[+] mosaicnashville.org Forum Index :: Sunday's Conversation :: Outdated Christmas Songs Page 1 of 5 [ Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next ]

   View previous topic :: View next topic 
[+] Outdated Christmas Songs
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:27 pm
Sam
Newbie
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 41




It struck me today that the songs we sing at Christmas, while familiar, sentimental, and meaningful, are a bit outdated in their language, especially when it comes to gender inclusivism.

I think it would be neat (and a way for Mosiac to make a difference in order to connect with others) if we pooled our creative talent to either rewrite the Christmas songs we love, or pen some new carols that are relevant for today and speak to God's love for everyone.

Doesn't it seem a bit ancient when we sing:
"Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that manno more may die.
Born to raise the sonsof earth,
Born to give them second birth."

Or:
"Hail, th'incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with mento dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!"

Or:
"Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart and soul, and voice...
He hath oped the heavenly door,
And manis blessed evermore."

A simple use of the words we, us, them, all, or one(s) will fix the language problem. Doesn't it seem a but self-defeating when Christians talk about inclusivism but then use langauge that excludes half of the population?

Mosaic could really set a standard in worship and church polity by changing a few small words.

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:11 pm
Indie
Has ideas
 
Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 71
Location: lost and confused




Yeah, I was thinking the same thing during the service today. I did hear Shawn singing different words to the second passage you quoted but thats not what was on the screen. In my opinion, saying things like "born that man no more may die" is like saying "Jesus came to save white people" then expecting people to understand that, of course, other people are included too. If the latter phrase was in our songs there is no way we'd sing them.

I know some people think this is not really a big deal. They think that everyone understands that everyone is included. But does my 20 month old daughter understand that everyone is included? I was talking to a woman a couple of days ago who said she read a study that children in the 2-5 year old age range actually think that there are more men in the world than women. That is what happens when we show more men than women in media. Of course, once children understand that there are not more men than women they start to believe that men are included more because they are more important.

Several years ago the preacher at our church attempted to do a mothers day sermon on the female images of God in scripture. He didn't do a great job, but at least he was trying. Then the song after the sermon was "Faith of Our Fathers." Its really hard for me to understand how people can be so clueless.

_________________
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. - CS Lewis

[+] don't be rediculous
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:13 pm
astrotoby
Has ideas
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 95
Location: earth




Dost' mine ears deceive me?

Come on, these aren't legal documents or instruction manuals or data entries. These are songs, for goodness sakes. And these particular songs happen to be classic works of sacred art.

Give them their propper place. Treasure them for what they are, beautiful expressions from artists who were inspired to create art that reflects loftier themes. You don't see people going around trying to update other forms of classic sacred art, like literature or visual art. You don't see people trying to re-write John Donne poems. You don't see people trying to re-sculpt Michelangelo's Pieta.

Even if it's not exactly sacred art, you don't even see people re-writing the Flintstones theme, "we'll have a gay old time", or Emimen songs that say "faggot". It's just not a cool thing to do.

If you want politically correct songs, write some politically correct songs. Don't mess with someone else's songs. These people were inspired. They felt something deeply. And they created these wonderful majestic masterpieces that have stood the test of time. Appreciate their art, don't insult it by trying to update it to modern English or current standards of political correctness. This is the most rediculous suggestion I've seen on this forum.

They are songs. Written by authors, composers, artists. Have a little respect.

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 8:57 pm
scribebytrade
Has ideas
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 81
Location: belmont U




and while we're at it, perhaps we can rewrite the bible as well. wouldn't want to let that one go...

_________________
christy
AIM Address

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:31 pm
lynnette
Newbie
 
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 21
Location: miles from where i used to be




I don't think it is asking too much to update the gender-exclusive language in some of the most beloved songs of the church. During the time that these hymns were written, the word "men" was meant to include both men and women...or at least it was inclusive some of the time. How can anyone really be sure when it was meant to include and when it was not? I would like to believe that the writers of these songs meant "men" to include all of humanity. But what if they didn't?

I suppose it really doesn't matter what the original intent of the writer was. Can we not say that the word "men" does not have the same sort of inherent inclusivity in this day and age that it used to have? Can we not make a point of making sure that our language does not exclude an entire group of people? Is it too much to ask that we intentionally look at the words we choose as one way to ensure that the message we communicate is heard in a way that makes sense for today's people of God?

Changing a few words to be gender-inclusive keeps nearly all of the textual integrity of the songs, allowing the church to sing rich hymns from its history while at the same time communicating a message that is relevant for today.

and maybe we should look at some of the language in the Bible as well. often, the Greek communicates an inclusivity that is not reflected in the English translation.

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:45 pm
Sam
Newbie
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 41




Quote:
and while we're at it, perhaps we can rewrite the bible as well. wouldn't want to let that one go...


I think scribebytrade has made an excellent suggestion. Not only the language, but some of the concepts used in Scripture are completely irrelevant for our time. There are some translations that offer an inclusive language, but we as 21st century Christians would also do well to dismiss the notion that what the Bible speaks of is always literal.

The sun standing still in the sky, fire coming down from heaven, and seas parting are all stories that have great truth to them but are no more factual than myths like Paul Bunyan or Jack and the Beanstalk. For Christianity to proclaim such stories as factual is an insult to human intelligence. And the ideas that homosexuals are sinners, that men are superior and that Christians are right are an insult a loving God.

Even Jesus rewrote Scripture. We would do well to follow his example.

[+] aaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:24 pm
astrotoby
Has ideas
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 95
Location: earth




Did you even read my last post? Because you didn't seem to get the point of it. You don't comprehend that it's an author's work.

If you want gender inclusive songs then write some. Don't change some other song's lyrics. Geeeezzz!!!!!

[+] aaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! again.
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:41 pm
astrotoby
Has ideas
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 95
Location: earth




This has got to be the craziest thing I ever heard tell. I don't care who John Donne was in his personal life, it doesn't matter. Yes I've read the flea, and by the way I don't really think it's crap, I think it's genius. The last thing I'm trying to do is set up freaking John Donne as some kind of spiritual giant, for goodness sakes. Who cares? I don't care. I don't think Eminem's a spiritual giant either, and I still don't think you should change his lyrics. If someone writes a song, that's the song. If you don't like it, stop singing it and write a new one. If you like it then sing it and don't bitch about it.

I sing songs that have questionable lyrics in them once in awhile. I sing songs by people who's personal lives are probably morally suspect. But that doesn't mean I should change the song's lyrics so I can feel better. The song is how it is, it's how it was meant to be. It already exists. Re-writes are cheap immitations.

Also, Chaucer get's "translated" because it's written in an unintelligeble language to us, the same way Marquez or Tolstoy get translated. It's not being re-written.

Oh, and another thing, Sam, even though it's a completely different subject: Jesus was freaking GOD, so I guess if he wants to rewrite the bible he can go ahead.

If you can follow his example and be GOD, then you can go ahead and rewrite the bible too, and we'll all start worshiping YOU.

This has nothing to do with songs or gender inclusion, but it's probably good advice.


Last edited by astrotoby on Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:46 pm
scribebytrade
Has ideas
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 81
Location: belmont U




well, at least i know i can always rely on toby to tell it like it is...

saves me the trouble of formulating a reply.

_________________
christy
AIM Address

[+] Re: Outdated Christmas Songs
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:53 pm
Indie
Has ideas
 
Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 71
Location: lost and confused




Toby, did you read all of Sam's original post?

Sam wrote:
I think it would be neat (and a way for Mosiac to make a difference in order to connect with others) if we pooled our creative talent to either rewrite the Christmas songs we love, or pen some new carols that are relevant for today and speak to God's love for everyone.

_________________
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. - CS Lewis

[+] I sure did
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:01 pm
astrotoby
Has ideas
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 95
Location: earth




Yes I read that and I say if he thinks he can pull it off he should give it a shot. And if in 50 years something in his carefully politically correct lyrics ends up being construed as offensive, I hope that the offended party will go ahead and make a new song up instead of bitching about Sam's.

[+] 
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:26 pm
scribebytrade
Has ideas
 
Joined: 07 Nov 2004
Posts: 81
Location: belmont U




alright. here's my take on the entire issue of political correctness and gender inclusivism (or exclusivism; whichever way you'd have it).

maybe you can attribute it to oversaturation in american culture or something. but i just get really tired of hearing about how we need to do away with idioms such as mankind because it somehow excludes women. i grew up pretty close to DC... i've seem all kinds of women's rights protests. much of it (not all) seems entirely uneccessary.

when these people wrote these hymns/christmas carols, they referred to men and women as men. traditionally, that's how you'll find it in most documents prior to the past few decades. we all know that men and women both are being called upon by such a reference. we know it's that way in scripture; we understand it to be so. if your 20 month old doesn't understand that now, she will when it counts. if she thinks there's more men in the world than women--now, call me crazy--but what difference does it make? as we grow up, we find these things out... when they matter. if people can't overlook (and really, it shouldn't even be a matter of overlooking) the fact that these songs don't mention women by name, and focus on the heart of their meanings rather than gender inclusivisim, then i think there is a greater problem that we need to be focusing on.

someone will inevitably be offended by pretty much everything; that's something you can stake your life upon. if you rewrite christmas songs, something else will be wrong with them within the next ten years. so the answer? leave it alone, or take your own stab at it.

and as for rewriting the bible, i kind of hope you were being sarcastic about most of that, mostly because scripture isn't something we rewrite every few years to fit our preferences. to even attempt that would be disgustingly presumptuous of us falliable human beings, wouldn't you say? and i'm not talking about translations.

alright. i've said my piece. have at it, folks.

_________________
christy
AIM Address

[+] 
Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:10 am
Sam
Newbie
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 41




I'm really enjoying this conversation. We're discussing real issues with real honesty, which should be a primary function of any church.

In regards to rewriting Scripture, I don't calim to be God any more than Paul, Matthew, David or Luke did. And what I think is interesting about Jesus 'rewriting' Scripture is that he changed people's perspectives on suffocating and ancient texts because they were prohibiting people from expereincing the love of God. I do think we today can do the same thing by presenting the wonderful truths of the ancient Scriptures in a new light so more people can connect with a beautiful God. It doesn't mean we eliminate entire chapters of the Bible, but it may mean that we realize some of the things written are contrary to who God is and what God can do. The Bible is simply a book, and while it communicates great truth and love, was put together by men ('men' in this sense does mean only men, as there is no record of women influencing cannonization) in order to codify what they believed, thereby alienating those they deemed as heretical.

An open dialogue today about the harmful effects of outdated Scripture could open all of our eyes to the hindrances the Bible has caused in terms of a relationship with God. I think we would also see that a large part of these hindrances are based upon gender and other superficial qualifications and not upon any sort of tangible 'truth from on high.'

[+] 
Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 10:25 am
Scott Mc
Has ideas
 
Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 85
Location: E Nash




Quote:
And what I think is interesting about Jesus 'rewriting' Scripture is that he changed people's perspectives on suffocating and ancient texts because they were prohibiting people from expereincing the love of God.


Was it the text that was suffocating and prohibitive, or was it the use (or misuse) of the text by an elitist legalistic class of scholars/clergy? I guess their use was also facilitated by a general population that was willing to cede a lot of their spiritual lives to this class. In this case, I would fault the people, not the book. This is a conflict that has continued through the history of the church, up through today. There are parties on both ends of the philosophical spectrum that want to use the Bible as a tool for reaching some sort of personal end (power, personal comfort, ideological preference, social agenda, etc.)

How do we determine which parts of the ancient scriptures are wonderful truths and which parts are contrary to who God is? What do we look to in defining who God is? I agree with you, Sam, that there is a lot of mystery in God that cannot be contained in a book or our minds or anywhere, so I'm not asking for a definition or end-all be-all list of characteristics. I am asking for a source of reference for who God is that could pursuade a person to understand the ways in which the book might misrepresent God.
Some people use the term "authority of scripture" to say why the Bible is true and who God is. Let's then say the bible is not authoritative or reliable. Is there an authoritative source? Or is this a question that is asked by people who want a list of who God is and how they should interact with Him?

How does God's sovereignty and his ability to control what might be included in the book play a part in this?

[+] 
Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:20 pm
WEstberry
Newbie
 
Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5




Great were talking about Music...can we please update the songs on Sunday mornings...maybe do away with David Crowder...it's possible that his music is very much appealing to a select few.... some may feel that his music is not very inclusive either
We can talk about my insecurity later though…

It's always interesting to see what people can come up with on a forum
To try and seem.... what’s the term I’m looking for
"Progressive"

First off singing, "born that man no more may die" is not like saying
"Jesus came to save white people"
That doesn't make any sense at all....

The author of the song is not making a class preference “he/she” is referring to scripture
Possibly look at John 3:16 for clarification
I think it's obvious that he means mankind.


If singing these hymns are really so offensive
Then write some new ones...like Sam said... I think that’s a good idea
But what happens when people...men or woman, who might not be offended bit the crass words of other hymnists...rebel and stomp their feet for the good old songs...the real sexist ones. Like silent night…how will we include their prefernce if they like the original words?
What if someone was offended by the word Virgin?
Would we take it out?

I went thought a situation like this on the road once with a group.
We were playing a conference
And one of the songs was by the artist Fred Hammond
the song quoted David's psalm.
"What is man that thou art mindful of him”?
And people got offended. They wanted us to change the words because they felt that the song excluded women... but they never could tell us how
We refused, and simply stopped using it in our set
I wasn’t about to change another artist's work because of someone's silly insecurity

If an author… was trying to separate men and women, then as an artist that his/her right
As for the hymnist, I don't know what he meant... I think I could live a great life never knowing
I don't think that's the point of the song

I think Astrotoby has it right...this is someone's art.... if you don't like it then don’t' sing it, but don't disrespect someone else’s creation because of your own issues.

ps…if anything that I’ve written needs updating because of a bad translation….feel free to change the words to fit your needs


[/quote]

[+] mosaicnashville.org Forum Index :: Sunday's Conversation :: Outdated Christmas Songs Page 1 of 5 [ Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next ]

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT - 6 Hours  

  
  

     

 
Forum Index | Log in | Register | FAQ | Memberlist | Usergroups | Search
Forum powered by phpBB 2.0.10 © 2001-2004 phpBB Group.
Original EOS theme by Vjacheslav Trushkin
Theme customization by Josh Jones
Hosting by ICG Link, inc.