From time to time, I plan to post lyrics from the songs we sang in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches I grew up in and pastored. Unbelievers and non-Fundamentalists might find some of these lyrics quite interesting, and, at times, funny or disturbing. Enjoy!
Today’s Independent Baptist Song is I Know Who Hold Tomorrow by Ira Stanphill. I was able to find a video of this song being sung by The Isaacs.
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow by Ira Stanphill
I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine
For it’s skies may turn to grey.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.
I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow is one of the songs Baptists sing when life is shitty. When your life is swirling the toilet bowl, sing songs about the care and promises of God and the Heaven that awaits born-again Christians. Think of this as religious Valium, except Valium is real and Heaven is not.
Stanphill (February 14, 1914 to December 30, 1993) was an Assemblies of God pastor, singer, and Gospel songwriter. A gifted musician, he was already playing piano, organ, ukulele and accordion by age 10. By the time he reached 17, he was composing and singing, participating in revival crusades, prayer meetings, and tent campaigns. He graduated from the Junior College in Chillicothe, Missouri, and was later awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, Indiana. As a singing evangelist, he preached all over America and in over 40 other countries. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1981, and published his autobiography, This Side of Heaven, in 1983.
When you read lyrics as a non-believer, it’s really striking how disgusting some of the lyrics are – being covered in Jesus’ blood? No thanks!!!
I know this guy who holds tomorrow and that isn’t enough for him so he passes around a plate for ‘love offerings’ as well! And not only is this NOT extortion (the guy know tomorrow after all), the government won’t even take taxes on the income!
We used to stand to sing in church while the offering plate traveled across the aisles from row to row collecting the cash. When it would pass by me as a child I could sometimes take it to give to the folks down the row and my eyes would delight in the bills and change in that plate. I was a paperboy and accustomed to counting and sorting cash. I had one of those long wallets on a chain attached to my belt. Oh, I would have loved to have been one of the counters of the offering instead of having to stay in my pew and listen to another sermon from my dad! While he talked over my head (in more ways than one) laying up treasures, I could have been in an office room counting a handfull of heavy coins and thrilling at the sometime discovery of a silver dollar coin or brand new dollar bill! Oh the joys of being Christian!!!
I can still hear my Dad singing this solo as “Special Music” in our IFB church growing up. Hell, I may have sang it a time or two solo myself before I exited stage left! BTW, I thought The Isaacs version sucked.
I, too, was raised Independent Baptist. But I turned away from the legalism and that organization not God. Then I searched the Scriptures for myself. I believe that if you knew the God of the Bible, the Savior Jesus–the real Jesus–you would sing another tune. Just read the New Testament all the way through as a child wanting to learn. After the third time, see what you believe. Note the key–read as a child wanting to learn.The Savior loves you.
I found this site accidentally, and may not be back. Please just read the Scripture .
Read the Bible. Why didn’t I think of that. sigh if only I had read the Bible . . .
I suppose you didn’t take the time to learn anything from my background? Like reading the Bible cover to cover dozens of time. Like spending 20 hours a week reading and studying the Bible for years. It’s likely I know the Bible a hell of a lot better than you do. That’s why I am an atheist.
Thank you for commenting.
Janice, why does “the real Jesus” need you to speak for him? For that matter, why would an actual god need a book, any book?
And why would a loving god even think about creating a place of eternal punishment? Does. Not. Compute.
Oh, and I read the Bible in the mid-60s, without adults telling me that it was true. That’s why it has never resonated with me, never seemed like anything more than some archaic fables from a faraway land. The Bible simply cannot stand on its own merits; in order to survive, its tenets have to be forced into the heads of impressionable people from an early age.