Do We Take Our Singing Seriously?
If a song speaks in scriptural language, then we may use it to glorify our Creator and to teach and admonish one another to more faithful and fruitful service (Colossians 3:16). However, I might add what I have preached many times before, “It is just as sinful to sing unscriptural teaching as it is for the preacher or class teacher to teach false doctrine in the pulpit or in the class room!” This translates into the following: We must take our song service just as seriously as we do our other teaching responsibilities. Do we? Sadly I'm afraid the answer is at least “not always.”
I have had brethren say something like the following when I was talking on this subject: “Well, I don't pay all that much attention to the words of a song. If I like it, I just sing it.” Can this possibly be translated into “worshipping in spirit and in truth” as we are told we must for our worship to be acceptable (John 4:23-24; Colossians 3:17)? I hardly think so.
Some time ago I made a booklet about this subject and handed it out to members of a congregation. I wonder how many read that booklet and how much they were affected by its contents? The booklet took many of the words and phrases we frequently sing in our assemblies, which if you ask the rank and file of the membership if they know the meaning of many of these words, an honest answer would be, No! For example “night with ebon pinion.” How about “the panoply of God”?
How may one sing “with the spirit and with the understanding” when one doesn't know the meaning of the words one is singing? The obvious answer is that one can't! Does this not make this an important subject to consider? Again, the obvious answer is yes, it does! How seriously do you take a matter such as this? Will you think seriously about it and make a greater attempt to understand what you are singing? I pray you will.
Editor’s note - What do you do when you see words or phrases in songs that you do not understand (1 Cor. 14:15)? To sing as God commands, we have a responsibility to find out what they mean. Do you?