Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Worst Christmas Carols - Bob Hiller

All I want for Christmas is you … to think critically about the songs you sing in church, even during Advent and Christmas.

This is the time of year where some of our weakest, most heterodox, and downright strange hymns get loads of undeserved attention. It is rather frustrating that these hymns tend to be quite popular!

It's very you will very likely sing them in your church this season, despite their dangerous teachings. After all, good theology is no match for nostalgia.

All I want for Christmas is you…to think critically about the songs you sing in church, even during Advent and Christmas.

5. Do You Hear What I Hear? Here’s a song that is just trying too hard to be profound. Instead of propounding some penetrating spiritual insight, it merely recounts a game of telephone taking place on the night Jesus was born.

4. Away In A Manger. This song exemplifies one perpetual problem we find plaguing Christmas hymns: sentimental Gnosticism. There is something inside of us that doesn’t want to think of our Lord as being fully human. We want to clean him up. We think it impious and crass to speak of the holy infant as a baby who fills his holy diaper and keeps his parents up at night crying for milk.

3. We Three Kings of Orient Are. Liturgically, this song doesn’t belong to Christmas either. The magi are men of Epiphany. In light of this, I am recommending that my church do an Epiphany Living Nativity. Only, in this one, instead of everyone standing around, reverently gazing at the baby Jesus doll, we’ll have six or seven overly costumed magicians chasing my two year old around our parking lot while Mary cooks dinner and Joseph has bad dreams.

2. Little Drummer Boy. This one is just absurd. Never mind that the story isn’t true, never mind that it is full of works righteousness (do your best and then the baby Jesus will smile at you), never mind any of that. What mother lets a drummer perform for her newborn baby?

1. Silent Night. The main idea of this hymn is not…well…true. The night when Jesus was born was not a silent or quiet one. Mary gave birth to a baby next to a feeding trough.  Far from the Gnostic, sentimentalized picture of Jesus with glorious beams of light shooting from his face, our Lord was born into a loud, sinful, messy world in a loud, painful, bloody way.

The full article is available here