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12.04.2011

I COULD SING...FOREVER?

The bowling alley was quiet. Quiet for a bowling alley, anyway, until the one loud guy rolled a strike, and exuberantly yelled, "C'mon, get up! What are we in, church?" Guys laughed and the mood gradually grew to it's norm. Now, I've heard similar statements, but they usually compare the quietness to a funeral instead of a church.

No matter, the point was clear: people (saints and sinners alike) equate church with boredom. And I can't say I blame them. Who wants to be part of something where it's adherents look like they have a foot in the grave and are drinking from a glass of lemon pulp?

I had to laugh one Sunday morning when our church music director chose to sing one rather peculiar song. I say peculiar because this particular church is largely behaviorally conservative; far from charismatic, that is. Great group, friendly, loving group, but not a very lively group. Leadership wants to be contemporary, but it just doesn't work there for some reason. Anyway, I smiled as I played the drums and watched the congregation worship...err, sing...err, stand during this particular tune:

The name of the song is, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever", and a portion of the lyrics go like this: "Oh I feel like dancing. It's foolishness, I know.....we will dance with joy like we're dancing now. I could sing of your love forever...."

Let's break it down.....

First, quite honestly, lots of people in this place barely move their lips during the praise and worship, let alone sing;

Second, many of them don't feel like singing for 5 minutes, let alone for 5 million years, which looks a lot more like forever than does 5 minutes;

Third, statues come to mind;

Fourth, I've never seen a statue dance.

Fifth, "dishonesty" also came to mind. So maybe it was actually a good thing people weren't singing along.

....and those piercing words of the bowling alley loudmouth rang in my ears: "C'mon, get up! What are we in, church?"

7 comments:

  1. I've been a part of worship services where this song was done with a lively group where people were singing, dancing, and raising their hands, and I've been in services with this song that are closer to what you described. In either group, the song really isn't true however. The problem is that nobody can sing a heartfelt song of love forever to anybody and not get sick of it.

    Take the thing you enjoy doing most in this world and imagine doing it forever -- eventually you're going to get sick of it, and you're going to want to do something else. If you didn't do something else you'd probably go crazy. Now picture being gathered around the throne of God singing Holy, Holy, Holy day and night without ceasing... forever. Doesn't exactly sound like a good time, and I imagine things would start seeming a lot less like heaven, and a lot more like hell before you even reach the end of the first millennia.

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  2. I understand your point entirely. From a limited understanding of heaven, it sounds like it would get redundant. However, have no inkling of what kind of transformation will take place in my glorified body in heaven one day.

    There is ONE thing that comes to mind that I wonder if it could EVER get old, though.........

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  3. You'll have to convert to Islam if you want any of that action! ;)

    As far as the changing in the twinkling of an eye and having a transformed body and mind, I think this is one of the more philosophically difficult problems for Christianity, particularly for the free will folks. If the mind and body of believers is indeed transformed, then they are in essence, no longer themselves. They are in fact different people, with different desires, and a different mind. At this point for the free will people, they no longer have free will, which then makes one wonder why free will was necessary in the first place. Why not just create people already transformed without opportunity to choose evil to begin with? Why make the overwhelming majority of humanity suffer eternal torment, just to dote on a select few? Why was any suffering on earth even necessary? Certainly not to prepare people or build their character for heaven, because God changes them in an instant before they enter.

    These are important philosophical questions that many Christians do not take the time to ponder. I know that I myself didn't give any thought to them during my years as a believer, though I think it would have been fruitful to perhaps consider difficulties a lot sooner than I did.

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  4. I have considered the issue you raised regarding free will and heavenly transformation. The bible does not fully reveal the mystery, but is abundantly clear there will be no death, crying, etc. And if that is the case, there will be no sin...but how does a free agent no longer have the ability to sin ever again? After all, angels did it at one point in time. Will we have that same opportunity? While I'm not 100%, if the bible is true, I'd have to believe sin will forever be put away once God strikes the gavel.

    All that said, a distinctly philosophical problem does not automatically translate into a real problem. I have lots of philosophical problems in life that I cannot answer, but it doesn't mean it's a real problem.

    For instance, it is philosophically impossible to me that I can't float a half-gram pebble in water, but some engineer designed a 200-ton vessel to float. I understand the science of air lift and drag on an airplane, but it still doesn't make sense how my paper airplanes ALWAYS crash in ugly fashion, but a jumbo jet can fly across the world.

    These are crude examples, but the point is that philosophical (or scientific, or anything else) problems don't necessarily mean the problem is a real problem at all. If the bible is true in what it says, then God has that "problem" solved and has simply not revealed it, for some reason.

    For the debate on free will, volumes have been written debating it...so I don't think we're going to settle it here.

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  5. Since I cannot sing! Having been told by MANY. I do try to be quiet. But ask me to spend an hour or more in prayer..Lets go! I love the hand motion songs once I learn them. If the music director picks a new song with ODD transitions and timing those glazed looks come out. Even Choirs get confused.
    But a transformed body and change of nature is not difficult for me to understand. Being free of the lust of flesh is transforming.

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  6. I have one word for my reply, Jim: DIDI.

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  7. Yes That is an excellent example. I guess I will be more demonstrative still not sing louder as my family jabs me. Can you get the tempo up?

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