“I Don’t Get it…” Minute: Why Sing the Ten Commandments?

When we sing the Ten Commandments in worship I love watching the reactions on faces. It always draws smiles and frowns from the congregation. My guess is it’s from some combination of musical joy, conviction, or clarity of thinking comes over the individual. We don’t do this randomly, though. The practice of singing the Ten Commandments goes back to the Hebrew Bible. There are cantillation/musical notations in the ancient Hebrew texts. Not only was it the practice of the Hebrew Saints, but also was the practice of the early church. The protestant reformers of the 1500s revived this ancient practice. The ancients sang it to combat unbelief. This came in handy in the 2nd Century AD in response to a heresy called Gnosticism. The Gnostics privatized and spiritualized Christianity to the point that no outward action was needed. They accommodated to the worldly living of those around them. The true churches sang it to build into the minds and hearts a song of rejoicing in the freedom from sin and call to discipleship. May it be our antidote to the heresy of cheap grace that is so prevelant today! ~God Bless, Rev. Ben Rochester

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