Thursday, March 8, 2012

Congregational singing

Jason Helopoulos, guest blogging for Kevin DeYoung, noting that one of the most contentious issues in the "worship wars" has been music, suggests some points about which everyone on every side ought to agree.
  • Biblically Informed Words: Whatever we sing, it must be biblically informed. The song is Christian and meaningful in worship, because of the words sung. If the words are wrong and unbiblical then the song has no place in Christian worship.
  • Theologically Profound Words: The songs we sing as a body before the throne of God should reflect the very nature of God, who He created us to be, and what He desires from us. We are to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt. 22:37). We are to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23). The songs that we sing before Him should be filled with the glories of His truth and thus have an air of reverence about them. ....
  • A Simple Tune: Some tunes are just too complex for corporate singing. They may be beautiful, but what good is it if everyone stops singing because they can’t sing it? ....
  • But Not a Simplistic Tune: ....
  • A Consistent Tune: A lament should sound like a lament. A song of thanksgiving should sound like thanksgiving. ....
  • The People’s Voice Being Heard: Congregational singing is congregational singing. .... When God’s people sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” we should be able to hear God’s people sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The loudness of the instruments or the individuals/individual leading the congregation can actually drown out the voices of the congregation. ....
We may not agree on whether we should sing traditional hymns, psalms, contemporary hymns, praise songs, etc. We may disagree about whether congregational worship music should be accompanied by an organ, a piano, guitar, or praise band. But whether we love hymns or songs, traditional or contemporary, it seems like these above points are a starting place in determining what music should be at the center of our congregational singing. [more at the link]
Worship Wars–Proposing a Few Ground Rules – Kevin DeYoung