The answer to the â??worship warsâ?? is in the back of the pew in front of you. There, languishing between the storied suffering of Job and the royal wisdom of Proverbs, lies the Book of Psalms â?? one hundred and fifty of the greatest praise and worship songs ever.
How many churches squabbling over music have sung even one, first verse to last? How many have even considered it?
Christians these days are rethinking what they sing. Not all thatâ??s old is good. Not all thatâ??s new is bad. But the Psalms and biblical canticles are the measure of both. Any congregation that rallied around that point would eventually find its musical taste transformed. The best would drive out the pretty good, regardless of age. Almost miraculously, water would be displaced by wine.
Our songs shape our piety. More than most preaching, theyâ??re the things that stick with us after weâ??ve exited the pew and passed through the back door. If we wallow in schlock and schmaltz, our devotion grows schlocky and schmaltzy. Our faith becomes long on sentiment, short on substance.
It is one thing to sing a line such as â??now I am happy all the day,â?? to quote a traditional old hymn with a lie in its refrain; it is another to sing, with the author of Psalm 119, â??It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.â?? We can (and should) outgrow ditties and bad hymns. We cannot outgrow the Psalms. Psalms mature us.
Paul Buckley Sing psalms