This was on the "gender-neutralizing songs" thread:
And... if the offensive lyrics are based in Scripture (Ephesians 6 comes to mind), how is it that you teach these parts of Sacred Scripture that your congregation "rolls their eyes at"?
I'm not trying to be divisive here. It could very well be a generational thing. But this makes zero sense to me whatsoever.
Some people have trouble with the 17th Century "Thee"s and "Thou"s in this song. I understand this, but it doesn't hurt anyone to use those words occasionally.
If anyone has a problem with gender in this (or any other) scripture-based song, then I believe the problem is in the mind of the person, not with the song. God is not neuter; in all of scripture God is clearly seen in the masculine gender. For us to try to neuter Him is an assault on Who He is.
If one feels he/she must be politically correct, that is their prerogative. But PLEASE stop trying to emasculate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Last edited by Wannabe a Worshiper; 09-23-2012 at 02:00 PM.
Just posted on the other thread! : ) I agree with Tom...I think that sort of mindset is taking political correctness too far! It didn't even cross my mind to be "offended" because the line says "man's empty praise". I always took it generally. Like that old saying goes, "you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time". Good thing that saying doesn't use the word "men"!
All that hath life and breath, praise ye the Lord!
In His Name,
Perhaps they changed, "I thy true son." to "I thy true child" or something. I can see both sides of this and I doubt it's generational. But I think it'd be better to just do a different song, if you (or your congregation) have a problem with it.
I need pictures of your drummer in his booth/cage/room http://drummersbehindglass.com
Tom brings up an interesting point about the masculine fatherly figure God is portrayed as.
One of the things coming out in recent discussions about this area is with people who have a hard time relating to the father/manly aspect of God due to things like an absentee father or their father abused them- be it physically, emotionally, or sexually.
This can be a stumbling block for certain people because of their experiences growing up. Christian counselors are spending more time dealing with breaking the negative connotation of the 'father' in the abused person's life to help people suffering from childhood trauma form a relationship with the heavenly Father. So this is something we need to be aware of.
This has also been identified by many as a direct attack of the enemy. If Satan instills a lack of good male and fatherly role models in a person's life, he can effectively hinder a relationship between these people and their heavenly Father.
That being said, the way to address the issue is getting that negativity off the person who had the experience, not to change the portrayal of God. It's a journey for the person to get that offense of them, to practice forgiveness, to overcome this nemesis in their life.
I do understand the desire to be inclusive of the feminine gender when referring to humankind. I also wholeheartedly agree that the Biblically identified gender of Father God and Jesus should never be in question. Even though I understand the need for sensitivity, I think that most people don't have a problem with the collective 'him' or 'son' or 'men' in hymn lyrics. I view the older lyrics just as I would view older literature. Literary classics are not altered to fit more "politically correct" modern wording. When hymn lyrics are altered, sometimes the poetic sensiblity is changed or the new version does not fit the tune as well. While I certainly understand the need and the desire to be relevant to the hearts and minds of modern seekers when sharing a message in song, we must be both careful and wise. Even youngers worshippers can appreciate the history of a hymn text when a little information is shared with them and they realize that they are singing the same prayer for God's presence and guidance that their great-great grandparents may have sung. We do a mix of contemporary and modern worship music at my church. I suppose I've gotten more bold with experience, so I've begun to add some brief teaching moments about worship and sometimes some background information about a hymn or even about a more modern praise song. The more meaning we can bring to the worship experience, the more people think about what they are singing and begin to truly worship the Lord.
For background info on "Be Thou My Vision", here's a link to a blog post written by my wife which contains a lot of historical information and links to further info. "Jesus, My Redeemer" refers to alternate lyrics that I wrote for the Irish hymn tune known a 'Slane' ("Be Thou My Vision"), which were published with my arrangement of the tune as an SATB Choral Anthem. The song story begins with the history of he original hymn and then is expanded upon.
Blessings to all as you serve and lead in worship ministry,
God understands that their father was terrible, and he is the father to the fatherless. He loves to heal the wounds left by our natural father when we embrace Him as the heavenly Father. God is a healer, He heals broken hearted people and binds their wounds.
See, one of the beautiful things of our Christian faith is how much it stands opposed to the natural life. It counters all our experiences and gives us a better way. We try to change God, but in reality, it is God who is changing us.
I remember reading a book, and the character in the book encountered God several times. Eventually he said, "God, I think you are getting brighter." and God smiled at him and simply responded. "No son, I am the same as I have ever been. You are the one who is changing. The more you see me, the more your wounds are healed, and you begin to see me as I am, and not as you think I should be."
I don't remember the book, but I remember how much that little aside wrecked me. Too often we "change" God to fit our perceptions, but in reality, God never changes, and when we try to change Him, we only distance ourselves from Him.