Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why Sing Hymns

"Our youth are growing up not learning the hymns." Concerned Parent

The trend today is to replace traditional hymns with contemporary praise choruses. This is not a good trend, especially for youth and new believers who need a strong doctrinal focus. Hymns present clear expressions of the knowledge of God and biblical truth. Colossians 3:16 admonishes—

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

Most contemporary praise choruses lack this emphasis. For example, a Muslim can sing many contemporary praise choruses and never utter a contradiction of his faith because praise choruses tend to focus on our affections for God rather than doctrinal truth. In contrast, a Muslim cannot sing a Christian hymn without professing doctrine that contradicts Islamic faith. Contemporary praise choruses often omit the identity of the God to whom it is sung, and they are so vague they could be sung to any false god. Even gospel choruses do not take the place of hymns rich in doctrine.

To discard hymns is not only unwise but also dangerous, for the identification and character of our Christian faith depends upon doctrinal distinctions. By singing hymns that are permeated with doctrinal truth, we help protect younger generations against the indictment: “there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land” -- Hosea 4:1

PCC Update Summer 2003

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