Consistency in Hymn Selection

I recently had a conversation with a pastor who suggested that we should get some guys together and go through the hymnal (Majesty Hymns), discarding songs that don’t reflect our theology as well as songs whose melodies should really be buried in a large hole and then covered vigorously with dirt, lots of it.

The first one on my list is The Church’s One Foundation. One of the last verses mentions the Church’s “mystic sweet communion.” I’m really not sure what this meant at the time of writing, but am pretty sure I don’t believe what it means now!

How about you, which songs would be on your list and why? Be sure to include the perspectives you’re writing from (Dispensational, Covenant, Arminian, Calvinistic, etc).

  1. #1 by Joel B. on June 24, 2009 - 11:58 am

    I’m a dispensational mushy Calvinist or as I dreadfully say it (believe like a Calvinist, live like an Arminian), in any event, there are a few hymns I do not care for, such as “In the Garden.” But many even ones that are a little weak on theology I love…and some just need a verse not song to correct it’s problem. I do think some hymns are way better than others. A favorite being the 2nd verse of There is a fountain!

  2. #2 by clearly on June 25, 2009 - 11:05 am

    Joel B,

    Hey man — you’re a blast-from-the-past. Reminds me I need to get out to Lifepoint, I miss everyone and am excited about what God is doing there!

    I too love that song!

  3. #3 by Josh Akerberg on June 26, 2009 - 5:23 am

    While I’ve never really thought much about “The Churches One Foundation” one song that I do not like is “Faith of our Fathers” There are many refrences in the song to RCC theology, including what WAS the final stanza of the hymn.

    “Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
    Shall win our country back to Thee;
    And through the truth that comes from God,
    England shall then indeed be free.”

    The entirety of the song reflects little on the truths of God and who He is. Rather this historic faith that we lean on. The song mentions nothing of the saving power of Jesus, which, considering point of the song (strong faith) I believe is a pretty important omittance.

  4. #4 by Joel B. on June 26, 2009 - 11:46 am

    Blast from the past…Lol…It isn’t thaaaat long ago 😉 In any event yes you do need to come out and visit. But its great to hear things are going so well for you and yours and His!

  5. #5 by clearly on July 2, 2009 - 2:08 pm

    Josh, I had no clue the song mentioned Mary’s prayers — wow. Thanks for this piece of research:)

  6. #6 by Jeremy Horneck on July 12, 2009 - 8:19 pm

    You’re probably going to disagree with me on this, but I could do with removing all the patriotic songs from Christian hymnody.

  7. #7 by Melinda Clark on October 9, 2009 - 8:39 am

    I agree with not singing patriotic songs as the Body of Christ, gathered to worship Him. We’ve never thought that fit. We also avoid “Coming Again” (can’t you just hear the “oom-pa-pah” on the chorus?), “Like a River Glorious” (can’t agree with the Keswick theology it reflects), the original version of “So Send I You” (can’t stand singing such a glum view of a life invested in serving Christ, not to mention that the author repented of her original words and rewrote the song), “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations” (don’t agree with the amillennial theology), most of the songs that dwell on sunshine or bells ringing in my heart (haven’t found either one in Scripture yet), and “Hold the Fort” (the picture of believers cowering behind the walls waiting for deliverance doesn’t match the picture in Matthew 16 of believers storming the gates of hell; so if we do sing this song, Jason changes the chorus to “Storm the gates, for I am coming”). That’s just the beginning; it’s amazing how many poorly written, theologically anemic songs fill our traditional hymnody. I’m glad you’re working through the process of choosing rich songs for your church. 🙂

  8. #8 by clearly on October 9, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Melinda, good to hear from you! Please greet Jason for me…we still remember a great time in Steamboat!

    BTW, Emiley and I have been doing a lot of networking and evangelism in area coffee shops:)

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