"I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

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Homer
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"I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

Post by Homer » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:48 am

Last Sunday as the service was coming to a close the "preaching pastor" announced the last song, "I surrender All". And he informed the congregation that it would be hypocrisy to sing the words if they had not done it.

Among the words:

"All to Him I freely give".
"Worldly pleasure all forsaken,"

I have enjoyed the preacher's routine exhortation to live the Christian life, "to go out and be the church" as he says at the close of every service, but my concern with the hypocrisy challenge is the effect it can have on people. Who can say they have literally given everything to Jesus? Who can say they have given up all worldly pleasure? I think I can say that, but what does "worldly pleasure" mean for sure? That was not explained. The preacher owns an ATV that he likes to ride in the mountains. Is that a worldly pleasure? I would not say so, but would the "babes in Christ" understand this? They might ask if he "gave all to Jesus" wouldn't he have taken the money he paid for the ATV and given it to the poor or to support a missionary?

LOML and I had a good discussion on the way home. She did not sing the song, although its a favorite of hers. She said that there are things that she struggles with such as forgiving people who mistreat her. But she does conscientiously fight the fight. It seems to me the preacher would have done better if he had challenged people to submit to Jesus as Lord in all areas of life, then teach what that means. On the other hand there is no "easy believism" with him.

Any thoughts?

dwight92070
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Re: "I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

Post by dwight92070 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:31 am

James said, "For we all stumble in many ways ..." James 3:2 If we are all honest, none of us can truthfully sing that song until, one day, we are all made perfect with Him. So maybe before we sing that song, an exhortation could be given to let it be the desire and prayer of our hearts to become more and more like the person that the song describes.

Dwight

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Homer
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Re: "I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

Post by Homer » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:11 pm

Thanks Dwight, perfect answer IMO.

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dizerner
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Re: "I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

Post by dizerner » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:57 pm

I guess the idea is to keep striving for this state. But we need more teaching on grace. When I started to realize part of what I had to surrender, was my own halfhearted attempts at surrendering, I started to receive the grace to lay aside every weight and sin that entangles. But it's like the rich young ruler, until we try to surrender, how will we really know how enslaved we are to our own idols? A step of legalistic law will at least drive in us the need for grace.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Paidion
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Re: "I Surrender All" - Who Can Sing It"?

Post by Paidion » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:47 pm

"I surrender all" is one of my favourite Christians songs, if not my favourite. I fully agree with you, Homer, that it was a colossal mistake for the preacher to suggest that anyone singing it, is doing so hypocritically.

When I sing that magnificent song, I am not professing to have achieved the ultimate in Christian commitment or in living the Christian life. I see what I sing as an aspiration, a goal, a target. Therefore, I am not being hypocritical when I aspire to surrender all.

Indeed, the song doesn't say, "I have surrendered all" but "I surrender all". If that is my heart when I sing it, then I am surrendering all right then and there. I would never judge a person as hypocritical who sings that song. I would regard him as making a special commitment at that moment.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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