Sources are telling us that the popular hymn “They will know we are Christians by our love” is set for an updated version.
Chris T. Mas, spokesperson for the popular hymn publisher Sin(g) Boldly!, made the following statement:
“The old hymn is really popular and we hate to make such a change, but we felt compelled to. The key line of the hymn is that people will know we are Christian by love. But that’s just not the case any more with so much of Christianity in America. So we made the executive decision to change up the words to better reflect who the church is — at least the segment of the church that is our target market.”
The key change in wording is the refrain which will change from “they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they will know we are Christians by our love.”
In its place the new version of the hymn’s refrain will be “they will know we are Christians by our cruelty, by our cruelty. Yes, they will know we are Christians by our cruelty.”
Mas acknowledged that the new refrain isn’t as catchy as the original, but better captures the reality for larger segments of Christianity in America.
Mas said, “Whether we are talking about finding ways to reject strangers who are coming here even to the point of separating families, or putting our faith in guns to keep us safe, or promoting policies and laws that make life harder for the LGBTQ+ community, or coming up with innovative ways to ignore the poor, we’re just trying to make sure our hymnology is congruent with our lived theology.”
“The Beatitudes and the bible’s message of welcoming the stranger, loving our enemies, and advocating for the poor just seem so outdated these days,” continued Mas. “Nowadays real Christians are known by who they don’t like and the policies that we can implement and impose on everyone else. Why not put that in the music to help share this good news! It’s not like justice and concern for the other are major themes throughout all of Scripture.”
The new edition of Sin(g) Boldly! will be out in time for Christmas. Mas has confirmed that the publishing house is looking at updating other hymns to meet the times. Those under consideration are “Amazing Grace,” “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” The proposals are to change the wording to “Amazing Gullibility,” “A Mighty Fundraising Appeal in our Church,” and “The Old Rugged Individualism.” A meeting of the executive team plans on meeting next week with an announcement coming the following week.
Originally published at https://pastormatthewbest.com on July 19, 2022.