"I surrender all" during collection/offering

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by xirtam, Aug 3, 2013.

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  1. xirtam

    xirtam Puritan Board Freshman

    Seeing that I am relatively young in the faith and have only lived in a foreign country since coming to Christ, I am new at much, so please forgive my ignorance, but I do wonder if it is normal or at least common place for churches to play the hymn "I surrender all" during collection/offerings? Maybe I am a scrooge or my sinful pride is getting in the way, but it seems a tad bit manipulative, especially when it is played every week.

    In Christ,
  2. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    . . . we sing psalms :) . . .
  3. xirtam

    xirtam Puritan Board Freshman

    Maybe they can't afford S's and just thought that palms open were enough?
  4. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    We do acknowledge that all that we have comes from and belongs to God by giving a portion of it back to Him. He doesn't ask for it all back.

    This, I believe may be the significance of 1/10 in a tithe. Giving a tenth signified that all the rest came from and belonged to God. The tenth was being given for the whole. Check out books on biblical numerals and their symbolism.

    By the way, I don't believe that all Christians are obliged to tithe; but if you feel able and willing to do so, do it while you can. Or if you're even better off you can do more.

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  5. xirtam

    xirtam Puritan Board Freshman

    But what about the hymn?
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Write the eldership and suggest that you all, instead, sing, "I surrender some..."
  7. xirtam

    xirtam Puritan Board Freshman

    The funny thing is that I didn't notice it right away. My lovely wife brought it up and she has been right, they sing it every time.
  8. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    It sounds manipulative; but it is logically impossible for you "surrender all" in the collection plate anyway, so reinterpret it in your mind in whichever way you wish.

    If the church leadership think they are asking for all your money, your body, your soul, etc, via this hymn, they are illogical and taking the place of God, whether they realise it or not.

    It is further evidence that Christian liberty can be stepped upon by the church, through the use of extra-Psalmodic songs during the stated worship services, anyway. Better sticking with the Psalms.

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  9. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Many other hymns suggest the same thing:

    "Love so amazing, so divine,
    demands my soul, my life, my all"

    "But drops of love can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe
    Here, Lord, I give myself away - 'tis all that I can do"

    The sentiment itself is not out of place, but I think there is a serious issue if the same hymn is sung every single week - vain, meaningless repetition. Because however good a hymn is, if you repeat it out of habit, you'll struggle to engage the mind, and simply be on autopilot.
  10. MarieP

    MarieP Puritan Board Senior

    How about "Jesus Paid It All"? ;)

    Seriously, I agree - there are many great hymns that could be sung!

    "Take My Life and Let it Be"
    "I'd Rather Have Jesus"
    "Have Thine Own Way, Lord"

    As for singing the same song, I don't think I would have a serious problem with that- for example, our Presbyterian brethren often sing the doxology after the offering (granted, a much shorter selection). It seems we always sing Amazing Grace after a baptism (now that would a great scenario every Sunday!). Granted, "I Surrender All" isn't at all my favorite hymn, but I don't think rejecting the practice solely on repetition is enough of a reason.
  11. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The sentiment expressed in that hymn fits what the offering should be about. The offering is not just financial housekeeping. It's a part of the worship service because it is (or ought to be) an expression of a larger reality—our total surrender to Jesus. He is the Lord who has given so much to us, and so we give our whole selves to him.

    Now, there may be churches that pick an offertory hymn for its manipulative powers rather than for how it fits our surrender to Christ. That makes a mockery of worship. But I think we go too far if we assume that's why a hymn was picked... especially a hymn so fitting to the right purposes behind taking up an offering as a part of worship. There are many, many hymns that express truths which fit an offering, and I would think things get tedious in a church that uses the same one every time, but a hymn about our total surrender to the Lord is on track.
  12. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    I think there might be some good in singing a hymn consistently though, especially just one. At Providence we sing the same doxology (based on I Timothy 1:17) each week, so that even the youngest ones are able to consistently join in. It's always joyous!
  13. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    Yeah, a little manipulative.

    Better than "Almost persuaded." "Almost . . . but lost"
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I googled Hymns stewardship and came up with a couple of more they could add to the rotation:

    "Give of your best to the Master'


    "Lord, Thou lov’st the cheerful giver"
  15. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    In the guilt-inducing category, be glad that your pastor doesn't make you sing this one every Sunday . . .

    I gave My life for thee,
    My precious blood I shed,
    That thou might'st ransomed be,
    And quickened from the dead;
    I gave, I gave My life for thee,
    What hast thou given for Me?
    I gave, I gave My life for thee,
    What hast thou given for Me?

    And I have brought to thee,
    Down from My home above,
    Salvation full and free,
    My pardon and My love;
    I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
    What hast thou brought to Me?
    I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,
    What hast thou brought to Me?

    Or, if they wanted to emphasize church attendance . . .

    Do you see, do you see
    All the people sinking down
    Don't you care, don't you care
    Are you gonna let them drown

    How can you be do numb
    Not to care if they come
    You close your eyes
    And pretend the job's done

    "oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord"
    You know it's all I ever hear
    No one aches, no one hurts
    No one even sheds one tear

    The world is sleeping in the dark
    That the church just can't fight
    'cause it's asleep in the light
    How can you be so dead
    When you've been so well fed
    Jesus rose from the grave
    And you, you can't even get out of bed

    Oh, Jesus rose from the dead
    Come on get out of your bed
  16. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Wow, I know at lot of churches might play such a hymn during an "invitation" or "altar call", but I don't believe I have ever heard of it being played during an offering. That really is manipulative.
  17. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    When we use the word "manipulative" to describe songs about giving during the time of giving at church, how does this compare to quotes about honoring the Sabbath during Sunday? Or, songs about missions or going or sacrifice when a visiting missionary arrives?

    What defines manipulation, and what defines properly motivating someone to do good?
  18. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    Is it the song that is manipulating or is it the Holy Spirit doing a work of convicting, or is it possibly the enemy of your soul trying to bring discontent where you start nit picking small things where you quit going to church to Worship at all?? Are the words of the Song really manipulating or is God pricking a spot in the heart and thus you 'feel' as if the song is manipulative?

    Have you and your wife prayed about why you may be feeling manipulated (or possibly a better word..convicted) by a song?

    sometimes it's helpful to know how the song came about..

    "Story behind the song - I Surrender All

    Story behind the song - I Surrender All
  19. Cymro

    Cymro Puritan Board Junior

    I have always had a difficulty with the position that the collection is part of the worship service.
    The widows mite was placed in the chest as she entered. To interrupt the worship by passing a plate
    around, and generally an organ playing a solo, I personally find it off putting. The practise of the
    Free Church and its parallel denominations has been to have a plate in the vestibule as one enters.
    Before I was convinced of EP, I always refused to sing Take my life, as the vows therein were beyond my
    experience. "Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold." One aged brother at the time said,
    "its all very well singing those claims, but Christians have short arms and deep pockets." And of course the
    unbelievers present would sing it as volubly as the believers, the tune having a moving power. The pulpit prayer
    should cover the giving of the members, and not only by tithes, but for empowerment in the Master's service.
    But let everyman be persuaded in his own mind.
  20. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If giving is part of worship (or if giving is an act of worship) it ought to remain within the opening and closing of the worship service.
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