We are un-teaching ourselves grace
Friday, August 24, 2007
It got me thinking again about why we teach Hymns to a modern congregation. Don't we have enough people writing praise choruses without going back to the old stuff? A freind of mine told me that he doesn't understand why our church does hymns because surely people can't relate to something that says 'thee' and 'thou' in it. It seems that singing hymns needs some kind of explanation. I reckon there are heaps of reasons why we should still sing hymns. Heres just one of them. (I haven't written about this stuff for a while so I thought it would be apt. Sorry if you have heard me talk about this stuff lots. I will continue to do it.)
Modern Praise Choruses are filled with longing and promises: "I want to worship you" "I will sing of your love forever" "Here I am to worship" "Lord we want to bow before your throne" Some are quite explicit vows: "I make a vow that I will always honour Christ whether I live or die".
As you look through the songs that we sing we are obsessed with promising things to God. We will love him more, we will worship him harder, we will be fired up everyday of our lives.
I wonder if with all this promising and longing, we are teaching ourselves that we need to work for our salvation. We need to prove something to God. I think that there is a place for making some sort of vow to God or for expressing a longing to serve him, but to quote Kevin Twit, 'a constant diet of promise songs leave you spiritually immature'.
Compare this to the Christian life seen in the hymns. I will take Rock of Ages as an example because it is so well known 'could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone, you must save and you alone.'
Rather than only feeding us with songs of response the hymns bathe us in God's grace. They show us God's saving power and teach us to rely only on him. I think that many modern song writers do this too, but our individualistic western culture always drags us into thinking that we need to do something.
Keep singing hymns and keep trusting God.
Posted byDan at 7:49 AM