Diverse Unity in Adventist Worship


I just read an article at Fulcrum7 that calls some music in Adventist churches “pagan” because it is “loud” and sung in other churches that are not SDA.

Where does that put the “Hallelujah Chorus”?

(David Kendall) #62

No, the other elements of the liturgical service would be adjusted accordingly. Most liturgical churches have several liturgical settings to allow for a certain amount of flexibility. A hymn with such a large number of verses was not a very common occurrence (though six to eight verses was quite common), and would typically be placed on a Sunday service in which communion was not celebrated.

Liturgical churches are usually quite adept at dealing with varying lengths of worship elements. The difference between a reading of the Apostle’s vs. the Nicene Creed (or even worse, the Athanasian Creed!), communion vs. non-communion, what the choir is singing, etc. The pastor always got his 15-20 minutes.



(David Kendall) #63

If being sung in non-SDA churches is a primary indicator of paganism, then we might be shocked at the sheer amount of pagan music found in our own hymnals, from Hymns & Tunes to Christ in Song to The Church Hymnal to the current 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. An overwhelming majority of texts, tunes, and settings are from the treasury of Protestant hymnody with scores of works by Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, the rich tradition of African-American spirituals, Sacred Harp singing and musical settings of Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Mendelssohn. Adventism’s own chief composer and hymnodist Wayne Hooper only composed music for 18 of the hymn settings in the 1985 volume that he helped to compile.

I am also given to wonder if many who use the term pagan understand what the word means?



(Kim Green) #64

"I am also given to wonder if many who use the term pagan understand what the word means?"

I would say almost none of them…most of them still don’t understand that some of the hymns they sing are taken from drinking songs, etc. :wink:

(Steve Mga) #65

Yes. Martin Luther “baptized” many song tunes that were heard in local Pubs.
Put spiritual, meditative words to them, and they were used in Church to sing
the new words.
Most persons would have no clue to this unless they studied Church Music.

On Friday PM service at Synagogue the Rabbi with his accordian will sometimes
use a familiar secular tune to sing the Psalms.
He also likes “the saints go marching in” tune to several Psalms during the year.

(Kim Green) #66

That is hilarious, Steve…I can only imagine the Rabbi belting out some Psalms to “When the Saints go marching”. Priceless!

(Steve Mga) #67

Kim – he is a fun rabbi. His father was a rabbi.
One of his father’s teachers was the famous Abraham Joshua Heschel.

(Johnny Carson) #68

Funny thing about God and about experience. He doesn’t always do things the same way all the time with all his children. He even says, “Other sheep have I who don’t share your experience.” So yes, I do know the difference between assumption and experience and I know that it is not wise to assume an authoritative stance over another’s experience and that it is definitely a place where angels fear to tread to accuse others of fearing experience with God… over what? The music that brings them closer to God in a corporate worship experience?


You may enjoy this book. The whole premise is that there’s virtually nothing “Biblical” in modern lithurgy and church organization.

(Spectrumbot) closed #70

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