Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.” Thus David sang, and through the ages that call to devotion in Israel has not gone ignored in the Christian Church.

Unfortunately today, however, in the ministry of music, there is too often the pagan rhythm of modern jazz, in place of the highest praise of which the Church is capable. Yet no medium, aside from the preaching of the Word of God, has greater potential value in presenting the Gospel.

Throughout the centuries, the Bible and the hymnal have ministered to the spiritual needs of man and have assisted him in his worship. But just as the Church has suffered periodic declines in spiritual power, so has church music. There are evidences of such decline today.

In many areas, provincialism has invaded the Church and has muted the effectiveness of Christian music by substituting the light frothy song for the great devotional or worship hymn. Tin-pan-alley musical settings to skimmed-milk tests, delivered with flagrant exhibitionism by a keyboard personality or a “blues” singer, reveal a startling lack of reverence.

More than one minister, deploring the trend in church music today, would say with the words of Dr. Vernon McGee, pastor of the Church of the Open Door, Los Angeles:

The spiritual level of the church today is recorded in the type of music and the character of the songs that are sung. If that’s true, then the present-day church has hit a new low. Today the catchy tune is the thing which is popular, and frankly you can dance to some present-day church music. On the radio you can’t always be sure whether it’s a ballad, boogie, bebop, or the latest chorus of the church. Several song writers are getting ...

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