Are These Songs Unscriptural?

Jess Whitlock

This is from one of the last Question & Answer sessions for which Guy N. Woods (1908-1993) was noted, and edited for space. I heard him several times in such efforts. I have known of congregations in Texas and Oklahoma that have split over the very subject discussed. It is taken from Over the Vast HorizonAuthorized Biography of Guy N. Woods, written by brother Harrell Davidson in 2003, pages 272-273.

Question: Is it unscriptural to sing songs like Savior Grant Me Rest and Peace, Savior Teach Me Day by Day, More Love to Thee O Christ, and My Faith Looks Up to Thee?

ANSWER: Friends, it is incredible to me that anybody could think that such great songs as these have been sung by the saints through many, many generations would in any way be unscriptural in nature. I consider objections of the type to be nitpicking. Now you can tell them that I said so if you would like. It is based upon the absurd view that a person cannot address a petition of any kind to Christ. That’s the reason why these objections are offered. Why, I have been hearing this off and on for a number of years. In fact, occasionally you will hear of a congregation that splits over how to express our positions and whether it is ever right to address a petition to Christ. Why, we have examples of it in the New Testament. How can a person say it is wrong to sing praises to our Savior when we have, for example, Stephen’s statement, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Are we going to question this revelation of the Holy Spirit as being wrong? Of course these songs are not wrong. It is absurd to say that they are and it is based upon a mistaken notion.

Occasionally there are songs that do have unscriptural sentiments, but that is when the sentiments violate some positive statement. There is one song (I do not know whether it is in this book or not) that refers to the “spilt” blood of Christ. Well, this is especially objectionable to me. If you spill something, you do it accidentally. He poured out His blood willingly, gladly, voluntarily in our behalf. We ought not to use statements of that type. …so it points up the fact that we must remember that we are to sing with the spirit and with the understanding.

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