Caution: This blog post contains furious ranting. Sensitive readers, and readers averse to things being smashed, are advised not to continue.
Being a blogger is great fun, but it’s not without risks. In a small number of cases, frequent exposure to wireless Internet connections has caused bloggers to develop unexpected conditions. I am one of these unfortunates. I and at least one other blogger have become tragic victims of HBS (Hulk Blogging Syndrome).
What does this mean? Well, there’s really only one thing about HBS you should know: Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
That said, today’s blog post is all about contemporary church music, and the way classic hymns are rewritten with new music or lyrics. Well, rewritten may be too kind a word. Hymns are mutilated. They are trampled upon. They are… ugh… I suddenly don’t feel well…
ADAM IS GONE. NOW THERE IS ONLY HULK. HULK HERE TO DISCUSS CHURCH MUSIC. AND TO SMASH.
HULK DOES NOT LIKE MODERN CHURCH MUSIC. ITS SONGS SEEM MUSICALLY WEAK AND NONDISTINCT. THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME TO HULK. THEIR LYRICS ARE OFTEN NOT VERY MEANINGFUL. THEY ARE SOMETIMES DOWNRIGHT STUPID.
(HULK DISCLAIMER: SOME MODERN WORSHIP SONGS ARE FANTASTIC.)
MANY PEOPLE LOVE MODERN CHURCH MUSIC. THAT IS OKAY WITH HULK. HULK DOES NOT WANT TO BE PHARISEE. WHATEVER MUSIC BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSE TO GOD IS GOOD MUSIC.
CHURCHES ARE WELCOME TO THEIR NEW MUSIC… BUT LEAVE OLD MUSIC ALONE!
SOME OF US LIKE OLD HYMNS. “IT IS WELL.” “AMAZING GRACE.” “BE THOU MY VISION.” “COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING.” THESE ARE GOOD SONGS. THEY ARE FINE THE WAY THEY ARE. SOME PEOPLE FIND THEM TOUCHING AND MEANINGFUL, FULL OF BEAUTY AND TRUTH.
STOP TACKING ON NEW VERSES, CHANGING MELODIES, ADDING UNNECESSARY BRIDGES AND MAKING POINTLESS CHANGES.
PLAYING OLD HYMNS IN NEW STYLES IS FINE. HULK LOVE HEARING HYMNS PERFORMED IN CONTEMPORARY STYLES. THAT IS AWESOME. OLD HYMNS ARE AWESOME. GO AHEAD. JAZZ THEM UP. BUT DO NOT CHANGE THEM.
HULK RECENTLY WENT TO CHURCH. CHURCH SANG “IN CHRIST ALONE.” THIS IS NOT OLD HYMN, BUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL IN EXACT SAME WAYS. “IN CHRIST ALONE” HULK’S FAVORITE SONG. EVER.
CHURCH ON SUNDAY CUT OUT AN ENTIRE VERSE OF “IN CHRIST ALONE.” WHY? ADDED BRIDGE WITH WEAK MELODY AND THESE LYRICS: “Oh, Oh, Oh.” HULK NOT MAKING THIS UP. THOSE WERE WORDS ON SCREEN. “Oh, Oh, Oh.”
THOSE WORDS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THESE WORDS:
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 every sin on him was laid. Here in the death of Christ I live.
THESE WORDS ARE BETTER THAN “Oh, Oh, Oh.” WHY DID CHURCH STRIP AWAY BEAUTIFUL WORDS FROM HYMN AND REPLACE THEM WITH MEANINGLESS NOISES?
HULK NOT KNOW. HULK NEVER KNOWS.
HULK ASK ALL CHURCHES EVERYWHERE. PLEASE. LEAVE OLD HYMNS ALONE. THEY ARE FINE AS THEY ARE. PLAY YOUR NEW MUSIC. HULK GIVE YOU THAT. BUT GIVE HULK THIS ONE THING. MAKE ONE CONCESSION FOR HULK. YOU CAN HAVE NEW SONGS. DON’T RUIN OLD ONES.
PLEASE. PLEASE. HONOR BEAUTY AND TRUTH IN OLD HYMNS.
Whoa… I… what just happened? Why is there a mound of splintered wood where my desk used to be? Who ripped apart my shirt? Why are my typewriter monkeys fleeing in terror?
I suddenly feel sick, so I’m afraid I must cut this post short. Sorry. Now I’m going to yell at my monkeys for wrecking my bedroom, and then go put on some clothes.
This post was originally published on June 20, 2014. TMTF shall return with new content on April 20, 2015!