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2007.12.23

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Joe Donahue

Sounds like a pastor I knew from FBC Dover...

Tim G

Peter,
May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year.

You are appreciated!

Byroniac

Peter:

It amazed me recently to read about some of our most beloved Christmas hymns are really not always Scriptural in every detail, either.

I agree with what I read online about "Silent Night" which is still a beautiful hymn in my mind, but I can no longer in good conscience affirm:

#111 -- SILENT NIGHT! HOLY NIGHT!
Text: "Father" Joseph Mohr, 1818 (Roman Catholic priest);
Tune: Franz GrĂ¼ber, 1818 (Roman Catholic)
Unscriptural: Was it a "silent" night (angel proclamation, angels singing, birth of baby, shepherds visiting, shepherds reporting, etc.)? Where in the Bible does one get "all is bright"? Where does it say that the angels sang "Alleluia"? Where does it say that light radiated from the Baby's face? There is no record that the star's light was a part of the scene. The Scripture does not call that evening "silent" or "holy." A few phrases meaningful to the true Bible believer deceive many who think they are pleasing God while they sing a hymn depicting Roman Catholic tradition.

The link for reference and for other hymns can be found here:

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/xmas_car.htm

Byroniac

Well, if anyone is interested, they can Google "Evaluation of Christmas Selections In the Living Hymns Hymnal"

Debbie Kaufman

Have a great Christmas Peter.

peter

Byron,

I simply cannot take the view on hymns in particular and art in general that you seem to espouse. If we took a literalist approach to art--and music is art--it would leave us but an empty hull behind.

Where does the Bible say " When we've been there ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun." (Amazing Grace)? Where does the Bible say "He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found," (Joy to the World)? I suppose very few hymns would survive such a vigorous criteria.

The way I see it, we must give art some latitude in employing symbolic elements, not to mention dramatic ones.

Nor do I, from my perspective, either count it against a hymn's enrichment of my life or a true reflection of reality because the person is mistaken elsewhere. I find it odd, Byron, given what I thought was a defense of loosening Baptist distinctives on another thread, that you so soon seem to tighten the screws snugly down on hymnology. Besides could the author not have been a saved catholic?

Grace. with that, I am...

Peter

peter

Debbie,

And a very gracious Christmas to you and your family as well, my sister. With that, I am...

Peter

Steve

Have a gret Christmas Peter, and thank you again for your kindness and grace to a foreigner, and one from so far South.
I am absorbed in the grateful reading of the wonderful material you sent.
Steve

Byroniac

Peter:

That's an excellent point: he could very well have been a saved Catholic. Only God can see the heart, so only God really knows. As for me, if he truly was a saved Catholic, I'll happily share the worship of the one true Saviour, but I want none of his church.

As for the hymns, no hymn is Scripturally perfect, except in the portions (if any) wherein Scripture is itself quoted. The inherent danger of a hymn remains, however, when that hymn introduces and defends concepts foreign to Scripture. Such hymns are worse than simply wrong in these matters, as they became didactic mechanisms for the indoctrination of error into the minds of those readily influenced. We have a burden to see that our youth and the spiritually immature are shielded from error, without having perfect wisdom or knowledge of our own yet with responsibility for the light given us by God.

I can't help but think about singing some of these hymns being much like charming cobras. For a time, the cobra is spellbound, and while losing none of its venom, the danger it threatens is significantly lessened. But sooner or later, the spell wears off. The cobra has a bad scale day (or whatever passes for a bad hair day in the reptile world). And then things get interesting, and hopefully antidote is nearby.

Though I won't wish you a "Merry Christmas," as I no longer believe in that either, I do wish you and yours blessed by Christ, and shielded in His care.

Luke

Merry Christmas Peter, to you and your family. May your celebration be blessed with joy from above.

volfan007

merry Christmas from the homeland.

david

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