Remake: *Non-EP Only* Are Worship Songs by Heretics, Arminians, and/or Women OK?

Worship: Are Songs of Heretics, Arminians, and/or Women OK if Content is Orthodox?


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Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
This thread is not about EP vs. non-EP, and I do not want it to serve as such.

My own stance is as one who leans EP, in part because of this issue, but others as well; however I am NOT firm on this stance at this point.

My question for those who believe that non-inspired hymns and songs may be sung in church is whether it is acceptable to sing songs by Issac Watts (Anti-Trinitarian), Charles Wesley (Wesleyan Arminian), or Fanny Crosby (a woman).

Assume the content of the individual hymn/song in question is free of unorthodox content. Is the authorship a problem?

I doubt any in sound confessionally Reformed churches would permit a heretic, Arminian, or woman into the pulpits, but how does that mean that the words they've written are acceptable for congregationally singing in worship?

Is it a situation where the text stands apart from its author's orthodoxy or gender, and if the text conveys an appropriate orthodoxy that it is ok? What am I missing?
 
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Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Don't forget he was also Baptismal Regeneration and Prayers for the Dead Wesleyan Arminian....

:eek:


And addition to Watt's Anti Trinitarian, he was also Hyper Dispensational... To the point of saying that the Psalms were unfit for Christians... I think he also bordered another heresy that taught that the Old Testament was a very different God, one who was Vengeful and Vindictive...

Charles Wesley (Wesleyan Arminian),
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I think that the song appropriateness should be determined by an ordained leader.

The idea being that an ordained leader will vet the appropriateness of any text, content and context introduced to the fellowship. Sung or spoken.

Some songs may be appropriately utilized in worship that have originated from less than perfectly holy sources - just as prayers and sermons frequently originate - that is why leaders have the Scriptures - to guide them in appropriateness:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New American Standard Bible)

14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Watts and Crosby are good. (God centered)

Contemporary Christian Music bad! very, very bad!!!! (Man centered)

That song about walking in the garden with God bad!! (You ask me how I know he lives?, He lives within my heart.) very bad!!!!

It really depends on the lyrics. God centered or Man centered.

See Gaithers for mostly man centered.

Pipe organs. Good!!!

Looking like a bunch of 60's leftovers with guitars who can't even get the beat right in front of church? Bad!! (my church does this. I cringe. missed notes and poor ability. It was ok when we were back in the 60's in a garage band)
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Here is some more about Franny Crosby.... This I did not know.....

"A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind from shortly after birth. Also known for her preaching and speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States."


Hmm, not just a woman, but a woman preacher... Hmm....
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I'd like some clarification before I vote:

Are Songs of Heretics, Arminians, and/or Women OK if Content is Orthodox?

By "Orthodox" - do you mean 1) songs written by the folks above that do not contain any non-Orthodox content or 2) all of their songs, regardless of content?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I voted "other" for this reason. Often a word or two changed can modify the entire meaning of a text. These folks, Watts, Wesley and Crosby are dead, and most people don't even pay attention to who wrote the songs. If the words are Scripturally sound, I don't think there is a problem singing them. As has already been noted, sometimes people with terrible theology say theologically sound things.

I believe, however, the closer we can keep the lyrics to Scripture, the better off we are. A lot of what is out there (even in old hymns) is mere fluff. Lyrics should be always be scrutinized in light of the Scriptures before they are presented to the congregation for singing.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi Coram. I think she was technically a speaker. She wasn't ordained, but got a chance to speak at big events. And even a woman can get the gospel right! She could put Billy Graham in his latter years to shame. She was a rarity.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
I voted Other - Yes, in some cases it would be allowable, in others the well may be too poisoned to consider drawing even a drop from it.
 
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timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
I think Spurgeon answers this question best. In the prefact to Our Own Hymn Book he wrote:

Spurgeon said:
Whatever may be thought of our taste we have used it without prejudice; and a good hymn has not been rejected because of the character of its author, or of the heresies of the church in whose hymnal it first occurred; so long as the language and the spirit commended the hymn to our heart, we included it, and believe that we have enriched our collection thereby.
 
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Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Spurgeon was also just a man and prone to error....

He had many faults and this is just one of them....


I think Spurgeon answers this question best. In the prefact to Our Own Hymn Book he wrote:

Spurgeon said:
Whatever may be thought of our taste we have used it without prejudice; and a good hymn has not been rejected because of the character of its author, or of the heresies of the church in whose hymnal it first occurred; so long as the language and the spirit commended the hymn to our heart, we included it, and believe that we have enriched ourrrrollection thereby.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Grymir,

The quote I gave about Crosby Preaching and Speaking was a quote from a article on wikipedia about Crosby... From what it sounds like she spoke and she preached..... maybe she was not ordained but people have preached unordained before...


Hi Coram. I think she was technically a speaker. She wasn't ordained, but got a chance to speak at big events. And even a woman can get the gospel right! She could put Billy Graham in his latter years to shame. She was a rarity.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi Coram, I just read the wiki too. It does say preaching, but I've read alot of her bios and history about her. I am heavily entrenched in the worship wars. I just never heard anybody use preaching before when talking about her. And yes, a unordained person can 'preach' proper. I know, I have on occasion had the opportunity to do so. Still, I love her hymns. I'm not a person who agrees with the ordination of women. Still hmm, Billy or Fanny? Sounds like a poll that should be taken. :lol:
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Don't forget to add neither to that poll... :lol:

Of course Grymir, you just need to come over to the "Other" side and go Exclusive Psalmody, then you won't have to worry about who you should or should not sing.... :lol: Choose the Sweet Psalmist of Israel by the Hand of the Spirit of God... And all your trouble of picking a song out and trying to sing it and determine if it is correct doctrinally or not is over....

Coommmeee tooo theee Daarrkk Siddeee.... You know ya want to..... :cool:


Hi Coram, I just read the wiki too. It does say preaching, but I've read alot of her bios and history about her. I just never heard anybody use preaching before when talking about her. And yes, a unordained person can 'preach' proper. I know, I have on occasion had the opportunity to do so. Still, I love her hymns. I'm not a person who agrees with the ordination of women. Still hmm, Billy or Fanny? Sounds like a poll that should be taken. :lol:
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
:rofl::rofl:

hmm, my wife just told me that she could see me going in that direction. Should I be afraid??
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator note

Lets do what the thread author asked. Keep EP out of it. I would have deleted your post Coram if I had tools to do so in this thread.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
This thread is not about EP vs. non-EP, and I do not want it to serve as such.

My own stance is as one who leans EP, in part because of this issue, but others as well; however I am NOT firm on this stance at this point.

My question for those who believe that non-inspired hymns and songs may be sung in church is whether it is acceptable to sing songs by Issac Watts (Anti-Trinitarian), Charles Wesley (Wesleyan Arminian), or Fanny Crosby (a woman).

Assume the content of the individual hymn/song in question is free of unorthodox content. Is the authorship a problem?

I doubt any in sound confessionally Reformed churches would permit a heretic, Arminian, or woman into the pulpits, but how does that mean that the words they've written are acceptable for congregationally singing in worship?

Is it a situation where the text stands apart from its author's orthodoxy or gender, and if the text conveys an appropriate orthodoxy that it is ok? What am I missing?


Theo,

Perhaps I'm ignorant (we come that way out here in California), but can you enlighten me as to the particular heresies in Isaac Watts that you mention above? Anti-trinitarian would imply some form of Arianism, or another. Can you explain where you get this impression?

Cheers,
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
To those that answered "Yes - in all cases" - would a discovered hymn with Orthodox lyrics written by Judas be acceptable?

Reposting since it kinda got buried...

I am just not so sure that anyone who knew who wrote it would consider singing a song by a heretic or traitor would be to inspiring knowing the end of his conversation.

I don't like reading people who made ship wreck of their faith either. Knowing their end just spoils the testimony of the work.

Added comments..

Yes, I know the guy who wrote "It Is Well" with his soul developed a messianic complex near the end of his life. He had mental problems from what I understand. That is not the same thing.

Singing a song by an apostate brings into question to many things when you are singing words for remembrance and worship.
 

Sonoftheday

Puritan Board Sophomore
I just rely on the music selected by my elders for corporate worship. Whether they choose songs written by Orthodox Christians or Cultists JW's and Mormons I dont know but thier all lyrically Doctrinally Sound, and the rythm is reverant.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
And addition to Watt's Anti Trinitarian, he was also Hyper Dispensational... To the point of saying that the Psalms were unfit for Christians... I think he also bordered another heresy that taught that the Old Testament was a very different God, one who was Vengeful and Vindictive...

Can you provide a source (PM if you think you shouldn't post on this thread) containing these remarks about Watts? I have heard he was a non-trinitarian, but I cannot believe he argued against the use of the Psalms. Why would a man holding such a position set most of the Psalms into English metre for the purpose of using them in Christian worship?
 

k.seymore

Puritan Board Freshman
I vote yes. Even if Balaam's ass had brayed out orthodox words of worship I'd have no problems singing its words in church. And that donkey was even female.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I selected "other" because there may be a time when a writer has a notoriety that precludes the use of such a person's work in worship. The same applies to the use of author's, etc.
 
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