Come Ye Sinners (the good one) — Worship Wednesday

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms

Welcome back to Worship Wednesday, where we now highlight the best of worship music that doesn’t get enough attention.  Perhaps the above lyrics are making you wonder about that commitment.  Give them a contemporary beat, and they will sound positively Hillsongian with a sprinkling of Harry Potter magic dust!

There’s a reason for that.

As it turns out, the original author of “Come Ye Sinners,” Joseph Hart, did not write that chorus.  As Indelible Grace Music explains on their page, the modified chorus came in the wake of the Second Great Awakening, the movement for which we know Charles Finney among others.  Let me process that down.  The original words of Come Ye Sinners were too Calvinistic, too reliant upon the sovereignty of God for their tastes.

death to calvinists.gif

Just to keep it short, I’ll stick to verse 4 to explain the effect of the Second Great Awakening revision.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requires
Is to feel your need of Him.

The response of the Finneyites to this truth is to arise to receive a big hug and a sprinkling of pixie dust.  But Joseph Hart says:

This He gives you, this He gives you,
‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.

The focus remains on God because saving sinners is the work of God, and God alone!

In terms of corporate worship, the melody of “Come Ye Sinners” is especially eligible for modernization because virtually nobody knows the original melody without the Finnyesque refrain.  Matthew Smith has done that work well.  Smith’s version does well as an opening song in contemporary worship settings.


“His Robes for Mine” — Worship Wednesday

As I seek to make the blog more active, “Worship Wednesday” will likely turn much less from song critique and more towards highlighting especially edifying worship songs for the church, especially as we get over the mid-week “hump.”

Today, we highlight “His Robes for Mine,” which can be found at Church Works Media, which offers its songs for free along with sheet music and even doctrinal notes!  Songwriter Chris Anderson explains in these notes that “[t]he 4 verses focus on 4 major themes included in the doctrine of justification.”

There’s no contrived emotion here.  Rather, the emotion is drawn from the glorious truths undergirding our salvation which Christ earned by His merit alone by His perfect life and death.

Enjoy, and be edified.

Album cover of Chris Tomlin album And If Our God Is For Us

Worship Wednesday: “Our God” by Chris Tomlin

Today continues our trip down the CCLI Top 100 at #2: “Our God,” written by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Jonas Myrin, and Matt Redman, though Tomlin is most well-known for actually performing it.  The following lyrics are acquired from MetroLyrics and posted here under the auspices of Fair Use.  I’ve compacted them down so as not to repeat lines.

Continue reading “Worship Wednesday: “Our God” by Chris Tomlin”

Saints at worship

Worship Wednesday: “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”

Today we begin a trek down the CCLI Top 25 songs. Yes, this changes faster than I can review, so we’ll adjust as necessary when things pop in or shift places.

Why review worship songs?  This isn’t an exercise in condemning every contemporary worship song; I’m neither hymns-only nor psalms-only.  But as a friend once put it to me, handing me a song and telling me to sing it is like handing me a prayer book and telling me to pray it.  No!  Give me time to see if this is something I should pray.

This week’s #1 song in CCLI-licensed churches is “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, reproduced here from AZLyrics.

Continue reading “Worship Wednesday: “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)””