Enter any fundamentalist church on a given Sunday and more likely than not you’ll find people using old-fashioned paper books full of lyrics enclosed in curious notations that tell people how to sing and play them. Hard to believe in this age of the slide show lyric. There’s no doubt that hymns are an inseparable part of fundamentalist worship, and I say “God bless them.”
Long after the greater part of today’s contemporary Christian music has lost the battle of relevance to a fickle and flighty culture, these hymns will still be used in churches. Luther. Wesley. Watts. I hope that when my children’s children come to worship that these grand old words will still feed the spirit and their familiar tunes comfort the soul. And if they do, it will be thanks in no small part to traditionalists like our fundy brothers who think that good music is worth cherishing and protecting.
Yes, fundamentalists often go too far and wrongly turn their admiration into a doctrine. Yes, they make the mistake of judging other styles of music out of ignorance and fear. And it’s true that they often embrace less than the cream of the hymnbook crop and engage in all manner of musical silliness. But out of all that, it remains that of the gifts that fundamentalism has given me, the ability to sing every verse of dozens of hymns from memory is among my most treasured.
I rest my case.