H – Hymns

A slight detour for today. The singing of God’s praise is a very important part of our worship. Personally, I think it is very sad that it has become such a contentious issue. We argue about whether to sing older or newer songs, what the style of music should be and what instruments should be used, but forget what we are really doing. In short, we are declaring God’s praise in song, and in the process instructing each other in Biblical truth.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say anything about the style of music that should be used for this. Some would argue that we need to be reverent in our worship, and of course we must. We come before a holy God and must approach him in the right way – yes, as our Heavenly Father who loves us, but also as a holy, awesome God. The assumption is then made that singing a “foursquare” hymn tune is more reverent than a more exuberant worship song.

But surely that is merely a matter of taste – a church can have a traditional hymn sandwich and be far from reverent before God. A more lively style can still be reverent. How? Because it is really a matter of the heart. In each case the important question is how is my heart before the Lord? Do I approach him as he is? If that is the case then it doesn’t matter what style of music we use. Of course we need to ensure that what we are singing is faithful to the truth in Scripture, but let’s remember what really matters.

And I haven’t mentioned the word hymn, but that’s what we’re talking about here!


3 thoughts on “H – Hymns

  1. I think a good ‘mix’ is better than any one style. Our previous church ramped up the music until it was like attending a rock concert every week! (and I really couldn’t help wondering where ‘performance’ ended and ‘worship’ began?)

    Our new spiritual home seems to value the old as well as the new – thus in one service it’s possible to have drums, slap-bass, saxophones AND the mighty pipe organ!

    I still think God would be satisfied with the husky croaking of an off-key singer, as long their heart was in their singing, glorifying Him!

    SueH One Small Cogwheel
    Twitter – @Librarymaid


    • I agree entirely. It is important to realise that we stand as part of a long historical tradition. It is true that hymn writing did not end at the end of the 19th century. It is equally true it didn’t start 20 years ago!

      You are also right about the performance element. Worship is all about glorifying God. The musicians are there to point to him, they are not giving a rock concert to draw attention to themselves.


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