Changes in the New SDA Hymnal

       is now         

But it’s much more than a new cover...


Changes in Our Church Hymnal

 Our official hymnbook, the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, was produced by a nineteen-member group (called the Hymnal Committee) in the early 1980s. The objective was to improve on our previous hymnal, the 1941 Church Hymnal; itself a replacement of our 1908 Christ in Song.

I have spoken with individuals who sadly recall that, at the time the 1941 Church Hymnal was introduced, all our churches were ordered to gather up the Christ in Song books and send them to the conference office, to be burned. It was hoped that this would increase sales for the new hymnal.

The Church Hymnal, which, under the direction of R.A. Anderson, contained many staid British hymns (he told me so himself), was never as popular as Christ in Song, even though the latter had so many songs in small print.

This present study concerns the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal did something which none of our earlier songbooks dared to do: introduce Roman Catholic teachings in the songs our people would sing.

It is an astonishing fact that Catholic faith, doctrine, and wording are in our new 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. 

Before the 1985 General Conference Session in New Orleans, much had been said about the development of the new Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. At that Session, when Neil Wilson was president of the Gen. Conf., it was introduced with much interest and huge sales. This new, but strange, hymnal would musically introduce into the Seventh-day Adventist divine worship service hymns and Scripture readings containing Roman Catholic teachings not found in any earlier Adventist songbooks.

We are indebted to Australian Seventh-day Adventist, Ron Cable, an expert in hymnology for alerting God’s faithful people to some of the tragic decisions which were made in what materials and hymns were incorporated into this hymnbook. Cable’s study of hymnology spans many decades, and he is highly regarded in secular circles for his expertise in this area. The Queensland State Library, in the city of Brisbane, has one section of its hymnology department designated as the Cable Collection. It was Ron Cable who had undertaken a considerable amount of research for Dr. Edward E. White’s book, Singing With Understanding, a companion volume to the Church Hymnal, 1941. Brother Cable’s research on the 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal was spread far and wide, especially in the South Pacific.

Cable’s work was put into a tract by Russell and Colin Standish. V. Ferrel took it and made another tract. Combinig the material in their tracts and other sources from 3angelspublishing the following article has been written.

We will begin with a list of those who helped to put together the 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. 


Chairman:  Charles L. Brooks

Executive Secretary  Wayne H. Hooper

Subcommittee Chairmen:  Charles I. Keymer, Organization and Indexes  

E. Harold Lickey, Texts

Melvin K. West, Tunes

Merle J. Whitney, Worship Materials


James T. Bingham

Samuel D. Meyers

Alma M. Blackmon

John W. Read

Robert E. Cowdrick

J. Robert Spangler

Allen W. Foster

Ottilie F. Stafford 

Ronald D. Graybill

Michael H. Stevenson

Frank B. Hollbrook

Raymond H. Woolsey

Rochelle D. LaGrone

From: The SDA Hymnal, p. 6.

We list these names, because as you read this article, you will realize that some of these individuals had to be Jesuit infiltrators or Jesuit trained. See Daniel 11:41 

The Hymnal tells us that others were also involved: “In addition [to the committee above named], members of a large advisory committee reviewed the work and offered suggestions as it progressed.” The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, 1985, p. .6. The members of this committee are unidentified and obviously did not take much time to review the work, or else their suggestions were ignored.


The following is taken from the INTRODUCTION to the The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, 1985, pp.6,7:

“The committee has sought hymns well suited for congregational singing and examined each one for scriptural and doctrinal soundness. ...They sought hymns that affirm the distinctive beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists as well as those that express points of faith we hold in common with other Christian bodies.

“...Hymnals old and new provided texts and tunes of enduring value from other churches. Sometimes it was necessary to alter the text of these hymns to eliminate theological aberrations or awkward, jarring expressions. With great caution, the text committee replaced archaic and exclusive language whenever this could be done without disturbing familiar phrases, straining fond attachments, or doing violence to historical appropriateness.” 

Do not forget these words as you read the following. If changes were made in any hymns, it was not by accident.

Before the General Conference Session in New Orleans that year, much had been said about the development of this new
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. At that Session, it was introduced as truly great, with huge sales. But, unfortunately, this strange songbook introduces, into Seventh- day Adventist worship services, hymns and Scripture readings containing Roman Catholic teachings—which were totally absent from all earlier Adventist hymnals and songbooks. 


While the old Church Hymnal quoted exclusively from the tried and tested Protestant King James Version of the Bible, the new hymnal uses a great variety of modernist and even Catholic versions. Out of 172 Scripture passages, only 15 are from the King James Version. 

 225 Bible passages are quoted in this new Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal: 135 response readings (14 are called “Canticles and Prayers”), 36 calls to worship. 13 words of assurance, 14 offertory sentences, and 13 benedictions.

Here is the complete list:

New International Version (NIV) - 69 (31%)
Jerusalem Bible (a Roman Catholic Translation) - 38 (17%)
New King James Version (NKJV) - 33 (14%)
Revised Standard Version (RSV) - 28 (12%)
New English Bible (NEB) - 22 (10%)
The Good News Bible (TEV - Today’s English Version) - 15 (7%)
King James Version (KJV) - 15 (7%)
New American Standard Bible (NASB) - 4 (2%)
Adapted - I (less than 1%) 

It is truly shocking that, in our new official church hymnal, the Roman Catholic “Jerusalem Bible” is used more than 2½ times more than the Protestant King James Version! The relegation of the King James Version to less than 7% of the passages used demonstrates a decided move away from the Bible of the English Reformation and the one which established the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The use of the Vatican authorized Catholic Jerusalem Bible well-over twice as many times as the Protestant—and much more accurate—King James Version is a great evil. Are men trying to lead us closer to the Catholic Church? 


The inaccurate New International Version (not a Protestant version) is used almost five times as often as the best Bible version in the English Language: the King
James Version. Yet the NIV is one of the most modernist of the new versions. Why was this new hymnal saddled with Catholic and modernist concepts? Here are several examples:

Scripture Reading, No. 756 (from Psalm 51, NIV)—teaches the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin! That the compilers of this hymnal would prefer the NIV translation of Psalm 5 1:5, with its blatant distortion of Scripture in order to uphold the disgraceful concept of original sin, is unconscionable. It reads thus: “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”—From Psalm 51:5, N.I.V.

Why was the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal Committee permitted to include apostate doctrines of the fallen churches of Babylon?
Was there a secret Catholic on that committee? Yet the entire committee should have had enough reading ability to grasp the meaning of the NIV of Psalm 51:5.

A similar number of passages from the Catholic publication, The Jerusalem Bible, are also to be found.

Roman Catholic unity is based upon conformity to their liturgy. Thus, it is alarming that major Roman Catholic liturgical terms have been introduced into the new Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. Such serve to desensitize Seventh-day Adventists to the inroads of Roman Catholic thinking. Even the use of the term “canticles” in the subheading, ‘Canticles and Prayers” (starting with No. 831), achieves this purpose. The term is used, by Roman Catholics, for all Scripture passages in the back of their own hymnbooks. Yet, much more serious is the use of Roman Catholic liturgical terms for some of these “canticles.” Although such use is totally unnecessary and uncalled for, special Latin words, used in Catholic church services, are used. 

and Prayers No. 833 uses the Latin designation, the Sanctus,
No. 835 is termed the Magniflcat,
No. 836 the Beriedictus,
No. 837 the Nunc Dimittis, and
No. 832 the De Profundis.

Seventh-day Adventists do not know the meaning of these Latin terms, so why were they included?

The following official Catholic statement emphasizes their importance in the mass:

“Canticles have been incorporated into the Divine Office of the Church . .. (the best known are) the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), the Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79), and the Nunc Dtmittis (Luke 2:29- 32).”

—Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 93. Why were these Catholic names for Scripture printed in the new Adventist Hymnal?

(It should be mentioned that the present writer has authored a book entitled The Magnificat. That book was written for Catholics to read, so a word they were familiar with was selected for the title. “Magnificat” is the first word in the Latin translation of Luke 1:46, which begins Mary’s song of praise to God and is the subject of the first chapter in the book.)


The hymns below have all
been added or had their wording changed, so they would teach Catholic and other non-Adventist doctrines. We know this was not done accidentally, because the new Hymnal tells us so!

“The committee has sought hymns well suited for congregational singing and examined each one for scriptural and doctrinal soundness. They sought hymns that affirm the distinctive beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists as well as those that express points of faith we hold in common with other Christian bodies. 

“Hymnals old and new provided texts and tunes of enduring value from other churches. Sometimes it was necessary to alter the text of these hymns to eliminate theological aberrations or awkward, jarring expressions. With great caution, the text committee replaced archaic and exclusive language whenever this could be done without disturbing familiar phrases, straining fond attachments, or doing violence to historical appropriateness.”—Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, pp. 6-7. 


Hymn No. 3 (God Himself Is With Us): Like so much other Catholic music, verse two of this hymn exalts Mary as an example for us all:

“Come, abide within me; Let my soul, Like Mary, Be Thine earthly sanctuary.” 

This assumes Mary is still alive. Gerhard Tersteegen, a Protestant, wrote the words of this hymn in German. A literal translation of the German words which he originally penned—had no reference to Mary whatsoever! Here are the original words:

“Lord, come dwell in me, Let my heart and my spirit, Be another temple for Thee.”

Why did our church hymnal committee accept a Catholic change to an original Protestant hymn? Friends, this must stop!

Hymn No. 142 (Angels We Have Heard on High):
In verse four, we find the Catholic error that the dead are living saints in heaven who can assist us! This is intolerable! 

“Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while we raise our hearts in love.” 

Why is this error found in an official Seventh- day Adventist hymnal? This song was never found in any of our earlier hymnals. We should not be asking, in song, for Mary to come to our help!

Hymn No. 403 (Let Us Break Bread Together): In this hymn abject sun worship is promoted.
It is probably the best known of the aberrant hymns. 

“When I fall on my knees, With my face to the rising sun, 0 Lord, have mercy on me.”

This comes straight out of Babylonian paganism. Such sun worship was condemned by God in the days of the prophet Ezekiel. 

“And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”— Ezekiel 8:16-18. 

Reading No. 864 (Calls to Worship): This Call to Worship is based on Psalm 118:24-26. But instead of reading “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” as it does in the KJV, the hymnal committee chose to use the Good News Bible which says, “This is the day of the Lord’s victory; let us be happy, let us celebrate!” These words point the minds of many worshipers—not to the Creation Sabbath—but to resurrection Sunday. 


Hymn No. 471 (Grant Us Your Peace): All the verses of this hymn are virtually identical to
the hymn sheet handed out in the Vatican Square when the Pope lectures the assembled crowd.
The four verses are identical in four languages: Latin, English, French, and Spanish. The English states: 

“Father, grant us, grant us Your peace; Oh, Loving Father, grant us Your peace. Grant us, grant us peace; Grant us, grant us, grant us Your peace. Grant us, grant us peace; Loving Father, grant us Your peace.” 

This hymn was written in the Dark Ages and is addressed to “the loving Father,” the pope. In four different languages, thousands of faithful Catholics, with their eyes fixed on their “holy father” standing in the distant window, intone their worshipful prayer to him. Consider the Latin version of what they tell him, as it is written in our new Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal: 

nobis pacem, pacem; Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem. Dona nobis pacem.” This same Latin phrase is in a Catholic mass. (Did not Jesus say not to use vain repetitions?) 

Seventh-day Adventists are supposed to sing all four stanzas! Latin is the official language in only one country of the world—the Vatican. Why are SDAs given a stanza in Latin to sing? 


Never before in any SDA Hymnal has there been an entire section of hymns dedicated to the Trinity.
This hymnal has at least ten, which designates it as acceptable to Babylon (the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches). 

Hymn No. 73 (Holy, Holy, Holy): This hymn was originally written in 1826 by Reginald Heber.
In its original form it was a Trinitarian song, which read at the end of the first and fourth stanzas follows: “God in three persons, blessed Trinity!” 

This song was placed in the 1909 and 1941 Seventh-day Adventist Hymnals, but the trinity part was at that time changed to: “God over all who rules eternity!” and “Perfect in power, in love and purity.” This song was purposely changed into a non-trinitarian song by Seventh-day Adventists, expressing their views on the Trinity back then.

In the new 1985 Adventist Hymnal this song was changed back to its Catholic original, praising a three-in-one God. But this is not Scriptural.

Hymn 47 (God, Who
Made the Earth and Heaven): In this new hymn (not in our earlier hymnals), Adventists sing, “Blest Three in One.” 

Hymn No. 71 (Come, Thou Almighty King): The wording of this hymn was changed in the new hymnal! In this hymn, Adventist worshipers are trained to worship the Catholic Trinity concept of God: “To Thee, great One in Three, eternal praises be.” Our earlier hymnals did not have this wording. 

Hymn No. 72 (Creator of the Stars of Night):
This newly added hymn was written in the 1 800s in Latin, probably by a Catholic during the Dark Ages. Adventists are again led to sing to a false God with these words: “To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, Three in one.” 

Hymn No. 2 (All Creatures of Our God and King):
This hymn was written by the famous Catholic saint, Francis of Assisi, for whom the “Franciscan” order is named. In this Catholic hymn, not found in any of our previous hymnals, Adventists worship the Catholic concept of God with these words: “Oh, Praise the Father, praise the Son, And Praise the Spirit, three in One.” 

Hymn 27 (Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart!):
Verse 5 was completely taken out of our earlier hymnal and replaced with: “Praise Him who reigns on high, The Lord whom we adore, The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, One God forevermore.”

Hymn 30 (Holy God, We Praise Your Name): In this newly added hymn are the words: “Three we name You; While in essence only one.” In the Catholic “trinity” concept, all three “manifestations” of God are of one substance. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy clearly teach the Three as being three separate, equal, divine, eternal Persons. 

Hymn No. 116 (Of The Father’s
Love Begotten): This new hymn teaches Adventists that Christ was created. “Of the Father’s love begotten, Ere the worlds began to be.” This is a Trinity concept. SDAs believe that Jesus had life original, unborrowed, and underived. 

Hymn No. 234 (Christ Is the World’s Light): This hymn teaches Adventists to pray to the Catholic Trinity, which is three Persons but one God.Give God the glory, God and none other. Give God the glory, Spirit, Son, and Father; Give God the glory.” 

Hymn No. 235 (Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation): This was a “Latin hymn” of the 7th century. It was in our earlier hymnal and had acceptable wording. But the hymnal committee decided to replace the old fourth stanza with a new one that now leads Seventh-day Adventists to worship the Catholic Trinity concept of God: “Praise and honor to the Father, Praise and honor to the Son, Praise and honor to the Spirit, Ever three and ever one.” The oneness meant is a physical oneness. For, in the Trinity, all are composed of the same identical substance. 

Placing these Trinitarian songs into our hymnbook appears to be a studied effort to lead our people to believe in the Catholic “three in one” error, which is not Scriptural. Both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy teach that the Godhead is composed of three distinct eternal Beings—not one Person showing three different forms. The Spirit of Prophecy calls the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—”The Heavenly Trio” and “three divine Personages.” 

Scripture Reading No. 709 (“Trinity,” from Ephesians 1, 2, and 4, R.S.V): The Bible passages correctly speak about the Godhead. But the title teaches Advent believers to use the Catholic term, “Trinity.”


At the time that the Second Advent movement was preaching the coming of Christ in 1840-1844, John M. Neale (1818-1866) was part of the Oxford Movement—which tried to bring Catholic teachings into the British Anglican church. Neale helped this movement by translating old Catholic hymns into English. Fully 13 of them are in the new SDA Hymnal! Hymn Nos. 42, 72, 115, 116, 136, 169, 170, 230, 235, 424, 429, 629, 646. Three of these (72, 116, and 235) are in the list of the ten new Trinity hymns. 


In addition to four hymns which were earlier mentioned as having been changed (Nos. 27, 71, 73, and 235), here are three others:

Hymn No. 402 (By Christ Redeemed): There is a major Catholic error in this hymn, as verse two upholds the blasphemous doctrine of transubstantiation (the “real presence”). 

“His broken body in our stead Is here, in this memorial bread.” 

This is the false Catholic doctrine, that the substance of the bread and wine are changed into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, even though the external appearance remains the same. We, as Protestants, believe that the communion bread and unfermented grape juice are symbols of Christ’s flesh and blood. 

George Rawson, the author of this hymn, did NOT write “Is here,” but “is shown.” Who changed the words? Surely, there must be high-placed secret Catholics in our church which permitted all these additions and changes to be made. 

Hymn No. 300 (Rock of Ages): Investigative Judgment downgraded. In verse three, the message of God’s judgment is taken from the hymn. Augustus Toplady had written: 

“When I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne.

But in the new hymnal the words have been changed to:

“When I soar to worlds unknown, and behold Thee on Thy throne 

Why was the word, “judgment,” left out, especially at a time when the judgment hour message is so essential to be shared with the inhabitants of the world? The previous Church Hymnal (No. 474) made no such deletion in the fourth verse. Surely this was a deliberate decision to eliminate the judgment message from this hymn. There is a judgment before the Second Advent! New theology teaches that the judgment occurred at the cross when Jesus died. We need a new hymnbook, not one that is corrupted with Roman Catholic error.

Hymn No. 125 (Joy to the World): Second Advent downgraded. Verse one of this well-known hymn in the new SDA Hymnal states: 

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” Isaac Watts’ original words were:
‘Joy to the world, the Lord will come!” 

Why was the Second Advent removed from this song? 

   'PRAYERS  TO THE  HOLY SPIRIT'  HYMNS (added by webmaster)

Jesus never prayed to the Holy Spirit in Scripture and He taught us to pray to the Father. No apostle writers ever prayed to the Holy Spirit and Ellen White never advocated praying to the Holy Spirit. 

No where in Scripture or in the Spirit of Prophecy are we told to pray to the Holy Spirit. We do pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us and our prayers are carried to Jesus and the Father by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings us the thoughts  and answers to our prayers from Jesus and the Father.      We definitely need to the Holy Spirit!

The Roman Catholic Church advocates praying to the Holy Spirit. They have done so for centuries. Praying to the Holy Spirit is part of Ignatian Spirituality.  

Should we be singing prayers addressed to the Holy Spirit?  There are  hymns in both the old and the new hymnal that are song prayers to the Holy Spirit. Some of them are old favorites.

Consider the words of the hymns you sing and what you are saying and and to Whom you are praying. 



Hymn No. 194 (Sing We of the Modern City): This hymn has the following heathen, non-Christian wording: “Christ is present, and among us. In the crowd we see Him stand. In the bustle of the city Jesus Christ is every man.”

[webmaster note: Hymn No. 21 has the phrase: “In all life Thou livest, the true life of all”. Is this not reference to pantheism? ML]

Hymn No. 648 (I Vow to Thee, My Country):
This is a strange hymn exhorting the worshiper to vow a nationalistic vow to give one’s life to his nation: “I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love: The love that asks the reason, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best. The love that never falters, the love that pays the price.” What is this doing in any of our church songbooks?


We would be very naive if we did not believe that there are those within our Church, obviously in positions of influence, who are working deceptively to change the very foundations of our faith.
This official 1985 Hymnal is one which the Vatican would approve. This song-book should be discarded and a new one published. 

Until that happens, local churches should refuse to sing from it. 

We should be able to sing this hymn to God in Spirit and in truth:
"0 Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.” 




Date of Publication: February 2008