Horizontal Hymn Singing

This is the kind of stuff that gives the church a bad name:

Lord of our diversity,
unite us all, we pray;
welcome us to fellowship
in your inclusive way.

Teach us all to have respect;
to love and not deride.
save us from the challenges
of selfishness and pride.

Sanctify our listening
and help us get the sense
of perplexing arguments
before we take offence.

Teach us that opinions which
at first may seem quite strange
may reflect the glory of
your great creative range.

May the Holy Spirit now
show us the way preferred.
may we follow the commands
of your authentic word.

Blllllllhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It was sung at the opening Festival Eucharist of the Anglican Consultative Council and Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream had this to say about it:

There was one eminently forgettable hymn commissioned for the occasion. Its lyrics were theologically twee, politically correct, poetically thin (try saying them) and the music was lifted from Beethoven’s Ode to Joy … If ever there was horizontal hymn-singing this was it, far from the great traditional hymns of the Church, none of which was sung.

You know of course that this is anthropocentric liberal nonsense when Colin Coward of Changing Attitude likes it.

The second hymn had been specially commissioned for this ACC meeting and was written by Mervyn Morris and Noel Dexter. It could have been written for a Changing Attitude or Inclusive Church service.

And that’s where it should have stayed.

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6 Comments on “Horizontal Hymn Singing

  1. It sounds better in the original…

    Lord of our diversity,
    unite us all, we pray;
    welcome us to fellowship
    in your inclusive way.

    Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

    Teach us all to have respect;
    to love and not deride.
    save us from the challenges
    of selfishness and pride.

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    Sanctify our listening
    and help us get the sense
    of perplexing arguments
    before we take offence.

    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.,

    Teach us that opinions which
    at first may seem quite strange
    may reflect the glory of
    your great creative range.

    [Now for the “challenging opinions” bit! Tee hee]

    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

    Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

    Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

    Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

    Hey! Verses 5 – 10 are missing. I wonder why?

    Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

  2. Yuck, what a hideous “hymn.” I wonder if the AAC team has got the tune wrong, however. The meter is wrong. Ode to Joy is 8.7.8.7 meter. The above is 7.6.7.6. If the above was indeed sung to Ode to Joy it would be absolutely abominable. I can’t bear to think how it sounded – not only drivel for words, but sung to a tune of the wrong meter. Wow.

    What was wrong with the original “Ode to Joy” – it would seem the sentiment of that hymn would have been quite appropriate and relevant for the ACC meeting:

    “Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!”

    and:

    “Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.”

  3. It’s quite a contrast – just last night I was watching an old BBC show “Danger UXB!” and the episode concluded with the sappers and congregants singing “Who would true valor see”. The state of Anglican hymns certainly has declined.
    Pax et Bonum!
    Steve

  4. Well said Peter, Blllllghhhh! says it all. If I’d tried to come up with a parody of liberal Anglicanism I couldn’t have done any better (try saying it to wourself in a ‘wet’ voice and see how it sounds).

    In a more serious manner, as someone living in South Africa and who was saved through Anglicans, it is plain that the Anglican Church is splitting, as post-imperial ties fade, between those who believe in the God of the Bible (mostly, but not all in the ‘South’) and those that don’t (mostly, but not all in the ‘West’).

    The church explodes in the South and East, as God as always builds His church. I believe that during the next 100 years (probably less) the church of the so-called ‘Third World’ will be re-evangelising the ‘West’.

    Thanks as always for your commitment to orthodoxy in a difficult climate in the UK.

  5. Reminds me of one Rev. Canon Stuart Barton Babbage, one time Dean of S. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne (AUS) and S. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney (AUS). who once was heard to pray (in the most pompous manner) “O Laaard, saaave us fraaarm all paampaasity”!.

    No further comment required.

    £ancybaby

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