98 thoughts on “Christmas Carols”

  1. Is it just me or is Stephen Anderson a really big dork?

    If he were to become half the man of God he thinks he is he would really be something.

    1. Well, according to his bio he “holds no college degree but has well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word, including half of the New Testament.” Given that the New Testament has 260 chapters, I assume this means that he has only memorized 9 chapters of the Old Testament, at the most. Or he is just lying.

      1. I don’t understand the fundy need for credentials. In my tradition, all pastors have to be accepted by the local group of pastors, and they generally require a degree from one of their own seminaries, although the rules have been bent in some cases where the call of God was evident. But when Paul listed credentials for elders he included things like “well thought of by outsiders”, not “eidedic memory and 9 million souls won and captain of the bus ministry team and chock full of fundy awesomeness”. Just sayin’.

        1. I suppose in one sense Paul knew quite a lot of the New Testament “by memory” as well.

        2. I told my Pastor that I believed every preacher should have to take mathematics up through Calculus so they could learn how to think. For some reason he was not very happy with that idea!

  2. My husband is a worship leader and he would be horrified at this. (And if you are leading, don’t sing through your nose, might get mistaken for bluegrass.)

    1. I don’t really think it’s fair to compare what this chump did to a real “worship leader” 😆

      Randomly waving one’s arm and rummaging in one’s “sacred desk” does not constitute “worship leading.”

      Looks to me like he was directing this song in . . . 4/12 time??? What is it about fundy pastors who took the one-“credit”-hour “Songleading for Corporate Worship” class? They all seem to think every song must be forced to “work” with 4/4 conducting.

  3. Darrell-Hate to conduct this business over here but it’s the only way to dialogue right now. Unable to do the new acct thing because it says another member has that email address. I was trying to shut my whole acct down like I was never here, but I can’t find a way to do that. I suggest you do it, remove me completley, and then I’ll try to register again, or any other ideas you may have. You can PM me, that feature still works.(disappearing all my comments is fine, not sentimental like that, and I’m sure no one else will mind)

    1. Now, greg, if Darrell deletes all your previous comments, there are going to be some pretty passionate pro-Calvinist diatribes
      “left behind” on this website with no context whatsoever. And we all know how much you HATE for things not to be read in context. 😉

      1. Hadn’t thought of that!

        I’m just trying to be able to comment on the forum, something screwy has happened!

  4. Wow, the hymn might be slightly Catholic-ish but, dad-gummit, we are going to sing ALL THE VERSES because that is the Bible Way to Sing.

  5. I found this video entertaining because it brought me back to one of my favorite posts on SFL – “Song Leading Styles” I vote that this style is a cross between “Tai Chi” and “Petting the Invisible Cat”

    Steve Anderson was a great choice for getting us all in the Christmas spirit 🙂 Thanks Darrell

    1. Haha! I just watched the “Songleading Styles” video again and what do you know?! Steve Anderson IS the Tai Chi example 🙂 Glad to see he hasn’t compromised to a more seductive and secular method of song leading

    2. I am glad you brought that up. I found SFL after the song leading styles post, and had never seen it. I just looked it up and watched it. Too funny! I especially loved “Petting the invisible cat.” He would even put his hand up a little at the end of each “stroke” like the kitty had his rump up a little bit the way cats do! 😆

    1. I obviously have no idea what I’m doing trying to embed a video. Hopefully the link still works. It’s to “We Three Kings” by Building 429.

  6. I can’t get cynical over Christmas carols, and goodness knows this was one of my least favorite growing up (Weeee thray kangs uv orient arrrrrr…burring gifts we’ve traveled so furrrr…..). I love it all, even the tacky mismatched lights and Santa visiting the manger.

    Merry everything! Sing out, y’all!!

    1. They call themselves the HYLanders??? That man’s egomania really did know no bounds! 😯

  7. I love how the pianist is taking charge to rush things along while everyone else, song leader included, struggles to keep up. 😆

    1. Well…I keep a cup full of Pepsi in there when I preach. It just occurred to me that I ought to keep some dark chocolate up there, too…never know when I might get hungry for a snack…. 😆

  8. Wasn’t quite what I expected at first… until I remembered that only the really progressive fundies spend the whole season picking apart Christmas songs for implying that there were only three kings while completely ignoring how the rest of the song is a worshipful chant to a STAR.

  9. Dear SFL Reader:

    Look of the hymns of Advent! You have ‘On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry,’ and ‘Savior of the Nations, Come,’ and ‘O Christ, Come Back to Save Your Folk!’ You have ‘The Advent of our God’ and ‘O Lord, How Shall We Meet You’ and ‘O Bride of Christ, Rejoice!’ Then there is ‘Prepare the Royal Highway’ or ‘Life Up Your Heads, You Mighty Gates,’ or ‘O Come O Come Immanuel.’ If that isn’t enough, you have among many others, that gorgeous piece, ‘The King Shall Come when Morning dawns.’ An embarrassment of riches!

    Oh, but Mr. A has to give his congregation, ‘We Three Kings,’ a piece with as much theological content as Frosty the Snowman, and led with all the musicality of a king’s camel’s turds, splatting on Mid-Eastern soil in an otherwise silent night.

    Presumably, the redeeming factor is that Mr. A’s worship leading is the perfect compliment to Mr. A’s preaching.

    Christian Socialist

    PS: Was anyone else secretly gratified by that distressed kid’s sporadic wailing?

    1. Wow! There is a hymn called “On Jordan’s Bank The Baptist’s Cry”!?!?! How did I manage to grow up IFB and miss out on that one!?!?!

      Because . . . as we all know, John the Baptist was so called because he was the “First Baptist” who got to baptize God Himself!!!! Which, as my fundy preacher once told me, meant that Jesus wasn’t fully God until John baptized him. So . . . we didn’t like the whole veneration of Mary thing that the Cath-licks did but we venerated John out the wazoo.

    2. I’ve been a church pianist for over 30 years (started when in jr. high), most of those years in the IFB (hymns only), so I am typically more familiar with hymns than most people, so I am chagrined to realize that I’d only heard of “Lift Up Your Heads” and “O Come, O Come.”

      Then again, those others weren’t even in our hymnals! (And, yes, I realize that a lot of what we called hymns were really “gospel songs.”)

    3. My hat’s off to you, sir. I too dislike the chromatic dirge without any significant thoelogical content. It seems like it was written for use with Living Nativities. 😛
      And from your description, I won’t be bothering with the clip. Ouch.

    1. Dear Something Different in the Air:

      The question is, ‘are you richer or poorer for knowing …’

      Christian Socialist

      PS: Only teasing. I don’t tease people I don’t like.

  10. I’m disappointed. I was a
    expecting an Anderson rant on the unbliblicalness of 3 kings, as well as other extra-biblical carols. Oh well, just really bad singing. What a waste.

  11. Two words came to mind while watching this: Grim Determination. As in, “We WILL sing this joyful Christmas song, but we’re going to get it over with as quickly as possible.”

  12. I loved the singing. I did notice him lifting the pulpits top. I noticed at the very beginning, his voice mostly drowned out the congregation. When he lifted the top and reached in, I noticed his voice decreased and I could hear the congregation singing. So, he was probably trying to regulate the speakers so everyone could be heard and his voice would not be overbearing.

    I loved the singing. A church must never be turned into the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts where everything is a performance to entertain the “masses”. We do not come to church to be entertained. We come to church to praise, honour, and glorify God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit. He may not be one of the “Three Tenors”, but he is real and singing from his heart which is more than I can say for a lot of Christians who will just sit there and not utter a note of joy, but will sit there and spend the time criticizing this mans voice in their minds with “why doesn’t the pastor get a better singer?” or “AGGGHHHHH! hopefully he will skip a verse!”

    Before you all condemn this man for praising, honouring, and glorifying God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit by singing from his heart, I strongly recommend you all think about when was the last time any of you, including myself, WILLINGLY and ZEALOUSLY praised, honoured, and glorified God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit.

    1. He’s not praising and glorifying God with this song anymore than I could by singing Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer in church. I’m sorry, but as others have already mentioned, there is no doctrine and certainly no praising of God in this song. Star praising, yes.

    2. Clique,

      Thanks for your thoughts on this. I think you helped me to think more about what the video showed us.

      Based on what I know of this church, I think he is probably the only one capable of leading the singing. Almost all attendees are new Christians. And based on what I hear in the video, he has the best voice in the congregation. All churches need to start SOMEWHERE!

      That said, I have read enough about this guy to have serious doubts about his wisdom. He is certainly intelligent. And earnest. But I think he could benefit from the counsel of an older and wiser man. Unfortunately, based on what I have heard him say, I doubt he would be willing to put himself in a position to receive such counsel.

      1. Every church could benefit from an older man who is settled down and certainly a lot wiser. Unfortunately, a lot, if not all churches seem to have the philosophy of :”keep grandpa at home to pray for us and have the pastor pick up his tithe when he visits grandpa, but put the inexperienced young, popular, charismatic, financially well to do young bucks in positions of power and authority.”

        The apostle Paul listed the requirements for a leader. In todays churches, not only IFB’s but all denominations, the churches have ignored 1 Timothy 3: 1-13 and this is what we can expect. If you ignore 1 Timothy 3: 1-13 thereby refusing a man of God, then what the church is doing is filling those positions of power with “hirelings”, and hirelings care only for themselves, and nothing for the sheep.

        Now, I realize this site is for those who have been scattered by the IFB churches. If we are on this site, we all have been scattered. Eventhough none of us may attend church anymore, or a few may still be looking hoping and praying that there is still one church left where the abomination of desolation is not sitting at yet, but, whether we attend or don’t attend, we are commanded to be faithful to God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit no matter what. We are to serve Him day, night, rain, shine, in sickness, in health, filthy rich, filthy poor, whatever. If we are so hardened by our pain and suffering that our rage toward the church and hirelings is blinding and paralyzing us from separating the church and hirelings from God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit, then satan has won and there is no hope for any of us.

        1. “Even though none of us may attend church anymore” — actually, a lot of us still do attend church. We may not be the majority, but we’re far from “none.”

          I agree that it is good for older men to have a voice in churches. Interestingly, I’ve nearly always been in churches where older people had almost ALL the voice. Sadly their impact was often not wise because they were often not interested in reflecting Scripture but rather in preserving their traditions and their comfort level (IOW, the status quo). Wisdom and experience is of inestimable value, but only when it’s combined with humility and a personal devotion to the Gospel and not to one’s personal preferences.

        2. I think most of the people on this site are committed Christians who have seen the folly of their former churches. Maybe some of us have turned to a NEW folly of one type or another. Dunno.

          One of the greatest bits of foolishness in today’s church is the practice of dividing along generational lines, whether it be Sunday School classes by age group, or “contemporary service” and “traditional service.” The older folks need the energy and new ideas of the younger folks, and the younger folks need the knowledge and wisdom of the older folks. We need to submit to each other (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5) and work with each other. Almost all trouble that I have ever seen in church was because people refused to do this, insisting rather that THEIR way was the ONLY right way.

          Someone did quite a lot of work so I wouldn’t have to do it, by creating this cool list:


          By the way, Michael Kreger and MSK are the same person. I have two computers, and I created separate logons for them, and I’m too lazy to fix it.

    3. Anderson has some SERIOUS theological problems. Also hates authority. He even prayed for Obama to die. 😥

      1. I do not know anything about him or his preaching. My comment was based strictly on him leading the congregation in song. Now if the video was of him preaching what you witnessed him preaching, then my comments would be based on that preaching , and my comments would not be favourable to him.

        1. And that is the way men like Anderson come to power and prominence. “Well, I agree with him on…” or “He speaks the truth on this…” Evein if, he doesn’t seem to be out of sorts in “this” video what does he really teach?

          One of the dumbest things that I ever heard was from a member of the pulpit search committee when I was still in the bunker system: “We don’t need to look at applications and interview candidates, just get them in here and let them preach. We can tell all we need to know by how he preaches.” And sadly that is the most dangerous statement one can make regarding looking for a “Pastor.”

          How he preaches is only an appearance, a performance. And that is what you have in essence said regarding this video. You have no problem with his performance in this video… but we know Anderson is a typical IFB, manipulative, legalistic pulpiteer. I would advise any and all who set under his teaching to run (so not walk) run to the nearest exit and don’t look back.

        2. Don,

          That is why you need to do criminal background checks and elect/appoint/hire leaders based on God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit’s requirements and not your requirements!!!!!

          If you would put your full faith and trust in God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit, and not man nor some other god, HE will help you and bless you. How do you expect God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit to bless you when you continue to live your life for the god called “hate for IFB churches who hurt me”?

          Don, be an eagle and rise above that.

        3. Well said Don! The jury is still out on “not in the clique”.. I think its a poe-troll. But I have a theory: for every “poe” there are at least 1000 IFB’ers who are exactly like the “poe”. In this case; a person setting themselves up as an arbiter of Christianity who themselves are isolated in a false doctrine unique to a small subset of contrived religious rituals and completely made up doctrine based on their own ethnicity and cultural preferences. A reasonable conversation cannot be had, you must submit to their interpretations and bias of “the bible”.
          One of the things that helped me peel off the layers of indoctrination was to accept that I may be wrong and some things I have been taught may be wrong. Then reasoning and education shed light on the garbage and false teaching of the IFB. 💡

        4. Well, my faith is not based on your false god called “public opinion”. My faith is based on the One and Only God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit in the Holy Bible which has been here since before the beginning, who created the heavens and the earth, and created all life.

          Another thing that differentiates God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit from your false god “public opinion” is that in eternity God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit will still be here while your false god will not !

  13. We 3 kings of Orient are, Smoking a rubber cigar. It was loaded, he exploded, we 2 kings of Orient are.
    😈 :mrgreen:

    1. As a child in England, we used to sing:
      We three kings of orient are,
      One in a taxi, one in a car,
      One on a scooter beeping his hooter,
      Following yonder star

      1. We three kings of orient are
        tried to smoke a rubber cigar
        it was loaded and exploded
        blew us to yonder star


        the second line is

        traveling west in our foreign car…

      2. The version I learnt was
        We three Beatles of Liverpool Square
        Selling ladies’ underwear
        How fantastic no elastic
        Only a bob * a pair

        *A shilling in decimal currency – thereby demonstrating my age

    2. Oh my gosh, Beth, I was going to mention that “version.” We sang it as kids, and I taught it to my kids when they were little. (Baaaaad Mama!) lol! 😆

    3. I learned a version of this from my dad which used the phrase, “a Robert’s cigar.” I guess “a rubber cigar” might make more sense…maybe he or I misheard it as a kid. Anyway, here’s his version:

      We three kings of Orient are
      trying to smoke a rubber cigar
      it was loaded and exploded
      now we’re on yonder star
      star of wonder, star of might
      star of royal dynamite
      it was loaded and exploded
      now we’re on yonder star

  14. This song ministry took one of my favorite Christmas carols (easily in the top 5, possibly in the top 3) and butchered it. Not just with the nasally twang but with the I-need-a-metronome-STAT! temp of the piano.

    Dear pianist: just because you want the song to get over more quickly does NOT mean you can suddenly kick up the tempo by half! The song leader may be able to keep up with you, but half the congregation will not, and the result will be a hot mess.

  15. This song was banned in my IFB church as the KJVAV1611 bible version version does not specify the number of kings that came.

    Saying that there were 3 kings is unbiblical, and is sending souls to hell every Christmas season… well according to my old fundie church.

    In fact I think there was only like 3 Christmas songs we could sing…. Its good to be free!

      1. Please consult with your local MOG to get your current approved IFB Christmas song list. It varies from MOG to MOG and from year to year. One song that is valid one year may be banned the next.

  16. Hey not in the clique,’

    your statement here – – he is real and singing from his heart which is more than I can say for a lot of Christians who will just sit there and not utter a note of joy, but will sit there and spend the time criticizing this mans voice in their minds with “why doesn’t the pastor get a better singer?” or “AGGGHHHHH! hopefully he will skip a verse!”

    Are you saying you can read what is the mind of another sitting in church? Why are you so concerned about another and their supposed thoughts?
    Are you saying you can read their hearts and convictions?

    You are the type of person folks want to avoid.

    1. I do not have to read their minds, hearts, and convictions. All I have to do is read you alls blasphemous comments to know. Shame on you ! Also, I am not the least bit surprised that I am the “type of person that folks want to avoid” considering the fact those same “folks” do everything in their human power to avoid God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit.

    2. The man is singing from his heart, which is honest noble, but that doesn’t make it any less discordant to the ear. 🙄

  17. One ridiculous thing I would like to point out about IFBism is their hypocrisy on music. They will rant and rave and feed you lines about “giving your best to gid” enforcing absurd rules on you to achieve ‘your best” and yet this video is classic of the low grade of music you will find in many if not most IFB churches.
    Also, their “standard on giddly music” — this sounds like “saloon” music the way the pianist is monstrously banging on the keys! They are singing in a worldly fashion! How can THIS glorify gid!!!??

    1. HIS name is not “gid”. HIS name is GOD. You may not like IFBers, but at least have respect for the one who holds the key to your hell and death.

      But then, the Holy Bible does teach to Love God, Love your neighbour, but if you have no love for your neighbour, how can you say that you love God?

      1. Actually, God’s name is not “God.” It’s “Yahweh.” (Or “Jehovah,” depending on the translation.)

      2. NITC you missed the joke. Please see this post:
        I am not talking about God i am referring to the false gid of the fundamentalist movement. (That usually is the paper gid of the kjb).
        One thing you display that is a tell tale sign of a fundy apologist is a sincere lack of humility. Despite my 35 years of indepth study in fundamentalism i realize i must study more and correct much man made error. You may want to start the process of introspection and pursue the hard questions of why you believe what you believe. Here is a help: your pastor is wrong on some of his interpretations of the scripture.

    2. That’s one way to single out the Fundy slant, using “gid” for “God”, and that’s just about how they pronounce it, too. Then there’s “the LAWD Gawd Almighty” and “in the na-yem of JEE-zuz!” (and the really good ones can wring four syllables out of JEE-zuz). 😀
      No disrespect, just mild amusement at the way pastors will say this stuff. Do they go to a special school to learn to talk that way? 😆

  18. I for one found this to be a rare candid moment from a prickly pastor. Like a porcupine momentarily revealing his soft underside.

  19. Sometimes when I have been at an IFB church, it seems like the worship leader is not happy, or has this dour look on his face. Is this common in IFB churches? Seems to be worship should be a joyous occasion, not one where the worship leader looks unhhappy or dour.

    1. I can tell you from experience that song leaders in an IFB church have very little reason to be happy. If they are not being micromanaged by the MOG, they are being slammed by the congregation for singing heathen, non-Baptist songs like “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” And that song will be criticized by the MOG as well, because “nobody knows what a bulwark is anyway.” [“you sniveling simpleton song-leader” is implied here.]

      When I say “micromanaged by the MOG,” your mental image should be along the lines of a puppet and his puppeteer. Not the puppets on a string, either. I’m talking about the kind of puppets where the puppeteer shoves his arm up the puppet’s fifth point of contact and manipulates his jaws. That’s pretty much how it is to be the song leader in an IFB church. The MOG makes you report to him with your list of songs so he can criticize you and change all your selections. Sometimes, he doesn’t tell you about changes until two minutes before the service is supposed to start. Sometimes, he NEVER tells you, and his wife comes running up to you just as you are about to step up to the podium. He stopped printing the songs in the bulletin quite some time ago so that he could reserve the right to change things “as the Spirit leads,” so you never know for sure what is supposed to happen with the songs. You have to bring your own list and hope for the best.

      Or he might decide that you aren’t dressed “right,” and so he will just grab someone else out of the congregation at random and give him a hymnal and tell him to lead the singing instead. Or he might call you late on Saturday to tell you about some new rules that “I thought we already discussed” that have the effect of completely destroying tomorrow’s order of service that you had prepared (and briefed to him) a week or two beforehand.

      All this stuff happened to me. Each was done by a man who was a genuinely nice man if he wasn’t in the church building, but who was trained by WCBC and HAC in the notion that the MOG must be in absolute control of all things at all times, and nobody had the right to question his decisions or get upset about them.

      Any further questions about why the song leader looks unhappy or dour?

      1. That’s terrible!

        Another reason they might be dour is that they do not really understand the Gospel. When the focus is on keeping standards to please God, the result is often discouragement because it’s so very hard!!! If they could only learn to rest in the fact that JESUS is our righteousness, they could rejoice, but as long as they are busy trying to prove their own righteousness, they cannot really appreciate God’s love, grace, and mercy.

    2. I was a song leader at an IFB church for years and MSK is right. Its a very frustrating job as you not only have to deal with the constant changing rules but the critical people as well. I literally HATED when Christmas would come around, I would leave each service stressed and about to pull my hair out over the bickering over the music.

      The biggest issue is having to deal with a power hungry Pastor’s wife or their kids (particularly the pastor’s daughters) as they can really bring hell fire and damnation upon a song leader if they don’t do things their way. I always knew staff meetings were going to be hell on wheels if I had a run in with the pastor’s daughters or wife.

      I love music, and unfortunately that’s what trapped me in the IFB church for such a long time. I knew there was more out there, but I enjoyed teaching and putting together music. It was hard to let go, but to anyone holding on like I did, let me tell you there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow out there, so sooner you get out, the happier you will be.

      1. Oh, yes. Pastor’s daughters are the absolute worst (my mom was one, and she agrees with this assessment). Trouble is, so many people fawn over them in a pathetic attempt to curry favor with the MOG, these girls grow into adulthood thinking they really are something special. The little demon in my story was installed as the piano player as a 15-year-old (displacing another lady, by the way). On one song, I couldn’t figure out when to come in. It wasn’t a hard song; it was the Gaither’s “Something Beautiful.” Just the chorus. Not my choice; the MOG had forced it on me. Anyway, after church, I went over to her to figure out what was going on, where I could actually see the music (the MOG had only given me the lyrics). I tried to count her in, and figured out the problem. She was skipping the final two counts of the introduction, and starting early. NO WONDER I couldn’t start right! She was screwing up!


        It wasn’t long before I went to the MOG to resign, and once I had told him that I was finished, he told me that “at least three” people had gone to him and told him that they were unable to worship God as long as I was leading the singing. Apparently, it isn’t acceptable to demonstrate that the MOG’s Little Angel isn’t a competent pianist, even if you do it as gently as possible.

        1. WOW! I had pretty much the exact same problem. When you try to help them and I ended up getting the beat down from the MOG.

          When I resigned, the MOG however made an announcement to the church that put the thought in the mind of the people that I was having an affair and had to resign.

          Funny thing is, since we left, me and my wife have has the best relationship we have had in a long time!

      2. When my husband was youth/music pastor at one church, a new pastor was hired. His wife was incredibly nasty to my husband, including chewing him out over the “horrible” choir. She ended up taking it over and leading it herself. I didn’t hear any difference. 🙄

        My husband came home a couple times ready to resign; once he even wrote out the letter, but we held in there to stay a full year to help the church transition to his leadership. But it was miserable.

        1. For far too many people, the pastorate isn’t a calling; it is a career. You were competition. You had to be crushed.

          Jeremiah 23:1-4. I think it should be required daily reading for all preacher boys in all seminaries. They should start every class by reciting it. It should be read aloud to them in chapel.

        2. Thanks for the feedback everyone. It gives me a good perspective on what is going on. I was only in the IFB movement for about a year. I think their theology is sound in many areas, but it seemed like more of the focus was building a relationship with rules, rather than the Lord. For a guy who is a bit of a perfectionist, I think IFB is a dangerous place to be. It’s very easy to want to look for perfectionism in one self, rather than in the Lord.

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