Do you love to sing? I know I do. While doing some research on some songs a few nights ago I learned that more and more people are beginning to complain about singing in worship. Not our voices, or our attitudes, but our words. Apparently some of the old and new hymns we are singing in worship are distracting to a handful of critics. They may not be many in number but they sure do have loud voices! They have been known to attack a songbook by ripping out pages or marking them with black ink.
I have to admit I have heard from some “song critics” myself over the years and understand their concern about a handful of songs. But many times they are just voicing one of their many opinions. For the sake of time, and to keep you from looking to the songbook for your own favorite “non-favorite” songs to report them, I wanted to share a new revelation. Did you know that there are now brotherhood websites created to critique, condone and/or demean the songs in our hymnals? It’s true! And shameful.
You can go searching these websites to see the newest additions to the hot list. You can even post comments about the songs you dislike the most. But I wouldn’t recommend it. You may find that your favorite song is on their “worst” list! Wayne Jackson, in a May 2005 article in the Christian Courier, rightly called these people musical “extremists!” Some church leaders have grown tired of hearing the critics and note that it may be them, not the song writers or song book publishers, that are seeking to destroy our worship. Something to think about.
One of the songs noted on one of these websites was the song “Night With Ebon Pinion.” It was criticized by one man and declared to be his #3 on the top ten list for the “Worst Ever Worship Hymns.” Do yourself a favor, go and read the words to that amazing hymn. It iis wonderful. We can always improve in our worship. I know it’s important to sing with understanding, and to do things in spirit and in truth, but before we go criticizing the song leaders choices, maybe we should look inward for just a moment. Let’s think twice before we become a critic and a judge, lest that harsh judgment hinder us on the Day of Judgment. A little grace can go a long way. Some might say an ETERNALLY long way.
You are loved!
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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