Thursday, August 08, 2013

Presbyterians Delete God's Character from Hymnal

PCUSA chooses against "In Christ Alone"

The Presbyterian Church USA decided a popular hymn citing the "wrath of God was satisfied" is not consistent with its theology.

“I don’t see this as an isolated case. It fits into a wider pattern of downplaying parts of Christian doctrine that are offensive.”
-- Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL

“Hide not the offense of the cross, lest you make it of none effect.”
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)
For background, read Liberal 'Churches' Continue to Wither and also read Liberal 'Churches' Conforming to Decadent Culture

-- From "Presbyterians' decision to drop song from hymnal stirs debate" by Bob Smietana, The Tennessean 8/4/13

The original ["In Christ Alone"] lyrics say that “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” The Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song wanted to substitute the words, “the love of God was magnified.”

The song’s authors, Stuart Townend and Nashville resident Keith Getty, objected. So the committee voted to drop the song.

Debate over “In Christ Alone” is a mix of church politics, the touchy subject of updating hymn lyrics and rival views of what Jesus’ death on the cross meant.

“People think that we’ve taken the wrath of God out of the hymnal,” Bringle said. “That’s not the case. It’s all over the hymnal. The issue was the word ‘satisfied.’ ”

But the Rev. Scott Sauls, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, disagrees. He said the word “satisfied” means that Jesus paid the whole price for sins.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "God's wrath taboo subject for PCUSA hymnal" by Laura Erlanson/staff, Baptist Press 7/31/13

The committee decided "it would do a disservice to this educational mission [of the new hymnal] to perpetuate ... the view that the cross is primarily about God's need to assuage God's anger," Bringle wrote.

Boyce College professor Denny Burk was not surprised.

"Although not all PCUSA churches are theologically liberal, the denomination by and large is," Burk wrote on his blog, "Liberalism and wrath go together like oil and water; they don't mix. And historically speaking, one of them eventually has to go. When wrath goes, so does the central meaning of the atonement of Christ -- penal substitution. At the end of the day, the cross itself is the stumbling block, and that is why the PCUSA cannot abide this hymn."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "PC(USA) Removes 'In Christ Alone' From Hymnal Because of Line About God's Wrath; Exclusion is Theological Blunder, Says Lay Committee President" by Melissa Barnhart, Christian Post Reporter 8/2/13

Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, told The Christian Post on Friday that the Congregational Songs Committee's decision is evidence of why churches are leaving the PC (USA).

According to LaBerge, when Christians strip away the acceptance of the full nature and character of God, because there are parts that they don't like, believers "fall into a very real and very dangerous spiritual trap of creating a religion for ourselves – a God of our own making."

The denomination's unwillingness to accept God's wrath, as a response to human sin, exemplifies where the PC (USA) stands, theologically, "on the veracity of the scriptures and the necessity of the act of Christ on the cross for the atonement for sin," she added.

LaBerge told CP that the last time the denomination adopted a new hymnal, the revisions that were made focused on inclusive language and the removal of militaristic hymns, such as "Onward, Christian Soldiers."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read CBS Gives Voice to Atheists, Heretics, & Apostates