Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why I Sing (Even Though I Don't Sound that Good)

    I sing a lot. I sing while on hold talking to friends on Skype. I sing in the shower. After I'm done with this post, I'm gonna sit down at the piano and sing, even though I have a cold and I sound like I have a clothespin over my nose. I sing while I do school, I sing with my music that I stream, I sing to my Christian music, I sing to my fight music, I just sing a lot!

     One of the more interesting changes I've noticed in myself since I began listening to more contemporary music with a clear conscience is that I have become unafraid to get caught up in my music. I'm willing to sway to my music, willing to raise my hands (though usually that's when I'm by myself in my room), willing to clap. I'm willing to get involved with the worship, something I absolutely would have frowned upon three or four years ago.

     After looking over an online discussion on the subject, I started going over my arguments and thoughts for more free worship and expressive worship. The most striking passage I have ever come across is Ps. 150, particularly the simple phrase, "Praise Him with the loud, clashing cymbals!"

     Now, I have yet to walk out of a Baptist church service with our grand pianos and hymnbooks and say, "Whew, that was a Ps. 150 service!" Shout to the Lord? Dance before Him? Praise Him with loud, clashing cymbals? Where is our passion to worship and glorify God, to stand in awe of Him and praise Him for who He is and all He's done?

     The psalms are in so many cases strikingly different from the songs we sing. The psalms over and over again point back to the greatness of God and the smallness of men. They praise Him for His attributes, praise Him for His sovereignty, praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him for His just judgments, and praise Him for His omnipotence.

     I'll be honest, I don't know why we believe it's normal to go through life as believers without enthusiasm for God and His glory. How is it that we can go to church, listen to the proclamation of the gospel and God's deep and abiding love for us, but then worship by glumly singing "I Surrender All" for the fiftieth time.

     What David calls for in Ps. 150 (if you haven't yet, you really should look at it (here). The kind of passion David is describing is loud, boisterous, and quite frankly, there's no other way to say it than dramatic. Loud clashing cymbals? Dancing? His basic message is to praise God with every instrument at our disposal at the loudest pitch possible. As is consistent with his statements in other places to "shout to the Lord", our praise should be loud and wildly joyful in who He is, not restrained by intellectual knowledge alone. There should be an intellectual and an emotional response to a gospel that appeals to both our intellect and our emotions.

     David's psalm reflects passionate worship, vocal and very loud worship. So my thoughts are rather simple. We should not be afraid of worshiping loudly, vocally, and passionately. So yes, clap those hands, sway that body, and raise those hands in the air. Praise Him for all His wondrous deeds!

1 comment:

  1. Though I object to the second half of your title there, I think your post is pretty spot-on! :)