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Recently I have become aware of traditions of public devotional singing.  This is interesting as I am trying to understand what is going on either inside or outside some Australian Churches that seem to have problems with public devotional singing.  So here is my evidence so far:

1) In an article in Jocelyn Brewer describes public worship as a Hare Krishna – “On Saturday nights you could find me alternatively at a Whitlam’s gig (it was the 90’s) or dressed in a sari chanting and dancing my way up and down George Street – a practise called sankirtan, public devotional singing – believed to purify and bring about higher consciousness.”

2) While at a restaurant yesterday a group of islanders broke into song with the occasional reference to Jesus.  This was before the singing of Happy Birthday.

3) This flashmob in the UK performed by students in a college I used to work with.  I’d say at but that may sound like I was teaching there which I was not.

Each of these is public devotional singing – no question – outside of a church – no question.  Yet many of the people I know would only participate in public devotional singing if it was evangelistic.

On top of this I read this week that Hillsong United’s latest Album Zion topped the iTunes chart.  This is confirmed on the veritable source of all internet knowledge – Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_(Hillsong_United_album).  This music again I guess will not be used for public devotional singing.

So why aren’t white Pentecostals and others doing this?

Something for me to consider?

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Briefly

David Morgan, lecturer, theologian, husband, father and blogger.
March 2013
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