Congregational Voices in Worship

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ruiz, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Recently, on my facebook page, I wrote:

    "The most important instrument used in the singing of praises to God are the voices of the congregation. Churches should be ever mindful to make the voices the focal instrument of their worship. Let the other instruments accentuate the voices, not the voices the instruments."


    A couple of questions:

    Do you agree?

    Why or why not?

    Do you believe there has been a movement away from a focus of the voices as being the central and most important instrument in worship?
     
  2. Luke2427

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    It certainly is important for Christians, who are able, to lift their voices and sing praises unto God but I cannot see why your comment is necessarily true.

    There is certainly a lot in the psalms about praising him with instruments as well.

    Why do you put a premium on the one above the other?
     
    #2 Luke2427, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
  3. kyredneck

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    I say let the 'other instruments' be done away with and use only the voices of the saints to sing His praise.

    Although I do believe the simplicity of a capella is the example given by the early church, I personally do not condemn those of other orders that do use instruments. The fact is that after years of pure simple a capella singing with the Old Baptists, the sound of a piano and/or an organ glaring in the background/foreground has become downright irritating to me. I love the purity and simplicity of a capella singing.

    I think the answer to that is obvious. I've seen setups in church buildings before that some rock bands would be envious of.
     
  4. Luke2427

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    If you are sharing your preference, Brother, which I figure you are, that is fine. It is ok for you to like acapella music in the church. But if you are saying it is the way it is supposed to be- that is a problem.

    We are given the psalms for a reason. Big, loud music is commended by Scripture- not condemned. And I am not arguing for rock music. That's perhaps another thread. My personal preference is big orchestra with kettledrums and trumpets and symbols to Isaac Watts style music.
     
  5. Ruiz

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    There are several principles but also several verses to support my contention. Yet, I want to first say that I am not discounting the use of instruments, only placing them in the rightful order.

    In Hebrews 13:15 we learn, "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge"

    The idea of praise is a fruit of the lips. I am about to head out to work, so I do not have time to develop this more, but it seems that God is most delighted in the vocal praise of His people... the fruit of our lips.

    I am not discounting instruments, and the quote makes this clear. I am attacking the modern use of instruments and worship leaders to minimize the congregational singing. Maybe when I get home, I will develop this more (if I have internet coverage... moving is a pain).
     
  6. Luke2427

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    That verse can't be used to declare that the human voice is to be preferred in musical praise above instruments. The voice may indeed be preferred, but that verse doesn't prove it.

    The reason is that this is not in a musical context. And even if it were- if perhaps I have overlooked some Greek term which yields to musical context (I've not taken the time to exegete the passage thoroughly)- it still is not declaring the superiority of the voice to instruments in musical praise.

    It is simply saying- Praise him with your lips. That doesn't negate praise with your hands uplifted or praise with the harp and timbrel.

    If I tell you to go to the grocery store and buy me some milk- that doesn't mean I am telling you that milk is the only thing you can buy. It doesn't mean that milk is my favorite thing in the world. It doesn't mean that I prefer milk to grape juice. It doesn't mean that later on I will not tell you to go to the store and buy me some grape juice.

    The fact that the lips are commended for praise here does not exclude the fact that God commends other instruments of praise elsewhere. All the passage does is make certain that among the things that we praise God with should most certainly be our lips.
     
  7. trumpet01

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    If you heard me sing you would understamd why I play trumpet!? It's a talent that God has given me and I use it to praise him and give him glory. One is'nt more important than the other. Just like we all have different gifts and one is'nt more important than the other,but work together for his honor and glory.
     
  8. Jon-Marc

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    The softer the music, the softer the people will sing. The louder the music, the louder the people will sing--hopefully. The music, however, should not drown out the voices--as I have heard it done. I've heard singers who could barely be heard over the very (and unnecessarily) loud music.

    One time I was unable to hear the piano (she played way too softly, or maybe it's because I'm losing my hearing), and I sang the whole song in the wrong key. The piano player gave up and went and sat in the congregation, while I sang without music.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    Neither the voice or the instrument is what God seeks. He seeks after the true worshippers. These are those who worship in spirit and truth. Whether the voices are loud or the instruments are loud is of no consequence. True worshippers is what God seeks and accepts and they worship in spirit and truth.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    While the sacrifice of praise is desireable to God and should be part of our worship, the purpose of our congregational singing is actually INSTRRUCTION. This is often missed when pushing "music style" over the actual teaching..

    '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.' Col 3:16

    'Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.' Eph 5:19-21

    Psalmos (actual scripture put to music)
    Humnos (songs of worship for who God is and what He has done)
    Odes/Poems that are spiritual (not Home on the Range but testimonies of blessing, grace, salvation, encouragement, etc)

    Why? To both teach and admonish each other in the church.
     
  11. kyredneck

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    Thanks for that excellent post Dr Bob.

    I have marvelled many times at how informative the Old Baptist Hymnal and singing really is. The hymns can be a great source of articulation when one is having difficulty finding the words to descibe something.
     
  12. Ruiz

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    To a point, I agree with you about the Hebrews verse. However, the word "Praise" is most often used in this context in a musical setting. However, I agree it may be extended to other aspects though I believe it is most rightly seen in singing. It places the emphasis on all areas on the voices.

    As well, when we talk about the "praises of God's people" there are two points I think needs to be made. First, the philosophical. Can we agree that in worship we have to have the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? Can we agree that this does not require musical instruments? It seems reason enough that what is required and most important are the voices of God's people. While instruments are not evil, they are not necessary. Voices are required in the congregation of God.

    Secondly, Scripture points to singing, not to instruments, as being the cornerstone of praise. I cited Hebrews 13:15, but we should also note Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. They make no mention of musical instruments but placing the imperative on "Singing" or the voices of God's people. While instruments are not forbidden and I believe implied as a part of worship, instruments are not the imperative, singing is the imperative. Psalm 149:1 intrinsically links praising and the singing of the congregation. Again, while instruments are used, they are not used in the imperative. WHile there are verses to allow us to sing with an instrument, they are not always required. Psalm 100 says to come into his presence with "Singing."

    So, when the Bible talks about praises to God, there is no instrument like that of the voices of God's People.
     
  13. Ruiz

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    I agree, but that is why I limited it to the instrument. I do not think anyone would disagree nor would we wish to circumvent the spirit and true. However, I think we under-emphasize the vocal expression in our churches today. God does want us to sing as He gives us the imperative to sing throughout Scripture.
     
  14. Ruiz

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    If we are trained to rely upon instruments, we will sing lower as the instruments are lower. If we are trained to not rely upon instruments then the congregation will not go lower when the music is lower.

    In my church, one Sunday the music was very low and the congregation still sang, even getting off beat of the music, but they sang with vigor.
     
  15. Ruiz

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    I have difficulty in singing too. When I sing, it is often off tune. However, God gives the imperative to sing... even if one cannot sing well.

    I am not discounting instruments. I, however, believe that we have to have singing as a part of our worship. We do not have to have instruments.
     

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