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Monday, August 6, 2012

"Is It Scriptural For A Congregation To Hum While Partaking Of The Lord’s Supper?”

By Guy N. Woods
    It is not scriptural for a congregation to engage in humming during the Lord’s supper, nor at any other time during public services. Humming is not an acceptable substitute for singing, and is wholly unauthorized in New Testament worship.
    (1) It springs from improper motives. People who engage therein do so for the express purpose of producing an emotional situation which they prefer to the Lord’s own arrangement. Those who thus do are more interested in aesthetics (which pleases them), than in following the New Testament (which pleases God). The desire for such innovations evidences an abandonment of any real desire to do exactly what God says, for the reason that he says it. In so doing, they follow their own wills, and not the will of God.
    (2) It is utterly without divine sanction. There is no hint of such practice in the records of the worship of the New Testament church, and it is a human devise intruded into divine service, the design of which is to please man, and what ground may any such devises be excluded?
    (3) The divine will is clearly and unequivocally expressed in these areas. Paul wrote, “Speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5: 19); “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16, 17) “I will pray with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (I Corinthians 14: 15). Singing is thus specifically enjoined; to sing in the meaning of the word here used (adoo) involves lyrical participation (cf. Thayer), whereas, humming is “to sing with closed lips and without articulating,” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary); the obligation which these passages set out requires words; therefore, it is not possible to discharge the duty they enjoin by humming.
    (4) In our singing, we are commanded to participate in praise which enables us to speak, to teach, and to admonish; none of these duties is possible in the exercise of humming; therefore, humming, in our worship, is wrong. To add humming to the observance of the Lord’s supper is to compound the error, such being wholly unauthorized. There is as much justification for the addition of instrumental music to the observance of the Supper as there is for humming. Neither has New Testament sanction, and both ought and must be vigorously opposed if we are to maintain a pure faith and a faultless practice.

- Guy N. Woods; - via the
Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org

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