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Friday, December 08, 2006

Anybody else sick of hymns?

5 comments:

Susie Moore said...

I really like the new arrangements like on Passion: Hymns but not so much the older stuff.

Jinx said...

I'm sick of contemporary services....

Paul James said...

I'm for blended services - 3 hymns, 2 contemporary songs and 1 spot for "special music". That's the only real way to worship God anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda tired of 'em too...It's good to sing them every now and again. Luckily the Bible doesn't tell us what songs we should sing in church...just as long as they are for Him. I'm all for contemporary...It's really cool to see contemporary versions of hymns though

Anonymous said...

Just ran across this blog topic and thought I'd post some random thoughts I wrote a while back about hymns... Sorry I'm late on jumping in on this one. This is a pretty long reply, but I thought it was worth sharing...

Here's my take on hymns... The only people who even care if we use hymns anymore are the people who grew up on the hymnal. It's a cultural thing I guess. Do african tribes use the hymnal in worship??? Have the believers of Afghanistan ever even heard a verse of "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name"??? If they have, it's because some white missionary forced our music and cultural Christianity on them... "Hymn Nazis" try to make the argument that we are leaving out an integral part of our Christian heritage if we exclude hymns. According to that argument, the tribes of Africa and the underground church in China aren't getting the full meaning and experience of Christianity if they don't crack open a musty smelling hymnal and sing all 15 verses of "A Mighty Fortress is our God" at 11:30am on Sunday mornings...

People need to be reminded that they are JUST songs! Are hymns rooted in theology and heritage? Yes. (Although that heritage is mainly limited to old white people.) Are hymns an essential of the Christian faith? Uhhh, can I get a big Hell NO? When did the church decide to canonize the hymnal anyway??? It's become a sacred cow for many people and they just can't get past it. Church worship wars boil down to two things in my mind: Legalism and selfishness. Hymnals are to religious people, what circumcision was to the legalistic Jews. They try and make it an essential of Christian worship and think that their songs are better and deeper than the new stuff. They think that everyone who doesn't worship like them is missing the mark and their style of worship is wrong. Some people truly feel that the hymnal is the only true way to worship and everything else falls short. I think it's also a comfort and familiarity thing for a lot of people. It's what they're used to and what they like and they will settle for nothing less in their worship experience. They don't care that the lost world around them has changed and pipe organs don't get radio play anymore. They don't care that their religious preferences have squelched their ability to relate to the culture around them. They don't care that their church looks like a snapshot from 1955. The carpet is from 1955, the pews are from 1955, the music is from 1955, the same old grumpy lady has been sitting on the third row since 1955... It seems like so many churches are stuck in time and they don't give a crap! And they wonder why no one comes to their church anymore!!!

Don't get me wrong, the gospel is an unwavering message that never changes. It is a sin to change the message, but it is also a sin not to change the method by which it is presented to our culture. Music has a big part in that. I'm not implying that traditional church is evil. I think as long as the church is growing and reaching people, go for it. However, I just don't see my generation or those to follow being reached by an organ and a hymnal. It's not so much about the music as it is the heart and motivation behind why you do what you do.

Do I hate hymns? No, I actually sang one last Sunday (and rocked it's face off, I might add). I don't hate hymns, I just hate the legalism that runs rampant in a ton of churches surrounding worship style. When we boil it down, what difference does it really make? If people are coming to church and getting saved and genuine worship is happening, who cares what kind of music it is... Everywhere you go the culture is different, so I say do what fits and what reaches the people of your area. If that means you need to dress up like a Jedi Knight in your choir robe and sing your freaking heart out, go for it! Rock that pipe organ as long as lives are being changed and your culture is being reached. If those things aren't happening, it's time to let go of your sacred cows and embrace change so that more people might gain access to the message of the gospel and meet Jesus.

I could go on and on, but you get what I'm saying. I have issues, I know... I just thank God that I go to a church that cares about the culture and where people are meeting Jesus and lives are being changed every week.