THIS is the Condemnation
poison. The music is often so unbiblical that I have to literally turn it off because it offends the Holy Spirit within me.
It makes me wonder, "What is worse? Downright raunchy, profanity-ridden secular music or 'Christian' music which promotes 'another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel'? Which is more damning? To be an outright sinner or a hypocritical Christian?" Jesus would say it is the latter (Matthew Chapters 6 and 23).
My children would often be bewildered when I turned the station. In their eyes, if it is on a "Christian" radio station then it must be "Christian" music. So I told them, "You know, this is not Praise & Worship music." When they asked what the difference was, I had to consider that myself.
What was it that was so offensive about much of what was being played on the radio? While perhaps not a technical definition, I told them, "Praise & Worship focuses on the Lord: His majesty, His mercy, His grace, His power, etc. It glorifies Him. Most of this music on the radio focuses on man and what God can add to man." In a nutshell, one comes from a place of God-consciousness and the other self-consciousness.
Quite honestly, I have never heard such gobbledygook & psycho-babble as what is being passed off as the truths of God in music these days.
There could never be a more beautiful you...you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair are perfect just the way they are.
You gotta believe that you are someone worth dying for...You're worth it, you can't earn it. Yeah, the cross has proven, that you're sacred and blameless.
Everything that I see draws me...How do I sense the tide that's rising? De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity...Lord what we gon do,We're relying on you...Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world.
He is with you when your faith is dead and you can't even get out of bed or your husband doesn't kiss you anymore. He is with you when your baby's gone and your house is still and your heart's a stone.
Tonight’s the night, for the sinners and the saints, two worlds collide in a beautiful display. It’s all love tonight when we step across the line. We can sail across the sea to a city with one king.
When a heart is cold as ice, you can't melt it with advice. No one wants to listen to a list of things they shouldn't do. So I build a city on a hill and I light a candle on the sill. Knowing you'll be always knocking at the door. Oh God I just want to love on everyone.Some might look at these lyrics and say, "What's the big deal?" I say it is a subtle, subversive attack of the enemy to make us believe that Christianity or even salvation is all about us. It is a deceptive promotion of humanism as Christianity.
The BIG truth of which many Christians are ignorant is that salvation and indeed even our creation by God is not primarily about us (Revelations 4:11)! We are not the center of God's world; His ways and His will do not revolve around us.
Believe it or not, this is a shocker for many people - even professing believers! Too many people falsely believe that God created man so that He can sit back and enjoy granting our every desire like a big Sugar Daddy in the sky. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We were created to accomplish God's purposes in the earth and until we realize that, then we will keep a self-centered (and erroneous) view of God. I will be going into this more as I continue posting sections of the book, but I feel that I must address this here as well as it relates to the false views of salvation permeating the landscape (as reflected in much of the music). Look again at the lyrics quoted above.
Are we perfect just the way we are or is God perfecting us to be more like the One who is perfect (Matthew 5:48; Romans 8:29; Titus 2:11-14; I Peter 5:10)? Do we have to validate our image of ourselves & our physical appearance in this world before we can appreciate who we are in God? Are we not encouraged to consider all in this world - and even our own lives - as dung so as to win Christ (Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 64:6; John 12:25; Philippians 3:8; I Peter 3:3-4)?
Did Jesus die for us because we were "worth it" or did He die for us while we were lost in sin and the enemies of God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:20-21)? Does the cross "prove" that we are sacred and blameless or does the cross provide a way for us to become sacred and blameless (I Corinthians 1:8; II Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 2:14-16; I Thessalonians 4:3-7, 5:23; I Timothy 3:10; I Peter 1:13-16; II Peter 3:14)?
Is it normal for everything we see in the world to "draw" us or are we called to mortify our members on the earth so that the lusts of this world do not draw us? Are we to just depend on the Lord and His forgiveness when we allow ourselves to be consumed with the things of this world or does He tell us to sanctify ourselves so that we are not consumed (Genesis 19:15-17; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:26-27; Colossians 3:1-2, 5-7; I Thessalonians 5:23; James 4:4; I John 2:15-16)? What is impetus behind, and outcome of, being "drawn" after that which is unGodly and is it possible not to be so drawn (James 1:12-16)?
What does it mean for God to be "with us"? God is everywhere; He even shows grace and mercy to those who are His enemies (Matthew 5:45). God's faithfulness is surely not dependent upon the things of this life. However, His being faithful does not mean that we can walk around in dead faith or with stoney hearts as we are also called to be faithful to Him (Luke 19:17; John 14:15; Romans 12:1; I Corinthians 4:2; James 2:17-26; Jude 1:3; Revelation 2:10, 17:14). God is always faithful, it is man who is not.
Is God bringing "sinners and saints" into a "beautiful" collision as they are all brought together in service under one King (Joshua 24:15; Luke 16:13; Romans 6:16-19, 8:5-8; James 4:4)? Is the definition of "love" to eradicate the "line" that distinguishes sinners and saints or is this even a line which will be acted upon by God Himself at the Judgment Throne (Matthew 3:12; 13:30, 25:32-41)?
Is it "love" to not tell people about sin (Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 6:23; Luke 11:35)? What does Scripture say about those who despise correction (Proverbs 1:30, 10:17; 12:1, 13:1, 15:10; John 3:20)? Does Jesus promise to always be knocking at the doors of our hearts (Jeremiah 7:26, 11:14; John 17:9; Romans 1:24-28; II Thessalonians 2:10-12)?
I am asking you to step away from the nice melodies & the inspirational words (as well as any idolatry of the artists themselves) to take a BIBLICAL look at the messages being portrayed.
Salvation is not about how you feel about yourself, what has happened to you or even what you have done. Jesus is not the means to help you feel good about yourself.
We must get our eyes off of ourselves if we are to ever truly walk in fellowship with the Lord. In the world, fallen man is completely self-conscious; driven by what he likes, what he wants, what he thinks... We live our lives for ourselves and then we bring this attitude into salvation and call it "Christianity".
You can discern this mindset even in how people talk about coming to faith in Jesus Christ. They will make comments such as, "My problem was that..."
- I was never loved
- I never forgave myself for things I have done
- I never felt accepted by others
- I never fit in anywhere
- I never thought I was beautiful
The revelation of salvation is not that we can now finally be somebody, but the realization that we are in fact nothing apart from Him. It is not to finally believe that we are worth something, but to understand that He alone is worthy. It is not to be convinced of our own beauty & greatness, but to perceive how wretched & small we are in comparison to One so holy & mighty.
Let's not deceive ourselves. The reason people don't come to Jesus is not because they don't have a positive view of themselves. According to the Scriptures, there is only one reason why men do not to turn to faith in Christ:
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." John 3:19-21
THIS is the condemnation: we loved darkness more than light.
Your problem (and mine) was not that you were mistreated & abused in the world. It was not that we were searching for love, but unable to find it. Our problem was that we loved darkness more than light. Unless we are prepared to deal honestly with that love for darkness, then Jesus will never be more than a "Dr. Phil" for many. He will be a tool to help me be happy with me, love me, and be content with me. He becomes the way towards self-validation because we falsely believe that learning to love ourselves is the "greatest" love of all. Such is delusion for appealing to man's self-worth will not lead them to repentance from sin.
Notice however that anyone then who speaks of sin or repentance becomes the enemy to that type of message. Instead of showing the way of righteousness, the Christian is supposed to simply embrace all and "show love" by leading people to believe that they are fine just the way they are.
Jesus, Friend of Sinners." We have written before about the errors in promoting Jesus as a friend to sinners, but what also comes across in this song is how this message makes the real Christian out to be the obstacle to another's salvation. The things which God commands us to do become those things which are considered "unloving". In order to show love according to this thinking, we must turn a blind eye to sin.
I have loved a number of Casting Crown's songs and have often posted them here, but again I ask: truly examine these lyrics. Is this the Gospel message? And if not, then what is being promoted here? My comments appear in brown below.
Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far awayJesus is not out to make us "feel good", but to change our hearts and minds so that we can be like Him and do the works His Father has commanded of us. It is only when our eyes are on Him that we can have a right self-image because in Him is where our identity is found (Acts 17:28).
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
[Who is the "we" who have strayed so far from God and are cutting people down? Is this supposed to represent all Christians? While I agree that the word of God can be used unrighteously, is there not a rightful use of the sword to cut between that which is soulish and that which is spiritual in order to make plain the way of righteousness (Habakkuk 2:2; Psalm 149:6; Isaiah 30:21, 49:2-3; Acts 2:37; Ephesians 6:17; II Corinthians 2:17, 4:2, 10:4-5; Hebrews 4:12)?
Is the "truth" that the "world" is really on its way to Jesus, but being tripped up by those who serve Him (Matthew 7:13-14; John 15:19, 17:9; I John 2:15-16, 3:1)? Is the main calling of Jesus' disciples to make sure that they don't get in the way of the "world's" salvation or is it to preach the Gospel? Are all Christians double-minded, hypocrites? To whom does God command to clean their hands; is it the saint or the sinner (James 4:8)? Who does God really command not to judge, and why?]
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours
[It is unmerciful and hard-hearted to point out sin (Matthew 9:13; Luke 5:32; II Peter 3:9)? Is God's heart broken about sin or does He have righteous indignation about it (Psalm 7:11; Nahum 1:2-3; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Revelation 14:10)?]
Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who's writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did
[Did the "righteous" turn away from condemning the woman caught in adultery or was it the "self-righteous" (the scribes & Pharisees)? Isn't there a difference between the two? Did Jesus' "love" mean He ignored sins or did He tell people to "go and sin no more"? When Jesus & His disciples brought the reality of man's sin to light, were they "judging the wounded" (Matthew Chapter 23; Mark 11:17; John 4:16-29, 5:14; Acts 2:14-37, 6:8-7:54)?]
You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet
[Yes, Jesus came for those who were lost and leprosy in Scripture is symbolic of sin. However, Jesus didn't just leave lepers in that condition. Neither did He just overlook their leprosy and pretend it wasn't there or that it didn't matter. Jesus healed their leprosy (Matthew 8:3, 10:8, 11:5; Mark 1:42l Luke 5:12-13, 7:22, 17:12-19)! He will do the same with our sin, cleansing us from it and giving us victory over it so that we are no longer lepers; or as the Scriptures say, no longer "unclean" (Leviticus 13:3-59, 14:44-57, 22:4). If we are still unclean lepers after having come to Jesus, then we have not yet been healed, delivered, saved; we need to be born again.]
The way that Jesus heals the brokenhearted is by giving us a new heart: one not focused on ourselves. The way that Jesus heals our wounds is by getting our focus off of them so that He can work through us to tend to the wounds of others. Let us never use the Gospel or a right relationship with Jesus Christ as a psychological crutch to prop ourselves up or make us feel better about our existence in this world.
Even in our "salvation", are our eyes on ourselves or on Jesus?
UPDATE: Brother Seeker_of_Truth has recommended the following video by Min. David Wilkerson called, "Counterfeit Christianity", so I am posting it here for your edification.