Friday, September 3, 2010


The third parallel between the New Testament church and the Primitive Methodist movement, is praise, particularly through music.

The New Testament believers praised God in song, as well as in prayer, and other forms of worship. When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison at Philippi, they prayed and sang hymns at midnight. Paul wrote to the Corinthians advising “When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation” (1 Cor 14:26).

The Primitive Methodist movement likewise was characterised by song. They used music and song effectively, especially in the open-air. It was standard practice for an open-air preacher and his supporters to approach a market-place, singing as they went. Their singing soon attracted a crowd. Their hymn books were some of their most popular publications.

Like William Booth of the Salvation Army, fifty years later, the Primitive Methodists did not see why the devil should have all the best tunes. They put new words to lewd or ribald popular songs of the day, thus making a connection between the surrounding culture and their movement.

How can our modern day church use music and song more effectively?

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