I got this in the e-mail via Dave McIntyre today. I’ve seen it before, but it still makes me laugh…
On the Difference Between Praise Choruses and Hymns
A man accustomed to a mainline church went to a seekers’ service one Sunday. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” he said, “it was interesting. They did something different. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”
“Praise choruses?” said his wife. “What are those?”
“Oh, they’re okay, I guess. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the man.
“What’s the difference?” asked his wife.
He replied, “Well, it’s like this. If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ that would be a hymn. Suppose, on the other hand, I were to
say to you:
‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN.’
“Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing five or six time, that would be a praise chorus.”
As luck would have it, the same Sunday a young woman accustomed to seekers’ services attended a mainline church service. She came home and her husband asked her how it was. “Well,” she said, “it was interesting. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of praise choruses.”
“Hymns?” said her husband. “What are those?”
“Oh, they’re okay, I guess. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the woman.
“What’s the difference?” asked her husband.
She replied, “Well, it’s like this. If I were to say to you, ‘Ernest, the cows are in the corn,’ that would be a regular song. Suppose, on the other hand,
I were to say to you:
‘Oh Ernest, dear Ernest, now hear thou my cry: Incline thine ear to the words of my mouth. Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth. ‘For the way of the animals who can explain? There is in their heads no shadow of sense! Hearken they not in God’s sun or rain. Ill results unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.
‘Yea, those COWS in glad bovine, rebellious delight Broke free from their shackles, their warm pens eschewed. Then goaded by minions of darkness and night They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.
‘So look to that bright shining day by and by, Where all the corruptions of earth are reborn, Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry, And I no
longer see those foul cows in the corn.’
“Then, if I were to sing only verses one, three, and four, and if I were to do a key change on the last verse, that would be a hymn.”
— Author unknown (perhaps with reason.)