We are an integral part of the Church, The Body of Christ.  When the Church weakens we suffer . . . when the Church prospers, we’re part of that!

The music in Church is called “Worship Music” . . . it can be either a strengthener, bringing a sense of nearness to God or it is part of a problem, i.e. entertainment with miked up sound, celebrities on stage and simplistic words

There can be more:  “speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. . .” (Ephesians 5:19.)  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.” (Colossians 3:16).

A Church leader (the pastor, in fact) told me that the music must relate and appeal to many different types of people.  So at that church old hymns are not used, or if they are they are applied to a rock-and-roll beat.  He grew up with the old hymns and thinks they do not appeal to people.

I have a quandary:  what is not appealing in an ancient song?  Is the tune “old fashioned”?  Many hymns have lasted thousands of years.  The Psalms certainly have.  Are the words obsolete?  If they are truth from Scripture how can they be obsolete?

The hearts and souls today have the same needs as in time past.  What in a tune that Charles Wesley composed is ugly, unappealing?  What is not encouraging, comforting, instructive, inspiring?

Why is our deep, powerful history cut off from us by leaders in the Church!

Fanny Crosby was blind but composed songs, hymns and spiritual songs:  she wrote 9000 hymns.  (Christianity.Com).  Hymns such as:  “Blessed Assurance,” “Saved by Grace,” “Draw Me Nearer,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” “To God Be the Glory,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” and “I Am Thine, O Lord,” not only expressed Fanny’s deep devotion to her Savior, but were backed up by a life that demonstrated the sentiments that she wrote about in her hymns.

The brothers John and Charles Wesley started a powerful, spiritual move.  Charles opened his Bible to Psalm 40:3 where he read, “He hath put a new song in my mouth; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.”  The next day he started his first hymn, probably it was “And Can It Be?”  It is a powerful, wondrous rejoicing in the freedom to be found in Christ:  Here are some of the words of “And Can It Be”:
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused the quickening ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

He believed in learning through song. Wesley wrote 6,500 hymns:  where are they?  They are here still. . . to be learned and sung and meditated on.  For decades there poured forth from him an unstoppable stream of spiritual songs.  Charles Wesley, like Martin Luther, believed hymns were a means of teaching theology.

The old songs have brought and taught us through an amazing history that glorifies Jesus Christ . . . the old together with the new: “Sing unto Him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.” (Psalm 33:3)

It is not too late to revisit and reuse at least some of the rich heritage of church music.  It’s not too late:  bringing our history in songs to the forefront of the Church will be part of our saving from a secular culture.  Indeed, we will rise above it in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Let’s find our roots . . . rooted in the power of the Word of God, hymns, and spiritual songs written by our Christian forebears . . .  A song or hymn or spiritual song accompanied by gifted artisans of music . . . or songs sung by beautiful voices a cappella, just with voices and harmonies . . .

All of us will be inspired, encouraged and strengthened.  We can still have the new but bringing the old back will be an exciting adventure.

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  1. Eric says:

    I personally never felt more worshipful than at an Episcopalian church which featured modern style music AND old hymns. I like rock-and-roll and jazz and Latin. Songs with a beat do inspire emotion (sometimes) but songs with meaning (as in the verses and chorus) inspire real worship, that is: an appreciation of who God is and what he does and a great thankfulness (to tears) for how he cared (and cares) for us. Songs purporting to be “worship” that have only eight words to them and mindless repetition put me off. Often the volume is cranked up so loud that the congregation can not hear itself sing. Often they lyrics of “today’s” songs are more about the singer than about God.

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