Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs: A Great Variety

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart." Ephesians 5:18-19

"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." Colossians 3:16

I love the fact that God provides us with a variety of songs to sing His praises. He did not command us, "You shall sing the psalms and the psalms alone!" God never said, "Those hymns have deep theology. Sing only those and no others." He also did not demand, "I like those modern, hip choruses. That's all I want to hear."

God cares for what is in the hearts of His people. That's why He's provided us with a wide-range of acceptable music. If He limited us to one narrow form, it would be very easy for us to slip into an outward, works-based form of singing. Instead, God enjoys all sorts of singing from all cultures around the world.

The bible verses above show us that God has provided us with a variety of song types. He seems to desire this variety. After all, He created it. If we could travel the globe we would see Christians singing all sorts of praises to the King. While the words we use must be orthodox in nature, the music seems to be able to take on just about any form.

It is fascinating and sad that some churches continue to fight the so-called "worship wars." These wars are based on selfish preferences as opposed to anything in scripture. God likes variety; why wouldn't we embrace this as well?

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