A CHANGE, A CHANGE

has come over me.

If anyone knows the music of the late Andrae Crouch, would recognize the lyrics.  “He changed my life and now I’m free.”

I read this particular quote this morning and it seems to have an effect on me as I continue to grow in many aspects of my life, especially in the method of worship.  I’ve had had some thoughts to the music I’m exposed to in the worship experience.  This is not a problem while living in the Philippines so I’m mostly speaking about my time while living in the United States.  There has been a change in what has been presented from our churches in the last 30 years, I’m speaking about Seventh Day Adventist, since I’m a member and perhaps for nominal (Sunday-keepers) churches, perhaps the same could be said.  This is the quote:

“Your singing is far from pleasing to the angel choir. Imagine yourself standing in the angel band elevating your shoulders, emphasizing the words, motioning your body and putting in the full volume of your voice. What kind of concert and harmony would there be with such an exhibition before the angels?” –Select Messages, Volume 3, page 334

Perhaps the first created beings, angels, would best be our example in terms of proper worship through singing.  I can accept the thought our experience can have an effect on our singing.  They, the angels, (in heaven), have never sinned, we have.  They are a higher form of creation, we are lower, so is it they learn from us or is it we learn from them?  Since none of us has ever heard angel’s singing or worship and our best source of information is from the “Pen of Inspiration”, doesn’t it make sense to read, consider and learn?  Do we let our own desire, bias and supposed culture to color our worship through singing to the point where we are offensive?

When I consider the quotation, I review the many groups I enjoy, today, the many I’ve seen in concert and place my idea of angels among them.  I can honestly say I cannot see them participating.  I don’t think it is their idea of worshipful praise to God.  So, why is it we think we need to express our worship differently than they do?  One of the most striking thoughts I have heard was:  “The angels are very concerned about us because it is THEIR home which will soon be opened to us!”  Think about it.  How many of us get concerned when a family moves on our block, next door to us, and it appears they’re not going to fit in?  The same applies.

The answer to the question, I’m not sure; but, what I do know as I’m getting older, as I’m drawing closer to God, those things which entertained me, pleased me, doesn’t do it anymore.  I’m scrutinizing that which I used to take for granted and I believe it is due to my need to do so while I’m being scrutinized for a place within the heavenly realm.

The chapter ends with this relevant quotation:

“Your voice has been heard in church so loud, so harsh, accompanied or set off with your gesticulations not the most graceful, that the softer and more silvery strains, more like angel music, could not be heard. You have sung more to men than to God.”

Who’s being worshipped here?  Man or God?

 

April 27, 2015

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