After my conversion from the Charismatic religion, I decided we were not going to sing those contemporary Charismatic christian hip hops we used to sing. I put away instruments, drums, etc., and I switched over to singing only hymns and psalms in our church services. But here again was another problem: I didn’t know to sing any hymn and none of members either. We were used to the Charismatic christian hip hops and we never sang any hymn before. I started going to some sites on the internet that majored on hymns and started downloading some hymns from those sites. I got to know about a blind poetess named Fanny Crosby and I was amazed she was the one who composed nearly al the hymns I had downloaded from the internet and stated using in my church. I read her biography and tears came rolling down my eyes. I started downloading most of her hymns. They were doctrinal, Christ-honouring, and scriptural. Most of her hymns were on the saving mercy of God, Christ’s atoning blood and imputed righteousness, and so on. Her hymns centered on the doctrine of Grace.
Then one day I ran into a website which labelled themselves with the name “Outside the camp” and run by one Marc D. Carpenter. The things I read on the site was at first seeming scriptural, and I almost bought into their wicked lies…until I landed on a section of his website which he calls “Heterodoxy Hall of Shame” where he condemns all the ancient Puritan preachers to hell saying that they didn’t believe the gospel but were wolves in sheep clothing. He condemns John Calvin, Arthur Pink, John Owen, Thomas Boston, Thomas Hooker, Matthew Henry, John Gill, etc., to hell. He also says he is not an Arminian nor a Calvinist but a Christian. According to him, he is outside the camp and only he and his groupies are saved.
Searching through his site, I discovered that this man was just an imposter trying to win a name for himself, and to make a good reputation for himself, and the best way he can do that is to destroy the reputation of other men wiser, older and greater than himself. This wicked heretic confines Jonathan Edwards to the pits of hell. He appears to have a zeal for the gospel ang for the glory of God, but he wickedly has another agenda: he is driven by zeal for his own reputation and glory!
Not only does Marc D. Carpenter beat down the great divines of old, confining them to the abyss of hell, he also attacks the godly blind poetess, Fanny Crosby, by accusing her that she was ursurping authority over men in the church and that she was in some way putting herself in the office of a teacher. Thus, Marc D. Carpenter attempts to beat down Fanny so as to raise up more of his own reputation. To prove that I am not accusing Marc D. Carpenter falsely, here is what he wrote against Fanny Crosby:
“I encountered these weird “Psalms-only” people! How strange! You mean you think it’s not right to sing Toplady’s songs in worship? What about Amazing Grace? What about “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”? It seemed to me that they were only singing “Psalms” and leaving out the “Hymns and Spiritual Songs” that were also prescribed in the Bible. But I checked out their arguments. And they were RIGHT ON!
I just want to touch on what I found out. I found out that what we know as the book of “Psalms” is actually The Book of Praises. I found out that The Book of Praises contains the Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Mitzmorim, Shirim, and Tehillim) that are mentioned in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. And when we started singing from The Book of Praises exclusively, I found out that these songs FAR SURPASS anything that any non-inspired man (or woman — e.g., Fanny Crosby — which is actually a form of women teaching in the church) has EVER written. It’s not even close. I had read the Psalms before and had sung songs taken from the Psalms, but to be immersed in them every worship service gave me an appreciation for them that I never had before.”
Did you read it? Did you see how he beat down Fanny Crosby while seeming to be gorifying God but actually promoting himself and growing his reputation? First he beat down Augustus Toplady and the wonderful hymn “Amazing grace”, secondly, he beats down Fanny Crosby with a false charge. Since he couldn’t find aught against her works, he wrest the scriptures to his own damnation and falsely accuses the innocent blind poetess who did not allow her situation to weigh her down but rather glorified and reverenced her Maker. This article is to expose the wickedness of Marc D. Carpenter and to encourage saints of God out their to beware of such men as Marc D. Carpenter.
Is singing Fanny Crosby’s hymns today a form of woman teaching men in the church? If we sing Fanny Crosby’s songs and hymns, does it mean Fanny Crosby is ursuping authority over us and teaching us? Does it mean we are submitting to Fanny Crosby’s teachings?
To answer this question, let us go to Exodus and see where Miriam composed a song in the Bible and it was recorded to be song by all and was actually song by all Israel.
“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea” (Exodus 15:20-21). Here we see that Miriam composed this short chorus and it was written down by Moses. Why would Moses write down Miriams song if it was not for all Israel to always sing it? So if I should sing this short chorus composed by Miriam in my church, will that be a form of woman teaching the men in the church?
Deborah composed a song for all Israel to sing in Judges 5:1-12
“Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD. Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates. Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.”
If I should sing this song of Deborah in my church would it be a form of women teaching the men?
Another thing to help us see the blind zeal of Marc D. Carpenter as a self-promoting zeal for his own glory is when we consider the purpose of Fanny Crosby’s hymns. Did she ever pastor a church? Did she ever impose any doctrine on any church? Did she ever sing for any church in particular? The answer to all these questions is “no.”
Fanny composed hymns and songs of worship to glorify and praise her Saviour. The saints of her time saw that they were Scriptural, doctrinal, and Christ-honouring songs and they began singing those hymns and incorporated them into their worship songs. Fanny Crosby never ursurped the authority of a teacher in any church and singing the hymns she composed is in no way contrary to the scriptures as Carpenter says.
Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
The Bible says to worship God in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16).
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19).
What is a psalm? A psalm is any of the songs of praise recorded in the book of Psalms composed chiefly by King David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel and by others. The book of Psalms was used to sing the praises of God by the Old Testament Jewish who were returned from the captivity.
What is a hymn? A hymn is any song containing the words of Scripture, and describing God’s love, grace and faithfulness towards his people- the Church. They are usually addressed to God in the second person personal pronoun. But the chief characteristic of a hymn is that it must contain the words and doctrine of Scriptures. “Amazing grace” is a good example of hymns.
What is a spiritual song? A spiritual song is a song speaking of the experiences and trials that befall Christians and the grace and comfort that God gives them on their pilgrimage. This type of song usually encourages saints passing through hard times. “When upon life billows you are tempest tossed” is a good example of a spiritual song.
Marc Carpenter loves to win preeminence in all things, and it is not enough that he has confined the Puritan preachers to hell just to build his reputation, he must also rob us of those rich treasure of hymns and spiritual songs which the men of old have given us. And to successful do this, he must seek out false charges against them, like he has falsely accused Fanny Crosby.
Even Jesus did not restrict himself to the singing only the songs in the book of psalms. He also sang hymns apart from the songs in the book of Psalms.
“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26).
here we read that our Lord and his disciples sang hymns after they had finished observing the passover. Marc Carpenter would have us believe the hymn they sang was a song from the book of Psalms. But Mark the writer of this gospel knew the difference between hymns and psalms. If the Lord had sung from the book of psalms, what would it cost Mark to simply say they sang a psalm? But the truth is that the song they sang was not directly the ones in the book of Psalms! They sang a hymn with the doctrine and words of Scriptures in it to the glory of God! Let us stop playing with the words of Holy Writ and putting our selfish interpretations on it.
One of Fanny Crosby’s hymns that makes me the more heavenly conscious is the one with the words below:
Take the world but give me Jesus.
1. Take the world, but give me Jesus,
all its joys are but a name;
but his love abideth ever,
through eternal years the same.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy –
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption –
Pledge of endless life above!
2. Take the world, but give me Jesus;
sweetest comfort of my soul;
with my Saviour watching o’er me,
I can sing though billows roll.
3. Take the world, but give me Jesus;
let me view his constant smile;
then throughout my pilgrim journey,
light will cheer me all the while.
4. Take the world, but give me Jesus;
in his cross my trust shall be,
till with clearer, brighter vision,
face to face my Lord I see.