Hymns of a Lukewarm Church

hugh’s news & Views


As hard as it is for me to realize, almost fifty years ago—precisely forty-nine years this very week—I moved to Jackson, Tennessee to preach for what was then the Allen and Edgewood Church of Christ (now the North Jackson Church of Christ). I have always loved and appreciated this congregation. Over the years, I have returned to preach in several gospel meetings and to speak at one of the church’s "Homecomings." The faithful and effective preacher of this great church is David Powell, who also teaches in the Bible Department at Freed-Hardeman University, just "down the road" from Jackson in Henderson.

Another minister on staff is Brian Giselbach, a graduate of Freed-Hardeman. I do not know Brian personally, but I have been impressed with a number of excellent essays he has written for the church bulletin.

Some time back, he had an article titled "Hymns of a Lukewarm Church." I don’t think the article was intended as a rebuke to the church at North Jackson because it is an extremely fervent fellowship of Christians. However, the article is a kind of tongue-in-cheek reminder to all Christians that we need to give thoughtful consideration to the words of the songs we sing, for if the true intent of our hearts was really expressed the titles of the songs might be more like the following:

A Comfy Mattress Is Our God
Above Average Is Thy Faithfulness
All Hail the Influence of Jesus’ Name
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Much
Amazing Grace, How Interesting the Sound
My Faith Looks Around For Thee
Blest Be the Tie That Doesn’t Cramp My Style
He’s Quite A Bit to Me
O How I Like Jesus
Pillow of Ages, Fluffed For Me
I Surrender Some
I’m Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
Self-Esteem to The World! The Lord Is Come
Sit Up, Sit Up For Jesus
There Is Scattered Cloudiness in My Soul Today
What an Acquaintance We Have In Jesus
When Peace, Like A Trickle
Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following

A few that Brian did not include but which I will add are:

Have Thine Own Way, Lord (And I’ll Have Mine)
Sitting On The Premises
Take My Wife, and Let Me Be

Do our daily attitudes and actions tell a different story from what we sing in church on Sunday?

"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).

Hugh Fulford
March 15, 2011