166 thoughts on “GOH: Heaven Came Down (And Glory Filled My Soul)”

    1. Wow, I’ve been coming here a long time, just posted for the first time yesterday, and today I get my first first! I just wet myself ๐Ÿ˜ณ

      I married into fundydom a little over four years ago, and my wife and I found this site after discussing with a friend a cover up of a sex crime on one of the finest Fundy U campuses. He is now a preacher ๐Ÿ˜ก

      Thanks for all you do here, it has been soooo helpful in our transition out of the insanity and has helped us to better understand our hangups in interacting with the rest of the world. Love you guys! Keep up the great work!

        1. Thanks for the welcome, I’ve hung around long enough to feel like some of you are family. I get that feeling around some of the other ex-fundies I’ve met too. We had a few in last church (had to move due to deployment to Afghanistan) and have a few more in our new one too. It’s strange how instantanious the bond is when you realize the person you are talking with was also enslaved to the same man-centered theology. It’s also awesome to share in the true freedom there is outside of wrong theology.

          Contrary to what we had been told, there are people outside of the “approved” churches in Greenville who love Jesus. These people also love strangers and loved us. Thankfully God’s grace is bigger than that little box we had been taught to stuff Him in.

        2. Hooray for you,Took!!! Nice to have you here, and I am very glad you and your wife made it OUT!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. For a while, I worked with a worship leader who was Bill Gaither’s piano player for several years. He would add a key change into most every song he played, and when we’d make fun of him for it, he’d explain that it adds “sparkle.”

    Nothing like sparkling worship music! Haha.

    1. Sigh. The key change may have added “sparkle” when it was a surprise, but once it became The One True Way To Signal The Big Finish, there wasn’t much sparkle left in it. Pointless step-ups (or half-set-ups for the “edgier”) are one of the things that makes listening to or participating in most forms of church music painful. Wish it hadn’t become so, well, mandatory.

      1. Nope. ๐Ÿ˜• Not. Clicking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now that I’m at a church where the choir sings deep, joyous, well-written music and really believes in the lyrics being sung, I ain’t ever going’ back. :shudder:

  2. I’m not nuts about this song, but the guy in the second video certainly knows what to do when it comes to improvisation.

    I had a conversation with a friend recently — a Christian with a doctorate in music — about John W. Peterson, who wrote “Heaven Came Down.” 95 percent of Peterson’s work, IMHO, consists of lousy music, lousy poetry, or (more frequently) a combination of both. I asked how the songs of a man so singularly talentless could be so widely embraced by evangelicals and fundies.

    His response: Some people enjoy never rising above the level of mediocrity.

    1. I improvisation was pretty impressive; I didn’t mind the original one too much, but some of the words sounded strange to my ears.

      John Peterson certainly had a large impact on Christian music. I don’t think he deserves such a terrible comment made about him.

  3. Is it just me or does the first song sound like the music you would hear when a person would walk into the saloon?

    Not that I would ever condone those places

    1. I found the piano was so out of tune it sounded like a honkey-tonk and the woman had a very masculine voice- so yeah, the music you would hear being played in the bars! ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. Hey! She sang different words on the first chorus! Now that’s changing it up. And yes, Martha, I was singing it with you, or maybe not.

    OK. Please tune the piano. It’s a little sharp. It is my firm belief that all IFB piano players must have been taught by the same grey haired lady somewhere because they all sound identical.

    For the record:
    “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
    When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
    My sins were washed away –
    And my night was turned to day –
    Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!” (written 1961)

    Compared to this:
    “Iโ€™ll set my gaze on God alone,
    And trust in Him completely;
    With every day pour out my soul,
    And He will prove His mercy.
    Though life is but a fleeting breath,
    A sigh too brief to measure,
    My King has crushed the curse of death
    And I am His forever.” (written 2009)

    Yep. When you compare the two you can see how the new songs just don’t have the lyrical depth of the good old-fashioned hymns. (sarcasm fully in play)

    1. โ€ฆFundies came down and sucked out all my joy
      The sound of that music makes me want to twitch
      Now when I worship it’s straight from the heart
      I’m so glad I left my old church
      Because fundyies came down and sucked out all my joyโ€ฆ.

    1. It helps to differentiate between the songs. If they didn’t do the key change we wouldn’t know if it’s the opening song or the invitation. Key change on the opening peppy song, no key change on Just As I Am though we could use it when we get to verse 16.

    2. Yes, but her random flourishes actually change the feel of the key even in the first verses. Any well trained pianist (even fundy ones) would cringe at the strange looping modulations she would consider “improvisation” – fine to make up some decorative interludes, but stay in the original key when you do so. There are plenty of acceptable chords in a key that you don’t need to add stuff that just sounds silly.

      Of course, I basically cringe whenever a song is used that was written between the civil war and about 2004. The dark ages of gospel music and hymns. Get a TSO tribute worship band/orchestra to play “A Mighty Fortress is our God” or something and I am all good. Most of these trite self-help mantra gospel songs from the early 1900s just need to be put out of their misery

      Also, she has the fundy facade voice

  5. Today I won’t be critical, if I must it would be about her hair. It looked like a bird’s nest. ๐Ÿ™„

    I like that song, have always enjoyed singing it. The second verse especially is a lot of fun, and it’s an upbeat and happy song. The lady seemed to be very joyful in her salvation, which is a lot more than I can say for a lot of fundies. ๐Ÿ˜•

    As for the key changes, I’m not sure if it’s the same thing they do in southern gospel or not, but I like it, it keeps things interesting. Just as the song is about to drag they perk it up some. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Now Rob, if you were in Fundyville for very long, you know you’ve heard worse. There were people who when they got up to sing a special, I would cringe. And wish to God for a pair of earplugs. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

        1. I cringed when parents herded their entire family of offspring onto the stage to make a joyful noise when they clearly didn’t want to be there.

    1. Based on the pouffed hairstyle, the huge shoulder pads, the odd makeup colors, and the fact that the vid looks like it was transferred from a low-res VHS camcorder, I guessed that the performance is from the 1980s. But time flows differently in Fundydom, so I could be wrong.

      My other hypothesis is that “she” is actually a drag queen (her voice is pretty deep, and those big shoulders …), but I lean toward thinking she just dresses like one.

        1. I think greg is making a valid point… many of the comments are pretty unpleasant..

          I love the healing SFL can provide when the outrageous escapades of fundamentalists are paraded and properly made ridiculous (like JH writing that one can only be saved via the King James Bible, and the focus on conforming to standards for spirituality). But the last few days have been mostly just mocking people for how they look, or people criticizing web sites.

        2. Guilt Ridden, I understand what you are saying, however I need to point out that the way you said it was MUCH less judgementalthan greg, and much more like an observation and not an attack. I just noticed when greg made his comment it sounded (to me) like a judgement on the poster above him (who happened to be Big Gary which I didn’t notice at the time, but am now glad to be known as one of his groupies.) Anyway, I think that this is one of those situations where it is difficult to know what others are REALLY saying because of lack of tone and inflection and because of the fact that none of us actually knows each other so the subtle nuances of humor might be missed. It is so easy to misunderstand people using this form of communication, and I really wasn’t trying to start anything greg, I hope I didn’t offend. I just found it sort of funny in an ironic way that your comment… awww never mind. No need to rehash… Good to see you Guilt Ridden. Have a great day!

      1. I think that a lot of Fundy women looked like drag queens in the 80s…over-permed hair that looks like a wig, massive shoulder pads, garish colors.

        Fashion was bad enough in the 80s, but Fundy fashion was terrifying. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

        1. Ok, let me get this straight. A lady is singing and playing a song that praises and uplifts our God, regardless of what you may think of the performance. Some guy comes along and essentially calls her a “drag queen” I call him on it, but I’m a fundy because I “judged” his name-calling? Um-ok!

          I don’t come over to the blog very much, I may have to start coming back, looks like Big Gary is developing alittle fan base, some SFL groupies, maybe I can thin out his popularity alittle bit, wouldn’t want him getting too popular! Remember power corrupts and abslute power corrupts absolutely.

        2. I laugh that you think Big Gary has a fan base or “groupies” (jealous, much?) I was merely pointing out that you were doing exactly what you were attacking him for doing. I am sorry that you can’t see it. I do realize that often I get judgemental too, and sometimes I even feel bad about it. But I also usually recognize when I am being that way (and even know how I got this way.)

        3. Also, what kind of power do you get once you get some groupies on here? And where can I sign up for that? Do we get to request what power we want? (I would like the power to be invisible. No. To fly. No. To hover siently overhead and… Let me think about what power I want while I develop my fan base.) ๐Ÿ™‚

        4. Greg, you haven’t left Fundyism. You may have left a particular church, but you still have all the reflexes and indoctrination of a Fundy.

          Just be careful what you say, or I’ll instruct my vast army of followers to ignore you.

        5. Wow, greg, you’re too negligible to even rate “annoying, ” and even more juvenile than most trolls. However, beore my idol, Big Gary, reminds me not to feed you, I will just wave a hand and say, toddle off home, wee widdle man. Your momma says it’s our nap time.

        6. HAHA!! George is trying to set you up with Greg!!! LOL! Naptime together already? No time for getting to know one another first? Definately NOT the fundie way!

        7. @greg – dagnabbit! You pegged me as one of Big Gary’s groupies!

          Kidding. ๐Ÿ™‚ My post was to point out that if one is looking at 80s Fundy fashion through a modern lens, the view will be different than viewing the style in context of the time period. That decade’s fashion wasn’t kind to anyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Did I find BG’s post funny? You bet. Did I also think it a bit harsh? Sure. Did I feel convicted to call him out on it? Not at all. It’s BG’s job to police what BG says (& maybe Darrell’s), not mine. I had enough keeping track of everyone else’s offenses while in Fundystan, and I’m happy to leave that behind. Marking my offenses & making amends for them is a full-time job! ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. Are there a bunch of you? That is sort of confusing. It is hard enough to remember everyone with DIFFERENT names. (I sometimes confuse you with others here as it is)
          And I am DEFINATELY your fan. And also Don’s and Kriene and Boymom and Voluntary Outcast and ExOBCstudent and Guilt Ridden and I’veheardsomanyversesmisquoted… and OH YEAH Lurking Catholic (who is no longer lurking) and so many many others…(but most especially SEEN ENOUGH!) So… where was I? Oh yes. But YOU BG are definately one of the objects of my affection here.

        2. Shhh, I think I see him, shhh, Could it be? Yes, Yes, it’s really him, here in the flesh among his adoring public/minions, yes the purveyor of all things fundy, the voice, the one who knows all things, of things hidden in the heart, that knows who may still harbor twinges of fundyism in the deepest,darkest recesses of their soul.

          This reminded me of Hillary’s “vast right wing conspiracy” comment but you, very much like her seem to think you know what’s best for folks, and what we need.

          But to bring this rambling, fun comment to a close, it is still you that brought a filthy accusation against, from what appears to be, a very sweet, christian woman, praising our God. I can live it, can you?

        3. All I know is, when Big Gary comes into the room, Sims and I scream as if he is Elvis. We had years of practice at that, in our HAC days.

        4. Yep, I hike up my support hose, put in my dentures and shout, WOO HOOOO!!!! Big GARY! HE’S THE MAN!!! Nothing like your best groupies being over 50 to put some humility into a guy.

        5. Hey! I own NO hose of any type, and my teeth are all my own. Okay, so my stretch marks could circle the globe at the equator, but I am still quite the catch. What are we talking about again, Sims? ๐Ÿ˜•

  6. There was once a girl in my old fundie church who was truly a gifted pianist. She loved to play Rachmaninoff. Then she got it into her head that she should only play โ€œChristianโ€ music. That meant only music that was in the hymn book. She would try to arrange the simple three cord hymns to sound like more complicated pieces of music. But it never worked. It often sounded like the Liberace hymn book.

    I would point out to her and other people at my church that many of the melodies of the most popular hymns were taken from classical music including some rather bawdy operas. I would tell them, it would be like if someone took the melody to โ€œStairway to Heavenโ€ and made of hymn of it. But no one listened.

    It is sad when a truly gifted musician limits themselves to simple hymns. The great composers created music that explored the virtuosity of the piano and other instruments.

    She was not a pleasant person. Last I heard she was on husband number two, and playing the piano at a IFB church in some dying hick town in western Pennsylvania. With her talent, she could have done so much more with her life.

    1. That’s very tragic. But to the fundys if God gave you a talent it’s meant to be used only for His glory, and for no secular purpose, and you are only to play the piano in church services. Not only hymns, but specials and for the choir. That’s so limiting. ๐Ÿ™

        1. For some reason, I had a vision of Porter Wagner leading singing with Liberace at the piano. Oh, to have an old sport coat and a Bedazzler……

  7. I always used to secretly giggle at the phrase: “took of the offer of grace He did proffer”. I think it’s the only time in my life I ever use the word “proffer”.

    Same with “riches eternal and blessings supernal” — somehow, I just never manage to fit “supernal” into my everyday conversation.

    1. I kind of thought the words were clever rhymes, though you don’t use those words in every day conversation. My problem was since the song is rather fast, I’d get tongue tied trying to sing them without flubbing them. :mrgreen:

    2. Wait, so… at the great SFL Reunion–or Get-Together, since I do not know how we could RE-une–that Sims will throw one of these days, you will raise an eyebrow when I come to you and say, “LEt me proffer you this glass of sweet tea”? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      1. I was going to make a comment about the word “supernal” but then I got distracted by something on hulu and then by the time I got back PW had beat me to it. My comment was something along the lines of “sure, it is easy to rhyme when you just make words up!” Of course I know it is an actual word (it is, right?) but it just seems like a made up word because I have never heard it anywhere but in this song.

        1. The farther you have to reach for a word, the less likely it is to work well in your sentence. I used to tell my writing students to throw away their thesauruses (thesauri? thesaurii?). Even more so with rhyming dictionaries.

          I remember as a young writer, I once rhymed “persiglage” with “badinage.” I was very proud of myself. ๐Ÿ™„

        2. Sims, you just need to read books that stretch your vocabulary! While this is the only place I’ve come across “supernal”, I’ve run across “proffer” in reading several times. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Oh, and on the subject of RE-union (or whatever a first meeting would be called) I am all for it. We have plenty of room for anyone who would want to come, we live in the countryside of San Diego and it seems like it would be a lot of fun. Go ahead and start planning. I’m in.

        1. If such a gathering should take place, it would be extra fun for everybody to keep their identity a secret somehow until the very end and then for there to be some type of vote by ballot (with a great prize) to guess who is who. Of course people like Darrell and anyone who uses their actual picture couldn’t play. ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. But what I think would be even more fun is if we picked a SOTL conference, or Pastor’s conference or some other “event” to attend and had a field trip. But I could be wrong. That could be an incredibly awful idea. But it sort of sounds fun.

        1. O Sims, your usual stroke of genius. I WANT US TO MEET AT PASTOR’S SCHOOL! ROFL at the very idea…. ESPECIALLY if the moron Schaap does a q&A like his prize ass FIL did… Can you just see Don and Big Gary standing up with their questions? LAUGHTER SHRIEK FEST… even though we would all be escorted out, it would be FANTASTIC. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

        2. Sims, I’m w/Seen: You are an evil genius! We should meet @ a SOTL conference & then go all charismatic on them. If we play our cards right, we’ll either be escorted out before the “preaching” starts, or they’ll halt the service in order to perform a group exorcism. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Regardless, a good time is guaranteed. ๐Ÿ˜†

        3. Okay, I DO like the SOTL idea better, because more of us have a common ground, and because HAMMOND SUCKS, so who wants to all meet for a good time in HAMMOND?? Yuck. Sims, please pick a SOTL conference in a pretty place. ๐Ÿ˜€

        4. I don’t know enough about them anymore to be the one to pick a good one. I would leave that up to Darrell or… (was it Don?) one of the other guys who keeps up with that sort of stuff. I will start designing the tee shirts and name tags though. ๐Ÿ™„

        5. We should wear tee shirts that say things like, “Silently Judging You” and “KJV Forever!” and “Woman, make me a SANDWICH!” just so we fit in long enough to get through the doors.

        6. ๐Ÿ˜† Oh! Sign me up for the “Silently Judging You” t-shirt. Make the graphic the infamous Billy Sunday silhouette, but with a gag. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

        7. Mental Note: reading SFL while eating constitutes a choking hazard.

          I want ALL THREE tees, plus pne that says, “Who needs gid when you have a pastor?”

        8. Hey, ExOBCStudent, Are you still in the Oklahoma Ciry area? Cause if so I will be there for the summer. (I know, trading San Diego for Oklahoma in the summertime, doesn’t make sense to me either…) Anyway, if you haven’t fully escaped from that area I would LOVE to met you.

        9. I’m still waiting for a ” load the baby cannon” tshirt. Can’t imagine how it would be worded though without sounding way off color. ๐Ÿ˜›

        10. I totally misunderstood the “Woman, make me a sandwich” shirt – I was thinking plural women, and being the meat in the sandwich…I blame Christian School for my dullness (and my perversion).

          As for the Baby Cannon shirt, the key would be to respond to any questions about it with total double entendre answers, while pretending not to know what the questioner is implying.

  8. I’m astounded at how liberal the fundies are in the US of A. Don’t you know that accompanied singing is the Devil’s music? Only unaccompanied metrical Psalms are God ordained and fit to be heard in the House of the Lord. Since direct inspiration from God ceased with the Apostles it is presumptuous to write or sing hymns.
    And I trust that WOMAN was not singing in church.
    Not only is she not SILENT she isn’t even wearing a hat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I’m not about to criticize the style of playing. My mom is a Fundagelical church pianist. She was also my piano teacher, so…yeah. :blush:

      The singing was actually not bad, either. Decent phrasing, good pitch.

      But I couldn’t enjoy either the playing or the singing because the piano sounded so tinny and out of tune. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  9. it DOES sound like a saloon piano. Somebody, shoot it. To me the music at First Baptist of Hammond before the service has always sounded like a county fair (I love good pipe organ music, but their little organ, the way it’s played is painful to listen to). They also play their invitation “All to Jesus I Surrender” so fast, like, “come running down the aisle, we don’t have all day.”

    1. Do you DARE to question the mighty ELAINE COLSTEN??? (Seriously, it has been so long, I have no clue if she still is their piano player. She was fascinating to watch, though; she just chit-chatted to everyone, never missing a note. Demented, but fascinating.)

    2. ‘They also play their invitation โ€œAll to Jesus I Surrenderโ€ so fast, like, โ€œcome running down the aisle, we donโ€™t have all day.โ€ ‘
      Of course they do. That is how they baptize afterward, after all.

    1. Those of us who are super-spiritual can see that the piano is already white. Some unspiritual, immature people may see the piano as unwhite. We should pray for these people to have their eyes opened and not resort to works of the flesh like spray paint.

      (I am working on my passive-agressive fundy imitation today)

        1. Not only are you BOTH wrong, and I am right, I am going to be forced to SEPARATE from you until you come to see it MY way. After all, what fellowship hath light with darkness? Hopefully your hardened hearts will be softened by my tough love approach and soon we will be back in fellowship again. If not, then I will assume you were never even saved to begin with. (That was my SUPER-fundy impression)

      1. Yes, according to Schrodinger’s entanglement theory, the piano cannot be said to be either black or white until someone looks at it, at which point it may be either, until then its both, and perhaps once the piano color is observed, the state of the observer is entangled or linked with the reality of the piano color that they perceive. The arguments over whether the piano is white or black, or any of the other possible alternate states for pianos, results potentially from the quantum decoherence inherent in the fact that histories must be consistent, and so an observer will only perceive the piano’s state in the reality that exists for the observer – the reality they are entangled with. So we see that the piano is indeed white, even as it is also black, perhaps even a dark cherry or walnut, and that it is not inconceivable that an observer could at some point end up in a state of consciousness where they perceive the piano being both white and black.

        Unfortunately, Schrodinger’s Cat is dead, or we could get a more definitive answer.

        1. Schrodinger is a liberal Methodist, and Sims talks like a BJU elitist, and in the end, all will know ,I was right, first. Last. Always. (My humble-fundy imitation)

        2. @Big Gary
          I have not even been to grad school, so I don’t think that was me…unless of course you went to a FU where I would have been allowed to teach grad classes without having attended grad school, in that potential reality perhaps that was me.

          the captain

        3. I thought probably not, but you do sound like them and like the books I had to read then, when you go into things like “the quantum decoherence inherent in the fact that histories must be consistent …”

  10. She is not a quaker for sure. “It is a gift to be simple it’s a gift to be free it’s a gift to come down to where you ought to be.” There is a lot of something there and it is not style or substance or dynamics or talent.

  11. The style sounds a little bit like the piano that’s played in a restaurant around these parts called Lambert’s (yes, the roll-throwing joint). Very saloon-y and waaaay to liberal for our fundy church! ๐Ÿ™„

  12. As soon as I heard her voice I recognized her. She has a radio show that used to play on the Tennessee Temple radio station late on Sunday nights. I used to listen to her on my way home from church. I don’t think she is baptist, though. The radio station has since been sold and her program is not on the new station. On her 30 minute radio program she would talk and sing lots of old songs.

  13. Awesome, in a terrible horrible way. I vote for Jane Lynch to play her in the fundamentalist movie I want Christopher Guest to direct…

    Seriously though, this is one of those things I like about fundamentalism. My family used to sing this song and even put it on their vanity LP recorded in the late sixties. The piano playing was eerily reminiscent of theirs–a “lovely” woman named Lorena. Good memories.

  14. OK, help me out here. So this sappy sing-song dreck is “old-fashioned music”? (Hope I haven’t offended anyone, but sing-songy stuff sets my teeth on edge. IMHO, it’s as bad as some of that ’70s-vintage cr*p we have to sing at Mass sometimes.)

    What happened to the grand tradition of Protestant hymnody — “Be Thou My Vision,” “At the Name of Jesus,” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Love Divine All Loves Excelling,” “My Song Is Love Unknown,” etc. etc. etc.? Most of those truly GREAT hymns predate this sappy stuff, so they qualify as authentically “old-fashioned.”

    I don’t get it. So sing-songy tunes from when? The 1950s? qualify as “the old paths,” but the hymns of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley don’t? What am I missing here? (Scratching head.)

    Also, does anyone else notice that this song is all about me-me-me? “Heaven came down, and glory filled MY soul,” etc. It’s all about **me.**

    OK, as a cradle Catholic, I know I have no right to criticize fundy-ism. I must tread lightly here…I am a guest, an outsider. But heck, I’m also a music-lover. And I fear that sing-songy just doesn’t do it for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (In all fairness, I feel the same way about 99% of the so-called contemporary cr*p we Catholics sing — “contemporary” as in “written 30 years ago by dykey nuns who have since left the convent.” Oy, don’t get me started, lol.)

  15. During my high-school IFB days, I was in the “Youth Chorale”, and *every* song had a key change incorporated with the “last-refrain-repeat”. When I said something to the director one night after rehearsal, the response was “So, you could do a better job directing?” ๐Ÿ˜

    I walked.

  16. OK in the first video, the lady’s voice reminds me of Vestal Goodman. The second video filled me with nostalgia as it reminded me of my own early fundie days: being in the choir and singing with the other 24 people to an audience of about 10. I could count on Old Tom to say a deep, bass, Aaaaa-men under his breath at the end of every verse (not too loudly though as that would seem Pentecostal.) I always liked this hymn even if it is silly-ish. The last pastor I had before leaving the Baptist world behind forever was not a 100% fundie though he’d say he was – he was actually more realistic and sensible than most fundie Baptist MOG’s. His wife told me with a chuckle that when they were younger, her home church refused to let them sing J.W. Peterson songs as he was “too new.” ๐Ÿ™„ Even she rolled her eyes at that. And yes, the Sunday night hymn-sing before the “serious bible study for serious believers” was the most fun I had all week. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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