Wednesday, August 22, 2012

General Assembly Resolution: Official Anthem

Here is a copy of the General Assembly resolution on an Official Church Anthem, which I have presented to our district delegation. - Please note that underlined words are those to be added, while words in brackets are to be deleted. - I am asking all Nazarenes to send this resolution to your district delegation. - Thank you!

OFFICIAL CHURCH ANTHEM                                    Resolution Not in the Manual

 Be it resolved that the hymn, “Holiness unto the Lord” by Lelia N. Morris (as found on page 503 of Sing to the Lord) be declared to be the official anthem of the Church of the Nazarene.


1.   “Holiness unto the Lord” has already been acknowledged, elsewhere, as the “unofficial” anthem of the church.

2.  The message of the hymn expresses clearly the identity of the Church of the Nazarene as a Wesleyan-holiness denomination.

3.  The hymn is widely and consistently (if not always) sung during the ordination services at our various district assemblies.

4.  Such a resolution does not require the use of the hymn in any particular setting, but simply reaffirms our holiness identity.


Avey said...

Still reaching for the bucket to throw up in...... whilst stood in the general direction of Kansas of course!

Todd Stepp said...

Still don't understand why this reaction. I could understand a simple disagreement, but not your reaction.

Is not this hymn used during ordination services in your neck of the woods?

Is not this hymn reflective of the core identity of the denomination?

Does your reaction reflect a disdain for authority (reference to Kansas), or the U.S. (again, Kansas), or what?

Help me understand why you do not simply disagree, but have responded with the throwing up and with the reference to the Global Ministries Center.

Debi said...

Reasons 1, 3, and 4 seem to focus primarily on the "why not" question, which sounds less like an affirmation of theological identity than like a defensive maneuver seeking to protect a much-loved tradition.

Regarding "why not," I have at least three concerns. First, it creates a sacred cow, potentially an idol. Second, Manual-izing it (even without requiring its use) feels a little manipulative, as if there is an expectation that isn't openly acknowledged, which dirties the hymn. Third, it adds to an already-cumbersome Manual at a time in our history when streamlining is appropriate to create intentional space for a broader variety of cultural adaptations. Also, more words are read less -- already an issue within our denomination.

In summary, I fear this move is too likely to be be off-putting and therefore counter-productive to goals of strengthening the message of holiness within and from our people.

The hymn is built on something solid -- a theology of holiness and a passion for living and proclaiming it. I assume that's what you are aiming for in expressing and affirming our holiness identity. But I would propose that a song -- even a really good one with strong theology and years of established tradition -- is not sufficiently solid ground to stand on.

Todd Stepp said...


Thank you for your comment.

Concerning your first concern: I do not see how this "creates a sacred cow, potentially an idol." I just don't undrestand that.

Concerning your second concer: As in the first, I do not know how it is manipulative, as if there is an expectation that isn't isn't openly acknowledged, or how it dirties the hymn. Really, I just don't understand this.

And concerning both your second and third concern: If you read the resolution closely, you would note that there is no reference to the Manual. This was intended to simply be an official statement by the General Assembly, not even put in the Manual.

And finally, I think you are putting more importance on an official anthem than such is intended to carry.

Having said all of that, it may very well be that the General Assembly will feel the same way. It may be that it won't make it out of committee. It may even be that my own district committee will choose not to present it.

Be that as it may, I still like the idea. But I am just one person. That is why we have the various committees and the assembly, itself, so that it is not up to just one person like me! :0)

Thanks, again, for your comments!

Blessings Debi!