I love hymns. They are brilliantly written and theologically delicious. In fact, they’re a result of some serious forward-thinking. But just because I love hymns, it doesn’t mean I think we should do them in our churches.
It’s easy to forget that most of the hymns in our hymn arsenal were a result of young musicians wanting new music to worship with. Martin Luther set many of his songs to popular folk tunes from his time. He believed the devil shouldn’t have all the good music.
That’s right, Martin Luther was ripping off songs from Heinrich and Hans at the bars like Hillsong is ripping off Coldplay and U2 today.
The old hymn writers were revolutionaries. I’m sure they were constantly accused of not honoring the traditions of the faith. When their churches were doing their songs, they weren’t in the hymnals. They were new.
It seems like the same folks fighting for their songs nowadays were fighting against their songs in their time. Isn’t that ironic?
What that means for you: you’ll receive opposition from the same folks who will love your work in the future. Don’t let the fear of man put you in a snare. Honor our beloved hymn writers by blazing your own trails. Make your own new hymns.