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 100:1)! And they are right. That is a generic command. However, that is a generic command to the Jews under the Old Covenant. If you want to please God under the New Covenant, you better look to the New Testament. It doesn’t matter what kind of pizza I ordered yesterday. If I order a new pizza today, it is that pizza order that I wish to have followed.
When we read in the New Testament about music to God this is what we read:
Ephesians 5:19 (ESV) “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart”
Colossians 3:16 (ESV) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Hebrews 13:15 (ESV) “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
The reason it is not right for Christians to use an instrument in worship is because God specifically instructed us on how to make music to Him; those instructions did not include the instrument.
Being radically Christian is about following God’s instructions, not man’s. Therefore give God what he’s asked for and be radically Christian!