Friday, May 11, 2012

Christianity: No Hymnal Required

I have a few friends that come from more traditional churches, just to start off. My church is having this thing called May Madness and one of my friends' mothers has a slight theological problem with the Assemblies of God, but didn't want to offend me--- which is alright because she has a right to believe what she believes and she's a Christian too, for all I care.

I didn't know what problem she had with AG churches--- we take communion, we believe in the trinity, we believe there is a Hell, we believe Jesus died for our sins. Don't Presbyterians believe that, too?

So, I looked up problems with the Assemblies of God on Google. Knowing me, I got off-task and ended up searching Jehovah's Witness locations and how old Luke Conard is and how fat William Taft was. But after about thirty minutes being off-task, I remembered what I was looking up.

I was lead to an extremely preachy person's website. There's nothing wrong with being preachy, but this person was the rude kind of preachy. Yeah. Many of the problems the author held against the Assemblies of God were things that you can't judge an entire denomination with. One of his main problems? In later posts I will address the other issues, but here's one:

Our worship is "contemporary" and we no longer just use an organ and hymnals.

Now, you would really have to visit the church on that one. As for mine, we have an organ that overpowers many of the other instruments on the worship team but it got struck by lightning, so... it still works, but not really as loud. And we DO have hymnals, we just don't use them. Some people (referring to teenagers who have since left our church for college) have disrespected our hymnals and one has the name "Mikey" written on it.

Dear Mikey,
I was here, too! I don't know who you are but it's nice that everyone knows your name!

And as for pianos, DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED. We have at least ten pianos in our church alone. Like, seriously, and only half of those are actually in use. I'm not even gonna list them. I know we have two keyboards in the youth room, a normal piano in the kids' room, a piano in the sixth-eighth grade room, a baby grand in the elderly people room, a real grand and a synthesizer in the sanctuary, a REALLY out-of-tune piano in the garage that was never sold (you may wonder why...) and there's probably a few hiding up in the belltower--- ooh, I forgot there's one or two in the choir room! But my point is you don't know what instruments might be hiding in my church... where do you think the string bass came from? They've probably got a cello hiding in there! If so, I want it!

My REAL point is why does it matter if you use Hymnals or Hillsong? Let's see some lyrics...

"I see the King of Beauty/Coming up with clouds, with fire/The whole Earth shakes/The whole Earth shakes/Yeah.../I see His love and mercy/Washing over all our sin/The people sing/The people sing/Hosanna/Hosanna/Hosanna in the highest..."

That did not come from a hymnal, that's an alternative song. Many Christians are divided about the concept of Christian rock music, and especially rock worship music. There's nothing wrong with using drums and electric guitars. We don't want to be of this world, correct. But the lyrics are what matter, not the bassline. Agreed?

"You/Are/My/Vision/Oh King/Of/My Heart/Nothing else satisfies/Only You, LORD/You/Are/My best thought by day or by night/Waking or sleeping, Your presence, my light/Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oh/Ooh, ooh ooh ooh ooh/You/Are/My/Wisdom/You are my true Word/I ever with You and You with me LORD/You're my great Father and I'm your true son/You dwell inside me/Together we're one/Oh oh oh oh/Oh... oh oh oh oh..."

That's not from a Hymnal, either. That's from Rend Collective Experiment's new album. But it was originally a hymn. So it kinda was form a hymnal... wait, Rend Collective has another song!

"Whatever I have/Whatever I hold/'Cause nothing compares/To having You close/True intimacy/Is my desire/To catch Your whisper/To carry Your Fire/You're my/Ambition/My destination/More than living/More than breathing/You're the reason/My heart's beating/There's nothing greater/Than knowing You/You wind up my joy/You wake up my osul/Forever I'm Yours/God, forever You're mine, mine/The wonderful truth/That You are my light.../You're my/Ambition/My soul's/True mission/More than living/More than breathing/You're the reason/My heart's beating/So/I'm giving/Freely yielding/You're the reason/My heart's beating, YEAH!..."

That's not from a hymnal. It's a song recorded in someone's living room. Or how about this one...

"At first I am afraid/But not because of fear/But the Holy of holies/Is drawing me near/Your voice like thunder/Shakes the gorund I'm on/To hide my face in the shadow of Your wings, oh LORD/To hide my sin in the beauty here before Your throne/Your throne/Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain/Hallelujah for the blood of the Lamb that was slain/And so we/Enter in to see Your face/Yeah/Enter in to see Your face, Oh God..."

That one is almost a direct Bible verse. Again, that's not form a Hymnal. It was recorded in a studio.

My point?

I think you can see the point. You don't need a hymnal to worship God--- you don't even need music. You just need a thankful heart and desire
and that's worship for ya! But when it comes to worship music, all you need is genuine lyrics an da genuine love for God!

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