Volume. XXV, No. 4
Sunday, 25 July 2010

Worship (Part 11)

Before I move onto the next biblical guideline for worship, I’ll quote one more paragraph on music. It is an abstract from Psychology of Music, Vol. 37, No. 1, 61-90 (2009): “A crucial issue in research on music and emotion is whether music evokes genuine emotional responses in listeners (the emotivist position) or whether listeners merely perceive emotions expressed by the music (the cognitivist position). To investigate this issue, we measured self-reported emotion, facial muscle activity, and autonomic activity in 32 participants while they listened to popular music composed with either a happy or a sad emotional expression. Results revealed a coherent manifestation in the experiential, expressive, and physiological components of the emotional response system, which supports the emotivist position. Happy music generated more zygomatic facial muscle activity, greater skin conductance, lower finger temperature, more happiness and less sadness than sad music. The finding that the emotion induced in the listener was the same as the emotion expressed in the music is consistent with the notion that music may induce emotions through a process of emotional contagion.” Four researchers co-authored and researched to write this article, and again I must emphatically say that it is not written for Christians, but it is very relevant to us, who are concerned about church music. One of the co-authors is Lars-Olov Lundqvist Chief Scientist, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology (Örebro University, Sweden), and another author is Patrik N. Juslin, Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology (Uppsala University, Sweden). Both are prolific writers, and the latter has published numerous articles in the areas of expression in music performance, emotional responses to music, music education and emotion in speech in journals that include: “Psychological Bulletin, Emotion, Behavioral and Brain Sciences”, “Journal of Experimental Psychology, Music Perception”, and “Psychology of Music”. He also edited the books “Music and Emotion: Theory and Research” and “Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, Applications” for Oxford University Press together with John Sloboda. He himself is a guitar player. If anyone believes music is just music and it does not influence the mind, he is deceived. Music affects every aspect of our being. We remind ourselves from the previous article that music without lyrics can affect us. It is important because it contradicts the argument that styles of music do not matter as long as it has good lyrics. It is false and wrong. Music matters.

Let me go back to the sixth principle of worship: “worship includes praises to God.” I have discussed two points so far: (1) there are some biblical warranties, and (2) biblical praise consists of more than hymn and psalm singing.
Three, biblical praise belongs to God. Psalm 18:3 says, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 68:32, “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord.” I was curious about contemporary Christian music and so googled it. I typed, “most popular contemporary Christian music,” and there were ten songs listed. I found the number one song in the chart and the lyrics are something like this (by the way, I am not giving you the title and singer’s name. I’ll cite only a portion of the song): “told the girl that you should treat her like a lady and She told me all the things you did and it was shady, man. . . . She said it’s gonna be alright. Cause God made a way through the pain and he opened her eyes. . . .” Then I typed “most popular worship songs” and found lots of songs. I’ll give you some lyrics from the first, second and third songs in this week’s chart: “The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty. Let all the earth rejoice. All the earth rejoice . . . .” “God above all the world in motion, God above all my hopes and fears. I don\'t care what the world throws at me now. It\'s gonna be alright. Hear the sound of the generations, Making loud our freedom song. All in all that the world would know Your name. It\'s gonna be alright. . . .” “Don\'t want to stand here and shout Your praise. And walk away…and forget Your name. I\'ll stand for you if it\'s all I do. Cause there is none that compares to You . . . .” You may think the quoted worship songs are good and impressive. However, when I put these words with music, I changed my mind. Do you remember that music itself without lyrics is influential? The style of music and singing are not different from what people may hear in bars and pubs.
The reason that I need to view God as the ultimate receiver of our worship through our praises is because worship music must demonstrate God’s character and His superior attributes. What we need to remember is that He is not one of us, but is God. Moses says in Deuteronomy 10:21, “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.” God Himself is our praise, and Judges 5:3 says, “Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel” (1 Chronicles 16:36; Psalm 40:3). It is God who receives our praises. The reason we sing praises to God is because He is worthy of our praise. Exodus 15:11 aptly says, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Hence we must take a few lessons: (1) the ability to sing praises to God is a sign of His grace to us and also a testimony of His enabling grace to praise Him. Psalm 51:15, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” We ought to depend on Him even to praise Him; (2) work done according to the will of God is also a praise to God. Leviticus 19:24, “But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal”; (3) the name of the Lord must be praised. Psalm 68:4, “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him” (cf. Psalm 69:30). Psalm 135:1 also says, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.” Psalm 148:13, “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.” His name represents His character, attributes and everything concerning Him. It indicates a sacred nature of praises; and (4) praise is a confession of God’s worthiness. Psalm 145:3, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” 2 Samuel 22:4, “I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
Four, there were certain individuals devoted to praise God. 1 Chronicles 16:4, “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 8:14, “And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.” 2 Chronicles 20:19, “And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.” Nehemiah 12:46, “For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.” Temple service was accompanied by temple music, which was played by some of the Levites. It was their calling to sing praises to God and to play musical instruments for temple services. We may say that church choirs are doing the same work. However, we all sing together to praise the Lord as a congregation. We are a holy priesthood and should offer up spiritual sacrifices to the Lord including praises to God.
Pastor Ki

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Sis Yvone Kam.
*Please note: All members are expected to attend the ACM. Proxy forms are available if not able to attend. Please see Dn Edwin D’Mello for proxy forms.
*More Mandarin speakers needed to interpret Sermons every Lord’s Day. If you can help, please see Pastor Weng.
*All leaders to hand in their reports for financial year 1 Jul 2009 - 30 Jun 2010 to Dn Edwin D’Mello by 31 July.
*Today’s Fellowship Lunch is $5 per person. Free for children under 5 years old.
Looking Ahead
*ACM & Session Election, Sat, 21 Aug, at 7:30pm.
*Ordination & Installation of 6th Session, Sun, 29 Aug.
*Baptism, Confirmation & Membership Transfer, Sun, 5 Sept.
*Gospel Sunday, 12 Sept, at 7.30pm.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Gabriel & Sis Grace Lee & family (Per); Bro Peter & Sis Mary Ting & family (Adl); Bro Jason & Sis Corinne Teng (Adl/Syd); Bro Lincoln Law (Adl); Sisters Cindy Chan, Shu Ai Cho, Melissa Chong, Lydia Fan, Katrina Loh, Vanessa Tan & others (Adl), & Katrina Loh’s mother (S’pore); & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Job for Sis Xandrea Cai.
4. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao (Melb), Len & Richard Pearson, & Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Healing & health - Bro Winston Selvanayagam
3. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & ministry, Life University (Sihanoukville); Rev Stephen Choi & ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province)
4. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung - Missions work (Mindanao)
5. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry.
6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman & Board.
7. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
8. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
9. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
10. Journey mercies: Bro Lincoln Law (Hobart); & all others who are travelling.
11. ACM & 6th Session Election on Sat, 21 August.
12. Job - Sisters Judy Li, Corinne Teng & Mag Yu (S’pore).
13. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Mira Horenung & Demelza Ting. 
14. Preaching of God’s Word at VBS will bring salvation to the many children who came.



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