I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16-17 tell us to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to give glory and thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalms are easy; they are in the Bible and have been sung as spiritual songs since they were written 3,000 years ago. Not sung much anymore, but still approved.
Hymns are easy; they are in a book in your church hopefully. I know many of you follow the bouncing ball on a big screen and you don’t have to hold a book in your hands. At least go to church often enough that you know the words to a few choruses.
And now we enter into the realm of “spiritual songs”!
“Spiritual songs” are not specifically defined in the Bible. You have to decide for yourself what is spiritual and what is not.
There are churches that only sing hymns out of a hymn book with no instruments all the way to churches that have bona-fide rock and roll concerts with a few spiritual words sprinkled in. They all think their music is spiritual. But you must try and discern the spirits.
Here’s my definition:
Spiritual means that the Lord would receive glory and thanks and pleasure from the song. If it is instrumental music only or singing only, then it must spiritually stand on its own.
For example, classical music is generally spiritual. A drum solo is probably not. Also, performances are often not spiritual. Praising the Lord is always spiritual regardless of its level of professionalism.
to listen to Rex Harrison sing Beulah Land.
Musical instruments in and of themselves are not inherently bad. They appear in situations praising the Lord throughout the Bible. I don’t know that I have ever heard an instrument that could not be played in a spiritual manner. The danger comes when the instrument itself is used in the wrong manner (like guns and knives).
Some instruments lend themselves to spiritual music more than others (piano, organ, flute, harp, violin, acoustic guitars, etc.). And some instruments have relationships with worldly music that is hard to get away from in the church (drums, electric guitars, etc.).
I personally don’t have anything against drums and electric guitars. I just know that once they be in the church, the music changes. It is a slippery slope that I choose to stay away from. Why?
I Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
He will take that drum and electric guitar in the church and move you into the wrong spirit world and distract you from the preaching of Bible truth.
And the music service will become longer and longer and the preaching will become shorter and shorter. There will be contemporary services and traditional services. Pretty soon after that there won’t even be Sunday night or weekday night services.
Jesus will be outside knocking on the door to get back in.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Yes, the devil hangs out in Christian churches, a lot.
You choose your own threshold of spirituality and ask the Lord to show you what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
One more warning about music and sin in general: Imagine you are six feet tall walking along a path with a six foot fence down its side. On the other side of the fence are things you should not see, let alone be involved in. If you walk next to the fence and get up on your toes, you can see what’s over there. You will be tempted to climb over the fence. If you stay several feet away from the fence, you cannot see over it even if you are up on your toes.
So the buffer zone protects you – out of sight, out of mind. Always maintain a buffer zone. And abstain from all appearance of evil. This is wisdom beyond belief.
to listen to Amazing Grace on bagpipes.
Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and pixabay.com