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(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.71)

We or I?

In our desire to worship God with one heart and one voice, some suggest that “we” language is

more appropriate in worship than “I” language. As a hymnwriter, I believe that stance is well-

intentioned but misguided.

Yes, a “we” perspective in worship is a worthy and constructive goal. Both scripture and

experience point us toward that synergy where worshipers join in heart and voice. The whole

becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

But individual worship is still the essential component. Though “we” language is highly

appropriate and expressive in some hymns, in others it can hold the truth at arm’s length. It can

lessen the impact of the hymn on the individual worshiper. When it does, corporate worship is

weaker, not stronger. A.W. Tozer said it this way:

“Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the

`

us' of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish `I.' Has it ever occurred to you

that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each

other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard

to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers met together,

each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could

possibly be were they to become `unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to

strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.

The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole Church of

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