Songs of Praise2
Church of England

Songs of Praise goes ecumenical

 

It seems that Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC’s Head of Religion & Ethics, essentially agrees with the Bishop of Truro: the Church of England will be dead in six years, so it’s probably best to divide the spoils and share out the inheritance now. Basically, mass immigration from Africa and Eastern Europe has profoundly changed the national church scene, so, henceforth (according to news reports), after 53 years, Songs of Praise is to receive a “migrant makeover” to include “other Christian faiths” (who writes this tosh?). No longer will the programme restrict itself to chocolate-box parish churches where elderly Anglican women sing robust Wesleyan hymns of sin and salvation: henceforth the worship mix will be widened to include inter alia a bit of Roman Catholic ‘Hail, Queen of Heaven’; Pentecostal ‘Shine Jesus Shine’; and Salvation Army ‘Dreary, so dreary, footsore and weary’ – to better reflect national denominational diversity.

I suppose we must be grateful that Mr Ahmad hasn’t (yet) re-branded the show Chants of Mediation or Shabads of Gurbani or (coming soon) Call to Du’a, for where precisely does the threshold fall in the quest to be religiously inclusive to better reflect a plural society? If a distinctly Anglican programme (which has, by the way, long included episodes broadcast from other Christian denominations) is perceived to be parochial, why is its essential conventional Christianness not considered equally (or unequally) insular?

Ann Widdecombe fires a warning, which is not without relevance:

In many ways he is right. When I made my own documentary on the future of Christianity in this country I found that the growing churches were Evangelical or Catholic and in both cases much aided by immigration, the former by that from African countries and the latter by the Eastern European influx. However Ahmed should be cautious. His core audience is still C of E and if people suddenly find their favourite hymns ditched and replaced by unfamiliar ones they may drift away and that will mean he has alienated his loyal followers for an uncertain gain from new ones. I know well, having been brought up in the Evangelical tradition, that such Christians tend to be at Sunday evening services rather than watching them at home.

There is an element of inevitability about this development, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Music is a universal language: songs of praise to God should not be bound by denominational pettiness. Jonathan Edwards writes of relationship between worship and revival; of raised affections to the heights of heavenly worship and expression:

..in heaven.. holiness is raised to an exceeding great height, to be strong, high, exalted exercises of the heart.. The more eminent the saints are on earth, the stronger their grace, and the higher its exercises are, the more they are like the saints in heaven.. ie, the more they have of high or raised affections in religion.

Worship, he says, should be “raised to an exceeding great height (and) not be suspected merely because of (its) degree”. We should not fear robust expressions of thankfulness to God: drums and trumpets have a place alongside organs and choirs. Both may lead to a sense of spiritual rapture and develop a longing to know more of God and sense the heart of Jesus.

Worship is a work of the Holy Spirit: it can induce strong cries for mercy and floods of tears or rejoicing of the soul. As Edwards wrote, our gratitude is “expressed in impassioned singing, and long-continued, and oft repeated hallelujahs of praise to ‘Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us'”. A more ecumenical Songs of Praise is simply one that is more catholic, and fervent worship in the home is to be encouraged. In an era where Sunday home-staying is more prevalent than church-going, there is no reason at all why the music of a Sankey, the Wesleys and Graham Kendrick should be denied those who are prevented – for whatever reason – from worshipping with the people of God.

  • carl jacobs

    One caution, however. Modern songs have not yet gone through the inevitable sifting that over time will separate wheat from chaff. There are good modern songs but they are mixed with dross. The older hymns have already survived this process. So there is a risk that the quality of songs presented will fall in the aggregate.

    One more thing, Archbishop Cranmer. Jonathan Edwards twice in one week! Well done, sir.

  • Martin

    Songs of Praise long ago left the domain of Christianity & became an entertainment programme.

    Methinks most of the modern songs are motivated more with a worldly love of pop music than a desire to glorify God.

    There is also the misapprehension that worship has to do with singing, it hasn’t.

    • Uncle Brian

      There is also the misapprehension that worship has to do with singing, it hasn’t.
      Now I need to sit quietly for a few minutes with a stiff drink to recover from the shock. Martin has posted a comment I heartily agree with.

      • As sacred song forms a necessary part of the liturgy. Its function
        must be ministerial and assist believers to express and share our gift of faith. The joy and the enthusiasm which music can add to worship imparts a sense of unity to the congregation.

        Music and singing also unveils meaning and feeling, a communication of ideas and intuitions which words cannot yield. Worship should speak to the whole person.

        In brief, Jack enjoys music and singing in Church.

        • Hi happy Jack

          We even sing during our Shabbat meals (albeit without instruments, as that’s not allowed during the Sabbath) and of course our prayers and psalms are chanted. We even have drinking songs . So I shall be heartily singing tonight(:

          • What’s Sam’s singing like?

          • Dude, I could charm nightingales with my voice. Of course female singing is much more important.You see there’s an old Jewish expression:

            “Desdichada la cazza ande la gallina canta como el gallo”. [Woe to the house where the hen sings like the rooster.]

          • And Hannah’s singing?

          • Angelic!

            [as Hannah nods and walks away from the Shtender, she was about throw at bro].

          • Ummm ….

          • Sam

            Yeah, such is the sibling burden I have to carry. But Hannah is an excellent pianist.

          • “But …. ?
            Watch your head that lectern may be on its way.

          • CliveM

            Usually you have to get married to be that under the thumb!!

          • Sam

            Dude,

            Jewish women are very formidable…..

          • CliveM

            Of course in my house I wear the trousers!

            Ahem, if you don’t mind don’t tell the wife I said that………..!

          • Hi Clive,

            Bro is in training for married life ,LOL!

          • CliveM

            Will that be before or after the whisky?

          • Hi Clive,

            We sing the both the lecha dodi(an old Sephardic hymn) & ” women of valour” (based on proverbs 31) before kiddush (when we say prayers over and east/drink bread and wine) and after the Shabbat meal(folk songs, hymns and psalms)…. whiskey is served after the service (confusingly also called kiddush) on Saturday(alongside other buffet food).

        • CliveM

          Usually people don’t enjoy me singing (in church or anywhere!).

          • Then mime ….

          • CliveM

            What with a pick axe?

            I am not a man of physical toil, more the thinker!!!!!

          • Eh?

            Change those specs, Sir.

          • CliveM

            Cheat……….

            You’ve changed wot you wrote!!

        • Uncle Brian

          Surely not a “necessary” part, Jack. One or twice I’ve attended mass at a Carmelite chapel where the whole thing was spoken from start to finish. Not a note was sung.

      • Pubcrawler

        So what about all those Psalms that refer to song, then?

        “He that exults utters no words, but it is a song of joy without words.” (Augustine)

        • Uncle Brian

          Augustine also said something like “to sing is to pray twice over”. Do you agree with Augustine on absolutely everything? I don’t think I do.

      • IanCad

        UB,

        Is it not the aspiration of every Christian to join the Heavenly Choir?

        Music and song – an essential component of our worship.

        “Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!” 1 Chronicles 16:9

        “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
        Psalm 95:1

        “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Mark 14:26

        “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,” Acts 16:25

        Uncle Brian, I rarely disagree with you but on this one I have to protest.

        Ian

        • Uncle Brian

          Not an “essential” component, I think. I know it’s widely recommended, but …

    • IanCad

      “There is also the misapprehension that worship has to do with singing, it hasn’t.”

      Where’s the down arrow??!!

      • Martin

        Ian

        You wish to disagree? I’d say that worship is sitting quietly listening with attentiveness to the preaching of God’s word, examining it and ones life and applying it. Do you have a quarrel with that?

        • CliveM

          It is also these thing, but singing praises to God is worship as well.

          • Martin

            Clive

            Much of what passes as songs of praise these days isn’t.

        • IanCad

          Of course Martin, the preaching of, and studying The Word are – or should be – the major part of a worship service.
          However, preachers are as bound as we are to have off days and sometimes talk can get tedious and uninspiring.
          Look at it this way; good traditional hymns are sermons in themselves and will make up for those weary times so many vicars and pastors seem to have.
          Ian

          • Martin

            Ian

            As you say, some writers of hymns did write them to be, as it it were, mini sermons, How firm a foundation springs to mind. But much of what is sung today is far from that ideal, being trite, pop oriented garbage of little or no spiritual value. And what of those unable to sing, whether from lack of ability or from the need to be unnoticed, are they excluded from worship?

  • Albert

    which has, by the way, long included episodes broadcast from other Christian denominations

    I’m confused by this whole story for that very reason. I don’t see Songs of Praise as essentially Anglican, simply that, probably quite rightly, Anglicanism has been the lead tradition in it. So how will this really be different?

  • Inspector General

    Africans pogo-ing in the aisles ?

    No thanks…

    • Uncle Brian

      Nor Europeans either, for that matter. No dancing in church, please.

      • CliveM

        Not unless it is done in the style of David!!

        • Uncle Brian

          But he was outside in the street, wasn’t he, not inside the Temple?

          • CliveM

            He was also butt naked! A very good reason NOT to allow dancing in Church!

          • carl jacobs

            The actual phrase is buck naked. But it’s good to see Americanisms making their way to Britain

          • carl jacobs

            “Buck naked” is the canonically correct phrase. It’s not “Play it again, Sam” or “Luke, I am your father” or “butt naked.”

            It’s time to hold the line for accuracy.

          • There is no definitive position on this as yet and so communicants are entirely free to use either “butt” or “buck” naked according to private judgement.

            “Play it, Sam” and “No, I am your father.” have been infallibly defined as correct.

            At present, the matter of “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”, and “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.” is under investigation.

            This is all elementary, my dear Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            I do hereby declare, pronounce, define and proclaim that “buck naked” is canonically correct.

            Canon I. If anyone sayeth or writeth “butt naked” let him be anathema.

            Canon II. If anyone sayeth “butt naked” is an acceptable replacement for “Buck naked” let him be anathema.

            Canon III. If anyone sayeth “butt naked” originated before “Buck naked” let him be anathema.

            Canon IV. If anyone sayeth “butt naked” is a natural derivation of “Buck naked” let him be anathema.

            Canon V. If anyone sayeth “butt naked” has replaced “Buck naked” in common usage let him be anathema.

          • CliveM

            Carl

            Buck is a derogatory term referring to Native Americans (Red Indians Inspector) or Black Slaves. Being an enlightenment 21st Century man (!) I refuse to use such a racist term and will stick to Butt!!

          • Schism awaits as this is neither part of tradition nor in the Oxford Dictionary.

          • carl jacobs

            Oxford is Old Covenant. The old is gone. A new and better Covenant has been given to us.

          • Jack has sought authoritative advice on this matter.

            The American dictionaries were formally anathematised some time ago as heretical. Oxford is an evolving and developing treasure of orthodoxy, informed by reason, and retains continuity with the past. However, a certain leeway has been permitted to local languages as a concession to those more primitive and unsophisticated communities.

            “As we spell – so do perceive”. It is evident the excessive use of ‘Z’s’ , for example, encourages a predisposition towards sleep. And the failure to use ‘U’s’ reflects a preoccupation with self and a desire not to think of the other. For these reason, notwithstanding a magnanimous tolerance of such corruptions and misuses, their use is restricted to those countries still undergoing development.

            The matter of “butt” versus “buck” naked is not contentious at this time. However, as outlined by Clive earlier, its usage in the former American colonies does hark back (or is that harp back?) to racist times and, where possible, should be discouraged. They are a stiff-necked, rebellious and stubborn peoples and so require delicate education.

            (Nihil Obstat – Imprimatur Pending)

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            It is a heavy burden we have taken on, educating and civilising the barbarian. It will be a labour of a lifetime.

            I’m off for a drink!

          • For generations to come, Jack fears.

          • CliveM

            Indeed. The Lord has placed a heavy burden!

            Now where is my 50yr old Port? Need to stiffen the blood.

          • CliveM

            Heretic!

          • carl jacobs

            Didn’t I just anathematize you?

            Repent!

          • CliveM

            I will do a Patriarch Cerularius and excommunicate you in return!

            I also reject your authority to anathematise!

            Note spelt with an S!! NOT a Z.

          • Schismatic! Usurper of authority! AntiSpeller!

            “Outside the OED There is No Spelling”

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            One recommends an immediate cold shower and the application of flannel drawers…this is not the season for any form of nakedness, buck butt or otherwise…there’s frost on the Palace lawns at Barchester and a chill wind around the Mendips…

        • Uncle Brian

          I ought to add, out of fairness, that my favourite Hollywood musical features dancing in church: The Blues Brothers.

    • What about Brazilian Dancing Girls?

  • Shadrach Fire

    I have seen many nations worshiping in their own cultural way and I see no problem in that. Indeed it can be very illuminating to partake in a culturally different style. We certainly do not have the monopoly on the way to worship and from my perspective, worship in traditional churches can be very ‘religious’ and lacking in ‘Life’. It is wonderful to be part of an African congregation when the men and the women dance in single file waving their handkerchiefs.

    Personally I am not so keen on the so called songs of the young people where the music is played at ear blistering loudness. The words can rarely be understood over the noise of the musicians and even if you could, they have little spiritual depth. A writer on the Premier website, talking about the banality of modern worship songs, ‘A blindfolded monkey could have written better songs’.

    In a way, it might be appropriate to look at the worship of the early Coptic Christians or even Jewish groups as to how they worship being perhaps closer to how the early Christians worshiped. Our dear old ladies might get apoplectic over Graham Kendrick, (whom I had stay at my house once), but over the Hillsong electric lightning music, they might need a defibrillator handy.

  • B flat

    When I took part in a Songs of Praise programme back in the mid 1960’s, which took place in the Chapel of an RC Teacher Training College for Epiphany, it was recorded in November, long before Advent.
    It had no resemblance to worship of God at all for me, being a series of hymns interspersed with comments from the presenter, and having no structure identifiable as any Liturgy of the Church (except that it ended in a Blessing pronounced by Fr Agnellus Andrew). A transmission from Bradford in 2002 also came from an RC church, and featured dancing by Hindu women, so even then it was not exclusively Christian. In fact, it was almost devoid of theological content, or it was hidden under a mound of sentimentality and spectacle.
    So I really doubt that Songs of Praise fulfilled in any substantial sense any desire of those “prevented – by whatever reason – to worshipping with the people of God. The broadcast of Evensong on Radio is a better candidate for that, although the practice of both ITV and the BBC of the last century, of broadcasting a live morning service, fulfilled the need of a housebound person much better.

  • sarky

    Lets be honest its only on because it has to be (part of the bbc licence agreement with regards to religious programming i believe)if not, it would have been canned years ago. Personally I’d rather watch a documentary on paint drying!

    • That’s not very gracious of you is it? You can change channels. There are
      plenty of people who enjoy “Songs Of Praise”. HG is right
      to be concerned that it might slide into multiculti mayhem and end up
      as The Call to Du’a.

    • Inspector General

      Some of the finest music (hymns) that humanity has produced and you would rather not experience, nay, indulge, no less ?
      One doesn’t blame you, but your ‘comprehensive’ education at the hands of social levellers…

      • CliveM

        Sorted you IT problems?

        • Inspector General

          Yes thank you Clive. Opened a new email account, and re-advised discus of it. The thing wants me to ‘verify’ new email account but when I do it doesn’t want to know. So by previous experiences, that’s everything in place !.

          • CliveM

            Pleased to hear it!

          • Inspector General

            It was mind stretching Clive…

          • CliveM

            These things are sent to try us!

          • There’s worse ….

      • sarky

        Finest music??? Ok if your into dirge s! !!

    • Malcolm Smith

      I’m writing from Australia, where we watch it every Sunday. Let’s be realistic: “Songs of Praise” is the biggest karaoke in the world. Millions tune in. They’d be crazy to cancel it.

      • It can be a rather uplifting programme. Really the BBC should be thinking of an annual “Eurovision Songs of Praise” to replace the God awful tripe that is the current Eurovision.

        • Pubcrawler

          And wouldn’t they just love it if Israel won!

        • sarky

          I know lets replace the worst spectacle on tv, with something even worse. I can see the tv execs falling over each other for this one.

          • Positive mental attitude please, Sarky.

          • sarky

            You could do ‘sympathy for the devil’, now thats something I’d pay to see!!

          • There you go …

  • David

    This Anglican welcomes all Christian denominations to raise the rafters, together, all bound in one act of praising God. Let all the peoples of God be as one in songs of praise and worship.
    Good hymns have been passed around and plagiarised for centuries, which is something to celebrate, and not to become anxious about.

  • I think they should have a slot on a Sunday for a sermon and a prayer
    to pray along with from the Bishop of London pre filmed in St Paul’s
    for the program. Maybe they could also have a different Bishop doing
    a sermon and prayer each week from their cathedrals around the
    country.

    • Inspector General

      Not sure about CoE bishops, Marie. Marxism at prayer for the most part. Sure you’ll agree…

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Well Mr Inspector, let me assure you that My Lord of Barchester is no Marxist. He would be more than happy to preach at these magic lantern show affairs and his sermons would be perfectly sound…because I would write them!

        • The Inspector General

          Good to hear that, Mrs Pee

          Bolshevism is everywhere these days, even in the Conservatives. We must be eternally vigilant…

  • In fact I think the BBC or ITV should have an hour long 6pm till 7pm on a Sunday evening for a CofE service and call it “Sunday Worship” witih hymns from our childhood like “All Things Bright and Beautiful” so that they get passed on to the next generation. Happy days.

    • sarky

      The next generation wont watch!!

    • Busy Mum

      Yes, shocking that children spend 7 years in a C of E primary school and never come across ‘Praise, my soul….’, ‘Glorious Things’ etc. The modern so-called hymns they sing in assembly do not mention God at all; the one that gets me is verse after verse celebrating things ranging from ‘Autumn leaves when the grass is jewelled’ to ‘jet planes waiting in the sky to be refuelled’ building up to a crescendo of ‘all the things I love so well’ followed by the refrain ‘so I mustn’t forget to say a great big thankyou, no, I mustn’t forget’. No indication of who we are thanking and whilst we might all be thankful for the wonders of creation, the wonders of the jet plane and consequent globalisation are debatable.
      Not sure why the Bishop of Oxford needed to support the request to abandon daily Christian worship in schools – the law has been ignored for years in both state and C of E.schools and school governors have failed in their duty to maintain the great Christian traditions as required by their trust deeds.

      • Here’s one of Jack’s favourite hymns for children (and for grown-ups too). Doctrinally sound and to the point. There are other lyrics but these are the ones Jack prefers. Not sure about the tune – but, hey ….

        Jesus loves me, this I know,
        For the Bible tells me so;
        Little ones to Him belong;
        They are weak, but He is strong.

        Yes, Jesus loves me,
        Yes, Jesus loves me,
        Yes, Jesus loves me,
        The Bible tells me so.

        Jesus, take this heart of mine;
        Make it pure and wholly Thine.
        Thou hast bled and died for me;
        I will live henceforth for Thee.

        Yes, I love Jesus.
        Yes, I love Jesus.
        Yes, I love Jesus.
        In prayer I tell Him so.

        • Martin

          HJ

          The error in doctrine starts with the first line.

          • Tsk …. you don’t believe God loves you, Martin?

          • CliveM

            Remember Happy Jack, Before time began God has designated some of these babies to burn in hell for all eternity. How can God love them?

          • CliveM

            To clarify that isn’t my belief!

          • Doesn’t quite do it, somehow.

            Jesus hates me, this I know,
            For the Bible tells me so;
            Little ones by Him pre-damned;
            Born to be on His left-hand.

            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            The Bible tells me so.

            Jesus ignores this heart of mine;
            Leaves it evil and malign;
            He hast bled and died for some;
            But for us no Heavenly Kingdom.

            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            Yes, Jesus hates me,
            The Bible tells me so

          • CliveM

            I think it ‘explains’ a certain theological position quite nicely.

            Holy satire!

          • Martin

            Clive

            They all deserve Hell, God in mercy saves some

          • CliveM

            Fortunately Martin, your God bears no relation to the God of the bible. The fact you can read the life of Christ and still say what you do, shows the Holy Spirit still has a lot of work to do.

          • Martin

            Clive

            Does God save everyone?

          • Martin

            HJ

            God doesn’t love everyone, else everyone would be saved.

          • And that unbiblical opinion rests on your false understanding of the nature of God, the merit of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, the nature of salvation, and the role of the Church and individuals in the sanctification process.

          • Martin

            HJ

            And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 [ESV]

            So show me where the sinner contributes anything to their salvation, that is by making a choice or by accepting. God saves by grace alone through faith alone & the one being saved has no choice in the matter since they are dead.

          • Now where does that say we don’t have to cooperate with grace and avoid sin? Or that this grace, once received, can’t be lost? And where does it show that the Holy Spirit withholds sufficient grace from some because God preordained this before creation?

            As Jack commented, you misrepresent the nature of God and the merit of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. As a result, you set limits on God’s love – which is His very nature – and claim Jesus died only for the predestined Elect. The rest are just here so these few can shine and demonstrate God’s sovereignty. Born to be consigned to Hell to reveal God’s Glory.

          • Martin

            HJ

            How do you cooperate when you are dead?

          • The workings of grace are a Divine mystery, Martin.

          • Martin

            HJ

            So why does the Bible speak of the Christian once being dead but being made alive by Christ? Where is the cooperation in that?

          • Do you read what Jack writes, Martin? The unmerited grace of the God is what calls us to new life and gives us rebirth. It’s also the unmerited grace of God that enables us to persist through this life. Where we differ is that Jack believes the sacraments of the Church infuse this grace into the soul. Men can, of course, turn their backs on this. Christ died for all men. Why some are chosen for everlasting life and how and why the Spirit works in some and not others, remains a mystery.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The unmerited grace of God is what gives us new life, it doesn’t just call. The sinner cannot turn his back on that work of God, they are dead and made alive. Once they have this new life they cannot lose it for Christ has declared He will lose none of those who are His.

      • Gosh! how awful, they might as well not bother at all. Worshipping
        materialism is so shallow and meaningless. Do they not think about
        what inspired man and gave him the ability to invent and create the
        fantastic things they sing about? Man’s evolutionary path is
        pre-ordained by God, and so it’s God they should be thanking, or at
        least Sir Frank Whittle!

    • alternative_perspective

      I’ve always hated All Things Bright…. sickly mess.

  • CliveM

    I look forward to the Free Church of Scotland doing songs of praise. Gaelic, psalms only and an hour long sermon!

    • And Quakers “waiting worship” too?

      • CliveM

        Yes that would make good TV! Lol.

        • Quaking Stevens could sing the songs …
          (Apologies to any Friends reading this)

        • “The Sound of Silence”

  • Graham Goldsmith

    Saw Rend Collective in Norwich last night along with Phil Wickham at a Big church night in event. . A truly wonderful worship concert. People of all ages there but predominantly the young which was heart warming to see. Songs of praise tends to have a very traditional presentation with classic and well known hymns so does not represent the breadth of Christian worship so well. Contemporary worship is a little more lively and a bit more interesting. Very often in Church we are engaging with the songs, getting warmed up when we move on to other aspects of the service which can be a bit frustrating. I know we are not there to be entertained but it is one of the greatest pleasures to be able to abandon yourself in worship to a God who is awesome and much greater than you. Perhaps we should take a leaf out of Match of the days book and have Songs of praise 2. In that way we could preserve the traditional which we also enjoy not least because the words in many of the old hymns are so apt,( besides they always remind us of school assemblies ) but also we show that christians are not stuck to the pew or permanently attached to a song sheet. More like a rock concert without the alcohol but in the joy of the Holy Spirit.. One of our best worship experiences was at spring harvest where a very young energetic Christian rap band moved a lot of quite elderly people to dance along, rather vigorously at that.. Worship has that ability to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together in unity. BBC- How about instead of East enders !!!! . .

  • saintmark

    Shine Jesus shine is Pentecostal??? I can’t believe many Pentecostal churches are playing that! More likely only the trendiest Anglican churches.

    • alternative_perspective

      Shine Jesus Shine was a trend 15 years ago, weve moved on.

      • saintmark

        Indeed, and not everything has been an improvement.

        • Martin

          Mark

          Some are even worse than Shine Jesus shine!

  • SidneyDeane

    shine jesus shine is a great tune

  • DanJ0

    Even as an a-theist, I’m quite fond of Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

    In particular the verse containing “Let sense be dumb; let flesh retire”

    Must be my Anglican upbringing coming through. 😉

    • Martin

      DanJ0

      The hymn you mention is a favourite at weddings I believe. The second line especially.

      • DanJ0

        Apropos of nothing …

        • Breathe through the heats of our desire
          thy coolness and thy balm;
          let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
          speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
          O still, small voice of calm;
          O still, small voice of calm.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Second line of the first verse.

            Boy, this is hard work!!

          • You don’t really ‘get’ all this evangelising malarkey, do you Martin? Jack’s not that great at it either but at least he’s trying.

            Jack deliberately posted the verse Danjo most remembered. It’s loaded with relevant theological content that might just stir in him a readiness to accept the Holy Spirit.

          • Martin

            HJ

            No one accepts God until they are saved. Have you checked out the 2nd line of the 1st verse?

            Oh never mind!!!!!

          • DanJ0

            I know it well enough already as it’s my favourite hymm, and has been since primary school. No doubt you had to google the lyrics yourself in order to post them, too. Let’s face it, you of all people are hardly going to be the trigger of a Damascene conversion for me. I don’t believe you’re even a Christian in real life, as you know.

          • Damascene conversions are extremely rare, Danjo. If you’re hanging on for one then it might prove to be a long wait. Anyways, that’s all in God’s Hands, not Jack’s.

            Jack doesn’t believe you’re an a-theist in ‘real’ life.

          • DanJ0

            “Jack doesn’t believe you’re an a-theist in ‘real’ life.”

            It doesn’t work the other way around, you berk! Honestly, I doubt anyone would ever describe you as the sharpest knife in the drawer but you’re practically at poor Martin’s dullness with that little gem. Dear oh dear.

          • Lol ….
            Well now. You don’t make the rules, Danjo. It can work whatever way Jack wants it to.

          • DanJ0

            Dodo, the chances of your being a Christian are very slim. I’ve been here as long as you have and I remember your constant trolling of what was a pretty protestant / Anglican / Evangelical place at the start. I have no doubt you adopted a Roman Catholic ID, and ran many such IDs concurrently and sequentially since, simply because that gives you the opportunity to wind non-Catholic people up. I think this is why you’re so absurdly dogmatic: you go to the catechism and official pages for all your position and answers. You’ve developed your Catholicism along the way, using it as a weapon for your own purposes. You’ve probably had a cultural Catholic upbringing but that’s about it. Even that prayer you posted on the persecution thread was lifted in part from somewhere else, presumably using Google.

            I’ve been on the Internet from the start, and on the BBs and Usenet before that. I’ve come across a number of people who manifest the sort of behaviours you do. Your obsessive-compulsive thing is only a part of it. You get a lot of psychological payoffs from here, that much is clear, otherwise you wouldn’t have offered money to be allowed back, before surfacing under your current ID and pretending it wasn’t you. You’re fascinating in your own way, as are most trolls and forum oddballs. Given that you spend most evenings here until 1am or 2am, even on weekdays before you ‘retired’, I’d be very surprised if you’re even married now to be honest, though I expect you have been at some point. What wife would put up with that? But, hey. It takes all sorts to make a world.

          • Well, where did that all come from? Jack hopes you feel much better after that little outburst, Danjo. However, it’s not really a healthy approach. Here’s a little tip: “change your grievance story”. (Google it)

          • DanJ0

            Perhaps the wife plays a similar function to Norman Bates’ mother.

          • Such jealousy; such spite. It’s all so very unbecoming.

          • Martin

            HJ

            No one is an Atheist since all know God exists.

          • Martin

            HJ

            DanJ0 can’t accept, he’s dead in his sins. God needs to give him new birth.

          • Then why not leave it to God?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Because we’re called to proclaim the good news & the first part of the good news is that we are all sinners under the condemnation of God.

          • Lol … as Jack said you don’t really get it, Martin.
            Jack will stick with his verse to Danjo, it being the one he remembers, as it may stir something in him.

        • Martin

          DanJ0

          So you don’t actually know the second line.

          • DanJ0

            I’m just wondering what on earth this has got to do with my liking the hymm?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            It was a joke

          • Martin, you joke?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh

            Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
            forgive our foolish ways;
            reclothe us in our rightful mind,
            in purer lives thy service find,
            in deeper reverence, praise.

            The ideal wedding hymn.