ELSEWHERE: Should Churches Alter Their Worship Texts?

In addition to theological issues, the PCUSA’s decision to not include “In Christ Alone” in their new hymnal relates to another issue, that of how churches should handle copyrighted worship materials. Or so claims Steve Thorngate, who performed an informal survey of church and worship leaders and found that a significant number will use songs for which they don’t have the proper licenses, or will regularly change the words to suit their purposes. Though a seemingly trivial issue, Thorngate’s article raises some interesting questions regarding church relationships and responsibilities to both commercial and artistic interests.

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