I know I might lose my membership in reformed circles for mentioning this, but back in the day I was a big Stryper fan. In fact, truth be told, I still am. Sorry. Can’t help myself. I know a lot of their lyrics are shallow, even cheesy. But hey, I like thin cheese.
Anyway, one of my favorite songs was “Makes Me Wanna Sing.” The chorus simply says: Jesus, King, King of Kings; Jesus, Make me wanna sing. Not quite the depths of Calvin’s Institutes perhaps, but true none the less. Jesus does indeed make me want to sing.
I thought of that song as I opened my Blogger “dashboard” and looked down the list of blogs I follow. Two titles, back to back, had to do with singing. As I’m reading down the list, here’s what I saw: “American Men Don’t Sing – Alistair Begg”, and “That Thorny Doctrine Makes Me Sing.”
The first is an observation from Pastor Begg that American men are not by nature singers, as opposed to European men who sing at the pub, the game, etc. He says this is how he knows when a man is truly saved in the American church, when he starts to sing.
The second is a reference to the doctrine of predestination, a “thorny” issue to be sure, but when reminded of God’s Sovereignty, something that leads us to worship.
Those are two relatively different blogs, but in one sense they both come to the same point. That point being that when we come to know Christ, like it or not we agree with Stryper: Jesus makes me want to sing.
So here’s my beef. Why do we have so many in the church today who are so reluctant to do that very thing. Sometimes it seems like only half the congregation is truly singing, and sometimes it even seems like those are only singing half-heartedly. What’s wrong with us? Jesus should make us want to sing.
To be honest, I think I sometimes embarrass my family. I don’t sing so well. In fact, after one semester in college as a music major, my voice teacher and piano teacher together suggested I might be better suited with another major. Lots of folks say they can’t sing, but I have the opinions of professionals to back my claim.
But I can’t help it. I like to sing, and I like to sing loud. I sometimes miss notes. I sometimes even miss words, even though they’re printed right there in front of me. But I don’t care. I just want to sing. When I think of Christ, when I think of what He’s done for me, when I think of His Sovereign hand in saving me, when I consider my sin and His sacrifice to redeem me from that, I can’t help but want to sing and praise His name.
I want to be careful here. I don’t want to put on some kind of spiritual elitist attitude that says your experience has to be just like mine. But I also know that the testimony of Scripture is that God’s people have always been a singing people. Read just about any story, and at some point, someone’s going to break out in a song. It’s like a bad musical or something. Singing seems to be a natural expression of our love, devotion, adoration, gratitude, etc. to our God.
So why don’t we sing, folks? Why don’t we just let loose and praise His Holy name? Why are we so worried about what others around us think about the quality of our voice? Why are we so stifled by the whole “I don’t know this song” thing? Learn it! Sing.
Again, I don’t think everyone has to be just like me. I’ve addressed that before. But folks, Jesus makes me wanna sing, and if you know Him, He’ll make you wanna sing.
And so, for you listening enjoyment (or torture!) here are those deep and thoughtful boys from Stryper with a classic. (Go ahead and tap your foot and sing along…you know you want to!)