Faith: The old hymns in church are missing
As I grew older and changed the world around me, I noticed that many churches have changed their style of musical worship. I grew up singing the old hymns and using hymns, but these were both put aside and a new style of music became the norm. I’m not saying it’s wrong and my kids and grandkids love the new style.
I remember when we were young we were taught the song “Onward Christian Soldiers”, but it had been a long time since I had heard it sung in church. While I was researching the song, I read that an author said that we have become a society of unharmed church singing melodies. We respond to the fast paced world and change the church message to fit the music of a sinful nation.
“Onward Christian Soldiers” has been criticized as a song promoting war and fighting by some, which has even prompted a theology professor at a prominent university to call it “absurd.” The song was written as a children’s march tune in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould, vicar of Horbury St. Peter’s Church in England. The music was composed by Thomas Sullivan in 1871 and it is the music and the words that appear in our hymns today. The theme of the hymn is taken from 2 Timothy 2: 3: “Therefore you endure harshness, like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
This song has a great message. For me, this does not promote war or violence but reminds us that Jesus guides us in our footsteps and will take care of us if we follow him. Read the first verse of this great song and decide for yourself:
“Ahead of the Christian soldiers, marching as in war, with the cross of Jesus in front!
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the enemy; forward into battle, see his banner go!
The other verses of the song have a very strong message and give us hope and clarity about who our Savior is and what He will do for us. The song was so popular and strong that Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt at their meeting in August 1941 to accept the Atlantic Charter chose this song to be sung at church service. This song was also sung at the funeral of Dwight D. Eisenhower at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in March 1969. This song has also been associated with the protest against the established order, particularly in the case of the rights movement civic.
This song has been used in several films and has appeared in several episodes of television series. Various opinions have formed about the song, but I firmly believe it is a great Christian song about how we can deal with the problems and downfalls of our nation.
The apostle Paul tells us this in Ephesians 6:11; “Put on the full armor of God so that you can resist the devil’s tricks. “
I have to say that in the church I attend, our music minister does a good job of mixing old and new songs. I have to say that many churches my wife and I go to when we travel have bands, fast music, and endless chanting. These churches are full of younger generations with a few people with gray hair. Most have good sermons on Jesus and his saving grace, but there are fewer and fewer public invitations to accept Jesus.
I hope that you who are reading this know Jesus as your personal Savior and follow him against the evils of the world.
Sunday – Ephesians 6: 10-20
Monday – Joshua 1: 1-9
Tuesday – Mark 8: 31-33
Wednesday – Psalm 17: 3-9
Thursday – 2 Corinthians 2: 5-11
Friday – 2 Chronicles 20: 14-15
Saturday – 1 Thessalonians 2: 17-20