Correcting or Offending

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV)

As long as it is held to be an evidence of advanced spirituality to approve whatever is written by gospel Christians and a mark of carnality to criticize anything they write, our direction can only continue to be down. If things go on in their present course, we conservatives will soon be living in a world of soft unreality where smiling, timorous brethren walk about praising the Lord and complimenting each other for literary works so atrocious both in content and style that they would not get past the office boy in a first-class publishing house.

It can only be a cause for deep regret that the fear of offending has silenced the voices of so many men of discernment and put Bible Christianity at the mercy of the undiscerning.

Religious music has long ago fallen victim to this weak and twisted philosophy of godliness. Good hymnody has been betrayed and subverted by noisy, uncouth persons who have too long operated under the immunity afforded them by the timidity of the saints. The tragic result is that for one entire generation we have been rearing Christians who are in complete ignorance of the golden treasury of songs and hymns left us by the ages. The tin horn has been substituted for the silver trumpet, and our religious leaders have been afraid to protest.


Lord, when to speak and when to keep silent. I often mistake the two. Give me wisdom.


Today's Christian music. There are factors of generational difference, personal taste and cultural influence. There are also issues of biblical accuracy in text and whether music and accompaniement is dissonant with respect to words. What a treasure is that music we can live by in difficult times of life.

Used with permission.

A.W. Tozer