For those who believe that hymn singing should be part of public worship in the New Testament church:

What determines whether a hymn is suitable for the public worship of God?

I have never heard any line drawn in the sand over this issue that didn’t come down to personal preference.

5 thoughts on “Hymns in public worship – what’s suitable?

  1. The first and most important criteria for any hymn to be used in public worship is Biblical accuracy. While preferences may vary, a hymn should not be sung in public worship if not doctrinally correct.


  2. Thanks Leah, glad to have your thoughts :). I want to get right to the bottom and basics of what worship is and what is acceptable:

    Are we to judge what is doctrinally correct, or is it only hymns that are clearly correct since they are essentially scripture, or something else?

    By biblically accurate I ?assume? you mean:
    – it doesn’t contain anything that’s biblically untrue or any false doctrines.

    Forgive me for putting it in the negative but it needs clarification:

    Must it contain any biblical truths to be a hymn that is acceptable for public worship?
    If yes, any truth of scripture, or only some?
    If no, can’t a hymn be made out of 1+1=2 – which has a lot of truth and a lot of connotations of creation and a universal rule? Basically, can the praise be in the heart or is it to be firstly in the words?
    Or can it be based simply on biblical themes?


  3. How can we tell what is suitable for public worship? By consulting God’s hymnbook, the Psalms. It is a model hymnbook.

    I always tend to ask ‘what is worship’ when getting into these discussions, by the way. Google ‘Jonathan Hunt worship’ and see what you get.

    More if you want it, but its late.


  4. By way of clarification, my page was top of the google last time I checked, it is now six or seven down – it is a sermon on Sermonaudio entitled ‘What is worship?’


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