News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Religion

October 12, 2013

Church Lady: Music and singing in church is all about worshiping God

TERRE HAUTE — OK. Check the front of the nearest Methodist hymnal for “John Wesley’s Rules of Congregational Singing,” written in 1761. Among other things, Mr. Wesley wanted church-goers to learn the hymns before they learned any other tunes. Hymns should be sung exactly as they were written and warned that if you learned to sing the hymns otherwise, they should “unlearn” them ASAP.

Also, everyone should sing, not showing a “single degree of weakness or weariness.” Singers should sing lustily and with good courage: “Beware of singing as if you were half dead or half asleep.” Congregational singing should be done modestly, not overly loud, as that would destroy harmony. Singers should make sure they sing in time. “Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep up with it. Do not run before, and take care not to sing too slow.”

One hundred years after John Wesley put his rules in print, a Methodist minister named Russell Carter wrote a hymn of his own. It was mildly popular. Then, a few years later, Mr. Carter had a health crisis. On his sickbed, he promised God he would begin to live fully consecrated to serving God. His health was restored, and for the next 49 years, he lustily sang, preached and taught about “Standing on the Promises of God.”

Everyone sing: “Standing on the promises of Christ my King/Through eternal ages let His praises ring/Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing/Standing on the promises of God.” Do we really mean that? Can we sing that unless we really believe in God’s promises?

Can we sing “By the Living Word of God I shall prevail” when we don’t read the Bible regularly? Can we sing we are “Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord” when we don’t love God with all our heart? Can we sing “Resting in my Savior as my all in all” when we rely more on our own power than on the power of God?

Maybe, even though Wesley never heard Carter’s hymn, Wesley’s Rule Number Seven applies here. “Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing God more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing. See to it that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offer what you sing to God continually, so that your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

In other words, music is not about the music. Singing is not about the singing. Music and singing in church is all about worshiping God. Music in church never has been, never will be, about us. It’s about God. The words, the tune, the notes, the singing, the participation, the harmony. It’s about God. No matter what the song, the style, or if we like (or don’t like) the song.

Because above all, we need to sing spiritually. After all, we are “Standing on the promises that cannot fall.”

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at

vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions NASA Releases Images of "graceful" Solar Flare Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War"
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity