"Non-Christian Hymns?"

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Rev. G, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    While I think it would be fair to state that not all CCM songs could be classified as "Christian," what about songs in our hymnals / chorus books? Are there songs that we sing during worship that are actually inappropriate? I'd be very interested to hear what you music ministers have to say on the matter.

    What is it that makes a song actually "Christian"?

    Rev. G
     
  2. Abiyah

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    Off the top of my head, "Work for the Night is
    Coming" is interesting, since it is an old song
    which speaks of working but not directly of the
    Lord. Some years ago, it was used in a school
    film in the U.S. which promoted Communism and/
    or Socialism. The Gaithers' "The King is Coming"
    causes some stir, depending upon ones escha-
    tology. A popular Bob Carlisle song from the late
    '90s, "We Fall Down, We Get Up" caused a ruckus
    among Arminians as well as among those who
    hate the RCatholic church. Oneness folk, as well
    as other believers, dislike "Holy, Holy, Holy."

    [ September 30, 2002, 02:30 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  3. Rev. G

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    "The King is Coming" may cause a stir depending upon one's eschatological views, but that does not make it "non-Christian." "Holy, Holy, Holy," a song worshiping the Holy Trinity, is devoutly Christian (whereas Oneness folks are not truly Christian as they deny the Holy Trinity). I'm not familiar with Mr. Carlisle's song at all, but I doubt that it is in a hymnal or church chorus book. I'd be interested to read the lyrics, though.

    Rev. G
     
  4. Abiyah

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  5. Pete

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    I can't think of anything from the hymnal off the top of my head (I'm not biased..honest..), I will have a good look through later.

    A lot of choruses of last few years suffer from the "How-to-sing-about-God-without-saying-you-are-singing-about-God-syndrome". One probably most would know is chorus "The greatest thing in all my life is knowing/loving/serving You". Make sure you have the chorus code-book with you when singing it "You = God", because the song doesn't mention Him. Not doctrinally incorrect like some today, just vague like too many today.

    Call me fussy, but i think the first criteria of a Christian song should be that it mentions God or Jesus, or has so many unmistakable references to His attributes or actions that it can not be taken as being about anything else. "You" is great for a song about your girlfriend/boyfriend/dog/car/etc, I think a bit better can be come up with for God? [​IMG]

    hmmm while writing the paragraphs above I sensed someone somewhere typing something about the book of Esther...Esther wasn't a song mate ;) And it fits criteria mentioned above re "unmistakable references to His actions" [​IMG]

    So anyway, to try and cut this long gory story a bit shorter, I'ld probably pass on The Greatest Thing, and not pass on He Is Lord.

    Pete [​IMG]
     
  6. Rev. G

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    I wouldn't call you "fussy," I'd call you "biblically-minded." I think you are quite correct in your assertion regarding the "you" phenomenon - it is the "God is my girlfriend" music that is far from worship. That's the way I see it, anyway.

    Rev. G
     
  7. Molly

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    I will agree with you guys on that! :D
     
  8. Molly

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    I can think of a few:

    The terrible chorus: "I could sing of your love forever"....it could be sung to anyone. Plus,it is just untasteful and repetitious and yuk! :eek:

    A ton of contempo songs....Point of Grace has a ton of songs that never mention Christ..."Sing a Song","Your name is on my lips,your love I can't resist",etc.... :rolleyes:

    Avalon's "You are my Oxygen" Among others. We have this CD because of the song Glory,which is a good song,but the others are not biblical at all.

    The hymn "At the Garden"...and He walks with me and he talks with me"....He does? :eek:

    There are many others,these are the only ones that come to mind.

    Molly
     
  9. Music Man

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    That song (I assume you mean, "In the Garden") gets picked on so much, because most people do not really know the background of it. It is really an Easter song. The person who wrote it, C. Austin Miles, did so after reading John 20, where Mary discovers the empty tomb and later is outside it crying, when Jesus (whom she thought at first was the gardener) talks with her. So the song is written from the perspective of Mary Magdalene on Easter morning (the first stanza anyway).

    Now, Miles did take plenty of "creative liberty" in writing the words, but I think, taken in the context in which it was written, it is not as bad as it is often made out to be. I personally don't care for it so much because I don't think it is necessarily appropriate for worship (it does not address God directly or even indirectly), but that is another topic altogether.

    I do agree with your judgment on the other songs, though.

    I think if a song could be sung to a girlfriend without having to change the words any, it is not appropriate for worship, to say the least.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]
     
  10. Music Man

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    Hey Rev. G.,

    How about "The Star-Spangled Banner"? It's in our hymnal! :D

    Really though, we tend to sing some songs in church around Memorial Day and July 4th that aren't Christian ("America the Beautiful", also in our hymnal, as well as other patriotic songs). Is that appropriate?

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]

    [ September 30, 2002, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Music Man ]
     
  11. Rev. G

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    Music Man:

    Oh! How you know I hate "In the Garden"! [​IMG]
    Why? Well, just a couple of reasons:

    "And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."

    "He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing; and the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing."

    Argh!

    Now you're pickin' on the U. S. of A., and everybody singin' those great ol' songs know that the U. S. of A. is the greatest nation on the face of this earth - God bless America, my home sweet home! (sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm)

    No, they are not appropriate (neither is the display of the American flag).

    Buckle your seatbelts, we may be close to hitting turbulence.....
    [​IMG]
    Rev. G
     
  12. Music Man

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    I am well aware of how much you hate that song! :rolleyes: but hey, I didn't say it wasn't cheesy! :D I just think it makes more sense taken in context. ;)

    Chris [​IMG]
     
  13. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    Cheesey! Quite cheesey! Yes!

    Rev. G
     
  14. Speedpass

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    Some in the media consider Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance", to be a secular hymn/prayer
     
  15. Ransom

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    At least two hymns found in pretty much every hymnal were actually written by Unitarians:

    "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
    "Nearer, My God, to Thee"
     
  16. Ransom

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    Abiyah said:

    We fall down, we get up;
    We fall down, we get up;
    We fall down, we get up;
    And a saint is just a sinner
    Who falls down and gets up.


    Of what little of "Butterfly Bob's" music I've heard, this one is handily my favourite.

    Don't know whether I'd qualify it as a hymn, though. It's listenin' music. [​IMG]
     
  17. ChristianCynic

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    I'm not bothering to reread the book of Esther, bud, but I disagree that it shows anything about "unmistakable references to His actions." It is only a series of events which came together whereby evil intent was averted... like any impending crime which is discovered and prevented.

    As to the songs people don't like, I gave up long ago thinking a song must be perfect to be acceptable. Obviously people are going to disagree about expressions, metaphors, and whether it addresses God or it refers to him. The Christmas songs are the worst for inserting suppositions which are probably wrong. I just credit those-- like Christmas itself-- as poetic license in trying to express a point which somewhere is worth expressing.
     
  18. Abiyah

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    The one song which has most distressed me
    is a children's song in which the words are

    "The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
    The little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes . . ."

    I remember back in the fifties being told that
    our Lord, as a child, never cried. I wondered
    what Scripture they got this from, but as I grew
    older, I realized that it likely came from this little
    song and the idea that a child was somehow
    "'bad"' when one cried. (Remember when
    people used to ask, "Oh, is he a good baby?"
    when they really meant, "Does he cry much?"
    Being a little snot, after I had my babies, if I
    was asked that, I would answer, "She's terrible!
    A real bad baby!" Ii hated being asked that;
    of course, my babies were good!! 8o) !!)

    Well, it was poetic license, I am sure, but it
    sure shows how one person's poetic license
    may be taken as gospel.
     
  19. Rev. G

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    The theme of Esther is obviously, "How LUCKY those Israelites are!"

    Our Lord is fully human! What implications! Jesus wailed when He was hungry, etc. How our Lord condescended to save us! Praise His name!

    Rev. G
     
  20. Mike McK

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    Ransom, back in the eighties and early nineties, he was the leader of a Christian band called "Allies", which is light years better than his solo stuff.

    Their albums are out of print but still relatively easy to find and they're well worth the effort, particularly "Long Way From Paradise" and "The River".

    Bob Carlisle and his partner from that band, Randy Thomas, still work together, most notably writing the Dolly Parton hit, "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That".

    Mike

    [ October 04, 2002, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     

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