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When A Pastor Orders His Church Not To Sing, The Rocks Will Cry Out

Posted by admin in July 13th, 2020
Published in Uncategorized

The text came in just after lunch on Sunday, “So…singing is now banned for one month at CCCS. Announced this morning.” I read it. Then I re-read it, still in disbelief. You see, we live in Kansas, not California. KANSAS. There’s no crazy gubernatorial mandate against singing; there’s no state recommendation to hold off singing for 30 days. We are under an “all masks everywhere” legislation, but no one said we couldn’t sing! We can gather wearing masks.

I write back, “This is hideous!” She replies, “Yep. It’s not even a law or a recommendation here in Kansas…but our pastor decided to do this on his own–voluntarily. Singing banned for 30 days. Grieved.” Grieved–that’s a good word for it.

Never, in my lifetime, have I seen such madness among Christians. It’s total insanity, and at its root is the eternal enemy of God. And how do I know that? Because there are two vitally important weapons Scripture tells us to use to battle principalities and powers set up to destroy God’s people: prayer and singing. Let me show you what I mean.

Praise and worship has always been an integral part of Christianity. It’s not only commanded by Scripture, it is a clear demonstration of God’s power and presence among His people. Singing, as a part of praise and worship, can be a divine weapon in spiritual warfare and a powerful instrument to lift God’s people out of darkness and oppression. The joy of the Lord is our strength and singing often brings joy.

Paul and Silas, shackled in a dark Greek prison, sang and rejoiced as a way of overcoming their circumstances (Acts 16). To me, that is one of the best stories in the Bible. Also, Roman Christians, persecuted by a demonic and masochistic Caesar, brought God’s glory into those coliseums with songs and shouts of praise and their worship forever changed the world.

“Men and women were torn apart by lions, tortured with iron hooks, sawed asunder, placed in boiling pots of oil. Even small children met these tortures with fixed resolution to sing songs and hymns that would waft up from the blood-soaked floor of the Coliseum, the joyful song of human voices rising above even the roar of lions as the souls of the slain, one by one, rose from the arena to ascend to their Saviour and King. Every imaginable form of torture, mayhem, and brutal cruelty was practiced upon these early first- and second-century Christians, all of whom filled the Coliseum with glorious praises to God” (John Huffman).

The Bible commands us to praise and worship and sing! And when we are told not to, we know it to be the work of our enemy.

Luke 19:40, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, if these people keep silent, the stones will cry out in praise!’”

Remember when Jesus was entering Jerusalem? It’s often referred to as “Christ’s Triumphal Entry.” In Luke 19, When Jesus came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’”

It was the Pharisees that wanted the singing to stop.

The Bible Commands Us to Sing!

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:1–2).

Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” (Psalm 47:6). In just three verses we’re commanded to sing seven times!

Psalm 100, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

In fact, the Book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. Ever wonder why? The Psalms aren’t just personal or private invocations to worship, these are to be read aloud in the sanctuary and followed by the congregation. Look what happens when the Apostle Paul gives us the order,

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Congregational.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart… (Ephesians 5:18-19). Again, congregational.

So very simply, we sing in our worship services because the Bible tells us to. This may seem obvious and simplistic, but it is an important biblical principle: singing in Christian worship is not optional.

A pastor cannot just decide that because he fears COVID-19, the church will stop singing. A church can’t decide that they’re going to eliminate congregational singing and just have performers on a stage. The New Testament clearly commands that we sing and make melody with one another in our corporate gatherings. And never has there been a more important time to do that than now. Building each other up with hymns and praise and singing songs as the Scripture says, “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3). Jeremiah 33:11, “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for His mercy endures forever: and we shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”

When we sing, we make war against fear, doubt, anxiety, and most importantly, the enemy!

Tom Olson writes, “And the more you think about this, it makes total sense: What posture must be more hated by the evil one than the posture of a believer who is singing? I can’t think of many stances you can take that identifies you with Christ and against Satan more than eyes, heart, mind, and voice lifted to heaven in song!”

“And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me; and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord” – Psalm 27:6

Remember the old principle of sending Judah first? In Judges 1:1-2, the children of God asked, “Who shall we send first into this upcoming battle?” And the Lord answeredSend Judah first.” (Judah is the Hebrew word for praise).  So, God is literally saying “Praise before the battle.”  We used to sing this chorus all the time in church, remember it?

“Send Judah first, and the battle will be won. Send Judah first, and the foe is overcome! Singing praise to the Father and glory to the Son. Send Judah first.”

It was an Old Testament principle. Praise always was to precede the battle and when the Israelites obeyed this principle, the battle was always won.

When we sing, we glorify God.

True obedience, deep roots in the Word, building up others, making war against the enemy and sin, persevering, finding joy in God–All these things bring glory to God, which is each person’s chief goal and purpose, right? And they all come about through singing!

Bob Kauflin writes, “Singing has such a unique way of bringing your heart, soul, mind, and strength together to focus entirely and completely on God. In an age of distraction, singing grabs the attention of all our senses and focuses us on God.”

In Revelation 7:9-10, the Apostle John describes a glimpse of eternity with a great multitude of people from every tribe, peoples, and languages singing before the Lamb, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

God’s people are more than just invited to sing; we are commanded to sing. When we sing, we’re doing what God asks of us!

The Bible contains over four hundred references to singing and fifty direct commands to sing. Why does God tell us so often not simply to praise Him but to sing His praises when we meet? Why not just pray and preach? Why sing? Why are God’s people throughout history always singing? Why words and music and not just words alone? Why does God want us to sing? One reason is that God Himself sings. In Zephaniah 3:17 God exalts over His people “with loud singing.” God sings over His people.

On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus sang hymns with His disciples (Matthew 26:30). Hebrews 2:12 applies here. “I will declare Your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing Your praises.” That’s how Jesus spent His final hours. “In the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And Ephesians 5 tells us that one effect of being “filled with the Spirit” is “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (verses 18–19).

Singing and praise and worship elevates us out of our circumstances and the Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. If we are truly the Temple of the Holy Ghost as the New Testament says, then we are filled with God’s furniture. As we worship and sing, we raise up holy hands unto the Lord and our outstretched hands become a kind of winged cherubim, our lives filled with Aaron’s rod (the Resurrection of Christ), manna, (Jesus the Bread of Life) and the Ten Commandment Tablets of Moses (God has written His laws on our hearts) and as we raise our hands toward heaven and worship our living God our heads become a type of mercy seat and God’s glory comes down to meet with us; He clothes us in Himself and fills us to overflowing with all that we need to face these uncertain and difficult days. He fills us with His Shekhinah Glory and gives us the power we need to witness in dark days and to declare His power and goodness to all around us. Telling a congregation that they will take 30 days and not sing, even if one believes it’s a safety measure, is carnal and nothing ever good comes from the strong arm of the flesh. With masks, how is the singing dangerous? If we are wearing the masks, how is the singing transmitting the virus? You see? It’s all nonsense. It’s one pastor in the hands of the enemy, whether he knows it or not, to destroy the very congregation he took an oath to protect and serve. If we ever needed proof or evidence that we are living in the Last Days, this would be a prime example. Maranatha. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Psalm 132:9, “May Your priests be clothed with Your righteousness; may Your faithful people sing for joy.” Peace.

 

 

 

3 users Responded In This Post

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54741. C.rough said,
July 14th, 2020 at 11:10 am

YES! YES! YES!!! And AMEN!!!

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54742. Crystal Rough said,
July 14th, 2020 at 11:12 am

OH YES! YES!! YES!!! AND AMEN!!!!!

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54749. L Eklund said,
July 15th, 2020 at 10:49 pm

Such a good word. A reminder to not take anything for granted especially the act of lifting our voices in praise.

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