88 thoughts on “GOH: Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”

  1. is there something in the church bylaws about auditorium layouts? this is the mirror image of the church that nearly ruined me, but anyhow, it would have helped if “our” choir would have sounded like that. Not even the fact that the sound system only comes on after the first stanza (fundy rule) helped much in this case. Yup, deep theology in these lyrics, I’m sure it’s somewhere. If you don’t see it, it’s because you went to some heathen bible college. πŸ˜†

    1. Yes, there does seem to be a standard architecture to many IFB church. The first rule of IFB church design is that no design should be artistic or innovative!
      I live near Annapolis, Maryland. Many non-IFB churches incorporate some type of nautical theme into the churches design. The IFB churches are like brick shoe-boxes with some rectangular holes cut out.
      I have a theory that there are companies that specialize in the design, construction and furnishings for IFB churches. That is why so many IBF churches look the same.

        1. and thou shalt never have a window in the auditorium, unless it’s connected to the nursery, so the ladies in there can get properly yelled at…if they can hear it over the kids (if they’re lucky, they can’t)

        2. But of course, you wouldn’t want the members to start looking outside and wondering if the grass is greener. Keep their eyes AND minds closed.

  2. That has to be one of the most uninspired, mechanical renditions of that song I have ever heard. That song is supposed to be sung accompanied by a bluegrass band and the lead singer has to sing straight through their nose. By no means is this a favorite of mine, but it’s at least interesting to see someone sing it with all their heart. Leave it to fundys to take a stupid song and suck all the life out of it with their dread fear of acting like they enjoy what they’re doing. Only the pastor is allowed to enjoy what he does in church.

    1. But Darrel. We can’t have Christian Bluegrass. Because Christian blue grass will lead to Christian drums, which leads to Christian rock, which leads tO Satan rock, which leads to Marijuana, which leads to driving a car whilst stoned, which leads to dead children. Therefore, no blue grass = saving lives. I understand

      1. Not to be a stickler, but Bluegrass purists do not allow drums. The beat is usually kept with the banjo. Drums are used in “newgrass”, and if it is new, it is obviously evil and will only be used by Santa, er I mean Satan.

        1. Even Earl Scruggs used drums after leaving the Foggy Mountain Boys and Lester Flatt. Bluegrass purists are ironically like KJVOs. You have to play every lick exactly like Uncle Earl did on a 1950’s recording. But Earl didn’t play it exactly that way ever again. He is quoted as saying “I can’t for the life me figger out why anyone would want to play any song the same way twice”.

      2. See, that’s the great thing about living in NYC: No one cares if you get on the subway stoned. They’re all probably drunk, so they’re in no position to judge. πŸ˜€

  3. What’s the point in having an offering song that goes almost 10x longer than the time it takes to collect offering…this is what I wondered at my church and when I went to PCc πŸ™„

    1. It’s 10x’s longer because it’s preparing you for the invitation song at the end. Think of it like training. If you can endure our really long offertory, you just might make it all the way through “Have Thine Own Way Lord” sung 8 times over.

      1. Well yes. If one’s not being satirical, but what fun is there in that. πŸ˜‰

        Seriously, I concur. A properly done offertory, whether vocal or instrumental, only helps to center ones heart on where the focus should be in the first place.

    1. Oh my gosh! This brought back a memory I had buried for a long time. We had a freaky woman in our church who answered her phone by saying “This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!” And if you got the machine it said “…and we are out rejoicing in it!” πŸ™„

    1. I totally checked out immediately, it just droned on torturously. And there is a guy and a woman that kept bending over in the pew I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out what on earth they were doing, unless they were stiffling laughs or barfing. 😐 I didn’t hear a thing they “sang” other than the refrain.

  4. Oh don’t be so hard on them. It makes me miss the days of singing in the choir in my old church in Michigan. The church we go to now isn’t large enough for a choir. πŸ™

    I love those wreaths on the wall.

    1. I think it falls under the Mt. 7:2 principle: “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” IFB churches tend to be very judgmental of other churches’ music, so when they violate their own extra-Biblical standards, it’s kind of satisfying to point it out.

  5. I have often wondered why extra-biblical preaching was okay for a fundy mog, when those non-biblical hymns are of the debil. The hymns to God are certainly more worshipful (is that a word?) than the rules and ideas they make up.

    I’m okay with the “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”, and many other Christmas songs that aren’t necessarily from the Bible directly, both hymns and non-hymns. But, to get this off my chest, even though it is a digression, I absolutely despise “The Little Drummer Boy”. Who plays a drum around a sleeping new-born? What drugs influenced that song?

    1. Really? Did you really just ask who plays drums around a sleeping newborn? You must have only had one child (*or none!). My older boys were always banging stuff around their sleeping little brothers, including drums! Of course, Jesus didn’t have any older brothers, but older cousins very well might’ve banged on drums around him. Little stinks those kids are.

      1. Justin Bieber singing anything causes me to sink into gloom.
        I generally hate Little Drummer Boy, but must say, the Three Tenors are terrific singing it. Mainly, it is because I love to hear them sing ANYTHING, but also, those Italian accents on the rum-pa-pum-pums are too delightful.

        1. I personally like this song. Maybe because I was told it was “bad” as a kid since it wasn’t a true part of the Chriatmas story. Or maybe I just like it because it shows a sweet little kid wanting to do what he can for Jesus. God has a special place in His heart for kids, after all.

        2. I’m with you BG, David and Bing are tolerable, but they also changed the story a bit.

          Persnickety, we have three, and yes, there was noise and banging, as well as with the cousins. I’m the oldest of seven. I’m sure we brought strange “gifts” also. But these usually ended badly for the drummer, not as a song of good will and happiness.

  6. Special music is usually rather dreadful, though I must say I preferred our Sunday School carol service performance last Sunday, a group of enthusiastic, but not exactly harmonious children, one of whom has recently had her hair dyed black (it’s naturally brown), with scarlet highlights in front, and wears Goth eye make-up. I would have liked to see a Fundy reaction to that! We just went “hey, we don’t mind” and let her stand at the front and sing anyhow.

    1. You DID? You mean, you do not realize that your church is NOT a hospital for sinners, but a museum for the saints? You did not realize that the woman at the well was modestly attired, as was the one caught in the very act? Why, Jesus only ministered to those who conformed.

      (P.S. I like your church!!!) :mrgreen:

  7. This song wouldn’t pass muster with the guy who did the exposition of all the non-Biblical allusions in “Living Hymns.” 😯

    Side comment: What’s with all the IFB churches that place big floral arrangements on their Communion tables? When I was a kid, my home church — evangelical, but not fundy — had a cross and two candles on its Communion table. The pastor who was called there during my adolescence despised them (“too Catholic”), and resolutely refused to allow the candles to be lighted. However, (of course,) it was OK to place the offering plates on the table, not to mention flowers. If the idea is that the table ISN’T an altar, and DOESN’T connote sacrifice, doesn’t that also apply to the symbolic offering of money and the offering of flowers to beautify worship? Seems to me like a case of talking out of both sides of one’s mouth.

  8. If this were at my old church, some nice “older woman” would have snuck up there to the girl sitting on the front row and discreetly whispered to her to put her ankles together.

  9. I’m guessing this wasn’t in the south. For starters, southern choirs don’t sing, “Beau-T-I-ful” anything. They sing, “beaudiful”.

    Second, the alto isn’t nearly loud enough.

      1. I made it all the way to the part where she started talking (instead of singing) All I could picture was some kind of Disney witch or eveiiill woman listing things in a kind of chant-y voice. It was funny and creepy all at once.

    1. I liked the comment “Hey, we Christians are very protective of the pagan holiday we stole and then whored out toο»Ώ big business. How dare you try to secularize our celebration of consumerism.”

  10. I’m not picking on the song; anyone is welcome to listen to it and enjoy it. My issue (and Darrell’s based on his comment) is when people claim that CCM is shallow but think everything they sing is holy and exalted. Honestly, there’s no deep theology here:

    “Guiding the pilgrims through the night
    Over the mountains ’til the break of dawn
    Into the land of perfect day
    It will give out a lovely ray
    O beautiful star of Bethlehem
    Shine on

    O beautiful star of Bethlehem
    Shine upon us until the glory dawns
    Give us a lamp to light the way
    Unto the land of perfect day
    O beautiful star of Bethlehem
    Shine on”

    This same church would probably poo-poo the following song because it uses the word “yeah”, but I am touched deeply by the truths it presents:

    “Wish that I was there,
    On that silent night,
    When your tiny heart started beating for mine,

    I wish I couldn’t seen,
    The star in David’s town,
    When you turned a stable into Holy ground.
    I sing along, the angels song.

    CHORUS
    Noel, Noel, Jesus is alive.
    Emanuel, hope is here tonight.
    So go, and tell, the world that death has died.
    ‘Cause Jesus is alive. Yea Jesus is alive.

    VERSE 2
    The God who made us all,
    With these two little hands,
    Is bringing us his kingdom quiet as a lamb.
    Oh such Amazing Grace!
    A divine conspiracy.
    This Savior in a manger changes everything.
    That’s why we sing.

    CHORUS
    BRIDGE
    Sin you have no sting.
    Hell you have no power. (Jesus is alive)
    Curse you are no more.
    This is your final hour. (Jesus is alive)
    Because the son of God
    Has not left us alone. (Jesus is alive)
    He’ll live and die and rise again, and then he’ll bring us home. (Jesus is alive)
    The old will pass away
    And we will become new. (Jesus is alive)
    This baby boy is making all sad things untrue”
    (Song: “Jesus Is Alive”; Artist: Josh Wilson)

    I don’t like contradicting people, but I usually speak up now whenever someone pulls out the “praise and worship music is shallow” line. Oftentimes, the very song they find “shallow and repetitious” is a phrase directly from the Bible!!! I don’t mind if their music preferences exclude repeating a phrase several times, but I don’t like their calling it shallow or unBiblical when it can be seen to be Scriptural and meditative.

    1. PW- that was what I thought. I actually enjoy pointing out hymns (like “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks”, which I like, by the way) that aren’t strictly biblical, then comparing them to, say, a Michael Card song that is really deep theologically. But then, I think it’s fun to ask unanswerable questions. Just ask my kids.

      1. Maybe I should write a new carol/poem about the Magi and the house visit–maybe talk about how on a Thursday night during dinner, they stopped by to tell the family (that they had never met) that they should be in their church next Lord’s Day. That would be about as scriptural as Mendez’ sermon from Ruth we discussed 11-30. And give a chance to remind folks to go soul-winning.

  11. To be honest, I have no desire to hear this song mutilated by this choir (probably) so I haven’t listened to it. But I can’t pick on the song itself even though it probably isn’t very deep theologically. I can’t pick on it because my mother’s family who is a very large, loving and musical group of people always sang/sing this song at Christmas time. It was a Christmas tradition that the entire family would gather around and sing at Christmas time.

    Her father had a stroke in December 2007 and he died a few weeks later. My mother was/is a Daddy’s girl so this was extremely hard. She would go back and forth to the hospital (which was in Tennessee, we live in Alabama) and one time she stopped at a restaurant to just sit, think and eat. She was so sad and heartbroken during the meal until she heard singing coming from a back room. She soon realized that a Sunday School class was having their Christmas party and singing Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. She burst into tears as the song brought back all the good memories and just soothed her aching soul.

    I don’t like old-timey hymns in general but because this song touched my mom’s heart in a time of deep pain, I will always have a soft sport for it in mine.

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