amazing grace


#1

i read somewhere that the hymn, amazing grace, is problematic from a catholic perspective, but i cannot remember the reason…

any help?


#2

Do a search of these forums. The song has been discussed at length a couple of times.


#3

AMAZING GRACE LYRICS

**

**[font=Arial]AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND **


**THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME **
**I ONCE WAS LOST BUT NOW I’M FOUND **
‘TWAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE. [/font]

Line 2 reflects Calvin’s "total depravity of man”. I think 3 and 4 refers to the born again experience.** **
**

**[font=Arial]‘TWAS GRACE THAT TAUGHT MY HEART TO FEAR **


**AND GRACE MY FEARS RELIEVED ****
**HOW PRECIOUS DID THAT GRACE APPEAR **
THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED. [/font]

** **Catholics, when explaining salvation, often make the mistake of nullifying a Protestant’s born again experience. We all need a wake up once in a while, and such an experience, as beautiful as it is, does not constitute being born again. It constitutes an awakening, a spiritual/emotional/psychological transformation, and should be respected when discussing salvation with Protestants. Many don’t consider baptism as an essential ingredient to being “born again”. Grace appears at THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED, and had little or nothing to do with getting to the church, tent, or tv show, or all the people and events in one’s life that leans us in God’s direction. At least that’s how it seems.


It’s like this for example:

On Sunday, June 28, 1979, at 8:34 PM, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior.

My life was transformed, and Bible verses would jump out at me, or I spoke in tongues, or I was healed of a dreaded disease etc., etc.

Therefore I was born again.


The experience needs to be acknowledged, not nullified because it does not fit into Catholic theology as “born again,” for there is truth found in the experience. So use the “water and spirit” argument with tenderness. Keep in mind most Protestant’s don’t share our concepts of original sin.


Line 2 reflects Calvin’s "total depravity of man”, which is not only unbiblical, it is illogical.
**

**[font=Arial]THE LORD HAS PROMISED GOOD TO ME **


**MY HOPE SECURES ****
**HE WILL MY SHIELD AND PORTION BE **
AS LONG AS LIFE ENDURES. [/font]

** Looks like “assurance of salvation”, contrary to scripture and 2000 years of Christianity.**

**[font=Arial]THRU MANY DANGERS TOILS AND SNARES **


**I HAVE ALREADY COME **
**‘TIS GRACE HATH BROUGHT ME SAFE THUS FAR **
AND GRACE WILL LEAD ME HOME. [/font]

** **Amen.


**[font=Arial]WHEN WE’VE BEEN THERE 10,000 YEARS **


**BRIGHT SHINING AS THE SUN **
**WE’VE NO LESS DAYS TO SING GOD’S PRAISE **
THAN WHEN WE FIRST BEGUN. [/font]


****Amen, but it sounds boring if that’s all there is to do. ****
Would I sing this hymn at Mass? Sure. It’s not problematic for me, I am not a legalist. It’s all on how you look at it.


****kepha1 ****


**


#4

I really have found no direct conflict with Catholic doctrine in the words, nor have I ever seen a convincing arguement to this ettect. Being wretched is not the same as being totally depraved. Jesus calls the church (of Ladecia?) wretched in Revelation. I can think of no better term to describe the state of mortal sin.

The song is the story of an adult conversion, not of a child who was baptized. As such it gives almost no theology and relfects only a personal testimony. The only clear theological message is that everything is grace. (St. Therese)

The last verse is a good statement of the theological virtue of hope. Indeed it will only be by grace that we see heaven.

I do see a prudential problem in some circumstances. If catechisis is weak in a parish, then some of the issues addressed above might be a problem. In my parish, it continues to be a favorite. We would be poorer without it.


#5

Interesting…I am brand new here–and Protestant-but I am very surprised by this interpretation of the song…The author was John Newton, a slave trader & atheist. He was on the sea transporting slaves, when the ship nearly capsized. He prayed for the first time in his adult life. He wrote the words to describe his experience of moving from total unbelief, to a strong Christian faith. (He later became a priest in the Anglican church). In later years, he was active in the movement to abolish slavery in English territory.
If I am not mistaken, he was allready Anglican (by baptism, not belief!) I have always seen this as a poem about a man who was reconciled to God after decades of “wretchedness”. I don’t see much if any theological content…of any kind…


#6

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