From the History of ISSUES: "Why a New Hymnal?"

September 6, 1982:

… Culturally our lives quite literally been turned upside down. The racial conflicts that have torn apart our cities have sensitized us to the rights of all God’s creatures. In this arena of human rights we recognize that people are daily discriminated against because of sex, color, or physical handicap. Tragically, this discrimination appears subtly in the language of our hymnody “which by its nature suggests as much as it says directly and communicates deep and abiding truth at many levels”…

In practical terms, this means a hymnody that voices our need for world peace calling to mind our sinful nature expressed in the drive of nations and peoples to conquer and control. Ideally, our hymnody should speak in language that affirms the place of all in the Body of Christ regardless of color, sex or physical condition. The texts of our hymnody should strengthen us to face the moral decisions confronting us sure in the knowledge that “a mighty fortress is our God.” Further, in our hymns of thanksgiving it is not enough merely to give thanks, but rather to challenge and remind us to clothe and feed others.


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