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Why do churches have choirs?

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    Why do churches have choirs?

    My question is a pretty short one. Why do churches have choirs?
    I did a little digging around on the subject. John Calvin belived worship should be done acappla, so the reformed believers in Geneva spread out here and there making more reformed churches who held that belief. But over time congragants became out of tune, so a worship leader would sing a Psalm and the congergants would sing after, eventually choirs came along as a way to guide the tune of worship.
    But in today's time, is a choir really something that should be part of the church? Or was it ever really supposed to be? There's a few problems I can see with a choir.
    It could be a way for people to show off.
    And it can become the focus of the church. People come from all around to hear the choir or people come to church just to sing.


    What are your opinions?

    #2
    Originally posted by Innerfire89 View Post
    It could be a way for people to show off.
    And it can become the focus of the church. People come from all around to hear the choir or people come to church just to sing.
    I think you gave two good reasons why Reformed churches refrain from choirs or loud musical instruments as they detract from the focus of worship.

    Personally, I do not mind a choir or instrumental during the collection of offerings. It's not like we can concentrate or focus while fumbling around for finances or passing the collection dish.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

      #3
      Hi Innerfire89,
      You may recall some OT references to music and singing among God's people.

      Here's a really good one: about a choir that led Jehoshaphat's army into battle:
      (2Ch 20:19-30)
      (19) And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
      (20) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.
      (21) And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endures for ever.
      (22) And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
      (23) For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
      (24) And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
      (25) And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
      (26) And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
      (27) Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
      (28) And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.
      (29) And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
      (30) So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.



      The NT encourages the singing of spiritual songs also, and in context it is obviously not just for entertainment.

      (Eph 5:17-21) Wherefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
      And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
      Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
      Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
      Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


      (Col 3:16)
      Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

      (Jas 5:13)
      Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
      Comment>

        #4
        Originally posted by Placable37 View Post
        Hi Innerfire89,
        You may recall some OT references to music and singing among God's people.

        Here's a really good one: about a choir that led Jehoshaphat's army into battle:
        (2Ch 20:19-30)
        (19) And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
        (20) And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.
        (21) And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endures for ever.
        (22) And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
        (23) For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
        (24) And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
        (25) And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
        (26) And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
        (27) Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
        (28) And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.
        (29) And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
        (30) So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.



        The NT encourages the singing of spiritual songs also, and in context it is obviously not just for entertainment.

        (Eph 5:17-21) Wherefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
        And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
        Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
        Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
        Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


        (Col 3:16)
        Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

        (Jas 5:13)
        Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
        2 Ch. 20:19-30 doesn't seem to give the church of the new covenant a solid reason to have choirs.

        Now there should be praise with singing, but a choir doesn't seem to be part of the first churches or hinted at in the NT.
        Comment>

          #5
          Originally posted by Innerfire89 View Post

          2 Ch. 20:19-30 doesn't seem to give the church of the new covenant a solid reason to have choirs.

          Now there should be praise with singing, but a choir doesn't seem to be part of the first churches or hinted at in the NT.
          You're right, Innerfire.

          Nowhere in the Bible are choirs an essential or prerequisite part of an assembly, but they have their uses, and some folk enjoy them so without a commandment stating "Thou shalt not have choirs!", I'm happy to let them make a joyful noise to the Lord.
          Comment>
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