A Case for Hymns


The following are some simple reasons for why I love hymns and why the church should still sing them:

Disclaimer: I am not opposed to contemporary Christian music. Our church sings them in a lovely and vibrant manner. There are several people out there committed to producing biblically faithful contemporary Christian music. This blog merely highlights why I love hymns.

Hymns are Commanded. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Eph 5:18-21, emphasis added).

Hymns are Theologically Rich. There are some bad hymns, but by and all most of them that have lasted the test of time are intensely theologically rich. There aren’t many songs that are theologically rich as Rock of Ages, In Christ Alone (yes, a modern hymn!), Crown Him with Many Crown, All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, Be Thou My Vision, and the list goes on and on. Worship as a lifestyle and as a congregation must be done in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23), therefore we must be theological accurate with our worship.

A theologically rich hymn encourages worship that is truth based that leads to a heightened experienced. Many other songs will seek to make the experience of worship the focus rather than keeping the focus on the person and works of God.

Hymns are for Congregations. The structure of hymns promote congregational singing. Melodies are singable and repeated enough for even first time listeners to be belting with the congregation by the last stanza. This is an encouragement since there are many moments when congregational singing can be more about spectating the worship band rather than singing to the Savior.

Hymns Require Musicianship. While hymns are highly singable, they also require a great amount of musicianship. Many of the current worships songs produced today can either compromise musicianship or lyrics. This does not mean there is not a place for simple music in worship, but worship ought to bring the best out of God’s people. While it is true we worship with our hearts to God, we cannot use that as an excuse to be lazy. There’s nothing better than hearing a group of skilled musicians give their talents over to leading a congregation through a well composed hymn.

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