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Bad Hymns?


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#1 Salyan

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:38 PM

A church I know avoids the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" because the lady who wrote it was not a Christian, and was promoting some sort of social gospel.

Pastor pointed out a while back that "Spirit of God, descend upon my heart" has faulty doctrine.

Sometimes it's really hard finding out stuff like this about favorite hymns! I want to just stick my head in the sand and not think about it. (I know... I know... that is not a correct response.) :frog

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:59 PM

Loving the hymns and other fine gospel songs which I do sing as a soloist in our church and having been with a gospel quartet there are many hymns as well as other songs that have words or subject lines that aren't biblical. Much of this comes from what people have been told over the years from the belief system they have been brought up in.
We could just go on and look at only the mistaken theology or we could go ahead and see the blessings that can come from these songs. Admittedly, there are some I would never sing for some are just way too off scripture to sing or for a choir to do. So I personally pick and choose the songs that stick closest to the Word of God.
Remember, we can be too harsh at times over some things that just aren't worth getting into an uproar over. However, when it comes to my KJV better back way off for it is THE WORD OF GOD. wellglory!



:amen: :goodpost: Very nicely put...wellglory. :)

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:48 PM

I really like wellglory's post. This makes the most sense to me, anyways. :thumb

#4 Kitagrl

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:16 PM

We sang "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" the other day in church and Luther was nowhere close to a Baptist....good song though! Gorgeous tune.

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 09:12 PM

Pastor pointed out a while back that "Spirit of God, descend upon my heart" has faulty doctrine.



Where is the bad doctrine? I am missing it? :puzzled: The only thing I see that "might" be questionable is "Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love". I am not sure that phrase would be biblically defensible...

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

#6 matie-k

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:58 AM

I was just wondering if anyone would share what hymns they feel are unBiblical or otherwise bad because of who wrote it. In other words, are there any mainstream hymns that anyone here doesn't approve of and why?

#7 Annie

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:55 AM

There are mainstream hymns that I "don't approve of," but it is not only because of who wrote them. Some of these hymns include the following: "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" (written by a Deist, I believe, and have you ever really thought about the lyrics?); "In the Garden" (sentimental, "lover-like" view of Jesus Christ--does Christ really "meet with" us this way?); "We're Marching To Zion" (amillennial theology); "Count Your Many Blessings" (faulty, shallow lyrics); "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"; "O Holy Night."

Some of these hymns were written by liberals (nonbelievers) in the late 1800's. This worldview comes out in the lyrics. The focus is not on Christ, but on liberal themes (brotherhood of men, everyone is a child of God, etc.). I do think that the philosophy of a composer/lyricist will be revealed in his music at some point.

Some other hymns I dislike are ones in which the text doesn't "agree with" the music...For example, take the words, "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore." Shouldn't the music which expresses that text be somber? But the music to "Love Lifted Me" sounds like a carnival. Same with "Years I spent in van-i-TEE and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified." The music is just plain distracting; it fights against the text.

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 08:32 AM

There are mainstream hymns that I "don't approve of," but it is not only because of who wrote them. Some of these hymns include the following: "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" (written by a Deist, I believe, and have you ever really thought about the lyrics?); "In the Garden" (sentimental, "lover-like" view of Jesus Christ--does Christ really "meet with" us this way?); "We're Marching To Zion" (amillennial theology); "Count Your Many Blessings" (faulty, shallow lyrics); "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear"; "O Holy Night."

Some of these hymns were written by liberals (nonbelievers) in the late 1800's. This worldview comes out in the lyrics. The focus is not on Christ, but on liberal themes (brotherhood of men, everyone is a child of God, etc.). I do think that the philosophy of a composer/lyricist will be revealed in his music at some point.

Some other hymns I dislike are ones in which the text doesn't "agree with" the music...For example, take the words, "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore." Shouldn't the music which expresses that text be somber? But the music to "Love Lifted Me" sounds like a carnival. Same with "Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified." The music is just plain distracting; it fights against the text.



Annie...you are so funny. :lol:


Actually, Kaite...I have opinions on many of them, but off hand, I really can't think of them. Actually, I don't know where to begin. LOL. I don't have enough time today to state ALL of them. teehee.


IMHO, anything that doesn't lift up and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. :frog

#9 Kitagrl

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:06 AM

We have a family in our church who disagrees with anything John W Peterson which in our hymnal there are several written by him, can't remember the names offhand but very familiar songs.

I'm all for strict music but when we pick apart even hymns by author and whatever else, I think its kind of crazy myself. To say our music must be perfect is to say our prayers also must be perfect, and that is not so. As long as my music is seperated STRONGLY from the world, that is where I draw the line.

I know a guy who acts like hymns are nearly inspired...he thinks even changing a bit of the original wording or even the KEY it was written in, is wrong. He's nuts. LOL.

#10 RayJr

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 10:14 AM

Mr. Peterson has composed well over 1000 individual songs, including titles such as: "It Took a Miracle," "Over the Sunset Mountains," "So Send I You," "Springs of Living Water," "Heaven Came Down," "Jesus Is Coming Again" and "Surely Goodness and Mercy." In addition, he has written 35 cantatas and musicals. Among these are "Night of Miracles," "Born a King," "No Greater Love," "Carol of Christmas," "Jesus Is Coming," "King of Kings," "Down from His Glory" and "The Last Week."

Thats a lot of songs!! I'm sure not all of them are good but hey who am I to say, but i gotta think at least one of them is good, right. I think we forget that God can use anyone he chooses to do things he needs done, look at samson, he had a sin in hislife that ultimately killed him yet God still used him to do his bidding.

#11 kindofblue1977

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:14 AM

I don't see anything wrong with those hymns.

Joyful joyful we adore Thee is my favorite hymn. Very rich and deep.

#12 deafnva77

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:27 AM

joyful joyful we adore thee was one of the song we sang in choir when I was in public school (of course I was a TERRIBLE singer, but I signed up for choir because my friends were in it and it was fun)


It's a really nice song, especially when a choir sing it - if they separate the people to sing low, medium, and high and know where sing.

I've always felt it was more of a catholic song though because i never sang it in my church. I think I got the idea from the movie sister Act

#13 RayJr

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:37 AM

I don't believe I have ever heard the song.

#14 trc123

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:01 PM

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Henry J. van Dyke, 1907
Copyright: Public Domain
Main subject: Praise
Scripture: Psalm 71:23

1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow?rs before Thee,
Op?ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav?n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow?ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o?er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.

#15 RayJr

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:05 PM

word seem fine to me, last verse could say sonward instead of sunward. but thats nitpicking.

#16 Annie

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:08 PM

I don't want to ruin "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" for anyone...so don't check these links out unless you really want to know who Henry VanDyke (the hymn's composer) was. For the record, I LOVE the tune (Beethoven's Ninth).
Spoiler


#17 dwayner79

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:20 PM

Someone mentioned O Holy Night. The last verse of O Holy Night is highly political for the middle of the 19th century:

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.


I think its a great hymn and shows how music takes on the character and form of the issues of the day. Scripture is the only truly "timeless" literature. Music reflects culture, and Christian music will undoubtedly show the Christian's response to culture. I love O Holy Night and am grieved every time we sing it without singing the last verse.

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 02:58 PM

The hymn: "The Lily of the Valley" is a little off doctrinally. The song says that Jesus is the lily of the valley when actually the bible verse that it is taken from is not speaking of Jesus at all. The rest of the song is right though and it is a beautiful song indeed...

Some other hymns I dislike are ones in which the text doesn't "agree with" the music...For example, take the words, "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore." Shouldn't the music which expresses that text be somber? But the music to "Love Lifted Me" sounds like a carnival. Same with "Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified." The music is just plain distracting; it fights against the text.


I suppose that all depends on your point of view. :wink When I hear that song it doesn't seem like the music is fighting against the text, but that is because I hear the music as coming from a joyful heart which cannot help but rejoice because it has been lifted from it's fallen state. Carnival? Yes, in a way, the writer is rejoicing. :thumb

#19 Annie

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 04:18 PM

I suppose that all depends on your point of view. :wink When I hear that song it doesn't seem like the music is fighting against the text, but that is because I hear the music as coming from a joyful heart which cannot help but rejoice because it has been lifted from it's fallen state. Carnival? Yes, in a way, the writer is rejoicing. :thumb

Yes, I think that by the time the song gets to the refrain, it matches the text...but on the verses (at least verse 1), it's way off. A cousin of mine used to sing, "I was sinking deep in sin, having a wonderful time..." 'cause that's what it sounds like. Another one that's like this is "At the Cross." ("Alas, and did my Savor bleed, and did my Sovereign die?") The text is weighty and reflective, but the tune is anything but those things.

Good point about the Lily of the Valley.

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:14 PM

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Henry J. van Dyke, 1907
Copyright: Public Domain
Main subject: Praise
Scripture: Psalm 71:23

1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow?rs before Thee,
Op?ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav?n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow?ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.
4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o?er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.



Yes...hubby and I sang Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee growing up in the RCC. It is interesting that it was written by a Presbyterian. Also, we sang...Holy, Holy, Holy growing up RCC. And, Silent Night was written by a Catholic priest in the Swiss Alps (St. Nicklaus Parish). The organ broke the night of Christmas Eve Mass. He had a school teacher put the words to a simple guitar melody. That is where it gets it's simplicity from. It is serene. :smile




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