So, You Don’t Sing Psalms, Eh!
Psalm-singing is strange. At least, that’s what they tell me. And that stops people from doing it. Of course, they don’t say it is wrong. They can’t say that. It isn’t wrong. It’s right! The Bible demands it. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs… The Bible calls for Psalm-singing. The Bible also allows some of the other. But Psalm-singing is required. Weird or not. So, they don’t say it is wrong. Just that it is “strange”.
But that is a strange argument to me. We are Independent. That is strange. We are “fundamentalists”. That is strange. We are Baptists. When did Baptists ever shy away from doing something because it is strange? They call us extremists – IFB-“X”, they say. They think we are strange. Our ladies wear culottes. That is strange. Did strange ever stop us before? Then what’s the problem?
Strange. Strange that we don’t sing Psalms. But then, we do. We sing Psalms. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head (I know, it’s Isaiah). This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. We sing Psalms. We sing the nice ones. But not the whole thing. We sing the nice parts of some of the Psalms. But we skip the hard stuff. After all, its strange (to sing, at least).
But we’ll say it. We’ll say all of it. All of the Psalms. We preach them. We love them. They make us feel good. We’ll even shout the Psalms. We’ll pound the pulpit while we do. But we don’t sing Psalms. Singing it is too, well, that is strange. It doesn’t fit with our tradition. We sing Mac and Patch. Psalm 109 wouldn’t work in any of their arrangements. We’ll stick to our traditions. And in our tradition, we don’t sing Psalms.
It’s too bad, really. Because Psalm-singing is “strange”, good people miss out on singing about crushing heads and chopping arms. They have to sing Christianity according to Frank, and miss out on Christianity according to David, the giant-slayer, the warrior-harpist.
Psalm-singing is strange, but only because we haven’t done it in years. We’ve forgotten how. We’ve forgotten about all the bloodshed. But we shouldn’t let our amnesia last forever. Nor should we let our traditions stop us, no matter how steeped in them we are. Get out a good Psalter, and praise the Lord like men. It will do you good, even if you aren’t one. But then, we encounter something else that is strange. Praising the Lord like men. That is strange. Maybe we’ve been singing In the Garden for too long.