The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Worship Songs from Satan: Build Your Kingdom Here

97

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

As a Christian who wants to grow closer to God, it is vital that you are totally open and honest with Him in your prayer life. The way God chooses to operate in this world often frustrates and confuses us. We don’t understand why He withholds healing and help from some people while giving it to others. We don’t understand why He lets evil men rule the day. Of course, if we read our Bibles and did a better job of listening to the Holy Spirit we would understand because God has already explained these things to us. But the prevailing Christian mentality today is to just coast. Don’t put much work in your relationship with God. Don’t pay attention to the things He teaches you. Just live from one adrenaline spike to the next. Downplay your role in rebellion. Deny that God’s discipline ever comes in negative forms. When things go wrong, talk like it’s all His fault. Such deluded thinking is what inspired the lyrics to the popular worship song “Build Your Kingdom Here.” The title alone should give you pause. Why would a Christian think it’s a good idea to ask God to build His Kingdom on earth? Since when does God not already have a Kingdom well-established here? What’s the Church if she’s not the Kingdom of God? Ah, but so many of our Christian composers find it fashionable to pretend obvious truths aren’t obvious, so we end up with ridiculous lyrics like:

Come set Your rule and reign in our hearts again.

“Come set Your rule”? Apparently someone thinks God has laid His scepter down. Well, no He hasn’t. God ALWAYS rules over everything in existence. “Reign in our hearts again”—this phrase brings up a very common misconception among Christians. We are constantly trying to assess spiritual realities in terms of emotional warm fuzzies, earthly circumstances, and other useless measuring rods. How do Christians become so deluded that they actually think God is not reigning over them? God’s sovereignty doesn’t fade in and out like sunlight on a cloudy day. God is ALWAYS reigning. What’s really being expressed here is a refusal to believe that God is reigning unless we “feel” like He’s reigning. Well, this is hardly a worshipful sentiment.

Increase in us we pray. Unveil why we’re made.

Isn’t this a song that was written for Christians? How do Christians ask God to unveil why they were made? If you don’t have any clue why you were made, you’re a long ways from salvation. God has already told us why He created us: to be in a relationship with Him. He also told us why He saved us: because He loves us and wants a positive relationship with us. So how are we asking such a foolish question? Do we think it pleases God when we feign ignorance like this and act like He’s never explained anything to us?

“Increase in us as we pray”—what on earth does this mean? Do we think God is some shriveled up raisin who we’re hoping will plump up as we hose Him down with prayers? Let’s be clear about who is in us: the magnificent Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God Almighty, not money in your bank account. He doesn’t “increase”—you either have Him, or you don’t.

Come set our hearts ablaze with hope like wildfire in our very souls.
Holy Spirit, come invade us now. We are Your Church.
We need Your power in us.

It’s pretty rich for us to ask the Holy Spirit to invade us while at the same time claiming to be His Church. When we talk about “God’s Church” on earth we mean “all Christians.” A Christian by definition is someone who has the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. So if you are asking the Holy Spirit to invade you—meaning, you’re claiming that you don’t already have Him—then you can hardly claim to be a member of God’s Church.

“Come set our hearts ablaze with hope like wildfire”—in other words, “give us a bunch of sensual rushes.” Let’s get real about these dramatic lyrics we pump out in the name of “oh, God, we care so much about You.” No, we don’t. We care about ourselves and our carnal flesh getting a tingle. We think that if we stand around blatantly denying truths that God has already taught us, He’ll be wooed into rewarding us with some sensual high. How wrong of us to treat our glorious Gods with such disdain, valuing Them only for some cheap adrenaline spike. We’re not even through the first verse of this song, and we’ve already claimed not to understand why we exist, we’ve denied God’s sovereignty over all things, and we’ve rejected the Holy Spirit’s Presence with us. What a great worship song.

We seek Your kingdom first.

What a crock! After all the insulting things we’ve already said to God in this song, we dare to claim we are seeking Him first? What part of ignoring, rejecting, and insulting God do we think qualifies as seeking Him first?

We hunger and we thirst.
Refuse to waste our lives for You’re our joy and prize.

“Refuse to waste our lives”?? What brazen language! We dare to imply that GOD is the problem when we’re the ones refusing to align with Him?

To see the captive hearts released. The hurt, the sick, the poor at peace.
We lay down our lives for Heaven’s cause.

Ah, now our carnal motives are starting to come through more clearly. Notice how we define “Heaven’s cause” to be the things that WE want: human beings living on earth in perfect comfort and bliss. This certainly isn’t God’s cause. He’s already told us that His cause is to motivate rebellious souls to repent and return to a right relationship with Him. Making the earth a miserable place is a key part of His motivation process. But since we’re not listening to anything God has said, we feel free to redefine truth for Him.

We are Your church. We pray revive this earth.

Has it ever occurred to us that all the misery we’re complaining about IS God’s way of reviving the earth? Why isn’t it working to the degree that we want it to? Because WE are refusing to listen to Him.

Build Your kingdom here. Let the darkness fear.
Show Your mighty hand. Heal our streets and land.
Set Your church on fire. Win this nation back.
Change the atmosphere. Build Your kingdom here. We pray.

Ah, yes, a long string of commands from us to God. And while we’re busy telling Him what to do and criticizing what He’s already doing, are we practicing reverential submission? Not hardly. We’re trying to dominate and control Him. We’re trying to make Him align with OUR carnal agenda and give us cushy lives. This is our idea of worship: bossing our King around and making a bunch of insulting inferences about what a lousy job we think He’s doing of running this world. Nice.

Unleash Your Kingdom’s power reaching the near and far.

Unleash His Kingdom’s power? God’s Kingdom doesn’t have power—GOD has power. And since the Church is His Kingdom, are we subtly trying to say we want Him to loan His power to us? Dream on—that’s not going to happen.

No force of Hell can stop Your beauty changing hearts.

Here’s more misguided theology. Hell is God’s domain: He created it and He rules over it. He is the One throwing creatures into it and inflicting them with torment. But of course we flip this all around in the Church. Because we’re in denial about the reality of God’s wrath, we’ve decided Hell must be Satan’s domain, and that he rules over it with his fellow demons. Therefore “the force of Hell” becomes a reference to “the power of demons.” Well, no, this simply doesn’t work. Hell is God’s turf, and demons have no power over it. And God’s “beauty” doesn’t change hearts. His love, healing power, and instruction changes hearts. This song is filled with very sloppy and misleading metaphors.

You made us for much more than this!

No kidding. He created us to thrive under His care as we live in reverential submission to Him. But since we’re choosing the path of willful defiance instead, it’s hardly surprising that we’re not experiencing our full spiritual potential.

Awake the Kingdom seed in us! Fill us with the strength and love of Christ.

Here’s more baloney. We are already members of God’s Kingdom. There is no “Kingdom seed” that has gone stagnant inside of us. It’s our willful rejection of God which is being communicated so clearly through the lyrics of this song that’s causing us to spiritually stagnate. It’s OUR problem, and WE are the ones who need to do the changing, not God. “Fill us with the strength and love of Christ” is just another veiled request for sensual rushes and earthly goodies. If we were exercising faith in the things God has already taught us, we wouldn’t be describing ourselves as lost, abandoned creatures who have no clue as to why they were ever made.

We are Your Church. We are the hope on earth.

We are God’s Church but we’re so not the hope on earth. The people in this world need something much better than bratty Christians bossing their Makers around. The people in this world need God—HE is the hope. Enough with the egotistical self-glorying. We need to give the credit where it’s due.

Build Your kingdom here. Let the darkness fear.
Show Your mighty hand. Heal our streets and land.
Set Your church on fire. Win this nation back.
Change the atmosphere. Build Your kingdom here! We pray!

(repeat)

This song ends with two more stanzas of us bossing God around. Good grief, what an offensive composition. It’s irreverence put to music. As a Christian who cares about pleasing God, you need to THINK about the lyrics of the songs that others put in front of you. The fact that there is music playing doesn’t suddenly make it okay to insult God by rejecting His truth, slandering His Character, and then acting like you’re His superior. There are many very good, God-honoring worship songs available in the world today. Obviously “Build Your Kingdom Here” is not one of them.

FURTHER READING:
Worship Songs from Satan: Create in Me a Clean Heart
Worship Songs from Satan: Fall Afresh

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