Church Hymn Incorporates Evolution

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I was browsing through several blogs yesterday and came across a scientist (and evolutionist) “praising” a hymn she had recently sung at a United Church of Christ. Of course, if an evolutionist is going to praise a hymn, it piques my interest! The song is “Praise to the Living God” by Curtis Beach. Here are the first two verses:

Praise to the living God, the God of Love and light, Whose word brought forth the myriad suns and set the worlds in flight; Whose infinite design, which we but dimly see, Pervade all nature, making all a cosmic unity

Praise to the living God, from whom all things derive, Whose Spirit formed upon this sphere the first faint seeds of life; Who caused them to evolve, unwitting toward God’s goal, Till humankind stood on the earth, as living, thinking souls.

The “cosmic unity” phrase strikes me as being pantheistic and kind of a “leveler” of everything God created, with man not being unique and the crowning glory of God’s creation.

The second verse begins by saying things “derive” from God and that the Spirit first put on the earth “faint seeds of life.” In other words, not all life, not plants and animals after their kind, not humans as clearly stated in Genesis 1, just the ingredients for life. The next two lines clearly state that God used evolution to bring about His goal of humans becoming living beings. According to Mr. Beach, God guided the seemingly random, blind chance of evolution to bring about His goal.

I discovered that the hymn is number eight in the New Century Hymnal that was published for the United Church of Christ in 1995 (note: not all UCC churches use the hymnal). According to Wikipedia, the hymnal was controversial because it used “inclusive language.”[1] This basically means that references to God, Christ, etc. were made gender neutral. For example, the hymn compilers replaced the word “King” (inherently masculine) when referring to God with the word “Sovereign.” Apparently the liberal theology of those selecting and altering the hymns was reflected in multiple ways.

It’s sad to see the compromise in the church on the authority and truthfulness of God’s Word working its way into the songs we sing. This song was written in 1966, so compromise is nothing new—it’s just growing. Instead of singing praises to God for something He didn’t do, I sing praise to the living God because He created Adam and Eve in His image, separate and unique from the animals. I sing praise to the living God because His Word is true from the very first verse. I sing praise to the living God because He sent His Son to die in my place. How much we have to sing praises to God for!

Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!


[1] The New Century Hymnal, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Century_Hymnal.

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