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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
A Small Minded Gripe...
There is a song we sing sometimes in our congregation called "I will bless the Lord", and the first stanza goes like this:
I will bless the lord
And give him glory
Oh I will bless the lord
And give him glory
The lord is gracious and merciful
And great in kindness and good to all
The lord is righteous in all his ways
Bless the lord and give him praise

I suppose it is a small peeve of mine, but I would rather bless the Lord outright, than talk (or sing) about how I am going to bless Him eventually.

Don't get me wrong, even though the lyrics are rather ambiguous about the point, I think there is room for them to be understood as a promise of faithfulness:
"I (promise) I will (eventually) bless the Lord and give Him glory."
I mean, it isn't much different than what David wrote in Psalm 34:
I will bless the LORD at all times;His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
So I certainly don't think it is wrong to sing about a promise you are making to God.

My small minded gripe is that I wonder how many people who are singing this are actually making that promise and how many are just singing the words they see up there - and this goes for all the songs we sing.

I really do start thinking to myself that if we can't bless the Lord and give Him glory right now, what good is (sort of) promising to do so later?

You know, sometimes I excuse my critical spirit as discernment. It's true, most of us will sing whatever the words say whether we give any thought to them or not. Are we singing a promise we have no intention of keeping because the promise itself is hidden (as it were)in the rhyming lyrics that accompany the pleasant ditty of the song we're expected to sing for no other reason than it is presently on the program? I am probably less spiritual than most of you because it happens sometimes that after a song or two I sort of zone out - usually when we do a song where we are singing the same verse over and over. It is a weakness of mine, I suppose, but I seldom can really worship in song. Not because I think it is inappropriate to worship in song, or that I think you can only worship when the "feeling" hits you - rather I just find it difficult to worship if I am distracted, and (weak as I am) I get distracted easily.

I find the distraction level goes up when we sing songs that I consider 'mindless' filler - you know what I mean, like when the grade school teacher gives a coloring assignment - it's just make work to fill in time? Repetition is good for the memory, but it is not good to talk in repetition is it? It is not good to talk in repetition is it? It is not good to talk in repetition is it? That is, when I am singing something that is a prayer to the Lord, or a statement of intent, such as, I will do such and such - I find myself feeling satisfied as having "sent the message" without resorting to mindlessly repeating the thing, and when I do repeat it, I feel that the whole has been cheapened in doing so - like I have taken worship and prostituted it out for the wages of "musical niceness".

So when we sing a song like that, I am easily be distracted with thoughts that we should actually just bless the Lord right now and give Him glory, rather than go on and on about how we will one day do that, and once the train is off the track, it is easy to ditch the thing - then I am all over the map, daydreaming as my mind-mouth link switches to autopilot. How I can read words off a projection, and sing them in tune while thinking about other things is a mystery to me, and something of a point of shame, but there it is.

I am sure there is a legitimate gripe in all that, but it is so couched in my own small mindedness, it probably isn't worth reading, but I don't have much time for anything edifying this morning - except where my own failures and follies inform others in some edifying way.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:06 AM  
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