Skip to comments.The Tone Deaf Singer
Posted on 05/28/2014 6:41:33 AM PDT by Gamecock
The prosperity gospel has not produced a new generation of great Christian hymns. Neither have Positive Thinking or Progressive Christianity. There is a reason we would not expect them to. The fact is, the deepest songs come from the deepest truth. The most faithful songs come from the most faithful expressions of the Christian faith. The richest songs come from the richest understanding of who God is and what God has done.
As Christians we are told to sing from the gospel, for one another, to the Lorda ten-word summary of Colossians 3:16 which says, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. As Paul writes to this Colossian church, he wants them to realize that every Christian needs singing lessons. If we want to sing a song that glorifies the Lord, we first need to apply some lessons.
The first lesson is this: The gospel must be the basis of your song. Before you can sing a song that glorifies God, the word of Christthe gospelneeds to be dwelling within you. Paul has just said: And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. That is a glorious message, and one worth singing about. There is, quite literally, nothing better than this in the entire universe. You will never hear a better, richer, sweeter message. If you want to sing a God-glorifying song, you first need to have that rich, sweet message dwelling within you.
The second lesson is this: The gospel needs to dwell richly within you. It is not enough to let the gospel dwell within. Before you can singreally singyou need to have that gospel dwelling richly within. To dwell in you richly, a message must be rich. You cant fill yourself with a shallow, trite, silly message and expect that it will dwell richly. And this is exactly why the prosperity gospel has not produced the next generation of great hymns of the Christian faith. This is why we dont look to churches dominated by positive thinking for rich, gospel-centered songs. Where there is a shallow and unbiblical message, there must also be shallow and unbiblical songs. Conversely, a rich message generates rich dwelling, and that rich dwelling generates rich contemplation, and that rich contemplation generates rich songs.
As we sing to God, we proclaim who he is, what he has done, and what he requires of us. We also cry out to him in supplication, asking him for those things that he delights to his people. If this is true, it is a call to substance in our songs. We have thousands of great songs at our disposal, so why would we waste our time with songs that dont say much at all? The richer our understanding of God, the richer the expressions of praise and the richer and bolder the requests we can make in our song. If we know God only as the one who dispenses riches, our songs will ask for nothing more than wealth. If we know God only as weak and barely holy, our songs will tell of a too-small God, a God unworthy of our worship. But if we know God as he is and if we know what he has accomplished through his Son, our songs will be full of rich, sweet truth.
We sing best when that gospel is dwelling richly within us. God is not looking at the quality of our tone or the perfection of our pitch. He is looking at the heart. Tone and pitch matter, but when you stand with the congregation and sing to the Lord, it is your heart that is far more significant. You can be utterly tone deaf and sing beautiful music in the ear of God when the gospel is dwelling richly within and when you are singing to exult in the Savior.
This author needs to get out more...
The Gettys do not fall under that umbrella.
Oh, I don’t know. Most people enjoy singing the same phrase 800 times with their hands in the air. And, heck, if people like it, it’s got to be good.
Never understood the Prosperity Gospel thing. Even though the Gospel exhorts: Blessed are the poor in spirit, I don’t believe God wants me to live in squalor. If one is blessed with material wealth, I believe one has an obligation to be very charitable. I could be wrong, but the little I have read on Prosperity Gospel is if one has a positive attitude one’s energy will attract riches and blessings (material and spiritual). But, my question is where does one go from here? As we all know, money changes people. Is there any exhortation to beware of this negative change that happens in many people when they acquire wealth?
Southern Baptists used to do it with “Just as I am”.
Spent last night at the hospital with my wife who had cervical fusion surgery. She got more sleep than i did. A little punch drunk today.
Check songwriters like Daniel Nahmod.
Which isn't so.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me...”
“Would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?”
The above are powerful lyrics from two different classic hymns that acknowledge a basic Biblical truth. That truth is that man is inherently sinful and needs a savior. That truth is the basic truth that, I believe, marks a basic dividing line between liberals and conservatives.
Liberals live in a fantasy land where men are basically good. They continue to sing “Where have all the flowers gone” and wonder why we can’t all get along and coexist. Utopia is possible, they think, if only the right smart people take charge.
This is a good summary by Tim Challies. Pay attention to the lyrics in the songs you sing...and that includes all the songs you listen to and sing. If you are a Christian, your worship does not end on Sunday. All things should be done in the name of Christ.
Challies is no doubt very familiar with the Gettys. His comments regard a less doctrine-based brand of contemporary Christianity.
Upstream gov_bean_counter mentioned the Gettys, who actually write hymns.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.
(From In Christ Alone)
Please accept my prayers offered to God for a speedy and complete recovery.
Thank you. She is doing well.
***Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me...
Would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?***
You know those two have been changed in a lot of feel good hymnals?
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved and set me
Would He devote that sacred head, for such a one as I.
Appropriately corrected. Thank you.
The best hymns are based on solid theological content, not feel-good emotionalism. I cringe every time I open the paperback “new” songbook, wondering what sort of awfulness might be imminent. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.
The prosperity gospel is mostly devoid of solid theological content, so its music is going to be the same.
“Broad is the road that leads to death,
And thousands walk together there.
But, wisdom shows a narrow path,
With here and there a traveler. “
Doubt that you find that in today’s hymnals, but it is in all the 19th century shape note books.
If I were to be put in charge of editing our Methodist hymnal, I would first throw out the musically and theologically insipid hymns and gospel songs—which seems to be most of the stuff written after 1939. They would be replaced by some of the great but forgotten hymns and gospel songs by the great hymn writers of the Methodist faith such as Lelia Morris, Charles Gabriel and William Kirkpatrick as well as evangelical Protestants such as Ira Sankey, Daniel Webster Whittle and P. P. Bliss. It’s a shame that the current Methodist hymnal does not contain a single hymn by Lelia Morris, one of the greatest Christian hymn writers.
But it wouldn’t just be a book of “oldies.” Newer hymns of good quality such as “Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither (1971) that are already in the book would be allowed to stay, and Randall Wallace’s “Mansions of the Lord” (2002) would be added.
An early 90s hymn which has almost become a classic is Stuart Townwend’s How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.
(The gospel of success) is a Christian religious doctrine that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians...
I have never, ever, ever heard that before.
Can you put a name to the person who
thought THAT one up found THAT in Scripture or Apostolic Tradition?
Is there a particular denomination of Protestants who believe in that? It sure isn't doctrine/dogma of the Catholic Church.
I thought that I had heard everything but ya got me on that one!
I don’t know which denomination or independent church preaches this today, but it’s been around awhile. There was a female minister in La Jolla, CA, back in the 1980s whose motto was “Prosperity is your Divine Right”.
Of course, she flew high and then crashed and burned, due to financial scandal and whatnot. I think she has not been heard from in a long while.
Hmmm, very interesting.
It reminds me of ole Doctor EEEUUUUUGENE SCOTT who harangued at his listeners to send him their "filthy lucre."
Remember him? He wore a different hat every day and smoked a ceeeegar.
We never saw his wife except from the rear. She was wearing about 5 inch spike backless high heels. She had GORGEOUS long black hair and was always wearing a full length ERMINE coat. Fabulous coat.
ANYWAY HE died and I understand that SHE has taken up the cause.
I guess she now wants another light colored full length coat from some other poor creature.
Sable would be out since it wouldn't show off her hair.
Hmmm, what other beautifully LIGHT-furred rodent is there?