God Has Never Done a New Thing Using Old Songs

guitarEvery old song used to be a new song.

I wonder who the first worship director was who said “hey, I like that new song John Newton wrote,” before introducing Amazing Grace to the church.

Whoever it was, he probably had to deal with complaints from church members who didn’t think it was as good as the hymns they were used to singing. “In six verses the name of Jesus isn’t mentioned once, but it says ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘I’ thirteen times! Today’s songs are so self-centered and shallow!” 

In a recent post entitled, Six Reasons Some Churches Are Moving Back to One Worship Style, Thom Rainer tells us that, according to some of his recent surveys, the contemporary vs traditional worship wars may be drawing to a close.

I hope new music won.

No, I don’t hate the hymns. And I’m not a kid. I’m a mid-fifties Small Church pastor who’s been in the church all my life. So I understand that many in my generation and older are touched and drawn closer in worship through the songs of their youth. But the youth of today need to be touched by songs that speak to their hearts, too. And not just in their own, segregated youth services.

Before you scroll down to the comment section to complain about spiky-haired divas leading worship teams, hear me out. First of all, why does everyone who complains about new music seem to have a problem with spiky hair? I’m OK with it. I’m sure God is too. Second, in my 35 years of pastoral ministry, I’ve met far more divas leading or singing in robed choirs than on worship teams.

Ego knows no age. And it’s wrong, no matter the style of music.

UPDATE: This post has stirred up a lot of passion! And some great conversation. To get an overview of the comments and my responses to them, check out my next post, Every Revival Has Its Own Soundtrack (New Music, Part 2).


A Message for My Fellow “Mature Believers”

We sometimes use the term “mature believers,” when we’re referring to older Christians. But if we really are mature believers, we should be able to worship Jesus in any situation, no matter what the style of music is. Like the Apostle Paul, we should learn to be “content whatever the circumstances.” Or, as I once heard an older pastor say, “I’ve learned to worship Jesus in a style of music I don’t like.” Now that’s a mature believer.

The styles and methods of outward-reaching churches cannot and should not be directed towards the long-time members. If we really are mature in our faith, we shouldn’t need things to be done our way.

So who should our methods and musical styles be geared towards? How about new and not-yet believers? Especially the young ones. Those are the ones who are at risk and are leaving the church in record numbers.

We’re losing this generation! Yes, losing them. But, instead of asking ourselves “what can we do to keep our own kids and grandkids in church?” not to mention the at-risk kids in our neighborhoods, we complain that they lack commitment, they’re consumer-oriented, or they’re shallow and selfish. All because they don’t want to do church the way we want them to do it. 

Of course they’re selfish. They’re young, they’re immature and/or they’re unbelievers. Selfishness is practically their job.

Instead of demanding the impossible – that those who are immature in their faith stop wanting things their way – mature believers ought to act like mature believers. We don’t teach selflessness to immature people by demanding it of them, but by being examples of selflessness among them.

Instead, we criticize today’s consumer-oriented generation, then stomp our feet and complain, “I want my church to sing the worship songs and hymns I like, or I’ll leave this church and take my tithes with me!”

Oh, the irony!

The younger generation is going to hell, while the previous generation complains that the new church music on our first-class ride to heaven is not to our liking. Ugh!

True servanthood ministry doesn’t flow from the immature to the mature, but the other way around. Mature Christians shouldn’t be coming to church to receive ministry, but to do ministry. And to support the ministry that’s being directed towards those who need it the most.


Invite God to Do Something New

There’s not a drop of nostalgia in me for the songs we sang when I was in church as a teenager – even though they touched my heart then.

I don’t want to worship Jesus the way we did years ago, because Jesus never repeats what he did years ago. He wants to do something new, NOW! 

But how can we be ready for what God wants to do now, if we’re not willing to do something as simple as singing the worship songs God is giving to today’s songwriters?

God has never done a new thing using old songs.

Oh sure, you may be able to point to the occasional renewal that used an old hymn or poem as a jumping-off point. But every real, lasting church renewal or revival has always been accompanied, even driven, by new songs and new forms of worship.

“But isn’t that watering down the Gospel? And isn’t that the problem the church has today?” No. New instruments and musical styles do not water down the Gospel. Shallow lyrics and preaching waters down the Gospel. Strong lyrics and solid bible preaching/teaching in an enthusiastic atmosphere in which people are singing a new song unto the Lord isn’t shallow at all.


This Is About Willingness, Not Ability

If you’re in a Small Church and are having a hard time finding someone (Anyone?! Please?!) to lead in worship at all, let alone find and sing new songs for your older congregation, I sympathize. I’ve been there. For a lot of years I was there. This post is not about churches who are trying to move forward while fighting some serious battles to get there. You have my prayers, my encouragement and my sympathies.

But if you are one of those churches that has the ability to move forward in your worship, yet refuse to, then you may be guilty of what you’re accusing the new generation of. Putting style before substance and personal preference ahead of real-world ministry.

People need Jesus! Young people especially, are leaving Jesus and need to be brought back to him. When we’re capable of singing newer songs, but insist on singing old ones instead, we’re making the on-ramp for the new or not-yet believer just that much harder.


But What About Our Parents?

This biggest complaint I hear when a church moves towards newer worship styles is that the older saints feel left out. I understand that and I sympathize. We need great churches that minister to our aging population.

And yes, I’m also aware that some churches, in their desire to move into new modes of worship, have pushed seniors aside instead of valuing their wisdom.

But if you’re at or nearing retirement age and are attending a church whose worship has changed in ways you don’t understand, let me assure you, we’re not changing because we want to push you aside. We need you. Here’s one way you can help us.

My dad pastored for over 45 years. If I become half the pastor he was I will consider my ministry a huge success.

My parents are in their late seventies, now. They attend my church one weekend and my brother-in-law’s church the next weekend. Both churches sing new music. And my parents love it! No, they don’t always get it. But they see the need for it and they support it with all their heart. They, and other senior saints like them have made our church’s move to newer music a lot easier than what most pastors face.

It’s not unusual, following a worship service, to see either of my parents (especially my father) pull our church’s worship director aside, or a member of the worship team, to congratulate them on a job well done. They make a special point to do that when we’ve been introduced to a new song with strong lyrics. (Yes, there are a lot of them.)

If you ask my dad why he does this, he’ll tell you “first of all, I really like what they’re doing. They love Jesus and it shows. Second, they need to hear from people our age that they’re doing a great job. Third, it’s working. Look at the front two rows of your church. They’re filled with teenagers. That won’t happen singing, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

Go get ‘em, mom and dad.


Just One Part of a Bigger Battle

No, this isn’t intended as an angry rant against ancient liturgical communities. I’ve been in wonderful, old liturgy communities – especially in Europe – that have their pulse firmly on reaching a newer generation. Many young people and nonbelievers are more attracted to a 500-year-old worship style than a 50-year-old one. Ancient and honorable can work. Old and stale never does.

Do what honors Christ and reaches people for him. Not just what appeases grumpy tithers. That’s the bottom line.

The so-called Worship Wars aren’t a fight between old people and young people – at least they don’t need to be. It’s a spiritual battle. And it’s part of a larger war that’s being waged for the hearts and minds of a generation that is being stolen right under our noses.

Music isn’t the only battlefield in this war. In my previous post, We Can Whine About the New Generation Or We Can Minister to Them – But We Can’t Do Both, I wrote about how we have a similar struggle around clothing styles.

The real problem isn’t new songs, spiky hair or skinny jeans. It’s when we allow any of that to distract us from our true mission. And we have let the Worship Wars do that.

No, I’m not naïve. Singing new songs isn’t going to magically reverse the spiritual slide. It’s just one small element in a much larger transformation that needs to take place within the church. But insisting on the old songs won’t even slow the slide down.

If singing a few songs that some of us don’t like is the price we have to pay to reach new people and to keep our own kids and grandkids in church, we should all be grateful to pay it.


Want more? Read my follow-up post, Every Revival Has Its Own Soundtrack (New Music, Part 2), made up entirely of my responses to comments that came from this post


So what do you think? What can you do to support new forms of worship for new worshippers?

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Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(Guitar photo from Artem Popov • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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76 thoughts on “God Has Never Done a New Thing Using Old Songs”

  1. Thank you. As a pastor who it trying to make sure every generation feels valued, I struggle with this topic. Yet, the reality is what you described. A new generation must have its anthems just like the previous generation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I do not have any problem with todays worship music. But I am a little concern when I see people doing what appeared to be the two step or some type of country dance to Christian Music as I did on the Dove Awards.

  3. Do we know for sure that we’re losing a generation because of worship styles? I think that issue is a topic by itself.

    My problem with worship styles going back to my early days in Calvary Chapel/Jesus People is that Love Song was not doing anything new. Yes, it may have been new to the church but it was not new. It was the style that was most popular at the time in the world of Western pop/rock and soul.

    Here in Southern California we forget that there is a style that has spanned a few generations and is still popular in the world and in some churches–country western. As an analogy we had Elvis singing Christian songs and Christians singing Elvis-style songs. Culture is a tricky thing. After all the word comes from the root ‘cult’ which is not bad in itself but suggests a following or order of some kind.

    Your basic premise troubles me and I am still pondering it. “God has never done a new thing using old songs.” It implies that new things can’t come from old things. Let’s see both Moses and Abraham were a bit advanced in years and God used them for new things. I always get nervous using NEVER associated with God. Even if He never has does not mean He never will?

    Try this out: A young person ends up at church and hears them singing How Great Thou Art and is moved to accept Christ as savior–that’s a new thing from an old song.

    Again…here in SoCal if we don’t like the music where we are you can bet there’s a place nearby we can find where we do. But that’s a silly reason to leave a church.

    I think this issue is less relevant to the small church.

    1. Hey Mike. This may be the first time we’ve been in even the slightest disagreement. But, even then, probably not as much as it seems. As to your first sentence, I don’t believe we’re losing this generation because of worship styles. We’re losing them for a ton of reasons, from cultural shifts to church scandals, etc. But I do think using culturally and contextually relevant musical styles, like Calvary Chapel and Love Song did (which is what I meant by new) instead of insisting on old musical styles, is an one of many important tools we must use.

      I debated using that title since I knew it would cause controversy. Then I stuck with it because I believe it and because I knew it would cause controversy – and that controversy would bring in readers and spark convos like this. Sure, a young person could come to the Lord hearing “How Great Thou Art”, but one salvation, as great as that is, is not a new thing or a renewal. if you go to places where hymns of that era is all they’re playing, you won’t find church renewal. Check out a Gaither concert. Great music. Wonderful worship. But not a new thing as much as an affirmation of some great older things. That’s valid. It’s just not the new thing the post is addressing.

      As your church proves, you can have a healthy church ministering to seniors. They also need great pastors like you and great places to worship and be cared for. That’s why I kept “new thing” in the title. New music isn’t needed for a healthy church, like yours. But is is for a church wanting to do a new thing for a new generation.

      1. That does help to clarify the NEW. And I do hear your heart in this Karl. I am weary of NEW-HYPE as opposed to Holy Spirit poured out NEW.

        Authentic NEW. in the past I tried to ride a couple of NEW waves that swept the church but crashed and burned. It was somebody else’s new not mine. NEW for NEW is really just OLD style adaptations to get on the band wagon.

        If it’s really your NEW then I believe God will bless it.

        And God has sure blessed your NEW small church thing.

  4. You cover this pretty well and you do make several important distinctions, but I would like to emphasize those again:
    1. Some small churches struggle to do music at all, let alone new stuff.
    2. New songs are not a magic church growth formula. Just changing your music style will not bring masses of young people in.
    3. New music can be detrimental if done poorly. It can be like a 50+ something pastor wearing skinny jeans. He’s trying to be something that he is not and people see through that dishonesty. I think doing older hymns well is better than doing contemporary music poorly.
    4. Some younger people prefer older hymns. In a former church college students who attended told me they liked the hymns. I suspect they had experienced number 3 above.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. As a young person myself who has recently started writing hymns, I gladly left a church in my early 20s that was full of Baby Boomers making themselves look ridiculous in an effort to look cool. I do not want to look back at the way I worshipped ten years ago and be embarrassed by it, like I do when I look back at my teen years. It is silly and offensive to say that teens won’t appreciate hymns. The reasons they don’t is because they are carefully taught by their parents that they must try to be cool at all costs, and that they should demand entertainment and comfort 24/7. But young people see through the facade. They see desperation and faddishness in their parents’ tactics, and they are not impressed by it. After all these decades of people forcing pop music into church, has the church grown? Absolutely not– it’s been an abysmal failure, and a huge embarrassment to the church. If only these poor Boomers knew just how they looked to most unbelievers. I have seen masses of teens belting out hymns– good ones, not sappy ones– with gusto. Time to give up the illusion that these people don’t exist, or can’t be taught.

      1. Very well stated, Auggie Girl. There are a lot of teens and twenty-somethings that have a great appreciation for the hymns. I see that in my church all the time. And musical entertainment as a substitute for real worship has become far too predominant in a lot of churches. Cool is overrated, for sure.

        My argument wasn’t that teens can’t or don’t appreciate the hymns, but that people of my generation need to stop being opposed to new songs and even the new hymns that young people like you are writing. There’s more than enough room for both. As long as the mix of styles – old and new – is being done to glorify God, that’s what we need. But blending styles – sometimes styles that clash musically, tonally or lyrically – just just to appease stubborn people, never works.

  5. In my first church the community’s average age was 50 and country music was the dominant style. I found that the standard hymns plus any music that was considered “country gospel” seemed to be the right blend. But changing music was not was really brought people in. It was connecting to them, relating to them.

    In my 19 years in my present work, we tried to organize praise teams twice and failed. We do use a different hymnal that has a nice blend of hymns and praise songs.

    One of the biggest issues I had in my first church concerning music was the group singing the same 30 hymns. I used the idea of giving my sermon list to the music leader and asked if he could match hymns to the theme. Then I suggested we look into the hymnal and learn one or two new songs a month.

    My biggest complaint about “contemporary” worship music is not its style. It is the loudness. If I can’t hear to sing, why bother? Drums that drown out the song leader do not help. I recently attended a conference that opened up in worship. The song leader used one guitar which was just right in sound level. Both hymns and praised songs were song.

  6. Music is a tool for worship, not an end in itself. Like any tool the question of its value can only be determined by its ability to help get the job done. As a musician as well as a Pastor, I’ve found that it is often easier to do new music well (with its three or four chord progressions) than it is to do anthems or classical styled music (i.e. Bach). It is also easier to find musicians familier with playing in pop styles (as the term popular itself implies).
    We strive to focus on experiencing the presence of God through music by doing it well enough that poor quality doesn’t distract from this focus. For this reason, along with the fact that more people in the secular world are more familier with pop styles than either hymns or classics, we choose as a new church plant, to use contemporary worship. Still, I look forward to those times I can get away and hear a wonderful choir or a Hymn played with all stops out on the pipe organ.

    1. I hear you, Jim. Not about wanting to sneak away to hear a pipe organ, but about proper sound volume (even though I like it loud) and about many musicians finding it easier to play the new songs instead of older ones.

      Not long ago, I was at a minister’s conference and was talking to the drummer before the service. The band had been brought together from various churches. The leader wanted to sing one of the older songs, that was in 6/8 time, which was popular for a lot of older hymns, but is never used now. The poor drummer had never done 6/8and had no idea what to do. They eventually pulled it off, and it went over very well, but I kept looking at the pain on the drummer’s face and could barely keep from laughing through the whole song.

  7. I really like this article, but I do disagree with the statement “God has never done a new thing using old songs.” I’ve seen people moved deeply in the spirit, young and old alike when an “old hymn” is done in a new way and style. We are a Vineyard Church so we do a lot of Vineyard music, but we also do a hymn several times a month and other contemporary worship music as well. And…it is difficult to do with a piano, drums, and three vocalists. Our bass player, lead guitarist graduated and moved away. So…it is very frustrating to try and do all the newer music without those instruments. But we try and do to the best of our abilities.

    1. I agree that old hymns and songs can move people deeply. It happens in my church, too. But, as wonderful as that is, that’s not a new thing. The new thing I was referring to is a wider renewal or revival in the church. That has never happened, and I don’t believe it ever will happen without new songs and new expressions of worship being in the forefront.

      I sympathize with your musicianship challenge. I faced it for a lot of years – decades, actually. But one thing I insisted on, even when we had limited musicianship – sometimes no musicians – was that we weren’t going to settle into old, stale forms of worship just to get by. For a couple years, I had a very nice woman offer to come from another church to play piano and led in worship for us for free. But I knew her style of music would only appeal to her generation. And it would make our worship a carbon copy of that other church’s worship. I thanked her and went without her high-end musicianship. Sometimes we just sang a couple new choruses a capella, or with me playing the guitar badly, but it was always with forward motion in mind.

      I sometimes think about how different our church would be today if I’d taken that musician up on her offer. I think our church would be older and probably better off financially. It would probably even be bigger. But we wouldn’t have the newness and freshness we have today.

  8. Amen! Great article!
    I am one of those who began a “music revolution” in the Catholic Church in the late 60’s. Out went the old hymns and organ and in came the new with guitar. It was called a “Folk Mass”. We wore “granny dresses” (very long conservative dresses) and the guys wore jeans. For the most part we and the music were very well received! Some however were put off by our attire! Many young musicians were discouraged and fled to Calvary Chapel where they felt welcomed! How very sad that their/my own church would “dis” them!

    I continue today in music ministry in the Catholic church and we continue now to incorporate some of the old and some of the new. It had become the acceptable norm for all people in most parishes. However… I have occasion to fill in at another Catholic church a few miles away. I am saddened by the attitude of the leader. When songs are chosen, they are beyond old. When I ask why I am told “they don’t sing anyway so it doesn’t matter.”! Well duh….why should they sing with an unwelcoming attitude as that!

    What I have told many a fledgling/young music minister who has grumbled about “old” songs is this: Just because a song is new…doesn’t mean it is good and just because it is old doesn’t mean it is bad.” There are many old songs (“How Great thou Art, Holy Holy Holy” etc) that have spanned the ages. Some songs are just “anointed” and will continue to touch hearts. What is most important …and you addressed it…is meeting the needs of the people in the pews …ALL the people in the pews! I once sang “I Can Only Imagine” at a more traditional Catholic service…median age 65. Afterwards this elderly man approached me about “that song” and I was filled with that “oh no here it comes” dread. He said: “That was wonderful! Where can I find it? We need more songs like that!” Thanks Lord for the affirmation!

  9. When it comes to music, I am not a “chronological bigot”– i.e. a song is neither good or bad based solely upon when it was written. I love some new hymns by the Gettys and some other pop stuff. I love psalms and some old hymns as well. I love what Indelible Grace is doing: taking rich lyrics from old hymns and re-tuning them to current arrangements. Check them out at http://www.igracemusic.org. I am going to one of their worship concerts tonight!

  10. I am 60 years old. I enjoy the New Worship Music. I have two types of things for which I listen, the first time I hear a different song being brought forth in WORSHIP. 1. The name of JESUS, the LAMB, CHRIST, GOD, ALMIGHTY, CREATOR, SAVIOR, the CROSS, SON of GOD, things that denote HIS DIETY, (abbreviated list). 2. SCRIPTURAL references. Such as ” HE is my strong Tower.” ect. If these things are present I find New Music much easier to accept, I really enjoy WORSHIP when the Worship Leader uses both Hymns and New Worship Songs. It is particularly interesting when the words of a Hymn are kept and the music is updated. GOD has given us wonderful Worship Leaders who are inspired by the SPIRIT to lead us while we worship or LORD and SAVIOR. We should not complain about where they are led, unless ”
    they” are leading us astray in our WORSHIP.

  11. Good article…as usual! And I can’t believe that I am going to say this but…there is nothing wrong with new and old! I have fought the worship wars in every church I’ve Pastored except my present one. While we do predominantly contemporary worship, we also do some older stuff too. We just take some of the lord stuff and pep it up a bit. Some of our younger people didn’t grow up in church and so to them they are new songs! But the issue is there is great theology and heritage in some of the older songs that we are robbing our young people by throwing them out completely. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean we have to them in a stale style!

    1. I agree, Mark. I’ve seen new and old used well together, but only when the new stuff is leading the way. I’ve never seen “blended” music work when new and old are used just to appease everyone. It ends up pleasing no one. Have you seen it work when it’s truly 50/50? I’d love to know, cuz I’ve never seen it. (But then, my knowledge has yet to be omniscient.)

  12. I’m not against new nor old worship styles provided the lyrics are theologically sound. Unfortunately there are numerous songs in both camps that fail this test. My issue is this: If we are using worship as a hook for new believers, we’re doing it wrong. The worship service is for believers. An unbeliever can’t worship God in the same manner as a believer (something we tend to forget). Bringing people to Christ should happen outside the walls. Why do we gear our worship services like shows??? It’s funny (in a sad way) how we complain about consumersim only to turn around and cater to it. Worship is not about me, not about you, not about my older members nor about my younger members. It’s about God. We don’t mature believers by giving them what they want but by teaching the truth about God and thus, giving them what they need.

    1. I agree completely, Mark. I’ve written on the dangers of consumer-driven church a lot. I’ll link to a couple posts which address that at the end of this response, in case you haven’t read them.

      My premise isn’t that worship is a church growth or evangelism tool, but that new and not-yet believers will respond more deeply to worship that’s done in a musical style that touches their heart.


  13. I have never understood why the issue of music has tyo be an either/or. Why can’t churches incorporate new and old, hymns and choruses out of love for everyone? I think a church who stubbornly only sings new music and refuses to sing old (if there are people in the church family who’d be ministered to by it) are just as in error as the ones who refuse to sing anything new. Why can’t we do both for a well rounded, rich worship service? If hymns are totally out, someone SERIOUSLY needs to let Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns know! Chris did a remake of a hymn I barely knew and it’s one of my favorites now..THEWORDS!! It’s called He Leads Me…I fell in love with an old hymn because of the new way it was sung. Same thing happened to me with Glorios Day by Casting Crowns. Our little church covers multiple time periods..and we don’t have any musicians. Here’s what we did just this last Sunday. Started out with a hymn from the book, acapella, For I Know Whom I Have Believed. Then just for fun, I led them in Put on a Garment og Praise ( should’ve seen the smiles). Then we did something totally new – sang from a video! (Normally we do cds and power point). We sang a new song, This is the Day or Today is the Day. They semed to like it even if it did have an electric guitar solo…we just kept the volume at a decent level. Then we sang one of our all time new faves, In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock. (When we first heard this song we went looking in all our old hymnals to find it because the words were so rich…only to find out it’s new!). Then we sang Your Name and The Revelation Song ( another favorite). As the video ended I felt led to sing Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. So in one setting we had a song from the 1800’s, mid 1900’s, 70-80’s, 90’s and I guess within the last ten years. We mist do pretty good, because two young women in their 20’s who have left our church (got married and moved away) both contacted be asking for a list of our most sung worship music…they missed it in their new churches and wanted the names so the could find the music to listen to on their own! Lol

    1. That sounds great, Cindy! I don’t think it needs to be either/or. But most times when a church does blended worship, it’s not as much a celebration of both, like yours is, but a compromise, trying to appease everyone, but pleasing no one.

      One of the great, new modes of worship is the convergence of styles like what you mention Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns are doing. If we’re combining the best of both in order to do a better thing instead of just trying to appease people’s stubbornness, we may be doing one of the new worship modes the Lord is leading the church into.

  14. I agree…sort a. I’m a worship leader and do 2 to 3 old hyms per YEAR. Yesterday I was led to do “Victory in Jesus” right after Tomlin’s “Lay me Down”. More hands went up (young and old alike) than did nearly all morning. So I may start using a few more hymns in the weeks to come. But overall your article is right on!

  15. No wonder people have no use for church….arguing over singing 500 year old music…the church continues headlong into complete irrelevance as a generation is lost….whole communities have no idea that your church even exist…The old ways die with the dying churches that refuse to reach the next generation….

  16. I recently told my son who plays on a contemporary worship team for a baptist church that has a 1st service traditional style and contemporary 2nd service not to dispise the old. We all have had our emotions touched worshipping our Lord from the genre that we enjoy. That is diversity. What bothers me about “new thang” is that actually there is nothing new under the sun…. That phrase in reality is a big apostolic reformation phrase… Research that before you use the phrase… Off my soap box now and continue. My issue with contemporary music is the lack of content in lyrics and the use of repeated ” montra” to bring emotions out. This leads to a false new age style worship. This is not for the church! So let’s have contemporary music it’s some real meaning. There is plenty of it out there such as How Great is Our God….

    1. I appreciate where you’re coming from. I don’t despise the old songs at all. I’m just tired of people from my generation despising the new ones. The problems you find with shallow lyrics apply to songs of any age or era. Poor lyrics are poor lyrics. There are a lot of songs with great lyrics being written, along with the poor ones. It’s always been that way.

      But, unlike you, I don’t have a problem using some songs with repeated phrases. I think mixing those songs in with songs that have more complex lyrics, allows people some time to concentrate on God’s presence instead of concentrating on lyrics the entire time. Sure, manipulating emotions is wrong, but allowing people to relax and express an emotional response instead of having to keep up with the words is a nice change of pace.

    1. Good question. I don’t have an expiration date on anything. But I was in a church not long ago whose entire worship set could have been sung in any church in 1981. And not because they were singing ancient hymns or revamping older tunes. The entire set, including instruments and chord progressions was from the late 1970s. And all the songs were from the 1960s and 1970s. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what “old music” means.

  17. I agree with what I think is the main premiss of the article. To paraphrase, spiritually mature people should know how to worship no matter the type of music and each generations has its own preference. We should roll with the tide. I have learned to do so. Although I think music that appeals to young people MIGHT draw them to attend a few services, I do not think it is the type of worship that causes them to grow spiritually and stay in the church. There is plenty of contemporary music out there. If that alone would cause the church to be flooded with young people seriously seeking the Lord and growing in Christ, most of us would have more contemporary worship. I’m 65, and I love the anointed songs of any generation. Not all songs carry an anointing. Every generation will have its songs that the church will still be singing to the Lord long after that generation is dead, and every generation will have its songs that came and went, and no one really remembers the lyrics. (Except the worship leaders of course. We are lyric junkies.) It is the Word that breaks the yoke. Not the song

    1. Hi Linda! You’ve got the main premise right. I also agree that new music alone won’t refill the churches with younger people. But I think it has to be a part of the equation.

  18. It seems like a far overgeneralization to say that young people are more attracted to ‘new’ music. I see the preference as very mixed in our church. Old and Stale are one thing, but vibrant old songs have as much meaning and connection as vibrant new songs. I think that it is quite presumptuous to declare that God only does new things through new songs. Where is the evidence for that? That sounds like a justification for ‘my preference’ more than anything else to me. Both styles should be valued. The point of the article that we, as Christians should be concerned with how others feel and be willing to be flexible in order to help others to connect to God is very good. Flexibility in worship is far more important than either side ‘demanding’ their way or claiming that their way is ‘the ‘ way’. I think that we can over spiritualize the issue, valuing our own preferences and devaluing other’s feelings.

    1. “Flexibility in worship is far more important than either side ‘demanding’ their way or claiming that their way is ‘the ‘ way’.” You’re exactly right, Wayne. That’s one of the primary messages of the post.

      As to “God only does new things through new songs,” it may seem like splitting hairs, but that’s not exactly what I said. I believe God does new things using lots of tools, not just new songs. But I have yet to find a true church renewal or revival that used old songs as a central part of that revival.

      For evidence, look at the Reformation songs, the Wesleyan revival songs, the General Booth / Salvation Army songs, the Great Awakening songs, the DL Moody songs, the Azusa Street revival songs, the Billy Graham Crusade songs, the Jesus Movement songs… the list goes on and on. Every revival has its own soundtrack. Most of them use, adapt and reinterpret a few older hymns too, but one of the hallmarks of every revival is the new music it birthed.

  19. I visited a church where the old and new were linked in a way that was unbelievable, the new ones started with a chorus and erupted into a new song completing the message in the first, or the other way around if meditation mood was indicated, the music minister had done his job, preparing us for worship,

  20. I’m a 58 year old pastor of a “contemporary” church. This came about after much prayer about who our church should be; looking at who we were trying to reach and who God was sending us to help get it done. To my worship leader, an old song is “Shout to The Lord”. We have kept many of our more mature members because we go out of our way to express our appreciation for them putting aside a preference so that we can speak to the next generation in their own language. The songs of our youth become the songs of our life. When I’m by myself, I sing the songs of my youth. Young people aren’t a monolithic demographic any more than any other generation, and what we’re doing won’t satisfy everyone, but those who find their home with us are sincerely grateful. No, I don’t wear skinny jeans. I don’t have a cool bone in my body, so I don’t try to be their buddy, I ask to be their pastor, and I love it when they say yes.

  21. I consider myself a fifty five year old middle age pastor on the edge. I have grown up with both the traditional hymns as well is every new music trend since the seventies. I thought I was pretty ‘with it’ untiI Italked with my niece and her husband about the new church they are planting east of Toronto. I asked about thier worship, and after she described how it was going to be presentedI quipped, ‘ so I guess I would not be able to come and play my violin in the worship team’. My tongue in cheek comment was meant to address the point you referred to earlier that people my age and older want to be involved in the new music. There are three key things to consider
    1. Sing in a key that is singable for the entire congregation
    2. Sing so that the melody is recognizable
    3. Sing a new song more than one week so that people can learn the song
    A fourth key I would add, is as much as possible in love people fifty plus in the worship ministry whether as team members, sound crew, instrumentalists, or as prayer team members

  22. Another point I would make is, I was once interviewed by a church for the position of senior pastor. Everyone of the Commitee members were over sixty. When I asked what they vision for the church was, they responded with ‘ we want to reach young people and families’
    Then I asked, what are some changes you would like to see? The answer was predictable, and I quote ‘ as you can see there is a lot of grey hair here. We need change but not our music’ I did not go to that church

  23. I’m a worship leader in my 20s. But while I agree with you, how can I make the transition for the older persons … a bit easier. I don’t have a ‘worship war’ at my Church, we’re free to introduce new songs. But many times, it seems the older persons are ‘missing out on the worship’. They just seem so lost.

    1. As a pastor/worship leader I have learned a couple things.
      1. Whatever you sing, keep the music singable
      2. Make sure the melody is strong and recognizable
      3. Make sure when you introduce a song one Sunday, make sure you keep singing it in order for the people to ‘GET IT”
      4. Be patient. When the seniors are not singing, it is not because they do not like the music, it could simply be that they cannot physically sing the song at the pace or key you are playing.
      5. remember that worship is not about senior, youth, families or the seeker. Worship is all about Jesus and glorifying HIm with all we have.

    2. Great question, Cee. Ralph’s ideas are all good. One thing I would add is this. Have a playlist of the original recordings of new songs you plan to introduce and play them in the background before and after the services or at any other time church people gather. People won’t notice it consciously, but by the time you introduce a new song from that playlist, they’ve already heard it a few times and it will feel familiar to them – even if they have no idea why.

      1. After reading through all comments, I find that I agree and disagree with both viewpoints. My viewpoint comes from a different angle. I am a 55 year old pastor who pastored churches from both camps for 20 years and I enjoyed both.
        Almost 7 years ago, I stepped out of what we would call the “normal traditional pastor” role and became a biker pastor within the motorcycling community. I traded a pastorate of a little over 600 members to street ministering one on one. What I found was that it didn’t take either type of worship to set the mood to lead someone to Christ. All it took was someone who really cared and showed Jesus in our actions and showed God’s love in our conversation instead of being critical of one another. I have lead more people to Christ on the streets and have had more opportunity for teaching and training in the past seven years than twenty years behind the pulpit!
        This is a community that the church for some reason chooses to neglect and most bikers will tell you that they won’t set foot in anything that resembles church. They do change their mind after getting saved and being discipled.
        Most prefer the home church setting and what we find is that is because they feel that worship and the teaching is more personal and real.
        I have asked about worship and found two answers that come up quite frequently. 1) they tend to shy away from the old traditional music, as they are most of the time followers of the most modern styles of secular music 2) they don’t like churches with the modern contemporary music most of the time, because (don’t shoot the messenger here) they find that the praise bands seem like they have to put on a show just like the groups that they follow! (I might also mention here that Charisma Magazine did an article on modern worship a few months back and also noted that this is becoming an ever increasing problem in modern worship teams. They noted that if you look around, people are no longer singing in church, they are being entertained.)
        Needless to say, my eyes have really been opened to a lot of things that while I pastored a brick and mortar church, never even crossed my mind, because my mindset was focused on the church service probably more than being real with people on their level and truly meeting their needs. I was more concerned that the service was “politically correct” in the church world. Be it traditional or contemporary!
        No matter what style you choose, traditional, contemporary or mixed. People want to see people who hear and listen to the Holy Spirit and minister Jesus and His saving grace! People are hurting and looking for answers to life’s problems.
        I believe no matter what style of worship, if it is lead by the Spirit of God, He will use it to prick the hearts of those who need His touch!

        1. That’s a great viewpoint Eric. Thanks so much for sharing it here. We need to hear more from voices like yours to challenge all our presuppositions. Seriously good. (You, the messenger, remain free of bullet holes.)

          I can fully understand why they would reject both old school and new style music for the reasons you mentioned. They need music that relates to their context. Which leads me to a question for you. Do they worship together, or do they all go to separate house churches? If they do worship together, what do they sing? What does biker worship sound like?

          1. They do worship together and they will sing a mixture of styles. We try to link them into established house churches in the area of the country that they are from. We go to six major rallies a year. The smallest one is the one we just back from in Myrtle Beach, SC with approx. 50,000 bikers there and the biggest one that we work is Daytona Beach with roughly 1 million bikers there during the first week of March.
            What is really beautiful in worship is that many of them are very talented songwriters and to watch an listen as they sing through the tears as they worship the one true God that has delivered them from a lifestyle where they seek for answers to life in just about anything that has a glimmer of hope! Outlaw gangs offering a “brotherhood” drugs, alcohol, free sex, tattoos and body piercings. I am not arguing whether these things are right or wrong in moderation here. The point is that they are looking for answers in the extreme here for momentary satisfaction that does not last! To me there is nothing more beautiful than watching any group of people standing worshiping God for their salvation, but I guess I’m a bit prejudice, as I think it is awesome when you get a group of ex-rough bikers together with ink all over them standing together worshipping God with tears streaming down their faces, because He has granted them freedom from sin and their searching has come to an end!

        2. Eric, this is in response to your last comment on Oct 14 (since your comments started under another comment thread, we’re too deep into it for the program to let me reply under your last comment.)

          I love the story of your ministry and of all those bikers gathered for worship. God bless what you’re doing with them! I’d love to worship with you some day. I’ve tagged your website and will keep an eye on what you’re doing. And I’ll pray for you as I do.

          For my other readers, Eric’s ministry is mountedeagles.com.

    3. Cee, I think that many of the Mature Christians do seem Lost. They have seen so many trends come and go in the Church and Worship. Witnessed the Chaos in the World, had to watch as friends, family, and Beloved Leaders were taken from this earth, while they remain. I believe that all Christians, Youthful, Mature, and Elderly need to be Encouraged in their walk. Worship Music is supposed to lighten the burden so that We can open up and Worship our GOD in spirit and in Truth, to help Us release/ surrender ourselves to the SPIRIT that dwells within, because we can not Worship GOD without Surrender. Many of my contemporaries think that they have attained the goal and are right with the LORD, I believe that this is an enormous mistake, we will not be perfected until we stand before Our LORD in resurrection, clothed in Our Eternal bodies. The Apostles were serving the LORD and his SAINTS until they were called from their earthly tribulations. I believe that all Believers are called to service until they are taken by the LORD to be forever in his presence. So draw all the congregation into the WORSHIP that you lead, teach yourself and them to enjoy all genre of WORSHIP MUSIC.

  24. Hey! Worship director here…

    Context is hugely important in this arena. In my church, if I do a hymn, I get blank stares because we are a recovery church where many of the people in the seats have been saved in the last 10 years. Plus, as seems to come the people that we reach, they came from hanging out in loud bars, listening to loud rockin music. It also so happens that many of our people came from a more liturgical background and maybe had a bad experience and walked away from the church. That being said, they don’t know hymns because it’s older music they’ve never heard AND/OR they don’t like hymns because it feels stale and too low key for them, AND/OR they don’t like hymns because it reminds them of bad experience or negative feelings they had about the church in their upbringing. So, all of that to say, I don’t do hymns at our church, even when it’d be nice to “contemporize” one. Not to say I never could but why would I reach back and take a chance when new music does so well in our context?

    More on context…what do the people who YOU REACH connect with? That’s an important question to answer. And who you want to REACH and who you HAVE may be two different demographics so it’s important to know both who you feel called to reach and who’s currently sitting in the seats. And no one gives that calling but God. Once you know who you’re called to reach then you tailor everything towards that demographic so music will need to be tailored to the context.

    I agree with Karl that if God is doing a new thing then it can often times feel very natural for new music to come along with it naturally. I find myself getting an itch to write more and more as God has continued to do big things in our church. It just feels natural to respond to what God is doing in us by bringing Him OUR songs, not someone else’s.

  25. I am a 60 something musician who enjoys “Southern Gospel” I totally get using the new music to win lost souls in this generation. But I do not get pushing away or removing the Hymns & Gospel songs from the churches list of music…..And very much so the elders and folks my age and older are being ” back burner-ed” to once a month gatherings and NO appreciation of the music…. we were born-again from or allowing events to go back and enjoy the songs WE sang…If albums and shows are broadcast of “Oldies But Goodies” on TV, Then I can’t believe God would allow this music to be forgotten…all in the name of evangelism….There are tears welling up in my eyes when I hear some of the old favorites…there are those seniors stuck in resident & chronic care facilities who love this stuff…..THERE HAS TO BE A BALANCE…….I was asked by our ‘New” worship leader to receive lessons from him on the new songs “intros” like it’s done on the radio….this 30 something wants to teach me piano music after I put 40 some odd years into what I thought was appreciated ministry….Yes I admit to being ticked off….and sadden……

  26. What is ‘relevant’ can easily become irrelevant. When people, any people, come to Church to be entertained, they will be able to find a place that entertains them better.

    People, young and old, need truth, whether it’s in the music or in the preaching.

    Trying to pander to any particular taste will very likely fail. I’ve seen it so many times.

    The song of the Angels is “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts” and “Glory to God in the Highest”. That is what needs to be emulated. That’s our new song.

    God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is consumerism that requires “old” and “new” designation.

  27. Karl, way to stir up God’s people! Anyway what you said below in your comment section was important to clarify your presuppositio . It helped me understand what you were driving at in this articl .

    “I agree that old hymns and songs can move people deeply. It happens in my church, too. But, as wonderful as that is, that’s not a new thing. The new thing I was referring to is a wider renewal or revival in the church. That has never happened, and I don’t believe it ever will happen without new songs and new expressions of worship being in the forefront.”

  28. Craig Robertson

    I think the biggest reason many churches are struggling today is because they spend way too much energy arguing over musical styles. We are God’s instruments and the whole world is watching.

    1. I agree with the sentiment, Craig. But not the emphasis. Our arguments over musical styles aren’t the biggest reason many churches ares struggling, but it is a factor and it needs to stop. We really can all get along on this.

  29. I grew up in a Calvary Chapel and am now 31. I have watched many walk away from the church for a number of reasons…some have left for a more traditional church, too. I personally believe that the struggle my generation has with the church is a lack of the church body being genuine and spirit-filled and being a solid community where fellowship and sharing struggles and praises and praying for one another after services are common (by community, I also mean people reaching out to others after church and particularly the pastors and staff approaching people after services to visit instead of the church feeling they must approach the leaders in order to connect).
    On the topic of worship, I understand that some in the church take issue with song choices and perhaps for some, there may be a deeper reason they miss some of the older songs? I have worked with middle school and high school students and have many friends in the church within 10 years +/- my age and older. From my conversations it appears that the real heart of the issue is not always song choices but the performance vs. worship aspect and where songs repeat a phrase 15-20+ times…minds begin to wander for many and just as some may count the number of “ums” in a person’s speech…so do some worshippers struggle with now counting the repeated phrase instead of worshipping. Many old songs can be made new in any form of music – that’s what American Idol and similar shows have found success with…they take an old song and make it new…they make it their own. Some of the beauty of the Maranatha songs or old hymns is that memorizing those songs is essentially memorizing scripture or a sermon which is powerful and cannot be discounted…especially for many who attend church and do not open their Bibles very much at home. Many, myself included, miss the days when my worship pastors and leaders were focused on drawing us into God’s presence and singing worship that brought the focus to God and allowed the entire body to feel they could sing along…and this taught that worship is a holy, reverant way of praising God and not just performing a song. This type of music was and should still be set apart as holy.
    As someone who has served in worship ministry, I appreciated one Pastor who talked to every person who led worship on Sundays and emphasized that we are not to draw attention to ourselves but we have a unique service to draw the church into God’s presence and our focus is to be on Him…not on our clothes or what we are doing but solely on Him. I appreciated that he shared how the temptation in front of a mic, on a stage with lights, etc. is to draw attention on ourselves or act differently and we needed to be aware of that and pray before each service to guard against that. I remember another time when a worship director spoke to the group and said that we needed to act a certain way on stage with our hands, etc. to have good stage presence…but the truth is…are the leaders on stage worshipping outwardly the same way they would with their hands and movements and vocal licks and added phrases as they would sitting with the congregation? This is helpful to consider when we lead.
    I was in church yesterday during worship and my heart broke knowing that God deserves our greatest and our best offering of praise and we were being drawn into a performance instead of worship. I am not alone in that feeling. I prayed and realized that our church was not singing the songs with the worship team. I remember when the heart of worship really was all about praising God. Now, in some churches, it is to entertain…people clap for the worship team afterwards (similarly, would we clap after a great sermon or pastoral counseling session? the idea is where is our focus?)…the vocals are filled with so many licks and trills that the congregation cannot follow and we’re told afterwards to take notice of who did an incredible job arranging all the songs we got to sing and we’re encouraged to by his/her cd afterwards. Professional-style photos are taken of the worship team during the service and then posted to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, “#sundaysetlist” and it leaves worship feeling empty, commercial and focused on people. A set list is by definition a list of songs from a concert or performance. I completely understand sharing lyrics of a worship song to encourage the readers…or a video of a song to encourage private worship and entering into God’s presence but hash tagging the list like that makes this seem very much the same as if someone attended a prayer meeting and posted a list of all they prayed for with the hashtag #whatiprayedfor, #prayermeeting which reminds me of Matthew 6:1. I am not discounting that the posting may have been initially with the best of intentions but the message portrayed is lacking. The only other thing people who have left the church have made fun of is the soft piano music that plays in the background during alter calls and prayer. People have communicated to me that they feel they are being pushed into some emotional state by the soft music and others get so focused on the music (like a person who cannot study for an exam with music on) that they struggle to focus on the prayer.
    Yesterday at my church the upcoming bible studies were announced as “fun” and “cool”…and while I understand the need to reach the younger generations…I have heard that these younger generations are seeing through potential commercialized messages and wonder to themselves that there has to be something deeper to church worship and Bible studies than the way they are being proclaimed. We were encouraged to go to a study because there would be coffee there. How more powerful though is an experience with the living God through worship and the study of His Word to touch our hearts and minds and souls?
    If you have read all of this post, thank you. I really feel passionate about the building up of our church and seeing people truly experience the beauty of giving our focus and our heart to worshipping God with our all and being the salt and light because we are genuine and we see ourselves as God’s image bearers and His bondservants who meet to praise God with so much more depth than what we often partake in as a body.
    God bless you!

    1. ralph Juthman

      Loved rereading the article. It is a topic that will endure until Jesus returns I am sure. In response to your inciteful statement, “Old songs were new songs once” When I first came to my present church ten years ago we still had a Sunday night service. before service I was at the piano, and for some reason starting playing an old hymn. One of my senior saints spoke up, O pastor, It is so wonderful to hear those old hymns” I asked him, john ( not his real name), when were you first saved? He answered, in 1945. I looked at the date when this particular song was published, in 1940. So I answered, so you were singing a contemporary worship song. ‘John’ did not get what I was saying, but I thought this story illustrated your point well.

      1. Hello, I just feltI needed to respond to what you said about od songs. Although I think I understand were your coming from, I do not agree with some of what you said. I Attend church at “The House Modesto” formally called Calvary Temple in Modesto , Caif. I have been a sign language interpreter there for 18 yrs. and I have seen these old songs like” Amazing Grace,Oh Th Blood of Jesus” and so many others incorporated into our worship services. Along with new songs written by our music pastor or others In our church, and recently written songs out ion Christian radio

        1. Continue… I have seen for myself people cone in , from all walks of life, not saved yet. Some with no church experiences at all, completely and radically touched by the anointing in these old hyms! Broken before God and falling down in surender , giving there lives to God. You may say it was only the new songs , you would be wrong. I know because I have experianced seeing it with the deaf I work with. Some never having gone to church anywhere before. Never having even “heard”of the Lord their whole lives, and only seeing, ” hearing” the old hyms. They have and other hearing people have been radicaly touched by the anointing on these songs I believe has never gone away!! God anointed them when they were given when first written. HE DOESN’T remove that anointing! Yes I agree bew songs are needed, but I do not agree at all that the old songs are not anointed any longer,. That they do nothing. Or that God does not use them!, watch our services streaming live. I know you will be blessed. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. Be blessed in Jesus name 🙂

          1. I don’t disagree with any of what you’ve said, Debra. I know the church you attend and it’s a great church. I think the old songs are fantastic. I love it when our church re-incorporates them into worship, too. God has used them and still uses them. My only point in the post isn’t to dump the old songs, but that, when God does something new, the new songs usually take the lead.

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  31. since when do young people need different music to make them feel more what emotionally connected to God? The old music had words from scripture in them what better thing to sing then scripture. If you need new music to keep the youth then they are there for the wrong reasons.

    1. I understand what you’re saying, Colleen. But to answer your question “since when do young people need different music to make them feel more what emotionally connected to God?” I would say, since forever. People have always connected to the musical styles of their era.

      And young people aren’t the only ones who connect emotionally to the music of their youth. Seniors do, too. Plus, that criticism can go both ways, it seems to me. If seniors (of whom I am one) need older music to keep us in church, perhaps we are there for the wrong reasons?

  32. I have to admit that I feel bad for your congregation. A mature believer is not one who will put up with whatever happens to hopefully keep a few extra people to stay in the church. A mature believer takes a stand for what he/She believes in and does not back down because they know ts right. I am a young person in my twenty’s and have grown up on the hymns of the faith and although they may not have “Jesus” every other word they speak of the Comfort the Lord Gives us. they speak of the Blood of Christ shed that all may come to repentance. “Amazing Grace” alone speaks of Christ finding us when we were lost and of his promises towards us. I do have a big problem with the so called “Worship Pastors” in may of our so called churches who look the same as a homosexual walking down the streets of San Francisco. We are commanded in scripture” Wherefore come OUT from among them and be ye SEPARATE saith the Lord” We are to come out of the world and be different then they are not coward and compromise right standards just to appease the appetites of the worldly Christians. The term Christian means to be “Christ Like”. I can guarantee you that if Jesus Christ walk walking the earth today it would NOT be in a pair of skinny jeans and a shirt that looks like it belongs to his sister but would be dressed like a Man, Walk like a Man and Talk like a Man. The real reason we are losing people left and right from out churches is because the churches who used to have the guts and respect for a Holy, Merciful and Righteous God have decided to compromise their standards to build numbers i their churches. I attend a solid Independent Fundamental Church that Preaches Bible and we still hold to the one and ONLY Bible the King James Bible and the men of God that we have in special meetings and my pastor alone are not afraid to stand up and preach a message that stepping all over toes and that’s is because they are not in the ministry to please the people but to please the Lord and our command is ” To be instant in season out of season reprove, rebuke, exhort with long-suffering”. As far as the modern Contemporary so called christian music of today it is not pleasing to the Lord. Just because a song has “Jesus” in it fifty times does not make it any more Effective that the Old Fashioned hymns. The purpose of music is to 1. praise and glorify Christ and 2. convict hearts and 3. comfort hearts. Contemporary Music does nothing but honor peoples flesh.What someone does in their own vehicle and home is between them and God and although I may not agree with them whats done behind the doors of their home is on them. But the church is not your home, my home or anyone else but it is the Hose of God and should be treated like it. One thing that starts to convict a lost person is seeing someone who has something (joy) that they don’t and they can see the difference in them and want to know more but when you are basically having a Rock concert in your church from week to week then what Good does it do to convict the lost people in the world. Music in the Church is supposed to be preparing the hearts of the congregation for the preaching of Gods word not getting to move around and dance around. The Closer the church moves to the world the worse the world will get and that is why we see Paul rebuking the New Testament Churches for allowing carnality in among them and embracing it and that is where we are at today. Its time to wake up and quit being spiritual babies and start standing up for what we know whats right and quit making excuses for why were not doing it.

    (Scripture was given from memory so it may not be word perfect)

    1. You are an idiot. Separation from the world is not about how you dress or whether you read your bible in antiquated Elizabethan English.I’d also like to know how you can say that modern music is not pleasing to the Lord. Sounds to me that you need to receive a good old fashioned dose of the Holy Spirit.

  33. I heard it best explained like this. The old hymns sing about Jesus and are testimonial. The worship songs today sing to Jesus and are relational. For example, there is a big difference between me tell you I love my wife and me telling my wife I love her.

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