Hymns, Halloween, and History

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Amy--of the blog THAT Mom--recently posted about "evil" music in church. She makes some great points. She also mentions that many olde tyme hymns were set to secular tunes, notably bar songs and such. I've heard that before. Google seems to disagree.

So let's say that the songs my grandma loves are not rowdy drinking music of yester-century; yeah, I can't picture anyone drunkenly belting out the tune of O Sacred Head, Now Wounded even if the words were, "Oh damsel, why now spurn me? I'm quite the handsome catch...." Does that mean that we'd be remiss to adapt the secular for the sacred?

First, a lot of Christian knock-offs are lame. Really lame. Take a look at a few of the t-shirts I wore in high school. This isn't good art. It's barely clever. If we're hoping to use the vernacular and pop-culture icons of today, we should get better at making art. Parody is awesome, but you have to be good at it. Otherwise, let's not. Adapting cultural content for Christ is work for Spirit-filled artists. You may be raising one. Their gifting and skill is very much needed, both in adapting and creating original work.

Second, our "weaker brothers" will not be blessed by us walking in our freedom. (I found the post Unity Not Uniformity to be thought-provoking.) Revisiting Romans 14 at this time of year really challenges me. Halloween can be hot topic in the homeschool world, and people vigorously debate the Christian's observance thereof. Romans 14 encourages me, no matter the side I fall on, to chill out and seek to bless my brother instead.

Third, history shows us the "fruit" of certain actions. I think it is wise to consider how God has, through His redemptive work, used what we have done--or not done--to bless those around us.


May we edify one another this season, and all the year long!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian

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