Thursday, November 13, 2008

Talk Thursday // 'Fess Up

Confession time:

I love hymns.

It's true. I know that hymns don't jive with being relevant in our postmodern world, but I just can't help myself. Bulwarks and Ebenezers and being washed in the blood of the moves me. My world could live in the Southern Baptist Hymnal (from 1994). And I won't even begin to discuss how I feel about Maranatha music! ;)

The second part to my little confession is that I don't really care for much of the new praise and worship music coming out right now (except for Chris Tomlin's new song "Jesus Messiah" - I LOVE that!). The problem is that I compare them lyrically and melodically and theologically. I'm trying to be better, but sometimes I just get "whelmed" in the music.

So here's the question:

Are you old-school or new-school? Do you love the "golden oldies" caught in that musty smell of the hand-held hymnal? Or are you excited to read your words on PowerPoint, slammin' with Chris Tomlin and Crowder and Darlene Zscheck and the Hillsong gang? If you love hymns, what's your favorite?

And check out the new posts on SereYodh - Jonah 1. =)


Michael Gilley said...

Give me a hymnal any day. I love the tradition in some of those old songs because they carry on so much theology and teaching from the earliest of days. Unfortunately, most of the praise worship today has left these traditions in the dust and I think it'll only be a matter of time (and even now) that we'll begin to see the repercussions of that. This would be individual and emotional centered worship not to mention dumbed down and just wrong teachings. Liturgy all the way. Although, I think we can write newer songs that speak the same old time tested truths. I'm just a bit worrisome over the lack of content and weight in the latest move. A lot of it also seems to be more about the $$ than the praise ever since the music business found out primarily in the '80s that Christians are a large marketable group that are willing to spend a lot of money on this type of stuff.

Jamie said...

I like hymns as well...hymns were the worship staple in my younger years. But its only in my adult life that I've been able to interpret what a lot of the songs mean. (I always try to harmonize while singing hymns, mixin' it up on the "aaaaahmeeen"!) I do enjoy a lot of the current worship songs too though. I'm happy with whatever directs my heart toward God, be it Old Rugged Cross or Amazing Love. (and don't get me started...For Those Tears I Died...Set My Spirit Free... I also love Keith Green & John Michael Talbot! shhhhh)

TenaciousT said...

I agree with Jamie. Worship isn't about style or even necessarily certain lyrics. Both new and old move me closer to God. I'd hate to eliminate either one of them from my worship.
But if we're talking about preference, I really like the songs, both old and new, that draw straight from the Bible. I love to sing the literal words of God. That's good stuff.

Candace said...

I like a mix of both. I kind of side with my dad on this issue, who likes to refer to our contemporary worship songs as 7/11 songs: seven words repeated 11 times before you can move on.

I think the old hymns capture so much more depth and beauty. "O, the Deep Deep Love of Jesus" is one of my favorites, along with "Because He lives."

But there are many, many contemporary songs that I find equally moving. My favorite worship services are the ones that have a mix of both.

You didn't tell us what your favorite is, did you?

JD & Jen said...

i agree with gilley. and with you sarah. although my favorite hymn book is probably the highway hymnal from the 50s or so. my parents have shelves of old to ancient hymn books and i love every one of them. it irks me to no end that churches are replacing hymns with the watered-down choruses and hymn books with pew bibles (whatever happened to bringing YOUR bible?). unfortunately, traditional services are too early in the morning for me to want to go to. :(

Sarah Lewie said...

My favorite hymn is "It Is Well" or "Sweet Sweet Spirit" or "Family of God" or "Come Thou Fount". It kinda depends on the mood I'm at the moment. =)

I have a tendency of coming across as more "all or nothing", which is just my personality, but that's not always what I mean. Worship is, first and foremost, about worshipping God. If that's with a good old-school hymn, that's awesome. If it's with a "7/11" song, jam it out. God is about our hearts. I forget that a lot.

I love Talk Thursdays. =)

Sarah Lewie said...

Oh and Jamie: I think we may be kindred spirits, separated somewhere by well, a state. =)
I loves Keith Green too.
I'll confess that my fave CCM songs are "Blessed Be Your Name" and "We Are Hungry" and "Trading My Sorrows".

Good times, good times. =)

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Hey I just came across your blog and I couldn't resist commenting on this. I think a lot more young people than we suspect have a special place for hymns. As for me, I WILL have 'And Can It Be' played at my funeral. I love it to death. 'Praise to the Lord the Almighty' is a close second. There's so many. Congrats on the decision to go to seminary. I'm just finishing my seminary career. A long, arduous, but very fulfilling journey.

Nicholas Lamar. said...

Mein heart is definitely for both hymns and praise and worship songs. I feel torn by the movement to powerpoint screens and the abandonment of hymnals. Switching screens provide so much less time for lingering on text that capture you (though you know it'll come around "11" more times).

My favorite hymns consist of "Victory in Jesus," "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus," and "Heavenly Sunshine."