We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Trite One

As noted in the past, some of the newer songs used in our assemblies can have some okay lyrics while still being trite, and especially if they are used to manufacture emotions.

This week we opened our service with two songs.  The second one was the solid old hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  It followed a “chorus” which I assume was to be a lead-in for it, and that first song is the topic of this post.

The song in discussion is Chris Falson’s “I See the Lord.”  Take a look at the lyrics (which, by the way, we sang and then repeated - just in case you missed the idea the first time you sang it!):

I see the Lord seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
The whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His glory


Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Verse again

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Well, we repeated the whole thing, so it wasn’t done exactly as shown here (lyrics acquired from the Internet).

Now, I found the background for this song at Isaiah 6, so the words are sort of from the Bible.  But there is one BIG problem:  Isaiah was reporting on a vision of the Lord which he had, and neither the song-writer nor anyone singing this song has seen a vision of the Lord!  So right off the bat the song is a lie, a figment of the song-writer’s imagination, and disqualified from being sung in the congregation!

While the first three lines are from Isaiah 6:1, the second three lines comes from Isaiah 6:3b:  the whole earth is full of his glory.

Ah, but the lyricist had to get repetitious, with “the whole earth is filled” three times!!  Why stop there? Couldn’t you manufacture more emotion if you repeated it a few more times?!??!  Is this not similar to a vainly repetitious prayer?

We really need to quit using such trite songs in our worship!!


Sir Mins said...

I am sorry you have to go through that. Are there no other churches nearby?
Recently we sang all four verses of "I sing the mighty power of God." Yes, 4 verses -- although Isaac Watts wrote it as 8 verses and for a children's hymnal. Try singing it to "Amazing Grace" or "Am I a soldier of the Cross?"

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Sir Mins

Well, this assembly is about the best in the area. I'd be mostly happy with them except for the music. About 1/3 of the time we do this sort of song, although this is first time they did this since we've been there (almost 2 years).

I can't understand why normally discerning people (like our pastor) fail to see problems like this. It really isn't all that serious, but it leads to worse stuff as people are desensitized.

Anonymous said...

Hm, given that Isaiah's response to this vision of the Lord seated on His throne, exalted was not bursting into song, but rather:

5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

Perhaps we ought to consider that? Remember, it's not just OT prophets who recoiled in Christ's presence. What about Apostle John in Revelation 1:17a?

That's the trouble with out-of-context lyrics for Christian songs. :)

That said, I've admittedly sung this song in church without much thought, but it's not a song we've frequently encountered. Now that you mention it, I can see how these types of songs may not be the "worst", but they can desensitize people... which can lead to reduced discernment.

Again, hoping I'm coherent today...