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See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. – Ephesians 5:15-21

I heard Alistair Begg on the radio this weekend and he was preaching about how truth can be working its way into (hearing) and out of (doing) our churches. He made a comment that once Biblical truth gets put into a creed, confession, or hymn book, it soon becomes part of the church. Because once so recorded it becomes an important, and oft repeated, statement for the church then the people are more likely to remember, apply, rely upon, and obey that truth.

Speaking specifically about singing the truth he said, “As the church sings, so shall she live.” Churches that have their worship songs full and overflowing with rich Biblical truth teach each other through their singing – just as we are instructed to do in Ephesians chapter 5.

Later, as I thought about what he had said my thoughts wandered through a list of a few churches we have visited in the last year, some of which are singing popular songs that contain very little truth. They sound nice, they make people feel all warm and fuzzy, but they are devoid of rich, deep statements of truth. Come to think of it, they sing these songs for the most part because they think that is what the people want to sing. When we are singing shallow, man centered, kind of “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs we really should not wonder why so many churches are shallow and man centered in other aspects of their worship.

I am not arguing traditional vs contemporary or even for singing only old hymns – Ephesians 5 is clear that we are to sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. What I want to know is where have the doctrinally rich songs full of truth gone? Why do we sing vainly repetitious mantras that lull us into a shallow, false sense of understanding when we could be praising God and at the same time teaching each other deep, applicable, time tested truths from God’s Word?

A friend of mine and I were discussing this very thing and he commented that worship with these types of songs seems to be lacking in “meat.” Many songs today cannot even be considered “milk.” I said that they are really more akin to formula than milk, a man made substitute for the real thing.

By now, shouldn’t we be teaching each other the truth instead of being spoon fed pablum in the name of worship? We may feel full but we are not being nourished. If it is true that as the church sings, so she lives, then perhaps our churches and her songs need to grow up.


July 2009

Honors and Awards


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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