USA Presbyterian  Church Denies God’s Wrath

The USA Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) (A separate group from other Presbyterian Churches) which takes a liberal view of theology, has recently voted against using the Keith Getty & Stuart Townend song ‘In Christ Alone’ Why? Because in the Second Verse the following line appears “Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied” 

The church was looking at removing the word wrath from the song however the song writers refused this change.

Timothy George
29 July 2013

In his 1934 book, The Kingdom of God in America, H. Richard Niebuhr depicted the creed of liberal Protestant theology, which was called “modernism” in those days, in these famous words: “A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” Niebuhr was no fundamentalist, but he knew what he was talking about. So did Dietrich Bonhoeffer when he named the kind of mainline religion he encountered in 1930s America: Protestantismus ohne Reformation, “Protestantism without the Reformation.”

Sin, judgment, cross, even Christ have become problematic terms in much contemporary theological discourse, but nothing so irritates and confounds as the idea of divine wrath. Recently, the wrath of God became a point of controversy in the decision of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song to exclude from its new hymnal the much-loved song “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.  The Committee wanted to include this song because it is being sung in many churches, Presbyterian and otherwise, but they could not abide this line from the third stanza: “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.” For this they wanted to substitute: “…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.” The authors of the hymn insisted on the original wording, and the Committee voted nine to six that “In Christ Alone” would not be among the eight hundred or so items in their new hymnal.

Modifying hymn lyrics to suit one’s taste, of course, is nothing new. The Nestorians in the early church refused to sing Theotokos, preferring the less offensive Christotokos, in their Marian liturgy. More recently, the Universalist leader Kenneth L. Patton kept the “Ein Feste Burg” tune by Martin Luther but replaced “A mighty fortress is our God” with “Man is the earth upright and proud.” And then there is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which sings—and quite beautifully I might add—the Reginald Heber hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” to the tune of “Nicaea” (!!) but in the first and last stanza changes “God in three persons, blessed Trinity” to “God in thy glory through eternity.” 

Blog Editors note:
If such Churches can change a Hymn, soon enough they will change the Word of God to suit themselves,to portray their sentimental god.

Take this verse for example;

2 Corinthians 5:11
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”

Terror of the Lord? No….let’s not frighten people, let’s just make it a more POSITIVE gospel, a more appealing verse!

Let’s say knowing the ‘LOVE’ of God we persuade men. Doesn’t the Bible say – God is Love? Yes it does, but we know God is also a CONSUMING FIRE!