I am often amused by repeated historical complaints in the church, especially those pertaining to music. People will use all kinds of reasoning to support getting what they like.
Robert Morgan tells about one such complaint in his book Near to the Heart of God.
When Ira Sankey and Fanny Crosby came along, they introduced a new kind of church music by relaxing the melodies, adding choruses, lightening the messages, and calling them gospel songs. This didn’t go over well with everyone. Robert Anderson, for example, thought Crosby’s song “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” was ‘reeking with mere sentiment.’
How familiar that all sounds. I’ve heard some of these same complaints about the contemporary music being sung in church today. Most people don’t like change, but outside the church it is a mere nuisance. Inside the church, change is heresy.
Fanny Crosby is one of America’s most beloved hymn writers penning songs like “Tell me the Story of Jesus,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Rescue the Perishing,” and “He Hideth my Soul.” Crosby wrote thousands of hymns many of which are the favorites of today’s traditional church.
It would be nice if one day we could learn from history and realize that just because something we love about church changes doesn’t make it heresy.