Brian Fuller, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Concord, New Hampshire, defended the use of contemporary worship hymns in a recent blog. This church has been called “the flagship of BJU-FBF (Bob Jones University-Fundamental Baptist Fellowship) in New England.” Its Christian Leadership Conference on March 31 will feature Jim Berg of BJU and Matt and Christy Taylor of the Wilds. Fuller writes: “If I recall correctly, it was at our 2003 New England Leadership Conference that Dr. David Parker sang How Deep the Father’s Love for Us to a capacity crowd of New England fundamentalists. A chorus of hearty ‘amens’ followed this theologically robust text and appropriate tune by Stuart Townend. That was 2003. This is 2012. You see, 2003 was a somewhat blissful time when the ‘association’ or ‘source’ question of the original style of modern hymns wasn’t being necessarily fingerprinted. That benevolent spirit of heartily affirming the truths of these modern hymns has all but evaporated, unfortunately. Frankly, as a believer I feel a little ‘robbed’ that the spiritual gift I received in hearing that hymn back in 2003 has now been flagged as a potential stumbling block to other believers. Beyond the ‘offense’ objection, I have discovered that there seems to be a political element to this issue. In attending conferences and fellowships, I have noticed the ‘source and association’ issue of modern hymnody is raised with rapidity and frequency. If not stated explicitly, the attitudinal implications of some of the discussions are that there is little room at the table for a difference of opinion. A pastor’s ‘true-blue’ separatism might be questioned if he discerningly embraces these modern hymns. There is a definitive suspicion that is detected from others about your teetering on the ‘slippery slope’ if you view the source and association elements as mostly irrelevant, illogical or extra-biblical” (“Of Modern Hymnody at Trinity, Feb. 13, 2012). Fuller went on to defend the Getty/Townend “contemporary hymn movement” as being (allegedly) different in character than the Contemporary Christian Music field. In this he is dead wrong.
(Friday Church News Notes, February 24, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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