GOH: Bring Them In

Today’s Grand Old Hymn combines both a classic “missions hymn” with one of the performance spectacles common to missions conferences: getting to hear familiar stuff in a foreign language.

143 thoughts on “GOH: Bring Them In”

  1. Oh. My.

    Anyone know what foreign language are being presented here? French is the second one. The first one is unfamiliar, and the third one sounds like a mix of the first and something else.

    1. I think the third verse (second foreign language) is meant to be French, although I couldn’t make out what words they were trying to pronounce.

      About the first language, I have no idea.

      At least they’re trying to be multilingual. Better than those people who just shout “Speak American!” at everybody.

    1. I doubt it. French is much more accessible than Portuguese, and they were not doing terribly well with it…

      There’s a Portuguese singer named Dulce Pontes who is FABULOUS- I’ve got some of her stuff, found her on a track with Andrea Bocelli and was hooked. Anyway, listening to her it occurred to me that Portuguese sounds rather like you took Spanish, a bit of Italian, and a generous dollop of Russian, put them in a blender and hit frappé. A lot of heavy-voiced fricatives. Verray sexay…

      1. I once heard someone say Portuguese is spelled like Spanish, but pronounced like French.

        To me, it sounds a bit like Spanish spoken with a French accent– maybe because I know a lot of Spanish, some French, but only a very little Portuguese.

        1. This is Brazilian Portuguese (not Portugal Portuguese) which sounds quite a bit more different than American English as compared to British accented English.

          A complicating factor in both Portuguese and French versions is the awful pronunciation, esp. on the part of the men. Usually the opposite is the case–the men are out in the community while the women are “stuck” at home with kids and get much less opportunity to practice speaking. I have learned, however, that a missionary’s effectiveness is not necessarily directly related to their language facility; I’ve known missionaries who could barely make themselves understood yet still have a significant impact. God uses willing servants in spite of their shortcomings.

          That said, this is a very awkward translation in the Portuguese. Brazilians at least would much rather sing lyrics much more eloquently written by a skilled native speaker and melody (& rhythm) much more culturally appropriate than an extracultural product on the shelf more than a century.

          The problem is that most truly Brazilian music would not “pass music check” in IFB churches. Authentic tribal worship is even further removed as drums and dancing are integral.

  2. I think the first one could be Iraquian? The second was heavily accented, slightly off-key, ill-timed English. The third sounded sort of like Senagalian French (for a bit they were obviously overcome and sang in glossolalia for a few bars–it sounded like humming to y’all, but I have the gift of interpretation and understood it!!!) The fourth would possibly be Afghanistanian (similar to Iraquian, but slightly different)!
    The grand finale chorus was again off-key, heavily accented, ill-timed English.

    1. JB, you’re joking, right?
      You do know there is no such language as “Iraquian,” nor “Afghanistanian,” right?

      I’m pretty sure you jest, but with these things, one can never be sure.

      1. Also Arabic (Iraqi or otherwise) has nothing in common with Farsi/Dari/Pashto/Urdu which are all Indo-European languages spoken in Afghanistan and have more in common with English than Arabic.

        Maybe JB meant Iroquoian.

        1. Also spoken in Iraq:
          Kurdish (another Indo-European tongue)
          Aramaic (the Semitic language that Jesus and his apostles spoke on an everyday basis)

        2. I didn’t know Kurdish was an IE language!

          I was saddened to hear of the near destruction of Aramaic-speaking villages in Syria during the recent conflict there. Sad loss for linguistics and a horrible day for our brothers and sisters there.

        3. Yes, villages have been destroyed, and many (most?) of the Aramaic speakers have fled. Quite a few are now in the U.S. and Canada.

        4. I understand that Dari is the Afghan dialect of Farsi. I know when I lived in Moscow, some friends of mine who were studying Farsi from an Iranian teacher could speak to immigrants from Afghanistan with pretty decent intelligibility.

  3. I always loved hearing from our missionaries to Chicago – they’d sing songs in the language of the proud Chicagoan people: “I wander have I done enough for Ditka, da Bears, da Bulls, da Bears, da Bulls…” They’d bring clothes taken from native tribesmen; the wife wore some of it during missions conference – she created quite a stir! They made a meal one night before the service – native-style hot dogs w/ the dill pickle spears! Exotic! And crunchy! I could just picture them holding their open-air services in the shadow of the crudely built village structures that reached into the low-hanging clouds…

  4. I couldn’t tell what languages they were singing in. Was the first German? Then English, followed by French, & then what sounded like each couple singing a different language?

    The audio isn’t great, so I’ll (partially) blame my ignorance on that.

    On a personal note, I heard a mondegreen in this hymn as a kid. Since it uses pastoral imagery, I misheard the refrain as “Bring them in…bring the woolly ones to Jesus.” 😳 😆

        1. Okay, it’s getting late, and I misread tomes for tongues! Although that could be rather interesting… :mrgreen:

        2. Doc, the number two thing you could so (see what I did there?) is be the horse of a fundy MOG. I’m pretty sure Kreine isn’t equine, so the only thing left is to be the next Gail Riplinger.

        1. Big Gary:

          “I’ll be coming home, wait for me!”

          I know it’s a stretch, but you’ll have to admit it’s a fine tune.

          😀

  5. I actually know the couple on the left, I went to HAC with them. Although the song was a little lacking, he actually isn’t a Super Duper Fire Breathing Ultra Fundie. He’s pretty level headed. #justsaying

    1. Maybe it’s to bring familiarity to the American missionaries. Also, if you sing in a foreign language to the people in the pew while on deputation/furlough it makes the folks at home feel all warm and generous and stuff.

  6. Despite all the evidence, I’m still having trouble believing there’s really something called “Boomer Baptist Church.” That HAS to be a parody of something.

        1. When I was a teen my family stopped at a church in Charlestown, WV for a Wednesday night service. The church was in the bottom (valley or something like that) of the region, and apparently it was bigger than other bottoms because the church was named Big Bottom Missionary Baptist Church. Apparently they have an annual Mrs. Big Bottom competition around Mother’s Day (as told by my mother, and since she didn’t talk like that I assume it’s true). Here’s the church website: http://www.bigbottombaptistchurch.com/

        2. About Big Bottom’s web site: They’re missing countless great logo opportunities there.

          About “Bottom” as a place name meaning “low spot”: The U.S. State Department headquarters is in a an area of DC known as “Foggy Bottom.” No lie.

  7. I think the first verse was in Spanish — Vay! Buscar! means “Go and seek”

    I’d have to listen again to see if I can pick up any other phrases. Was the third verse in French??

    1. I beg to differ.
      I know Spanish. Spanish is a friend of mine. And that’s no Spanish.

      I can see how it sounds like they’re saying “Vay! Buscar!” or “Va y buscar,” but there are no other discernible Spanish words in their singing.

        1. Dulce Pontes might disagree with you. THAT’s Portuguese from Portugal. I’m sure she thinks Elis Regina’s Brazilian gaúcha accent sounds funny. Both songs were beautiful though.

        2. For what it’s worth, Cesaria Evora was from the Cape Verde Islands, so that’s yet another flavor of Portuguese.

  8. Part of me wants to cry every time I see a GOH because they never seem to involve the Psalms. Then I realize I almost don’t want IFB folks doing the Psalms, since they’d butcher them.

  9. I just wonder why you are standing up to sing if you can’t really sing. There are many wonderful folks who can’t sing so I’m not saying anything about these people but making people cringe is not setting a worshipful atmosphere no matter how you define worship.

    1. I’m inclined to disagree there.
      I’m in favor of studying music and singing well, but not everyone has a musical gift, yet everyone deserves the pleasure of singing.
      The scriptures tell us to sing praise to God. They don’t say, “Shut up unless you sound like Cecilia Bartoli.”

        1. Not everyone is well-advised to put his/her/their singing on YouTube, either.

          You may have wondered (or not) why I haven’t uploaded any of my own singing to YouTube. Other than the fear of being beaten to a pulp by an angry mob, that is.

        2. When I was growing up, that was exactly what symbolized the delineation between fundie/evangelical churches and mainline/liberal churches for me (so far as I could observe). The music in fundie churches was almost always bad, sometimes excruciatingly so; the music in the mainline churches was almost always good — classic hymns, classical choral repertoire, well performed. It was part of what drove me away from evangelicalism. I couldn’t stand the mediocrity and the sameness of the music and the worship.

      1. My elementary kids’ music teacher had the following Zimbabwean saying posted in her room: “If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance.”

        Some people are just better off singing and/or dancing in very, very large groups. 😎

  10. Dear SFL Reader …

    What I want to know is, ‘if that’s what you do, what ever would possess you to upload it to the internet …’

    Christian Socialist

  11. A long time ago, under different leadership, the fundy church I currently attend used to change the “bring” to “bus.” And everyone would shout, “Bus them in! Bus them in!”

    In fact, “bring them in” sounds weird to me.

    1. Guilty! I used to do that as song leader (never a worship leader, that’s to relevant). I only did it because the other cool song leaders were doing it and it made everyone hoop and holler.

  12. There was a version of this that floated around at HAC in the early 1980s

    Let me in
    Let me in
    Let me in to the fields of sin

    But I seriously doubt you’ll find video evidence of that!

  13. I’m sure the government could replace water-boarding with this video.

    There is a fundie radio station (WSOF – http://www.wsof.org) that we can pick up that has the pastor’s wife sing every day at 5:15 or so during the “Suppertime Hour”. They are so technically backwards I can’t find anything on the net.

    I’ll have to record a session and send to SFL. Its worse than putting a walrus and a cat in a sack and slapping them with a baseball bat.

    1. WSOF in Madisonville/Sturgis Kentucky!!!! I had forgot about those people. A guy named Gary Hall is/was the pastor. Was a first class nut job back in the day. I heard him preach at Sammy Allen’s CAMPMEETING many times. Cuh-Ray-Zee!!

      1. Ahh yes! Gary Hall and his beautiful singing wife. They are still there, keeping to the faith, hanging on til Jesus comes. Running radio marathons every month to barley stay on the air.

        I tried to tune in to WSOF this morning and their signal has become very weak. I’m assuming this is because their ageing 40 year old FM transmitter is about to pass on to glory.

        I would turn him on just to annoy my wife and kids. They would scream and beg me to turn it off.

    2. Not to put too fine a point on it, but your average bull walrus is larger than a Volkswagen. If you can put him in a sack, my hat’s off to you. I’d sooner try to castrate a wolverine in a phone booth.

  14. If I am going to listen to singing in a foreign language, I would rather hear it from missionaries or people who know the language well enough to converse in it.

    And, …… they aren’t and they don’t.

    In any case, they tried. They failed awfully enough. But they tried. I wouldn’t have said “Amen” after a performance like that, though, especially if I was one of the singers. “Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth.”

    This is innocuous enough. I don’t remember much about the musical “specials” in my IFB church, except that some things were nicely done, and some things were awful. At least no one was being skewered at that time.

    Well … come to think of it, there were a few songs I absolutely hated. “Refining Fire” was one of them. Honestly! After one or two times I could never sing that one. Hit me again, Lord!

    I have found that a lot of the hymns in the Baptist hymn books have had words changed. Seeing the original words in the Episcopal hymnals was impressive.

    1. That has actually provided me with some confusion, coming to the Episcopal Church, er, ‘lateish’ in life- the hymns is ‘know’ turn out to have the same words and a different tune, or the same tune and different words. I’ll open the hymnal, look at the title and think “I know this one…” and am immediately thrown into the Caves of WTF. When I’m confused, I stop singing. And our congregation is still small enough that if I stop singing, it is noticeable.

  15. They’re not really being multicultural rather than expecting everyone in America to speak English, since they’re glorifying foreign languages as long as it’s used on the mission field.

    And here you have a problem. They can’t have modern songs, because only old songs are spiritual. And they can’t have songs that are actually written by people in the country they are going to, because their actual purpose is to export American culture to these people groups. This sucks. By all means, tell people everywhere about Jesus. But have the respect to learn to love their culture too.

  16. I was just funning. I’ve never heard of Italian, afghanistanian, or senegalian. I was just making something up. I couldn’t tell what languages they were singing in at all CD

  17. Here’s my take on the whole “Bring them in” mentality in Fundydom…it is NOT taught in Scripture. In the inspired Pauline instructions to the church (as opposed to the heretical Hyles church manual), Paul NEVER teaches that church gatherings are to be used to “win souls”…the purpose of church gatherings is to teach the Scriptures and edify the saints. Evangelism is to be done individually OUTSIDE of church. (Look at Paul’s example…he went to Mars Hill individually and none of his letters ever asks anyone “to bring your unsaved friends and relatives to hear me when I’m in town.”) The Pauline (Biblical) model is to personally evangelize and then “bring them in” AFTER conversion.

    1. I’d like to think the soul winning thing is without boundaries. I wonder if any early Christians brought a friend to a meeting who then became a believer. I’m thinkin’ God doesn’t make a distinction there. My pastor made a point to spell out the salvation message at some point in every sermon as a matter of the accountability of his office and on behalf of any in the congregation who might not be believers. How strange it would be to say, “any here who are not believers need to leave and not come back until after you believe”.

  18. Throwing in foreign languages into our English hymns is a sad attempt to look less ethnocentric….although we want the outsiders to sing our hymns in their language rather than come up with their own hymns in their own language. As always it seems the outside must conform to us or serve us making us feel better. The Great Commission in the American version–especially the fundy American version seems to be “Make disciples of those who come to you and conform to you” not go…

  19. Ugh, “Special Music”, one of the many awful fundie traditions. I have no problem with a talentless child being allowed to sing or play a musical instrument in front of church. I was once that talentless child and it helped me learn to deal with stage fright. But if an adult can’t sing or properly play a musical instrument, they have no business performing in front of a church. (This is why karaoke was invented)
    Is anyone in the church enjoying this? Probably not. Even when I was a believer, I hated being force to listen to Baptist karaoke. It was like listening to Jimmy sing “The 12 Days of Christmas” on “South Park.”
    The people with some talent performed on Sunday morning, the less talented on Sunday Evening and those without talent perform during Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.

    I took organ lessons for 10 years. I really wanted to play one of those huge pipe organs as a career. But I just did not have the in-born talent (It didn’t help that I had to grow up in a fundie environment where no one could comprehend that talent might be genetic). So I know the pain of having the soul of an artist and having no artistic talent. I know the sadness of watching my favorite band and knowing I will never be on stage and perform like that. One grieves and moves one.

    These people need to accept they just can’t sing and find another way to serve their church. No need to torture other people with this awful noise. If they need to be the center of attention and want to perform, there is also karaoke.

    1. If fundies karoake, you know they won’t be Too Drunk to Karaoke.

      I can’t see fundies doing it anyway. It involves fun and good music, and possibly drinking in a bar.

      1. While there is such a condition as Not Drunk Enough to Karaoke (and I’ve been in that condition for my whole life so far), I don’t think there’s such a thing as being Too Drunk to Karaoke, unless you mean passed out.

  20. How dare ya’ll mock the servants of God! At least they are out doing something rather than sitting home whining and complaining about being hurt . Quit your crying and get right with God!
    Rom 8:29

  21. I’ve never experienced live Karaoke (only an app, which is great, IMO), so you’ll have to enlighten me: why is being drunk a requirement for Karaoke participation? Isn’t singing badly considered mandatory?

    Ohhhhh, I get it. You never get drunk enough to sing badly! 😉

    1. It’s not universally true, of course, but Karaoke usually goes with drinking. Alcohol lowers people’s inhibitions.

      And in my case, I’ve never been drunk enough to overcome my fear and embarrassment about singing solo in public. I’m not sure I could even consume that much alcohol and still breathe.

      1. I used to get really nervous/terrified singing in front of people, even though I always had at least one person gush to me afterward that I have a beautiful voice.

        I quit getting scared when someone rolled their eyes at me & announced that most people weren’t as critical of others as I was. 😳 Point taken. Since then, I have tried very hard to find at least 1 good thing to comment on regarding someone’s solo.

        Even if it’s, “I really liked the ending.”

  22. Mark and Shari on the left are wonderful people and a great Christian witness. And they sure aren’t your typical Stuff Fundies Like people! Conservative yes but a very sweet loving couple. What a shock to see them on here! lol

  23. Hahaha! The “didn’t come from monkeys” song reminded me of another song I heard as a child….
    “I’m no kin to the monkey, the monkey’s no kin to me, I don’t know much about his ancestors but mine did’t swing from a tree”. I don’t remember the verses but I do remember a reference suggesting that monkeys had better character than some humans in that they did not abandon their children or go out and get drunk.

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