Friday, May 15, 2015

An Excellent Graduation Gift

This post is not related to anything liturgical or sacramental or even Wesleyan or Anglican.  However, it is pastoral in nature.

Graduation season is upon us.  During this season, pastors are always looking for something appropriate to give to high school (and college, etc.) graduates.  They usually want to give something that is somehow "spiritual" (whatever that means).  After all, it is coming from the pastor!  -  The Christian bookstores have all of those "Devotions for Graduates" books, which are fine.  But, if you are like me, you often see those as the kind of default gift when you can't find anything else.

However, I have a suggestion that I think is especially appropriate for those young ladies who are graduating from high school.  It is an excellent, little book by author and speaker, Missy Helderman.  The book is title, She Believes: Uniquely Designed with Purpose in Mind.

I've known Missy for quite some time.  (We won't say how long!)  We graduated from Floyd Central High School together, and while in high school, we were both active members of the "Good News Club."  She is a good friend and a wonderful Christian woman.

When I first heard that she had written a book, I was the first to sign up to get a copy, and I was not disappointed!  I had my college age daughter read the book after I finished it, and she agreed that this would be very appropriate for young ladies graduating from high school.  -  Now, I don't mean to imply that the book is only appropriate for such young ladies!  In fact I would recommend it for any who are seeking to discover who they are and what their life is all about.  But, as a pastor, I immediately thought, this would be a great graduation gift!

I would encourage you to take a look at Missy's website.  There you can read about Missy and take a closer look at her book.  Or you can go straight for the purchase for just $9.99, here!
 
 The promo. for the book says:

Are you feeling like a round peg in a square hole but dream of more? …a life a purpose?
Have you wondered why no matter how hard you try to be what others expect, there are things you just can’t seem to change?
She Believes takes you on a journey that leads to freedom to be who God created, dream the dreams placed within you, and do what only you can do…what you were created for.
Discover, Embrace & CELEBRATE the design God intentionally tailored within you for purpose & destiny.
Your Design Matters !
 
 
And here is what people are saying about the book: 

God takes each of us through a journey of discovery, a journey of connecting with our heavenly Father and growing into who He has created us to be. I firmly believe God has created each of us as a beautiful daughter with a unique and fulfilling destiny. Missy does an excellent job of guiding the reader of She Believes into a graceful and anointed process of personal growth and spiritual encounter with destiny. I highly recommend this book to all women who desire to live a life beyond the limits and kingdom adventure.
~Rebecca Greenwood
President, Christian Harvest International, Strategic Prayer Action Network
If you truly desire to discover, understand, and embrace your God-given design, then this book is the key to unlock that process for you. She Believes takes you on a transformative journey that will challenge and inspire you to draw closer to God in order to reflect His glory and to live out your purpose. With practical and powerful insight, that can only be gained by going through the fire and emerging refined + renewed, Missy shares tools, strategies and prayers that work! Her heart for seeing women experience true freedom, healing, and wholeness is evident on every page.  I have no doubt that God is going to use this book to encourage, uplift and launch His daughters into greatness.
 ~Ilesha “CoCo” Graham
Speaker + Founder, Flourishing Women Ministries
Missy Helderman’s “She Believes” is an inspiring small book with big concepts about the journey we all face. A journey that brings us to the heart of who we are and what we were  destined to be.  A delightful quick read that will encourage and inspire! I found it enlightening and thought provoking.
~ Dr. Dallas Eggemeyer
Lightbearers International, Atlanta, GA

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ascension Day

 
Today (Thursday May 14) is the fortieth day of the Great Fifty Days of the Resurrection (i.e., Easter) Season.  It is the day that Christians refer to as Ascension Day.  Many Churches will celebrate this day on this coming Sunday, Ascension Sunday.

As the name indicates, it is the celebration of the risen Christ's ascension into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

In celebration of Ascension Day, I offer the following Scriptures, a (rather lengthy) Wesley hymn and a prayer:

Christ's Ascension
 
After Jesus' suffering, he showed himself to the disciples and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
 
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
 
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
 
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
 
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?   This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
 
Remember Jesus' words:  "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 
(Acts 1:3-11; Matthew 28:20b, from "Sing to the Lord")

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Reascends His native heaven, Alleluia!

... There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

Circled round with angel powers, Alleluia!
Their triumphant Lord, and ours, Alleluia!
Conqueror over death and sin, Alleluia!
“Take the King of glory in! Alleluia!”

Him though highest Heav’n receives, Alleluia!
Still He loves the earth He leaves, Alleluia!
Though returning to His throne, Alleluia!
Still He calls mankind His own, Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love, Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His church below, Alleluia!

Still for us His death He pleads, Alleluia!
Prevalent He intercedes, Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
Harbinger of human race, Alleluia!

Master, (will we ever say), Alleluia!
Taken from our head to day, Alleluia!
See Thy faithful servants, see, Alleluia!
Ever gazing up to Thee, Alleluia!

Grant, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking Thee beyond the skies, Alleluia!

Ever upward let us move, Alleluia!
Wafted on the wings of love, Alleluia!
Looking when our Lord shall come, Alleluia!
Longing, gasping after home, Alleluia!

There we shall with Thee remain, Alleluia!
Partners of Thy endless reign, Alleluia!
There Thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
Find our heaven of heavens in Thee, Alleluia!

- Charles Wesley


Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Sacramental Ware

This past month, my wife & I took a vacation to Pigeon Forge in the Great Smokey Mountains.  We had a fabulous time.  The vacation took place the week leading into my birthday, and my wonderful wife, Bobbie, took the opportunity to buy my birthday present while we were there.

We picked up a great set of sacramental ware at The Old Mill Pigeon River Pottery.  The artist at the Pottery place is Tommy Bullen.  He is a 3rd generation craftsman from Gatlinburg. 

Now, I confess, the items we bought were not specifically sacramental ware, but that is why we bought them.  We purchased a chalice, a paten (plate) & a baptismal bowl (the "shell" is something I already had).


I have had the opportunity to use the chalice & paten for the last two weeks at Heartland Church of the Nazarene, but I have not yet had the opportunity to use the baptismal bowel.

So, what do you think?  Pretty great, huh?

The Old Mill Pigeon River Potter is located at 175 Old mill Avenue.  Their number is 865-453-1104, and their website can be view, here.   -  (If you are visiting Pigeon Forge, we also recommend the Pottery House CafĂ© & Grille.)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good Friday Hymns & Prayers

Today, as we observe the sacrifice and crucifixion of our Lord, through which He has taken away the sin of the world, I commend the following two Wesley hymns followed by the prayers for Good Friday from the Book of Common Prayer.

 
Would Jesus Have the Sinner Die?
 
Would Jesus have the sinner die?
Why hangs He then on yonder tree?
What means that strange, expiring cry?
Sinners, He prays for you and me:
"Forgive them, Father, O forgive!
They know not that by Me they live!"
 
Adam descended from above
Our loss of Eden to retrieve,
Great God of universal love,
If all the world through Thee may live,
In us a quick'ning Spirit be,
And witness Thou hast died for me.
 
Thou loving, all-atoning Lamb,
Thee - by Thy painful agony,
Thy sweat of blood, Thy grief and shame,
Thy Cross and passion on the tree,
Thy precious death and life - I pray:
Take all, take all my sins away.
 
O let me kiss Thy bleeding feet,
And bathe and wash them with my tears!
The story of Thy love repeat
In ev'ry drooping sinner's ears,
That all may hear the quick'ning sound,
Since I, e'en I, have mercy found.
 
O let Thy love my heart constrain!
Thy love for ev'ry sinner free,
That ev'ry fallen soul of man
May taste the grace that found out me;
That all mankind with me may prove
Thy sov'reign, everlasting love
 
************************************
 
O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done?
 
O love divine, what hast Thou done?
Th'immortal God hath died for me!
The Father's co-eternal Son
Bore all my sins upon the tree;
Th'immortal God for me hath died
My Lord, my Love is crucified
 
Behold Him, all ye that pass by,
The bleeding Prince of life and peace!
Come, sinners, see your Maker died
And say, was ever grief like His?
come, feel with me His blood applied;
My Lord, my Love is crucified.
 
Is crucified for me and you,
To bring us rebels back to God.
Believe, believe the record true;
Ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.
Pardon for all flows from His side;
My Lord, my Love is crucified.
 
The let us sit beneath His Cross
And gladly catch the healing stream.
All things for Him account but loss
And give up all our hearts to Him.
Of nothing think or speak beside:
My Lord, my Love is crucified.
 
********************************************
 
Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.
 
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.
 
O Merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted, and live; Have mercy upon all who know thee not as thou art revealed in the Gospel of thy Son, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of they Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end.  Amen.
 
Epistle:  Hebrews 10:1-25
 
Gospel: John 19:1-37

Maundy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday.  The term Maundy comes from the Latin, mandatum novarum, which means, "a new commandment."  It is a reference to John 13:34-35, where Jesus says to His disciples, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (NRSV)  -  This, of course, takes place on the Thursday prior to Jesus' crucifixion.  It is in the larger context of Jesus washing the disciples' feet.

This is also the time when our Lord instituted the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper.  This sacrament is known by a number of names emphasizing various aspects of the sacrament. 

It is referred to as Holy Communion.  The Greek word, here, is koinonia.  It is a word that speaks of fellowship, communion, participation and sharing.  In connection with the sacrament we find it in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, where St. Paul says, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing (NRSV) / participation (NIV) / communion (KJV) in the blood of Christ?  The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."  -  And so, in the sacrament, more than just remembering what Christ has done (though we certainly do that), we really and truly commune with the blood and body of Christ.  -  Verse 17 indicates we also have fellowship around the Table with our sisters and brothers in Christ.  As the invitation in the Nazarene ritual indicates, ". . . we are one, at one table with the Lord."

The sacrament is also often referred to as the Eucharist.  This term will be familiar to most who read this blog, but for many in evangelical circles, this is often an unfamiliar term.  It is, therefore, treated with suspicion by some and outright condemnation by still others!  Nevertheless, such suspicions (and certainly condemnations!) can be put aside when we realize that this term, unlike the others, is actually found in all four New Testament accounts of the Last Supper (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20; and 1 Cor. 11:23-26).  You see, the Greek word eucharistein simply means "to be thankful."  The sacrament, and the major prayer for it in the liturgy is understood as "the Great Thanksgiving."  -  Jesus took, gave thanks, (broke the bread), and gave the sacramental elements to the disciples.

The New Testament also refers to the sacrament by simply speaking of "the breaking of the bread."  For example, in Acts 2:42 we hear those famous words, "(The disciples) devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers."  -  Unfortunately, many have misunderstood this to mean nothing more than the disciples committing themselves to having pot luck meals together, when, instead, what is being referred to is the holy sacrament.

This raises the point that the New Testament Church was committed to the sacrament of Holy Communion.  "Day by day," Luke tells us (in Acts 2:46), ". . . they spent much time together in the temple . . ." (Service of the Word), and ". . . they broke bread from house to house . . ." (Service of the Table).  St. Paul chastises the Church at Corinth when he says, "When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord's supper" (1 Cor. 11:20).  In other words, when they come together it was supposed to be to eat the Lord's Supper.  -  Such seems to be the apostle's understanding of Jesus' instructions.  Such is the pattern of the New Testament Church.  It is the pattern of the Early Church.  It is the pattern of the Church throughout the ages.  And, for us Wesleyans, it was our spiritual forefather's instruction that we should celebrate the sacrament every Lord's Day.

Why?  -  Is it because of some legalistic command?  Do we have to do it like that?  Won't it lose it's specialness?  -  No, no, no!  That's missing the point altogether!  -  Instead, we gather at the Table of the Lord, when we gather together in the name of the Lord, because He has explicitly promised to meet us at the Table!  It is at the Table that we have the explicit promise of communing/sharing/participating in the body and blood of our Lord!  God's grace is poured out to us through this holy gift!  -  Thanks be to God!

"Listen" to the wonderful words of this Wesley Eucharistic Hymn:

1. Glory to Him who freely spent
His blood, that we might live,
And through this choicest instrument
Doth all His blessings give.
 
2. Fasting He doth, and hearing bless,
And prayer can much avail,
Good vessels all to draw the grace
Out of salvation's well.
 
3. But none, like this mysterious rite
Which dying mercy gave,
Can draw forth all His promised might
And all His will to save.
 
4. This is the richest legacy
Thou hast on man bestow'd:
Here chiefly, Lord, we feed on Thee,
And drink Thy precious blood.
 
5. Here all Thy blessings we receive,
Here all Thy gifts are given,
To those that would in Thee believe,
Pardon, and grace, and heaven.
 
6. Thus may we still in Thee be blest,
Till all from earth remove,
And share with Thee the marriage feast,
And drink the wine above.


Thanks be to our God!
 
______________________________________________________
(This article originally appeared in 2012 & was repeated in 2014)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Feast of St. Patrick

March 17 is the Feast of St. Patrick. Most people know it as a day when we celebrate all things Irish
and when everyone gets to wear green, my favorite color. (In fact, I would join the petition to make green an alternate liturgical color, instead of Lent's purple, just for St. Patrick's Day!) - Yet there is much more significance to the day.

The real reason we celebrate is because of the amazing missionary work of Patrick during the 5th century. - As a boy, Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved as a shepherd in Ireland. After his escape several years later, he entered Holy Orders in Britain. He was ordained a Presbyter (i.e., Elder or Priest) and consecrated a Bishop. God called Patrick back to Ireland, where, by the grace of God, Patrick brought about, in large part, the conversion of Ireland. In the process, he Christianized Pagan sacred places and objects (a good lesson for current evangelicals).

Additionally, Patrick provided a great (though certainly not perfect!) means of speaking of the Holy Trinity by use of the three-leafed clover.

One of the most powerful prayers attributed to Patrick is The Lorica, or St. Patrick's Breastplate. While there is some doubt that it was actually written by the good bishop, it certainly expresses his faith.

While an abbreviated form of the Breastplate is found in Sing to the Lord, the Nazarene hymnal, the more complete version, as follows, was found on my friend, James Gibson's old blog. (His currently blog is Locust and Wild Honey.)- May God make this a reality for us all.




I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up he heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgement hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,and purity of virgin souls.


I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.


I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.


Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.


Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart’s idolatry,
against the wizard’s evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.


Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


I bind unto myself the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.
 
_________________________________________
 
(This article is based on one of my previous posts.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theologically Discordant Hymns

Recently I attended the Mission Fifteen (M-15) conference in Kansas City, MO.  -  This is the conference that is held between Nazarene general assemblies.  It is sponsored by the U.S. / Canada Region of the Church of the Nazarene.  -  Actually, I presented a workshop on Wesleyan Worship during the Pre-Conference, and, hopefully before long, I will be able to link to a video of that workshop.

While at the M-15 conference, among the many workshops I attended, I went to one presented by Dr. Frank M. Moore.  Dr. Moore is the editor of the denominational magazine, Holiness Today.  He was presenting a workshop that promoted the new "Nazarene Essentials" edition of the magazine sponsored by the Board of General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene.

One of the many things that Dr. Moore was "up in arms" about (and really, rightly so!) was Nazarenes listening to and singing songs/hymns that contain Reformed lyrics.  Such really is a problem because, it is true, we really do (begin to) believe what we sing.  This is why it has sometimes been argued that Charles Wesley was much more influential for early Methodists than John.  After all, it was Charles' hymns, more than John's sermons, that shaped the beliefs of the people called Methodists.  -  They sang the Wesley hymns much more often than they read one of John's sermons.

Dr. Moore was quite concerned that in singing such songs we have produced members who think that we actually believe what we are singing, when we don't and never have!  Further, many do not seem to understand, at all, why we wouldn't or shouldn't believe such claims.

Frankly, I pressed Dr. Moore to give some examples of such Reformed lyrics.  I did this, not because I didn't have a good idea of some, myself, but because I thought there may be some attending the workshop who really had no idea what he was talking about.

The one song that he thought of, off the top of his head,was one that has previously been a topic of conversation among some of my colleagues, viz., "In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend.

Actually, I quite like the song . . . for the most part.  However, there is one troublesome line, for we Wesleyans.  -  Here is the hymn in its entirety:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.
 
Truly, there are a number of lines that could be read from a Reformed point of view, though, I would suggest, they do not have to be read from that point of view.  For example, nearly the entirety of the last verse could be understood from a Reformed perspective, but it need not be the case at all.  However, the one line that does cause an issue is the sixth line of the second verse which declares that when Jesus died on the cross, "The wrath of God was satisfied."  -  For this line, it has been suggested that we substitute the words, "The love of God was magnified," which is much more consistent with a Wesleyan perspective.
 
However, the song that came to my mind is the 1758 classic hymn by Robert Robinson, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."  -  The original words to the third verse (at least the third verse that appears in most modern hymnals) are:


 
3. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

 
In a brilliant move (and I have yet to trace exactly how this happened), the Nazarene hymnal (and others in the Holiness Movement) changed this third verse.  Frankly, I am not aware of any other hymn that we (Nazarenes) have actually taken pains to edit theologically.  Nevertheless, I am thrilled that we have made this change.  -  The revised verse, consistent with Wesleyan theology, says:
 
3. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace, now, like a fetter,
Bind my yielded heart to Thee.
Let me know Thee in Thy fullness;
Guide me by Thy mighty hand
Till, transformed, in Thine own image
In Thy presence I shall stand.

 
Frankly, I have been dismayed over these last few years, while serving in the United Methodist Church, that the United Methodists, who have spent time editing various hymns, have retained the original, non-Wesleyan(!), version in their hymnal.  -  I will confess that when we sing the hymn and project it at the United Methodist churches where I serve, we sing the Wesleyan version!

How unfortunate that the older, non-Wesleyan version has found its way back into the Church of the Nazarene via a contemporary version of the hymn that has had popular air play on the radio.  -  In fact, I was very surprised to hear it sung, not with the contemporary version, but in a choral piece at a Nazarene retreat. 

With music being seen by so many as having such importance in worship (and I agree that it plays an important, though not the primary role in worship), we pastors who have been given the responsibility to lead the Church in worship are responsible to make sure that what we sing is consistent with what we believe.  For, indeed, we will believe what we sing.