An African hymn...

(w/thanks to Eric) As postmodern man becomes more alienated from nature's God and nature, it's inevitable that our poetry suffers. Thus modern hymns and spiritual songs are devoid of the hard facts of life. Who today is writing hymns about sheep? About green pastures, still waters, and the comfort of our shepherd's rod and staff?

Instead, contemporary worship music is...

sentiment, the musical equivalent of emoticons.

Here's an antidote from the church in Africa. The words are from a hymn written by a Ghanian sister named Afua Kuma:

If Satan troubles us,

Jesus Christ

You who are the lion of the grasslands

You whose claws are sharp

Will tear out his entrails

And leave them on the ground

 For the flies to eat.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


The darkness of Africa has not snuffed out our Lord's light, while our comfort and lightness seems to have trivialized all that was the faith. One has to love how gut-eral her hymn is, or that it returns the faith to the concrete terms of blood, life, and death that faces all men, but moreso which is understood by the congregation's people.

I wish I'd written that...

That is so visceral, and so biblical.

Maybe a whole new genre of modern imprecatory Church music is coming?

Great lines. Bold and full of faith.

Well, if we want imprecatory lyrics, we could just as easily go back to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" ...

>>if we want imprecatory lyrics

We do. It would be twisted to love the God of judgment while refusing to love His judgment. Generations past have sung of His judgment; why not ours?

And of course, the answer is that we don't preach His judgment, so why would we hymn it? The Church's music is her theology, sung.


Exactly and therein lies the problem.

Could we sing this in church? Or at least have the choir sing it?

Justin - agreed. I have sung BHOTR in church, and it works well that way, but that was also in a country where the song has none of the political and historical baggage which I gather it still has in America.

Add new comment