“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord,” (Ps. 40:3).
Everyone has an opinion about church music, and those opinions have led to many arguments with the churches made the battlegrounds. Let me state clearly that there is no such thing as Christian music, or good church music, for the Bible silent on the subject.
We all come from different parts of the country, and came of age in different eras. Therefore, some of us like Country and Western music, Dixie Land, Blues, Midwestern Polka, Nashville Rock and Roll, and Bluegrass. Thus only an elitist would say one style is better than the other.
The controversy over music is not new. The music for Martin Luther’s, A Mighty Fortress is our God, was borrowed from a popular song of the 16th century. Charles Wesley used tunes from taverns for some of his hymns. John Calvin used secular song writers of his day. The Queen of England referred to them as, “Calvin’s jigs.” When Silent Night was first published it was called “Vulgar mischief and void of all religious feelings.” Handel’s Messiah was condemned as “Vulgar Theater.”
Today’s we are taking a break from our normal service to sing some of the old hymns. These hymns were not composed in a vacuum, but came from a story that was behind the song. Thus we conclude that what really makes a hymn sacred is not the style, but the message it brings.