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Can we Sing Error?. 1 Corinthians 14:15. I asked for suggestions. This topic was discussed in an elder’s meeting I wrote to many preachers on email lists I got dozens of responses – suggesting a list of more than 30 songs that are “questionable.”

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can we sing error
Can we Sing Error?

1 Corinthians 14:15

i asked for suggestions
I asked for suggestions

This topic was discussed in an elder’s meeting

I wrote to many preachers on email lists

I got dozens of responses – suggesting a list of more than 30 songs that are “questionable.”

I studied the songs and the comments and questions they raised

i asked for suggestions1
I asked for suggestions

I saw them fall into 6 categories

  • Doctrinal Error
  • Not accurate in some detail
  • Subject to interpretation
  • Songs that send a wrong message
  • Poetic license
  • Not Biblical
requirements of singing
Requirements of Singing

Colossians 3:16 - 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.

1 Corinthians 14:15 – “Understanding”

One can “sing” error just as easily as one can “preach” error.

doctrinal error
Doctrinal Error
  • Jesus is Coming Soon
    • We don’t know when He will come
    • This song teaches the 1,000 year reign
    • One verse teaches the signs of Matthew 24 and applies them to 2nd Coming
  • Turn Your Radio On
    • Teaches you can be saved listening to your radio
doctrinal error1
Doctrinal Error
  • I’ll Live in Glory
    • “I want to stay here longer”
    • We should want to be with God
  • Most of our hymn books are edited by members of the church and many songs with doctrinal error have been eliminated
not accurate in details
Not accurate in details
  • O Holy Night
    • Has the wise men coming to the manger
    • Wise men came 2 years later
    • They came to a young child in a house, not a babe in a manger
  • We Three Kings
    • We don’t know how many wise men there were
not accurate in details1
Not accurate in details
  • He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels
    • Matthew 26:53 - Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
    • Legion = 6,000
    • 12 Legions = 72,000
subject to interpretation
Subject to Interpretation
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life
    • “Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord”
    • Does this teach extra biblical revelation?
  • Mansions Over the Hilltop
    • Selfish
    • Everything in this song is “I”
sends a wrong message
Sends a Wrong Message
  • Placing emphasis on what we reject
    • Only singing songs about the birth of Christ in December
    • Only singing songs about the resurrection at Easter time
  • The Old Rugged Cross
    • This song seems to worship the cross, not Jesus
    • “I love that old cross”
sends a wrong message1
Sends a Wrong Message
  • Showers of Blessing
    • Are we just getting a “drizzle” now?
    • Song message – We want more!
  • The emphasis can be misplaced
poetic license
Poetic License
  • Greatest difficulty in this area
  • Poetry differs from prose
  • More beautiful, less precise
  • Amazing Grace
    • “The hour I first believed”
    • Is this teaching faith only?
poetic license1
Poetic License
  • In the Garden
    • Many think this is about US
    • Author had Mary in mind
    • This song is about Mary meeting Jesus after His resurrection
  • My God and I
    • “We go unendingly”
    • Is this teaching once saved, always saved?
poetic license2
Poetic License
  • Living by Faith
    • “Will return to this earth”
    • Earth can mean – on the ground
    • Earth can mean – in the atmosphere
    • Jesus will return to our atmosphere – in the clouds
    • But He will not be on the ground
poetic license3
Poetic License
  • Why Not Tonight?
    • “Believe, obey, the work is done”
    • Is this teaching OSAS?
    • Is the “work” the initial act of salvation?
    • Could it be like in “work out your own salvation”?
not biblical
Not Biblical
  • Colossians 3:16 – Ephesians 5:19
    • Both give a list of three approved types of songs
    • Psalms – scripture set to music
    • Hymns – addressed to God, praise directed to deity
    • Spiritual songs – songs to encourage, teach, motivate Christians
not biblical1
Not Biblical
  • Some songs are useful in other settings – but not in worship
  • Precious Memories
    • Verses are about mother, father
    • Nothing in this song fits any of the three types
  • America the Beautiful
    • Patriotic
    • Not spiritual
not biblical2
Not Biblical
  • My Country ‘Tis of Thee
    • “Thee” is not referring to God
    • Thee is the “sweet land of liberty”
    • Only the last verse mentions God
  • Faith of our Fathers
    • This song praises the reformers – Luther and Calvin
not biblical3
Not Biblical
  • Little Brown Church in the Wildwood
    • This song is about a building
    • The church is not a building
    • The church is saved people
  • Let me issue a caution –
  • Don’t think that all the songs I have mentioned in this sermon are wrong or “taboo”
  • We just need to study and understand the meaning so they can be sung correctly and with the proper meaning
  • Be aware of the words
  • Know the meaning and the message
  • Sing with spirit – sing with understanding
  • We teach and admonish in song
  • Don’t teach error