Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hymns, Tozer and Stirrings in My Soul.

I recently read a book..ok I'll tell ya, it was Zora & Nicky by Claudia Mair Burney...that talked briefly about the meaningful hymns that are being replaced in our churches by choruses. Shortly after that book, I saw a comedy act where the choruses we sing were compared to cheers...Our God reigns, sis boom bah, lalala Our God reigns. This got me to thinking and browsing my hymnals. I came to know the Lord when I was in my early 20's, in September of 1992. I was attending an Assembly of God church. I grew up a non practicing catholic. I'm not someone who sits in church and thinks, "I miss the hyms we used to sing." because I've not ever really sung anything in church except choruses, and more recently, contemporary praise and worship songs. Except for Christmas, when we might sing "Joy to the World" or "Hark! The Herald Angel Sing." But after reading a few hymns, I think maybe we're missing out a bit. After all, the hymn writers weren't trying to win a Dove award. They were serious.
A few nights ago, I started reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Listen to what he said:

"Hymnody is sweet with the longing after God, the God whom, while the singer seeks, he knows he has already found."

I love that! Continuing to seek God after you've found him. Which brings me to another point. Tozer goes on to say:

"Our fathers sang only a short generation ago, 'His track I see and I'll pursue", but that song is no more heard in the great congregation. How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of 'accepting Christ' (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the bible)and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls."

I wonder how true that is of churches today. I know it's not true of my church, but my church is not the norm. Let me just encourage you to keep seeking God, even after you've found Him.


thompanilla said...

hear, hear, Rhonda. I really miss "The Old Rugged Cross", "How Great Thou Art", and "No Turning Back" sung with a choir, congregation, piano and organ ONLY. No drums. No overly expressing 'praise leader' with a guitar and blue jeans. Ok - that was a low blow...but for me growing up, singing in the house of God was a reverent often humbling experience that gave me goosebumps. I'm not saying that's not what people feel today, I just think worship services look a little too much like mainstream pop in a America. Also - I like your point about the Dove award...since when is writing a personal song about Jesus Christ a laudable event? It's not about ME - it's about HIM! (another thing that looks a little too much like mainstream America). I've never told my wife this, but, I don't lose much sleep when we're a little late Sunday mornings and miss the 15 minutes of hand-raising, foot-tappin', powerpoint singing before our teaching pastor digs into the Word. Give me a dusty hymnal on the back of a pew any day! (yes, I'm that old)...*sigh*

Wyatt Roberts said...

I'm with thompanilla.

Bernadette said...

old skool Catholic chant and hymns are the *best*! please take a second look!
peace + blessings 2 U in Christ Jesus!