Offensive Worship Songs: GOD’S NOT DEAD by the Newsboys


AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When a song has a good beat and energetic music, it’s easy to just join the throng and sing those lyrics without really thinking about what you’re saying to God.  But here’s the thing about worship: it’s a two way street.  There’s not just you belting out those words, there’s also Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit standing right there listening to you.  When we claim to be worshiping our Gods, we shouldn’t just be yammering a bunch of insulting guff at Them.  We shouldn’t just be letting some animated performer lead us down some road of irreverent statements and meaningless confessions.  Treating our Gods with honor means giving serious thought to what we’re saying to Them, and making a point to choose worship lyrics that are actually worshipful.  Unfortunately, worshipful lyrics are not what we find in the song God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion).  Brought to us by the Newsboys and popularized in the recent God’s Not Dead movies, this song contains some very problematic words for the serious Christian.  Let’s now go through these lyrics line by line so you can decide for yourself if this is a song you should be singing to God.

Verse one begins with some very sloppy wording.

[Verse 1] Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold to see a revolution somehow
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold to bring a revolution somehow
Now I’m lost in Your freedom; In this world I’ll overcome

Here you’re talking to God and making a specific request.  You want Him to let “love” explode and resurrect people.  You want this bold, explosive love to somehow bring a revolution.  Then you tell God that you’re lost in His freedom and that you’ll overcome the world.  Well, since you’re such a little overcomer, what do you need Him for?

What exactly is God supposed to do with this absurd blathering?  You’re not specifying which dead people you want resurrected—are you praying for a mass resurrection of everyone who has ever died?  God’s certainly not going to do that.  Are you talking about the physically dead or some other kind of dead?  You don’t clarify.  And what is this guff about being “lost” in God’s freedom?  What does that mean?  Just what is it you think you’re free from?  Free from all moral accountability?  Free from God expecting you to obey His convictions?  You’re not really free, you’re totally dependent on a God who is demanding quite a bit from you—most notably reverential submission.  And what is this guff about you overcoming the world?  That sounds rather pompous.  Are you trying to downplay your dependency on God?

Suppose a friend of yours ran into the room shouting, “Come help me eat all of the hotdogs in the world!  All of the hotdogs everywhere!  I’m lost in your blankets!  I’m going to go out now and crack the toughest code in the world!”  Would you find such random, nonsensical musings to be complimentary?  Would you feel like your friend is even talking to you?  No, you’d feel like she was talking at you while her mind was focused elsewhere.  God hardly finds it pleasing when we talk to Him this way.  He hates hypocrisy.  He wants honesty and He wants us to really talk to Him, not just pretend we’re talking to Him while we’re really just rocking out to music.  How would you feel if some friend who always ignored you stood in a corner of a room singing about how much you mean to her?  Would her hypocritical lyrics make you smile?  No, you’d find them irritating.

[Chorus x2] My God’s not dead, He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside, Roaring like a lion
Roaring, He’s roaring, roaring like a lion

Oh look, you’re declaring that God is not dead.  And how is this a complimentary statement coming from a Christian?  Is this your way of saying that you were recently considering the possibility of God being dead, but now you’ve decided that He’s not?

This song makes no sense.  First you tell God to let love resurrect the dead, then you declare that He’s not dead.  Then you say He’s living on the inside—the inside of what?  Of you?  Actually, God’s everywhere, and this picture you’re painting of Him being some roaring lion in the cage of you is hardly complimentary.  What is God roaring about in your mind?  Lions don’t roar for the heck of it, they roar when they feel agitated.  This song is certainly agitating.  After declaring that you’ll overcome the world, and boasting of some epic freedom that you don’t really have, you declare to God that He’s not dead and somehow in your mind this all adds up to worship.  Are you seeing the problem?

[Verse 2] Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
My faith is dead I need resurrection somehow
Now I’m lost in Your freedom; In this world I’ll overcome

There you go again: claiming that you’ll overcome.  Yeah, because God is always thrilled with His creatures boasting about all of the great feats they’ll accomplish without Him.  Nice.  But of course the real clincher is this sudden confession that your faith is dead and that you need to be resurrected.  Say what?  You just got done saying that God isn’t dead and boasting of how lost you are in His freedom.  Now you’re saying that you don’t even believe in Him because your faith is dead.  So dead, that you have no hope, thus you are now asking God to “Let hope arise.”  Really??

Confessions are serious things to God, yet here you are tossing out this flippant confession about having no faith.  Well, if you really had no faith, you wouldn’t even believe that God is, so clearly your “God’s not dead,” declaration is just a bunch of insincere baloney.  See how it works?  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t be a Christian and not a Christian at the same time.  Now it’s a very real thing to be in a crisis of faith, and when we are, God certainly wants us to come to Him for help.  But in such moments, solemn praying is what we need to be doing, not rocking out to some song in which most of the lyrics are irrelevant to our current situation.

[Chorus x2] My God’s not dead; He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside; Roaring like a lion
Roaring, He’s roaring, roaring like a lion
He’s roaring, He’s roaring

Now that you’ve declared yourself to be hopeless and faithless, repeating this chorus becomes even more irreverent as you talk to God like He has the IQ of a turnip, therefore He’s not going to pick up on what a blowhard you’re being.

[Repeat x3] Let heaven roar; And fire fall;
Come shake the ground with the sound of revival

Ah yes, here it is: the classic Christian whine fest for God to entertain us with dramatic shows of power while we refuse to make any effort to apply ourselves in the work of faith.  Well, why should He?  While you sit here flinging this rot in His face, you actually have the gall to demand some show from Him?  Who do you think you are?  This is God Almighty you’re talking to, not some dunce who exists to entertain you.  Are you picking up on how irreverent this garbage is?  The Newsboys are modeling some very bad spiritual leadership here.  But of course, once a band is so popular that Christians will cheer over anything they say, where’s the motivation to care about honoring God?  When we lose our reverential fear of God, we start cranking out garbage like this and then make videos of ourselves prancing about on stage as we encourage God’s people to worship us while they insult Him.  This is where the Church is at today.  It’s not very pretty, is it?

Ironically, during the end times, we will see the Holy Spirit causing a literal fire to fall on certain mass gatherings of Christians—the kind of fire that will burn them alive and leave the room filled with smoking corpses.  When you hear about such events in the news, before you start beefing at God remember how many centuries Christians have spent pleading for Him to make the fire fall.  Worship is not a game to God.

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