Sinful to sing hymns?

A story came across the news wires just before the holidays. The Free Church of Scotland has traditionally allowed only a cappella settings of Psalms for congregational use. This has been the policy for the last 110 years. A vote in late November saw the church narrowly pass (98 to 84) a change in church policy that would allow hymns and the use of instruments.

One supporter of the change of policy argued:

“There are few of us who believe it is sinful to sing hymns … If worship in other (churches) is acceptable to God how can it be unacceptable in our church? Many of us love to quote from hymns. I can speak a hymn, but if I ask you to sing it it is unacceptable?”

The church trustees recommend that the status quo remain the same, but the representatives voted against their recommendation. Some members are concerned that the issue would cause the church to split.

It is hard to believe that some would think that the singing of hymns would be “sinful”? Some in our church culture today might think it sinful to sing new contemporary songs, but not likely hymns. While it is really a different issue, it is always interesting to see how music can be divisive in different contexts and cultures.

Related links:
Free Church Statement
BBC Story

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