Tuesday, 5 May 2009

This is way beyond parody

The following is a hymn commissioned for the opening festival service of the ACC in Jamaica. One commentator has described it in this way: “If ever there was horizontal hymn-singing this was it….”
Essentially, “here’s the agenda, Lord, forget all that stuff about revelation, scripture and doctrine, and just get in line, whoever you are!”
If it were a parody of the prevailing mood of western Anglicanism – which I thought it had to be when I first saw it - it couldn’t have been more wickedly put together. It seems, though, according to the ACNS report, that it’s the genuine article: 100% pure dross!

This is the immortal masterpiece, I think sung to an adaptation of Beethoven’s tune, “Ode to Joy,” although surely someone could have been commissioned to write a tune called “Liberal Agenda” for the occasion.

Lord of our diversity
unite us all we pray,
welcome us to fellowship/
in your inclusive way.

Teach us all to have respect,
to love and not deride.
Save us from the challenges
of selfishness and pride.

Sanctify our listening
and help us get the sense
of perplexing arguments
before we take offence

Teach us that opinions which
at first might seem quite strange
may reflect the glory of
your great creative range

May the Holy Spirit now
show us the way preferred
May we follow the commands
of your authentic word.

There are no words left with which to comment ………

Or what about these from G. K. Chesterton? They aim at doing a similar job but in recognisably Christian language and without the politically correct b.s.!
There's also a theme of genuine repentance running through the hymn; that's what dates it, not the last verse!

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honour, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, beyond parody. How earnest and how naff. Sure to be as popular in the pews and streets as... in the States, 'Administrative Professionals Day'.


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