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Lucarini is a former contemporary worship leader, and his testimony can be found in Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement. The following is excerpted from Dan Lucarini, It’s Not about the Music, 2010, p. 149.

“At one of the churches where I led worship, we had nearly completed the slide into a totally contemporary style in every service and we had not used a hymnal in months. One weekend I was preparing for a Sunday service that included observance of the Lord’s Supper. … I was led back into the hymnal that I kept nearby on our piano. The Lord prompted me to select ‘Near the Cross.’ …

“On Sunday morning, when it was time to prepare for Communion, I asked the congregation to open a hymnal and turn to the correct page number. There was a brief moment of confusion; I heard murmuring and shuffling. Then I said to the congregation, ‘You know, the blue book stuck under the pew in front of you.’ But the auditorium lights were always dimmed during our worship time, and as a result many could not find either the hymnal or the page. I asked the crew to turn up the lights.

“What happened next was both sweet and sad. The light replaced the darkness and we sang out of the hymnals, with beautiful harmonies that brought tears of joy to my eyes and, from what I could see, to many other eyes in the congregation. … There were no drums or electric guitars or synthesizers to smother the singing of the saints. … Every age group, no matter what their taste or preference, had been joined in a common song of repentance and praise to Jesus. …”

THROWING OUT THE HYMNAL (Friday Church News Notes, April 29, 2011, http://www.wayoflife.org

David Cloud writes:

My readers have sent me countless examples of how the singing at their churches declined after the transition to the screen. More people are standing around watching and listening to the performers. … A hymnal is very different from the contemporary ‘worship song of the month.’ There is the benefit of relying on the wisdom of godly men and women who very carefully assembled the hymnal. No hymnal is perfect, of course, but we can trust the vast majority of selections without the need to examine each song and composer. … When we throw out the hymnals, we also throw out God-given protections against doctrinal drift, heresy and shocking musical worldliness. We turn over the musical catechism of our children to an ecumenical music industry driven by the worst fashions and lusts of this present age. It is past time to end the experiment and invest again in a good hymnal.”

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