GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 566 • September 25, 2020
SPIRITED SINGING MAY NOT ALWAYS BE SPIRITUAL
Apostle Paul said, “I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15). I’m sure I would have enjoyed singing with Paul – I would be happy to let him lead, and I would try to match him in the spirit and the understanding too. I’m sure Paul would know and appreciate the difference between spirited and spiritual singing. A catchy tune with a thumping, bumping, herky-jerky rhythm and a bouncy boogie beat may have you swinging and swaying and tapping your toes or snapping your fingers while you sing — it may be ‘spirited,’ it may give you a physical and emotional workout and may even qualify as ‘joyful noise,’ and yet not be acceptable to God as worship.
Have you given much thought to what it takes to make singing an activity of worship? The song itself must be appropriate for worship and it must be sung in a worshipful way. Take a few minutes with me here for a little lesson about worship in song. I’m going to mention a few things that are not important – may actually be irrelevant – to God (you may be surprised). I’m also going to explain the one thing required for worshipping God in singing, one thing without which singing cannot be acceptable worship, one thing which, if present, will compensate for many technical and mechanical deficiencies. Actually, in some ways it is a complex thing of two parts, two sides, or two aspects. But we can bring it all together in one comprehensive statement.
Please do not leave the discussion yet. We want to end up singing to please God (Hebrews 13:15, 21), not just to please ourselves. Continue reading