Monday, February 8, 2016

Proper singing

When I was a kid, the teachers at church in the Wednesday night kid's classes would tell us to sing songs. If we did not sing, we got in trouble. Sometimes they would not give us candy if we did not sing. Sometimes the best singer would get extra candy. Colossians 3:16 had absolutely nothing to do with it...

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Nor did Ephesians 5:19...

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Instead, the singing was about sounding good for our parents and the other people in the audience. It never had anything to do with the word of Christ in wisdom, and the songs did not teach us anything. At that time I was not saved (I was trusting in the "sinner's prayer" and "asking Jesus into my heart"), and so I did not have grace in my heart either.

It is my guess that this type of child training in the churches is why we have so many bad songs in our song books that do not teach sound doctrine or the gospel of grace. It is also why we get in the habit of singing in church and when we get done with a song, we don't even know what we said!

This bad child training on music is probably why some people come to choir practice on Sunday afternoons, but don't stay for the Sunday evening service (like a certain Southern Baptist church that I know of).

Teaching a child to sing in order to sound well for the rest of the church listening is wrong, it should be directed to the Lord.

Teaching a child to sing for candy is silly.

Teaching children to sing better than the other kids in order to get more candy turns the song service into a talent show, not praise to God.

Teaching children silly songs that do not actually "teach" them the gospel or anything else is a waste of time. 

And these bad teachings do not leave you as you get older. These habits stick with you.

--Eli Caldwell

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