Changing Hymn Lyrics & Billy Graham Prepares Campaign

The Presbyterian Church wants to change a popular hymn to make God a nicer guy, and the Billy Graham organization gets ready for a major nationwide event.

The popular hymn “In Christ Alone” won’t appear in the new hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Why?  Because national church hierarchy wants to change the lyrics.  But Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, who wrote In Christ Alone, told them “you can’t do that.”

It turns out that some of the members of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Songs objected to one of the verses in the song.  It’s the line that says, “On that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.”

They wanted to change that line to say “the love of God was magnified.”   But when they asked the writers to allow the change, Keith and Stuart said no.

The Presbyterian committee members didn’t want the new hymnal to suggest that Jesus’ death on the cross was an atoning sacrifice that was needed “to assuage God’s anger” over sin.  But hymn writer Keith Getty says they wrote In Christ Alone to tell “the whole gospel.”

Billy Graham turns 95 this November, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a nationwide event planned to correspond with his birthday.

Rev. Graham released a letter last week in which he says that America needs a spiritual awakening more than ever before.

The letter reads: “If ever there was a time this country needed the intervention of God, it is now. We can and should pray for America as a whole, but remember that when God sets out to change a nation, He begins by changing people. It starts with individuals.”

I just love Billy Graham.  If you’d like to learn more about the “My Hope American” evangelistic campaign and download some free resources, just go to

I’m Bill Maier for

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