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Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning to Sing Sea Water


Written by Douglas Wilson
Saturday, May 14, 2011 6:54 am
Posted on his blog http://www.dougwils.com/

One of the things we should notice in Scripture is the close association of the music of the people of God and the nations of men. There is a regular appeal, throughout Scripture, asking the nations to hear us when we sing.

The music of the saints, rightly done, is universal and evangelistic. The music of the saints, wrongly done, becomes “church music,” set off in a ghetto of its own—perhaps to be respected and perhaps despised, but always isolated. Many a country singer claims to have roots in “gospel,” over there, but There are musical similarities, to be sure, but we are careful to maintain genre walls.

If our music is not having an effect upon the nations, we cannot change it by tinkering with the notes, or finding better songs. Rather, we need to sing to God, with overflowing hearts, and with a true and living faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if we do, the music will do what only the Spirit of God can do with it. If we do not have faith in the gospel, and I mean of course vibrant faith, then the better the music gets, the more we will sound like trained professionals.

There is a difference between efficiency and blessing. One man with five talents blessed is going to be more potent than a man with one talent unblessed, or ten talents unblessed, for that matter. Our business, in the first instance, therefore, is to seek for the blessing. Talent is not enough. Training is not enough. Learning the songs is not enough. As we have undertaken the task of musical reformation in our church, all we have been doing is assembling materials on the altar, in the earnest expectation that God will cause the fire to come down. Some of the more difficult songs we have learned are the sea water that Elijah poured out on the altar. Without the fire, it doesn’t matter. And when the fire falls, in a completely different kind of way, it doesn’t matter either.

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