Singing is indicative of a simple and
fundamental understanding of God’s word to “sing and make melody in your heart.”
The convictions of our hearts and minds are affirmed in song with our own
We have long thought that we should do much more in developing
the beauty and confessional power of congregational singing. Scripture speaks of
“singing to one another,” and we should find ways to sing to each other and
inspire each other in all walks of life as well as in worship.
generation of Christians should learn from our example. We should endeavor to
show each generation the richness, diversity and beauty of a cappella
The fact is that singing alone was the only form of music
practiced in the New Testament church and for the first 500 years of the
Christian faith. We know that singing from the heart is always acceptable to the
Several early Christian writers such as Hippolytus, Clement of
Alexandria, Eusebius, Tertullian and Ignatius affirmed a cappella singing as did
general practice throughout the empire, and their testimony provides a record of
the early Christian practice.
We urge believers to refocus on a serious
study of how to make our teaching about music part of a fully developed theology
and our practice of congregational singing the richest, deepest and most
inspiring experience. That means dethroning our pet peeves and personal
preferences about music. It also means emphasizing the importance of each
person’s heart before God as we sing and praise him.
We must make our
singing all that it can possibly be, both musically and spiritually. Let us be
known for musical worship that is part of a fabric of love and not a culture of
divisiveness. As editor emeritus Bailey McBride shows in his Insight column this month, this is possible when we put Christ
first and love the church with all our hearts. Let us be known for truly
inspirational spiritual singing.
The vast majority of Churches of Christ
practice a cappella singing, based on the conviction that it is the offering God
seeks from his people.
It is our fervent prayer that discussions of
church music will not derail the church’s urgent need to tell the gospel story
of Jesus to our world or promote divisions among us.
Let us with firm
conviction and kindness affirm our faith and understanding of what God calls us