Diverse Unity in Adventist Worship

(Caddy) #21

LOL, from carpet ripping to cutting the carpet.


Hey…that was good…real good, Cadge! :laughing:

(Kim Green) #23

Great song!

Actually, if you know anything about some of the old hymns- they had lyrics set to popular dance or marching music of the era. :slight_smile: Very innovative back in the 1800’s!

I believe that Adventism doesn’t really promote its “creatives” as they should and even if they came up with something truly creative they would squash it. This happened to the very original and creative Steam Punk version of the Great Controversy which even won a “Geekie Award” for best trailer.

(Kim Green) #24

You have such a great point! I think that it has always devolved into the “music” topic because it is a combination of noise and lyrics. Music is so recognizably different from generation to generation. Not so much with prayer, etc., though it could be very different.

(Cfowler) #25

Adventism is such a small bubble. All the beliefs/doctrines are written in stone. So many careers are off limits or taboo. At least Mormons can go into all different types of careers that suit their talents or interests…music, dance, sports, theater…all off limits to SDA’s. It’s stifling and crippling in many ways.

(Red Livingstone) #26

I have attended Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Church in Atlanta twice. The first time I visited they said that the service was going to be completely different, something they had never done before. The second time I visited, they said that they had only done this style of worship once before… 6 years ago.

Did God have something important to say to me? Was it a coincidence that I was there each time they facilitated this unique service?

What made it different? It was SILENT. Yes, totally silent. No Music. No Words. Nadah. As you drove into the parking lot, there were “Burma Shave Style” billboards setting the tone, focusing the mind, leading us to experience the community in Worship. One and a half hours of total silence. Well, a cough here or there, but no sound from the front. Powerful worship. Spell-binding. Intense. Transformative.

And six years later, I happened to attend their second only SILENT worship service, That was a heavy message to me!

(Kim Green) #27

Yes, there are many famous LDS entertainers, athletics, that most of the world knows. They don’t keep their faith a secret and thus they “witness”. Adventism has insisted that they can only witness in a certain way which, no doubt, has crippled their efforts to be “known” culturally and in other ways.


Amazing synchronicity.

I sat with the Quakers once. Same experience.

(Steve Mga) #29

MUSIC Instrument gets rid of SDA pastor.
2 pastors ago we had this mid-30s pastor who played guitar. [I don’t know if it was known when he arrived.] I really liked his messages. Seemed to be liked by the
members. Had a nice young family.
After about a year he apparently discovered several of the members who played
guitar – acoustic and electric. They formed a group and practiced after church. I
enjoyed staying and listening to their music.
They finally decided to put on a Sabbath 6PM Vesper program with their numbers.
I had to work so missed it.
About 2 months later he RESIGNED. He had gotten so much flack from that Come-
If-You-Want-To Vespers with the guitars that he decided to resign. He was given a
church in upper East Tn. and seemed to do well there.

YES! FEAR of a musical instrument can cause TRAGIC results.

(David Kendall) #30

You should see some of the hymns from the Missouri Synod Lutheran church where I used to serve as music minister. Eight, nine, even 15 or more stanzas! And we sang them all! The congregation was used to it, and there were never any complaints.

This does bring up a pet peeve of mine, and that is the tendency for those leading singing to cut out (seemingly) random verses, whether in the interest of time or to be able to fit in several hymns in the allotted portion of the service.

A hymn is made of two components, the tune (with its harmonic setting) and the text. Through much of music history, the proper and clear setting of the text has taken precedence, often to the relative detriment of the musical setting. In some cases, it was good if the music was boring so that the text could be clearly understood.

Cutting verses makes little sense to me. Try taking a favorite hymn and reading through the stanzas. You will probably find some good poetry (some really bad poetry too) and often the development of a spiritual concept. Now read it with only the first and last stanzas, and it no longer makes any sense. My favorite example to illustrate the concept with students, though a little over the top, is to sing only the first verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God (#506 in the SDA hymnal):

“…for still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great; and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal. Amen.”

If you do that, the hymn ends with a description of the power of the devil, and that’s it! We usually don’t do anything that obvious, but why would we do that, when we never say “our scripture is taken from the gospel of John, the third chapter, verses ten through fourteen, first and last verses only.”

Of course, we have to make sure the pianist or organist takes a decent tempo if we sing all verses!



(David Kendall) #31

I agree that it is not good to dismiss new music because of its newness, just as it is not good to dismiss old music because of its oldness. While the Psalmist did say to sing a new song unto the Lord, I am not sure he meant that to exclusion of any other music. We do hear about the kingdom of God likened to one who brings out of his storehouse treasures both old and new. I can tell you that in the Music and Worship course I teach, I have the students sing every class from the SDA hymnal. They are often amazed at the quality and beauty of much of the music in it.

I am interested in the spreadsheet you made. While I have not done a hymn-by-hymn study, I know that nearly all of the hymns were composed from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Faith of Our Fathers as we know it is from 1864, or are you referring to the tune ST. CATHERINE that it uses? Now many of the texts are certainly old, with some examples of translations of St. Augustine and much further back to the Psalms. I am interested in how you came up with your numbers. Thanks!



(Pierre-Paul Legault) #32

That’s part of the old bag of tricks for the unprepared sabbath school teacher. If the discussion goes sterile and the teacher has nothing more to say, make a comment about music styles, then stand back until the allotted time is finished.

(Paul Kevin Wells) #33

Those repetitive “praise songs” are so vacuous. Here’s a prime example:

Psalm 136 (NKJV)
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. 3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: 4 To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; 5 To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; 6 To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; 7 To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever— 8 The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; 9 The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever. 10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; 11 And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; 12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; 13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; 14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever; 16 To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever; 17 To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever; 18 And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever— 19 Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever; 20 And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever— 21 And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever; 22 A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever. 23 Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; 24 And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; 25 Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. 26 Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.

(William Noel) #34

Would you do the same with “Faith of our Fathers” because Martin Luther used a popular beer drinking tune he learned in the local bar? I remember how surprised when I was in college and heard a new friend singing a hymn that I recognized instantly from piano lessons as the “Blue Danube Waltz.” I think the better question is if the song is spiritually beneficial to you.

(William Noel) #35

That was so many years ago that I’m struggling to remember! As I recall, I used the dates for composition and arrangement listed just above the lines of music. I mentioned Martin Luther and “Faith of our Fathers” because a film maker in our church at the time was producing a documentary about Luther and he shared some things with us from his research. It was not a precise calculation and even allowing for a degree of error the ages of the songs many of those in the church hymnal are quite old. That doesn’t mean people won’t be blessed by singing them, but the last time I visited a congregation where they were singing out of the hymnal the song leader picked tunes that I could not remember having ever sung before and they were all irrelevant to my spiritual experience.

(Pierre-Paul Legault) #36

Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken is set to the same tune as “Deutschlandlied” and “Gott Erhalte Franz den Kaiser”. Some of our older Polish-origin members who suffered under German occupation in WWII or whose parents suffered under German and Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI were troubled by the use of this hymn.

(William Noel) #37

I think we’re illustrating the variety of ways and different reasons why people relate to songs in different ways. So I am thankful we have such a wide variety of wonderful hymns and praise songs, both old and new, from which to pick to maximize the blessings we receive from them. What it comes down to is that worship is a very personal experience and because something blesses you but fails to inspire me doesn’t mean it is wrong. There is no “one size fits all” in worship or spiritual music.

(Johnny Carson) #38

Ask 30 people in a room to define worship or what worship means or should be to them and you’re going to get 30 different points of view, many of them quite similar but others quite diverse. Praise our loving heavenly Father that he’s a diverse and holy entity who is willing to be worshiped in ways that are meaningful to his diverse creation!

(Johnny Carson) #39

You’re right, of course, it can get to the point that it’s more entertaining that worshipful. I mean just look at these classic examples from the past that so aptly make your point… :wink:

King of kings, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah,
And lord of lords, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah,
King of kings, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah,
And lord of lords, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah,
King of kings, forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah,
And lord of lords,
King of kings and lord of lords

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!


Hi John Carson,

You make an excellent point.

The difference in the songs you have listed is that all of them have glorious
TUNEFUL LYRICAL MELODIC SINGABLE musical accompaniments to those repetitive,words.

Most current “praise music” that I have heard is melodically boring and tuneless…