Swaying to the music

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, -Eph 6:17

In his latest post, Pastor Ron Gleason has a (sadly) witty anecdote:

More often than not a number of pragmatic reasons are put forward when it comes to choosing a local congregation for the family or individual. … Topping the list is almost invariably the statement that the music is great. … The music is loud, contemporary, upbeat, and cutting edge. Hands are raised and people sway back and forth with their eyes closed. I made a startling discovery at the Chattanooga, TN PCA General Assembly. You might not know this, so it is worth passing along for your spiritual edification. Here’s what I discovered: the Holy Spirit doesn’t move or work when you sing psalms. It is patently true. I was once a skeptic myself, but the GA that year removed all shadow of a doubt. I know empirically. Prior to our worship service one evening we sang a number of praise songs. Actually, the others sang, because I simply didn’t know them and I couldn’t keep up with when we were going to sing the same verse again — for the eighth time– and when we were going to sing the bridge, and…well, you get the point. As some of the people sang, eyes were closed, hands were raised, and there was a lot of swaying back and forth in near ecstasy. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not put off or out if people do that. But here’s where my discovery came —ich ben aufgeklärt!— when we finally got around to singing a psalm all the eyes opened, the hands when down, and the swaying ceased. I suppose that people thought that the Holy Spirit was watching and didn’t like what looked like dancing. After all, this was a gathering of Presbos.

So much for the Spirit working through the Word. This is a mystical age. We have all heard endlessly that faith isn’t mere assent. Right on. But if the three components of faith — knowledge, assent/agreement, and trust — form a three-legged stool, and you throw out the leg of knowledge… You’ll still end up on the floor.

This entry was posted in Culture, Worship. Bookmark the permalink.