Sunday, January 21

you can say mean things about me, but...

Call me old fashioned, call me closeminded, call me brainwashed, or whatever else you like, but I'm sticking to my guns. I like hymns and songs with theological depth.

Today I stayed home from church with a raw throat and congested child, and as I listened to our church service on the radio, I was once again thankful for the godly leadership at our church and their desire to lead the church in corporate Sunday worship, as well as point out that worship is supposed to take place all week long, not just on Sundays.

The congregation sang (among others) one of my favorites, "My Hope is in the Lord"

My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.

For me He died, For me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.

No merit of my own His anger to suppress.
My only hope is found in Jesus' righteousness.

And now for me He stands Before the Father's throne.
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all, 'Tis mine but to believe,
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.

Try as they might to convince me, no one will ever be able to get me to think this song (and there are plenty other good songs out there!) can compare to some of today's shallow favorites. Sorry, kids, but "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" just isn't on the same plane.


MaryBeth said...

Amen to that Jenny! i totally agree with you there--- the favorites among so many just don't compete with the great hymns---as we are instructed to keep our minds focused on. thank you for the post! i, too, am very thankful for the godly leadership at our home church--Calvary Baptist---and our church here in MN--Cornerstone Baptist!

on another note--hope you and Aaron are feeling better isn't any fun when baby and mommy are sick---i will be praying for you!


Tricia said...

I agree about singing proper theology. We use alot of hymns but also use contemporary songs, but the way that we choose either is the theological content. There is some excellent stuff coming out of Sovereign grace music especially. So bring on the old hymns and bring on the new stuff...just make sure it is Christ-centered and theologically deep!

I hope you are feeling better too. We had alot of people gone today at our church. 'Tis the season.

Stephens said...

Jenny, I am sorry you guys are sick and had to leave snow camp. I was praying for you this weekend, and didn't check my e-mail until right before bed Sat. night, so I didn't realize you were home. Praying today is a better day for you and Aaron! Also, I will have to point someone I know to this post, and he will be greatly encouraged. God is good! May we worship Him daily individually and then corporately use Christ-centered means of worship on Sunday.

Michael & Sandra Herriage said...


I agree with you completely! Music is a big thing and so many churches have totally washed out on this subject. I love coming home to Calvary because they've held strong to the right music.

Kris Stephens said...

I thought of you guys when I picked out that song for this past Sunday. Sorry you weren't there to join in in person. Just as a side note, verse two is my favorite. Wow! Powerful stuff!

Kelly (Rademacher) Glupker said...

Good post Jenny. I too am not opposed to newer music, but I don't care for the pointless stuff. A lot of contemporary music is all about me, not about Him. I want my worship to have some theological depth to it.

Alicia said...

I won't call you any mean names, but I will dissent respectfully to your post. :)

I am right with you on the desperate need for theologically sound songs in worship and in the home. BUT an old hymn isn't automatically considered theologically sound just because it's old and in our hymnbooks. It seems that we often just sing hymns without contemplating the theology behind them. Some hymns are off on their theology of God, or they just steal our focus from Christ ("I've got a mansion" is one of my pet peeves).

There are good new, and dare I say, contemporary worship songs that are poetic and theologically strong. Have you heard anything by Shaun Groves, Sons of Korah, or the Gettys?

Of course, please know that I respect your personal leanings and preferences about music. In general I'm a CCM fan, but there are renditions of songs out there that are musical trash. Just stinking lousy vocalizing.

Now you've gone and got "I could sing of your love forever" in my head. :) I don't mind that song, but it's like the song that never ends. It just keeps going and going and going and going . . . .

TwoMuths said...

I guess I should have left the comma out after the word hymns. For my intention was to say pretty much what you said - that theologically correct text should be the primary reason we pick a song. If one of the purposes of music is to unite us in praise and worship of God, then we should do it in a way that correctly reflects His character. That would mean, in my opinion too, that "I've got a mansion" should be off the "must sing" list along with the song I got stuck in your head (sorry about that). My intention was to forgo the style debate, but instead focus on the text...which is, after all, why we even sing at all! :-) I'm always up for a good discussion - if you have additional thoughts, please feel free to post!! (and I'm gonna fix that comma now)

TwoMuths said...

oh, and for the record, I don't like "that one song" because I feel like instead of singing "I could sing of Your love forever" um, forever... I think it would be more beneficial to ACTUALLY sing of God's love and the different and varied ways it manifests itself... (and when I say beneficial, I mean in the "edification and focus during corporate worship" department)

Alicia said...

Thanks for clarifying your intent about this post. It is certainly difficult to communicate ideas clearly through blogs or email. That takes talent!

I'm with you on the text issue. The words of a hymn or spiritual song should not only reflect right theology, but should also point us back to God. "My Hope is in the Lord" is a beautiful example of a hymn that does both!

I think too though that we should not just "approve" of the words and theology of a song, but think about the purpose and theological framework a song communicates. It seems that some hymns take portions of Scripture and then apply God's words out of context and apart from the whole framework of theology. (Forgive my muddled-communication style - this is hard to explain just using words). For example, "Trust and Obey" is a song that on the surface seems theologically ok but think about some of these phrases: "for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey" or "while we do His good will, He abides with us still". I disagree with both those phrases - happiness is found in forgiveness (Ps. 32) and in a Christian God will ALWAYS abide. Not just when I'm trusting and obeying.

Does that all make sense?

Sorry to make this so long, but I appreciate your response to my post so I wanted to continue this e-conversation. :) Maybe we'll have to have an email dialogue about all these issues. :)

Love you, sister,