A few years ago, I noticed in a hymnal I was singing from during a church service something which was stated in the introduction to the hymnal. It said that second to the Bible, a hymnal is the most sacred book in Christianity. Fair enough, as a hymnal is something which pertains to God and not to this world.
Some time after that, though still a couple of years ago, the pastor of Garrison Creek Baptist Church here in town gave a few minutes during a service to saying that modern music was horrible and that he couldn’t believe someone would update an old hymn with modern music. This declaration came less than 24 hours after he privily explained to me that he didn’t see a problem with modern Christian music but didn’t feel right about having it in the church services (neither do I).
I’m just curious what some people think. The Bible prescribes nothing about styles of singing or instrumentation in private matters (it never speaks of instrumental music in regards to church, so we shouldn’t to what God has spoken by having it, I think). Are we doing something horrible for singing “All Creatures of Our God and King” in the arrangement the David Crowder Band performs on Illuminate? What about MercyMe’s version of “The Love of God” from Spoken For?
Should we complain about it as if the traditional arrangements are supposed to be enscripturated for all time in a set pattern? Thinking logically, many old hymns were not written words and music at the same time, as modern songs often are. Either an already existing (often “secular”) tune would be used, or one would be applied later on to a poem, thus making it a piece of music and a hymn.
Frankly, if putting “Fairest Lord Jesus” or “Onward Christian Soldiers” and so on to a more modern music gets people to sing it, praise the Lord! The tunes they were originally placed with were modern music which at one point was probably frowned upon just as much as rock music is today! (And frankly, I’m glad that people got over that whole Gregorian chants nonsense… NMSAA!
I can understand not wanting to change the word of God around to make it more “user friendly”; it should be as literal as possible using contemporary words and syntax in whatever language it is being translated into, as far as I’m concerned. But that is the word of God. That is something far above any hymn could ever be.
Brethren, examine yourselves in light of the Bible. If a religious tradition cannot be defended solely from it, drop the tradition and hold fast to the word. Most music-related traditions could be dropped without being any less biblical.