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A man accustomed to a mainline traditional worship went to a contemporary worship service on 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 songs instead of hymns.”

“Praise songs?” asked 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,
the corn, corn, corn.’

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing five or six times that would be a praise song.

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As luck would have it, the same Sunday a young woman accustomed to contemporary worship services attended a mainline traditional worship 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 songs.”

“Hymns?” asked 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, immutable 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 nor his rain.
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea, those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight
Broke free from the shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
They, goaded by minions of darkness and night,
They all my mild Chiliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by
Where all the corruption of earth are reborn,
Where no vicious animal makes my would cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.’

Then, if I were to sing only verse one, three, and four, and if I were to do a key change on the last verse, that would be a hymn!

The author chooses to remain anonymous for the author has offended everyone.

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