Bob misses words and ways of church’s past

Bob misses words and ways of church's past By Bob Karolevitz I guess I'm just a religious traditionalist.

Maybe it's age or my early training in the late '20s and early '30s, but I'm having trouble with the so-called modernization of what was once comfortable conforming.

Take the Bible, for instance. It's been written and rewritten so much that I wonder if there are passages that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wouldn't even recognize.

Political correctness is the thing these days. To me the word brethren meant all the people � men and women � but now it's sexist. We don't dare discriminate by gender, so the latter-day evangelists have gone through the Scriptures from Genesis onward to make sure that no feelings get hurt.

The old language was lyrical; but, in my estimation, today's translations (or rewrites) leave much to be desired. I'm a thou, thy and thine man myself, and putting new words in Jesus' mouth just doesn't seem right.

I realize, of course, that the Bible has been translated originally from an ancient tongue, but when it finally got around to English, it settled for a long time into a form untouched by eager editors.

I also liked the Ten Commandments with their "thou shalt nots." Now they sound more like a penal code, or, as some liberated folks want to call them: the Ten Suggestions.

And whatever happened to the good old-fashioned hymns?

Amazing Grace and Faith of Our Fathers occasionally get revived for nostalgia's sake, although "fathers," in this case, is sexist, too, because mothers were involved. Now we've got to "dance with gay tambourines" and sing "spirited hymns."

Onward Christian Soldiers is too militaristic for most liturgical planners these days. We can't be "marching off to war" when we're preaching peace, they say.

I realize that now there are one or two new generations which were seldom if ever exposed to the words and melodies so familiar to those of us who are septuagenarians or older. They probably are content to "dance with gay tambourines" instead of walking in the garden "when the dew is still on the roses."

And for them, thee and thou are no doubt considered obsolete Quaker terms which don't belong in an up-to-date religion.

Those of us who are Catholics have had some extra adjustments to make. Now we can eat meat on Friday (most of the time); Latin is really a dead language; we don't have to fast from midnight to Communion; and the scary Extreme Unction is no longer reserved just for those on their last legs.

When the hand-shaking gesture of peace was introduced in the Mass, I remember one disgruntled curmudgeon who said: "I came here to pray, not to make friends."

With the inevitability of change, though, I'm doing my best to adapt, like I did for television, seat belts, the ballpoint pen and Post-It Notes. On the other hand, I do miss those ways and words of another era.

Sometimes I find myself humming Come to the Church in the Wildwood which gives some idea just how lost in the past I am.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>