103 thoughts on “GOH: I Surrender All”

    1. I like it too especially the melody. I play piano and I have a composition that has taken Bach and intertwined this hymn into it. It’s kind of like the best of both worlds in terms of music for me.

      That being said, I’m new here so Hello everyone. My hubby and I left the IFB 9 years ago (we are dying and going to Hell just for that reason alone!) and haven’t gone to church since then. You know, that’s the 11th Commandment that God gave Moses…”Thou shalt miss church only if you’re dead!”

      I do homeschool my kiddos and we study the Bible for ourselves like the Bereans did in the NT. I would rather me and mine be well rounded Christians who THINK for themselves than be a spoon fed robot.

      1. Welcome – don’t you think you have over-corrected by forsaking the church? Sure, there are bad churches (many of them), but there ARE decent churches, and don’t you think Christians should attend church?

        1. There is no biblical mandate to attend a brick and mortar church; it simply says not to forsake the gathering of yourselves together–which is exactly what Mominator is doing with her kids. I’m going to guess she probably has Christian friends that she gathers with as well. Heck, coming on this blog and talking to other Christians is a gathering.

          SFL: telling other Christians what they “should” be doing.

        2. @Michelle; a church is not just any gathering of Christians. A church is the institution that God created for Christians to work together to glorify Him.

          You are playing word games by associating “church” with “brick and mortar buildings”; I did not say that. It is clear from Heb 10:25 that a church is meant, with a pastor and deacons. Meeting with Christian friends at Starbucks is not a church meeting.

          I have plenty of sympathy for those who have been in abusive churches (having been there), but I certainly can encourage a sister in Christ to not abandon His church because of a bad experience.

          Anyone who does so is sinning.

          If someone were to post here that they are glad to be free from opressive rules and go on to tell how they commit fornication or pedophilia, would you be silent about such sins? I hope you’d point out, that as a Christian, they should not do such things.

        3. Wow, Guilt Ridden, I think you’ve got some residual fundyness leaking out. Really? You are going to compare someone fornicating and acting as a pedoph ile with someone not going to an “official” church service???? I think you should stop while you’re behind… :shock:

        4. Really ironic that someone with the handle “guilt ridden” is trying to lay that same guilt on everyone else. Or maybe not so ironic, actually.

        5. We’re all trying to pull out of the fundy orbit and it’s natural that sometimes the fundyness will leak out. We were all programmed to feel the guilt every time we did something the fundys said was wrong. Let’s cut each other some slack in this, we didn’t become fundy overnight, so we won’t be able to remove the fundyness overnight either. :sad:

        6. God just wants a relationship with us, not performance of a bunch of legalistic man-made rules. And no, God doesn’t command us to go to church.

          Almost ALL of the churches we attended, the Pastor covered up sexual abuse.

  1. Can’t believe that I’m the first one. Couldn’t this person get someone to actually sing the song? The Youtube is beyond dull!

    1. I still like this song, and I think it sounds really neat with just voices and a simple guitar accompaniment. But this version makes it very unappealing!

  2. Uggghhhh, this song is ultimate fundy. I guess there’s nothing wrong with it but when I hear it I am reminded of the former church and those flashbacks and bad memories come back again… I will not listen to this on you tube, I have better things to listen to on you tube TYVM! :sad:

  3. It’s hard enough to surrender to God’s will for my life: that is, that I should love God and love others. But that’s not what most fundy preachers want you to surrender when they screech their way through 42 verses of this at the altar call. In my experience, they always wanted surrender to God’s supposed “secret” will, which they always knew better than we did. Whether it was giving more money, going on missions, or just coming forward to stroke the preacher’s … ego, it had little to do with what God truly wants.

  4. Great now I have this crap running through my head. Hope I don’t have bad dreams. I also found out that it is #354 in the United Methodist Hymnal.

  5. Ithe sentiment is laudable but the reality is “singing a lie.”

    I take issue with verses 3 and 5.
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.

    What are we saved in pieces? A little here, a little there and finally when it all put together we can sing verse 3? Then there’s the emotional validation, untill one feels the Holy Spirit they don’t know they are saved?

    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

    Again more of the emotional hype that attend the Altar call salvation event. and again what is it with this partial salvation that is alluded to? What sort of god is it that doesn’t save completly, totally and instantly? So what is see this song promoting is the singer being co-savior. Because “I surrender all” now my salvation can be complete, now “it is finished.”

      1. And you were always required to sing it after some typical “sermon” about a fundy standard or other extra-biblical thing so that if you didn’t agree with what was preached you felt like a hypocrite singing it. :roll: :roll:

    1. I respectfully disagree. This song is NOT about salvation-rather it is about sanctification, and that moment when someone submits Himself to serving Jesus more fully.
      I would also say that while we are not “saved in pieces”, as you said, there are times when we as Christians make a deeper commitment to the Lord and His Ways.
      Additionally, We DO have a responsibility to “Surrender All” to Jesus. Don’t discount our responsibility to respond to the Gospel. While Christ saves us, we must respond to His call. I can’t save myself, but I do need to respond to Christ’s offer of salvation and cleansing. It is NOT co-salvation or co-sanctification at work here. It is a person who is doing exactly what God commands in in Scripture. See Romans 12:1.
      As for “Let Me Feel Thy Holy Spirit” Two things. One, the line and the one following have been re-written by some to read “May Thy Holy Spirit Fill Me/My I know Thy Power Divine.” That puts more of the emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life to sanctify us a to make us more like Christ.
      Secondly, while we are saved regardless of how we “feel”, “feeling” has a very important part of of walk with God. Don’t dismiss emotional validation as being unimportant; while it is not everything, it certainly plays a huge part in our lives!
      When we know in our hearts AND in our minds that we are saved, that we are forgiven, that Christ has redeemed us from sin and hell, that we are heaven-bound; when we feel God at work in our lives, what a joy serving Him becomes! Knowing that Jesus loves us and that He is still there for us makes it very easy to live for Him.
      The writer is asking God to reassure Him that He still belongs Jesus, and that Jesus still belongs to the writer. That’s not emotionalism, that is an honest prayer, that a lot more Christians maybe need to pray. I know that I have had to pray and ask God to reassure my heart that I still belong to Him at times, and thank God, EVERY TIME, He has responded, “My Son, I STILL love you”! Thank God for His ABUNDANT grace!

        1. Thank you thank you, this site was really making me depressed until your comment. Whoever you are, I’ll be praying for your encouragement.

      1. Never let fundies or ex-fundies near ANYTHING in writing. We will analize it, exegise it, tear it apart and find every possible fault with it.

        I know. I was pretty good at that exercise!

        A son is a song. the choice of words have more to do with feelings and with meter or rhyme.

        If we ask every songwriter to submit their drafts to the Theological Review Committee…

        We would never have songs nor psalms.

        1. Words have meaning and convey ideas,
          Ideas form beliefs,
          Beliefs dictate behavior.

          Right doctrine is therfore important.
          We don’t form the words of Doctrine to fit our ideas, we conform our ideas to the words of Doctrine.

        2. I could not disagree with you more, Ricardo (respectfully, of course). Truth is communicated through prose as well as poetry (song lyrics). Don’s response is accurate and necessary. I am unwilling to speak a statement that is false (especially theologically inaccurate), therefore I must be unwilling to *sing* a statement that is false (“singing is just sustained talking” -Harold Hill).

          In response to your statement: “If we ask every songwriter to submit their drafts to the Theological Review Committee, we would never have songs nor psalms.”
          1) It is false (see Sovereign Grace Music, Indelible Grace Music, and others).
          2) If it were true, then we *should* never have songs or psalms.

        3. Sorry I did not respond sooner.

          Don, Pastor Stephen, you have proven my point.

          You seem to be saying: “If you can’t BE RIGHT, don’t sing at all.”

          If you can’t pray perfect prayers, you should not pray. If you cannot preach perfect sermons, If you cannot live perfect lives…

          Whoever is without sing throw the first stone.

          I have heard prayers by Jehovah’s Witnesses that were more heart-felt than many prayers from the MoG at my old fundy church. (Regardless of all the theological details I disagree with them on.)

          The injured man should have refused the help from the Samaritan… He was probably whistling one of those unapproved hymns…

        4. Ricardo, there is a difference between my ignorantly infirm prayers, and communal affirmation of falsehood, isn’t there? God calls me to persist in prayer, though I don’t know how to pray as I should. He most certainly does not call me to sing falsehoods to his name.

        5. What point have we proven?
          You are making an apples to oranges comparison. We never said anything about perfection, but why would one purposefully repeat error? If error is told often enough and with enough emotional appeal then after awhile folks will begin to think the error is truth. Then truth becomes a moving target, and finally one just makes up what they are “comfortable” with.

        6. “communal affirmations of falsehood”

          How many believers have to be in the congregation to elevate a bad prayer to a “communal falsehood?”

          I grew up singing “No hay dios tan grande como Tu” (There is no god as great as You” twice as often as “Tal como soy” (Just as I am) or “Yo me rindo a ti” (I surrender all.)

          The changes the translaters made to the words and ideas in order to fit rhyme and meter are an entirely different subject.)

          Back to “No hay Dios.” This was my first theological discussion about a song. The chorus was absolutely biblical. but it seemed to imply that there were other gods, besides GOD, who simply were not as great. (In fact, there were problems in this same vein with an early translation of “How great Thou art.”

          I surrender all is a great sentiment by one person. Trying to make it into a statement of Faith, to trump all other beliefs and doctrines is Phariseism.

          I wince every time a fervent prayer asks Jesus (In Heaven) to send His Holy Spirit DOWN to us.

        7. The number of believers singing it is irrelevant. We should worship God in truth. I Surrender All is indeed a sentiment by one person – but why should that [wrong] sentiment then be expressed in hundreds of congregations?

          That said, I don’t see how counting songs as statements of faith is pharisaism. Shouldn’t we sing what we mean, and mean what we sing? If not, then why bother trying to filter out songs with gross doctrinal errors? Or do you mean that any effort to uphold truth is inherently pharisaism?

        8. “Upholding TRUTH” is all well and good. The problem is what happens when your TRUTH does not match my TRUTH? (You should follow mine, of course. :) )

          The power of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is that here we have a foreigner, a blasphemer, no less, with very weird doctrines, used by Jesus Himself, to demonstrate the Love of God. That would be like taking a Jehovah’s Witness, or a Mormon as the protagonist in the same story today.

          Becoming the keeper of orthodoxy is a power trip. (BTDT.)

          God can speak to us through lousy sermons, no matter how bad the preacher is, just like sometimes God tells us things through sermons that had NOTHING to do with what the preacher thought he was telling us.

          You and I both can find a way to interpret the “I surrender all” in ways that agree with our current theological stands. Conversely we both could object to just about every possible hymn and song out there, if we put enough creativity and energy into it.

          Take what you need and leave the rest.

        9. Without responding to every comment, I cannot ignore this one: a Jehovah’s Witness disagrees with a Christian on more than “theological details.” The Trinity is not a “theological detail.”

        10. Pastor Stephen,

          And you think the differences between Jews and Samaritans were minor?

          I promise you: I can find some problem or another in 80% to 90% of all sermons out there. Be it Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Catholic, and yes, Mormon and JWs. Same with most hymns and choruses.

          What I finally figured out (or if you want to translate it to Christianese: “What God finally revealed to me,”) is that I can spend all my energy finding all the wrong things with each sermon, or I can look for the pearl of Wisdom that God has hidden for me in every sermon. Even those sermons from Samaritans.

          And there is a pearl of wisdom in “I surrender all.”

      2. Never let fundies or ex-fundies near ANYTHING in writing. We will analize it, exegise it, tear it apart and find every possible fault with it.

        I know. I was pretty good at that exercise!

        A song is a song. the choice of words have more to do with feelings and with meter or rhyme.

        If we ask every songwriter to submit their drafts to the Theological Review Committee…

        We would never have songs nor psalms.

      3. All to Jesus I surrender;
        Humbly at His feet I bow,
        Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
        Take me, Jesus, take me now.

        One is hard pressed to claim that verse is not talking about salvation. If not then it clearly alludes to some piecemeal salvation/sanctification that is dependent on the surrendering of the person. “Lord, I’ve surrendered, take me now that I’ve surrendered all these worldly pleasures. Now that I’ve surrendered you can make me wholly thine.”

        Very works centered. Take that song and use it during a highly manipulative Altar Call (that is being redundant I know)and you have a recipe for false conversions from altar atheletes who get saved everytime they are emotionally piqued. Mathew 7 tells the terrible tale of this type of emotional decisional salvation.

        And yes, we do have a responsibility before the Lord to live as witnesses of his mercy, love and grace as Matt 7:12 commands us. And we do grow in love and maturity as Christians but the Lord has sanctified us, he set us apart for his use. How can we thwart his plans? Does God have to fall back on plan B? Or do we miss the lesson of Jeremiah? Does his words and purpose not burn within us so that we cannot do anything but tell of him and his goodness, justice, mercy, love, Grace and glory? How can we not proclaim the Gospel if we are truly his?

        This song is too works oriented and used as invitation tool to manipulate decisions out of folks to “do” something that will make them worthy of the Lord’s love and grace. I don’t see the redeeming value in this song.

        1. That verse does, at first glance, seem to imply a works salvation, but reading the “Story Behind the Song”, it’s more like God would not use the author while he was determined to go his own way. When he surrendered his worldly desires, he is asking Jesus to take him and use him in service, not save him.

          It is capable of multiple meanings, and is therefore confusing.

          By the way, appreciation to the one who posted the “Story Behind the Song”

      4. The problem is that the lyrics confuse by talking about “full salvation” rather than sanctifying. I would be willing to concede that it ws intended to be about sanctification, but it’s confusing. Plus, the emphasis on feelings makes me think of the Mormons. And don’t get me started on the 1890s chromatic dirge that is the music. The Baptist insistence on singing this sort of song for “altar call” completely changes the worship service, and not for the better.

      5. Your statement “there are times when we as Christians make a deeper commitment to the Lord and His Ways” reminds me of the “Two Categories of Believers” view of sanctification so prominent in fundamentalism: spiritual/carnal, right with God/not, etc. I recommend Andy Naselli’s book and/or lectures on the Early Keswick Movement and the influence it had on modern Christianity’s view of sanctification. I believe the “Reformed View” is the one Christ and Paul teach.

    2. I get the same bad vibe from this song that Don does. This song (like many sermons) is about the Christian, not the Christ.

      Pietist and emotionalists prefer songs like this that talk about our resolved commitment to God, and not about God’s covenantal commitment to us.

      We will never surrender all, we are far too selfish and sinful for that. Fortunately Jesus did (see Phil. 2:5-11).

      We will never remain fully faithful to Him. Fortunately he remains faithful to us despite our unfaithfulness for cannot go against his nature (see 2 Tim. 2:13).

      He is the hero of the story. Christianity is about him, not us.

        1. Whatever hymn they chose for the invitation it was bound to be a guilt trip. Another they liked to use was “Have Thine Own Way Lord.” I really hate the tune of that song, it’s so blah. Another I liked the tune of but the message was rather guilt trip inducing was “I’ll Wish I Had Given Him More.” Why do they write such stuff? Does Jesus only want us to serve Him out of guilt, or out of love? I know which I’d rather have. :cry:

    1. Heard that often from the pulpit of my former fundy church, always said in a condescending tone… :twisted:

  6. Here is the story behind the song, written by Judson W. Van DeVenter, a Methodist.

    “For many years I had been studying art. My whole life was wrapped up in its pursuit and the thing farthest from my mind was active Christian service. My dream was to become an outstanding and famous artist. After graduating from college, I studied drawing and painting under a well-known German teacher. To help me financially, I taught school and eventually I became supervisor of art in the public schools of Sharon, Pennsylvania.

    It was during this period in my life that a revival was held in the First Methodist Church of which I was a member. I became very interested in these meetings as a personal worker. The Spirit of God was urging me to give up teaching and to enter the evangelistic field, but I would not yield. I still had a burning desire to be an artist. This battle raged for five years. At last the time came when I could hold out no longer and I surrendered my all-my time and my talents. It was then that a new day was ushered into my life. I wrote I Surrender All in memory of the time when, after the long struggle, I had surrendered and dedicated my life to active Christian service for the Lord.”

  7. I want to make a JAIA bracelet for my right wrist and a ISA bracelet for my left wrist.

    Forget WWJD. Anyone can wear a WWJD bracelet, but an JAIA and ISA bracelet would make me feel so holy and bring back the memory of the time I told God to save me. :lol:

    1. Yeah, me too. I rose to my feet with my head bowed and eyes closed, not looking around. Then the voices started in my head…

      “Christian, come down and make this front an altar”
      “I assume by staying in the pew you’re right with God?”
      “Christian, is your all on the altar?”
      “Remember, the invitation here really never ends.”
      “The pianist will keep playing as people come.”
      “There’s still room down here at the ole’ fashioned altar.”
      “Christian! Don’t look at that watch! Cracker Barrel will still be open when you leave here.”
      “We’ll see you back and 6pm for the evening service.”

      Then I opened my eyes sweating and realized all my co-workers were looking at me. I shouldn’t read SFL at work. :shock:

      1. If someone had to endure that week after week, year after year, I could see how one would never want to hear this song again! Thankfully I typically experienced this kind of manipulation only for special services and revivals so while I have experienced it, it didn’t scar me the way it has some of you!

  8. I hate songs that are supposedly for worship but the subject of the sentence is “I” or “me” as in, “I will sing of your love forever” or “He thought of ME most of all.” This would have to fall into that category for me. I realize it isn’t intended to be a worship song, but I am left unclear if not just a manipulative tool what the purpose really is for this song.

  9. All I can say to this song………is twitch! I’ve heard it, sung it, and endured it through too many altar calls.

  10. I once heard a preeeeecher say that he would go forward for every single altar call. He would either go because he was convicted by the sermon and needed to pray about that particular conviction, or he would go forward because he wasn’t convicted by the sermon, would thus be convicted by his lack of conviction, and he would then pray for repentance for said lack of conviction.

    I think it was just music like this tricking his mind into coming forward.

    1. I heard a message in which the preeeecher was saying that going forward whether you were convicted during the message or not is how one shows appreciation to the preacher.

      I remember thinking at the time: “No! If a preacher is determining how well he did by how full the altar is, he has problems.”

  11. I heard decades of this song… AM service invitation song was “Just As I Am” and the PM service invitation song was “I Surrender All”

    So, it certainly brings back memories of manipulation.

    “How long has it been since you’ve come to the altar?” “Isn’t it about time you came?”, etc.

  12. Growing up, we used a variety of “invitation” hymns – but at the monthly youth rallies we attended it was always Just as I am. over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…… :mad:

  13. I don’t like the words as I know I don’t surrender all. However, I have heard a Dutch hymn using this tune (sung a little faster)with entirely different words. A rough translation is:
    Come Lord Jesus, yes come quickly,
    Come and help us from this vale
    It’s so dark, it is so frightening,
    tears are flowing everywhere.

    (chorus)
    Oh Lord Jesus come
    Oh Lord Jesus come
    Yes, come quickly
    Yes come quickly
    Come lord Jesus come.

    Yes we turn our hearts toward you
    Lord to you and you alone
    Send your light and truth to guide us
    Breaking through our many doubts.

    Great oh Lord is our desire
    To see you in your gloriousness
    Let us ever sing your praises
    Until we meet in eternity.

  14. Great Hymn… It’s Not about Salvation; it’s a testimonial about surrender to God, not man.

    Judson W. Van DeVenter (1855-1939) was raised in a Christian home. At age 17, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. He graduated university with a degree in art and was employed successfully as a teacher and administrator of high school art. He traveled extensively, visiting the various art galleries throughout Europe.

    Van DeVenter also studied and taught music. He mastered 13 different instruments, sang and composed music. He was very involved in the music ministry of his Methodist Episcopal church and eventually found himself torn between his successful teaching career and his desire to be a part of an evangelistic team. This struggle within himself lasted for almost five years.

    In 1896, Van DeVenter was conducting the music of a church event. It was during these meetings that he finally surrendered his desires completely to God — He made the decision to become a full-time evangelist. As he submitted completely to the will of his Lord, a song was born in his heart.

    I Surrender All was put to music by Winfield S. Weeden (1847-1908 ), who published this and many other hymns in several volumes. Weeden so loved this song that the words I Surrender All were put on his tombstone.

    http://www.faithclipart.com/guide/Christian-Music/hymns-the-songs-and-the-stories/i-surrender-all-the-song-and-the-story.html

  15. Thankfully my work computer doesn’t have speakers, so I can’t listen to the YouTube video you so kindly…however that didn’t stop the full FBCH choir memory-audio clip from playing in my mind. *groan* :???:
    I remember as a youth being told frequently by our fundy school principal to go to the altar even if we didn’t need to because it will encourage the pastor. Sometimes, I would just to avoid “meetings” with the pastor, but overall, I rarely went to the altar and would relish in the moments when “big-name” guest pastors would come & everyone would flock to the aisles and myself and my stepdad would be about the only people left standing. The guest pastor would rip on “those left standing” for so long threatening all manner of curses and I would just laugh inside. Yes, I got a sick satisfaction from those moments. :grin: My poor step-dad just really couldn’t kneel his knees were so bad. But, that didn’t matter ONE bit to the speaker. We were standing and not “surrendering all”. :roll: :roll: :roll:

    1. I sympathize; I, too, have felt under incredible pressure when it seemed as though I was the only one not going forward.

  16. To the man of God surrender,
    of your gross a tithe must give.
    If he says it, then it’s Bible;
    tells me how I need to live.

    I surrender reigns, I surrender brains,
    please oh please fix my behavior
    and put me in chains.

    To the teachings I surrender,
    question not the why and how,
    so I’m going to the altar,
    everyone can see me now.

    Common sense must go, pastor wants it so,
    it’s for Jesus, pastor claims,
    so to the altar go!

    If I ever have to sit through a bunch of crap again, I’ll pull that songbook out and add my lyrics. :twisted:

    1. *it begins slowly and soon spreads throughout the internet and cyperspace, all over folks reading this are standing before their screens clapping and cheering. A cyber Standing Ovation!!* :wink: :grin: Well done! Bravo!

    2. Very impressive; I so much want to teach it to my kids, but they could pop out with it at any moment.

      I may not be able to keep a straight face anymore when I hear that song.

    3. That was great! Especially the third stanza down (which would be vs. 2, I think). “Everyone can see me now!” — so true!

    4. What I would give to substitute these lyrics in my former fundy church’s powerpoint on the BIG screen!!!

      Wishing I had mad hacker skills… :wink:

      It would be the.best.thing.ever :mrgreen:

  17. “Take me, Jesus. Take me now.”

    Honestly, doesn’t that sound like something out of one of those bodice-ripping romance novels?

  18. Am I the only one that noticed Jesus’ fundy approved, “not touching the ears” hair cut??? It’s in the top left corner of the video!!! I was laughing so hard!!!!

  19. Oh. Oh oh oh no. This was Miss Mozelle’s favorite hymn. She always sat in the same spot (once, a VISITOR sat there…horrors) right behind my family. She was about 200 years old and was a darling woman. And this hymn, oh my, she shrieked out with fervent gusto, bless her heart. I can’t even think about this hymn without remembering that voice, hitting the first note like a hammer….I!!!! SURrennnnderrr a llllllll. 42 verses later, the entire congregation had become tone deaf, and the pianist looked about half dead, but Miss Mozelle would still be belting it out, like a shovel dragged across a sidewalk.

  20. Ok, so My knee jerk reaction to this song is not so much “omg, I feel so guilty I need to go to the altar.”… it’s more like “YESSSSSS Church service is almost over! Let’s go have lunch or dinner!!!!”

  21. I really do detest alter calls. Maybe they’re necessary to other people who are used to it, but whenever I went down it just felt fake. I can pray and be convicted in my pew just as well, thank you very much.
    Especially when I peak during the invitation and see loads of people troop down. Wait about 30 secs. One person stands up and makes his way back, and as if on cue, everyone else stands and follows. Why did you go down then?!

    The funny thing is I usually sit near my brothers and their significant others. None of us ever go down (heathens I know), so our group is usually among the few that don’t. And I never sing “Just as I Am” anymore.

    1. IFB’s never truly want anyone “just as they are”. And, Easterlily, I think george got you because I had to read your post a couple of times did/do you “peak” during invitations or do you “peek”? There is I say a difference… :mrgreen:

  22. Before we get uber-critical of hymn lyrics we should remind ourselves that Israel’s “songbook” contained what many would call “bad theology”. Some would not want to sing “judge me, Lord, according to my righteousness” (Ps.7:8)or “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness” (Ps.18:20). I wouldn’t sing “Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little one against the stones” (Ps.137:9)or “Let his children be continually vagabonds and beg” (Ps.109:10). The Psalms can be individualistic, self-righteous, emotional, lacking in faith and even vindictive. Not the stuff of “good hymns”. They can also be powerful and wonderful testimonies to the greatness of God and the human condition. Kind of like more modern hymns and songs. The fact is just about any criticism that can be levelled against a song or hymn today can be levelled against a Psalm. Thankfully, we are not as critical in our reading of the Psalms as we can be of more modern compositions.

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