I still remember visiting a church in the mid 1980’s. What stands out in my memory is what I saw in their songbooks. As I flipped through the pages I saw a number of songs had been stamped with a bold, red message: “Unscriptural Song: Do Not Sing.”
While I cannot remember all the songs that had been marked, I do recall “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” was one.
Since this was the first time I had ever seen anything like this and I was curious about what could possibly be considered unscriptural about this particular song, I approached a friend of mine who was a member of the church to inquire. He expressed surprise that I would even ask about that song because it was “filled with false doctrine.” When I asked him to be specific about the doctrinal problems included in this particular song, he unloaded.
“This song encourages people to directly address Jesus. We are supposed to talk to God the Father in the name of Jesus. Never are we commanded to talk to Jesus.”
My intention is not to debate his response; in fact, I will just leave it right there for you to consider.
But I will tell you I remembered that “Do Not Sing” stamp this morning. The memory was triggered as I found myself singing, “I want to be a worker for the Lord. I want to love and trust his Holy Word. I want to sing and pray and be busy everyday in the kingdom of the Lord.”
I am not sure why that song came to mind this morning, but it did. As I thought about the words I was singing I remembered that red stamp and thought for a moment that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for being a worker for the Lord;. I am in favor of singing and prayer and trusting. But I cringed at the words: “be busy everyday.”
I am convinced that we have neglected God’s teaching about Sabbath and rest. I am concerned that constant “busyness” is causing untold problems in the church — even killing the relationship some have with God. Do we really want to be busy everyday? What about days or seasons of rest? Have we forgotten this is a major emphasis in scripture?
So where can I get one of those stamps? I’m gonna climb up there and stamp that screen.