Saturday, September 22, 2012

“…say Amen.” (1 Cor. 14:16)

The following thoughts are from the William McDonald Daily Devotional:

Amen is an extremely useful word with which to express hearty approval of what is being said. Many congregations could afford to use it more often in their services. The word is found 68 times in the Bible. From 1 Corinthians 14:15, 16 it is clear that it was used in the meetings of the early church. So we can be assured that the use of the Amen is eminently scriptural. Not only so, it is imperative. The sublime nature of the truths we deal with require the intelligent expression of enthusiastic appreciation. It seems like ingratitude to hear such truths and never make a vocal response.

It is always an encouragement to the speaker when his audience says “Amen” at those places in his message where he has made an effective point. It tells him that the people are following him and that they share his spiritual and emotional exuberance.And it is good for the person who says the Amen. It keeps him involved as an attentive listener. It keeps him from becoming apathetic when he should be amazed. I would suggest that it is good for outsiders who may be present. They sense that the Christians are enthusiastic, that they enjoy their faith, that they believe what they believe. The use of the Amen expresses life and fervor. Its absence speaks of dullness and deadness.

Amen is one of three Bible words that are practically universal. In most languages these words are the same. So you can go almost anywhere and say, “Maranatha! Hallelujah! Amen!” and people will understand you as saying “The Lord is coming! Praise the Lord! So be it.”

Of course, the word “Amen” should be used discerningly. It would be inappropriate to use it to express enthusiasm over misfortune, tragedy or sorrow. It is a shame that some bodies of Christians have stopped using the Amen because it has been abused in meetings given over to extreme emotionalism. Like all good things, it can be used or overdone. But we should not be robbed of this scriptural practice just because some have used it undiscerningly. Amen?
William McDonald

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