I Love the Old Hymns

(by Glenn Christopherson)

I may as well just admit it. I love the old hymns.

And I love the old hymns for much the same reasons that some so vehemently dislike them.

Just to be clear; it is not a style thing. It’s not because every thing old is better or because I’m just an ancient relic or a fossil from another age. (Despite what my kids may tell you)
And it’s not because I was raised with this music and it brings back fond memories of childhood pleasures. In fact I was saved later in life from a non Christian upbringing and did not discover many of the hymns until well into my Christian walk.

Now, indeed some contemporary Christian music can be uplifting and inspiring and God honouring, (Keith Green as an older CCM for example) and some may well become the hymn classics of the future. Time will tell, but…I love the old hymns and I love them because:

They are filled with doctrine.
Good, solid, Biblical, Christ focussed doctrine. There is not the obvious, shallow appeal to emotions that much contemporary religious music reveals, (although hymns can and do affect the emotions of the sincere worshipper.)

They have a high view of God and a Scriptural view of man.
The old hymns tend not to make man the measure of all things but rather God and His word. Much of the language is heaven directed with a focus on Thou and Thee more than I and me.

They reflect a sincerity of heart in the author. There is often the sense that the hymnist knows Whom he has believed and that the new birth is a living reality and that Christ has captured the heart and mind and will of hymn writer.

And finally the old hymnists maintained their testimony to the end.
Today we have CCM artists buying into the latest heresies with gusto, caving in to the militant gay agenda with craven compromise and pushing social justice rather than God’s justice and the Calvary provided mercy.

Sure, some of the current “Christian artists” are genuinely using their talents to exalt the LORD, but I fear too many have used the techniques of the world to establish a “Christian music” career…and many of the recent proposed additions to the Church’s sacred Psalmery may well be forgotten by next years top ten songs in the Contemporary Christian Music genre…and that’s probably a good thing.




  1. I agree with you whole-heartedly! I was raised in (and still attend) a small country church where the hymns are all we have ever used. I’ve been to other churches where the contemporary stuff is up on the overhead and they are fine, but they cannot compare to Amazing Grace, When Peace Like a River, Blessed Assurance and many, many others.
    I love what you say about “Thou and Thee more than I and me”. Spot on!


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