The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Offensive Worship Songs: JESUS, ONLY JESUS by Passion

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

We have three Gods.  We might feel uncomfortable using the word three or putting an s on the end of the word God.  But we don’t run the universe, and we didn’t create our Creators.  Yahweh is not Jesus.  Jesus is not the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is not Yahweh.  We have three separate and distinct Creators, and once They reveal this fact to your personal soul, it means that you need to make some changes to the way that you communicate with Them.  After all, if your friend Rick introduces you to his buddy Ben, would you then go right on talking to Rick as if Ben doesn’t even exist?  No, because in the realm of humans, such behavior is considered insulting and rude.  Well, when you insult humans, they are limited in the way that they can retaliate.  Such is not the case when you insult omnipotent Gods.  So as much as it might make you feel squirmy and awkward to finally acknowledge that your three Creators really aren’t one Blob with a split personality, Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not embarrassed about Their distinctiveness.  It’s more like They’re proud of it.  And after the enormous fuss Jesus made by claiming to be a second God, He’s really not going to let you fluff off the concept of multiple Deities as if it’s no big deal.  It’s a very big deal that the human race has received a corrective update about how many Gods there are.  We used to think there was only One: Yahweh.  Now we know that there are Two more: Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Since salvation is attained through sufficient submission to the true Gods, clearly salvation works a bit differently today than it did back in the days of the Old Covenant.  It used to be that just submitting to Yahweh was enough. Now we must submit to Yahweh and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus gave that final Great Commission to His eleven disciples, He told them to baptize people in the Names of three Divine Beings, not just in the Name of Yahweh. 

With her usual absurdity, the Church has decided that not acknowledging the full number of our Creators is a hill to die on, thus you’re taught that it’s sacrilegious to say, “We have three Gods.”  Well, you can make it a crime to say, “Humans need to breathe oxygen to live,” but refusing to acknowledge facts out loud doesn’t make them go away.  We have three Gods, and because of this, we have a responsibility to worship, honor, serve, and cherish all three of those Gods without playing favorites.  Is it okay to worship just one God at a time?  Sure, They all love having your focused attention.  But while you’re telling the Holy Spirit how fabulous He is, you need to be using language that doesn’t exclude Yahweh and Jesus.  It’s very right to sing songs that exalt Yahweh as being awesome, but while you’re busy planting your soul kisses on Him, don’t be forgetting that you have two other awesome Gods and save some soul kisses for Them as well.

As you might guess by the title, the worship song Jesus, Only Jesus is one of those Christian disasters where we all stand around pretending that we’ve never heard of Yahweh and the Holy Spirit while we act like Jesus is the only God in existence.  It took six Christian leaders to put this bomb together: Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redman, Nathan Nockels, and Tony Wood.  Popularized by the group Passion with Matt Redman singing the lead, this song pretends to be exalting Christ while it grossly insults Yahweh and the Holy Spirit.

There just aren’t that many things you can say about Jesus which don’t also apply to Yahweh and the Holy Spirit because They are all the same kind of Divine Being.  In Jesus, Only Jesus, Matt leads us through a list of abilities, attributes, and complimentary titles which clearly apply to all three of our Creators, and yet he keeps insisting that these things apply to only Jesus.

[Verse 1] Who has the power to raise the dead? Who can save us from our sin?
He is our hope, our righteousness; Jesus, only Jesus

Really??  Jesus is the only Being in existence who can raise the dead?  So we’re no longer crediting Yahweh for the children He raised back to life through the prophets Elijah and Elisha? So we’re calling the Holy Spirit impotent when it comes to matters of life and death?  That’s hardly God-honoring.

This business about Jesus being the only One who can save us from our sin is more guff.  Sin is not some murky swamp that we’re drowning in until Jesus dives in to rescue us.  Our Gods define sin as a set of actions and attitudes, and when They talk about “saving us” all They’re really referring to is forgiveness.  When our Gods forgive us, They graciously decide not to nail us with the full consequences which They declare to be reasonable for creatures who fail to treat their Creators as well as they should.  Forgiveness is a voluntary choice on Their part.  It’s not some incredible strain.  It’s not some exhausting rescue effort.  So when we say that Jesus is the only One who can save us, we’re talking about ability.  We’re saying that Yahweh and the Holy Spirit are incapable of forgiving sins, and wow, it doesn’t get more obnoxious than that.

Today the Church is so entrenched in favoritism of Jesus that she ends up talking as if He was our first introduction to grace, mercy and salvation.  You’ll find that the apostle Paul supports this conclusion in his blasphemous little epistles as well.  Paul grossly slanders the Character and abilities of Yahweh by suggesting that He was both unable and unwilling to save anyone until He came up with the idea of Christ (see Romans 5: Paul Leads Us Astray on Sin & the Character of Yahweh).  And yet it was Yahweh who invented the grace filled rituals which gave meaning to Christ’s claim to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  It was Yahweh who came up with the elaborate sacrificial system, it was Yahweh who taught the Jews about atonement, and it was Yahweh who invented the tradition of community sins being symbolically transferred onto a scapegoat every year (see Know Your Bible Lesson 6: The Sacrificial System). It was Yahweh who was so gracious towards Cain after the little twerp had murdered his brother for honoring God.  It was Yahweh who decided not to hold David’s sins against him.  It was Yahweh who was lenient with Adam and Eve in the Garden, it was Yahweh who accepted the repentance of the rebellious Manasseh and it was Yahweh who spoke so graciously to Jews who were spitting in His face 24/7.

“Come, let us discuss this,” says Yahweh. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isa. 1:18)

Yahweh taught us what grace, forgiveness, and salvation are. The only reason that the symbolism Jesus attached to the cross even makes sense in our brains is thanks to theological concepts which Yahweh taught us.  So how do we thank Him?  We sing some twerpy song in which we say that Jesus, only Jesus is the One we associate with the concepts of salvation, eternal hope, and righteousness.  How very nasty of us.

[Verse 2] Who can make the blind to see? Who holds the keys that set us free?
He paid it all to bring us peace; Jesus, only Jesus

First we say that only Jesus has the chops to raise the dead to life.  Now we expand the insult by saying that Yahweh and the Holy Spirit are so pathetically incapable, that They can’t even make the blind see.  Really??  How is this worship?

“He paid it all to bring us peace”—notice how this line makes it sound like Jesus is the only God we have to reckon with in life.  But wait—isn’t Yahweh the One who is credited with “so loving the world” in John 3:16?  And didn’t Jesus Himself make a point to split the glory between Himself and Yahweh for the crucifixion event?  Yes, He did.  Jesus never taught us to view Him as the only One who “sets us free.”  On the contrary, He was constantly exalting Yahweh as playing a critical role in our salvation.  He also made it clear that His death didn’t change the way that salvation is acquired.  Merely acknowledging that Jesus exists and that He died on a cross isn’t going to keep you out of Hell.  Salvation is only granted to those who reverentially submit to Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the Supreme Authorities that They are.  Is this song encouraging us to choose reverential submission to all three of our Creators?  No, it’s encouraging us to pretend that Yahweh and the Holy Spirit don’t even exist.

[Chorus] Holy King, Almighty Lord; Saints and angels all adore
I join with them and bow before; Jesus, only Jesus

There are major problems with a guy like Matt Redman singing these lyrics.  Through other songs that he’s written, Matt has publicized the fact that he is personally aware that Yahweh and the Holy Spirit also claim to be Divine Beings.  Yet in this song, he says, “I bow before Jesus, only Jesus.”  Well, once a guy has been personally educated about the existence of all three of his Creators, then by choosing to submit to only Jesus, he is refusing to submit to Yahweh and the Holy Spirit.  Can we acquire salvation through this kind of selective soul submission?  No, we can’t.  If Matt really means what he’s saying in his song, he’s on his way to Hell for refusing to submit to all three of his Creators.  But hopefully Matt is just being totally sloppy with his language and he really isn’t being as rebellious as he sounds.  The important point for you to grasp is that submission to your Gods is an extremely serious issue.  It’s all or nothing.  There’s none of this “Choose your favorite God” garbage.  We’re not Hindus, we’re Christians.  We can’t just pluck one deity out of a pantheon of gods and call it good enough.  The true Gods will not be shunned by us.  Before They introduce Themselves to us, we obviously can’t submit to Them.  But once They do illuminate our souls with understanding about who They are, then the game changes and there will be dire consequences if we refuse to give Them the level of submission that They demand (see Understanding Salvation: How We Find the Real Gods & The Irrelevance of Titles).

[Verse 3] Who can command the highest praise? Who has the Name above all names?
You stand alone, I stand amazed; Jesus, only Jesus

“You stand alone”?  No, no, no, Jesus does not stand alone in magnificence, supremacy or in demanding the highest praise.  This song had the potential to be very honoring to Jesus, but that “only” language has turned it into a blasphemous pile of rot.  You simply cannot please Jesus by slamming His Peers, and there’s no way to avoid insulting Yahweh and the Holy Spirit once you start saying that Jesus is the only God who you will bow before.

[Chorus] Holy King, Almighty Lord; Saints and angels all adore
I join with them and bow before Jesus, only Jesus

[Bridge] You will command the highest praise; Yours is the Name above all names
You stand alone, I stand amazed; Jesus, only Jesus; Jesus, only Jesus

[Repeat Chorus & Bridge]

You will command the highest praise; Yours is the Name above all names
You stand alone, I stand amazed; Jesus, only Jesus; Jesus, only Jesus
There’s no other; Jesus, only Jesus

“There’s no other?”  This is simply not true.  There is only one Jesus, but that’s not what you’re referring to when you say these words.  You mean that there is no other Being in existence who can raise the dead to life, heal the blind, and save your soul.  You mean that there is no other God who is worthy of highest praise, and that there is no other Being who your soul is personally willing to submit to.  If this song was called Yahweh, Only Yahweh and you were living in the days of the Old Covenant before Christ was revealed, it could work.  But true Christianity is a polytheistic religion and you’re not going to get anywhere with the real Jesus by refusing to give equal submission to both Him and His two glorious Peers. Our Gods are loyal to Themselves first and foremost, and that means that if we try to snub any one of Them, we will end up rejected by all three of Them.  You either revere Them all, or you’re rejected by Them all.  There is no room for playing favorites.

FURTHER READING:
Worship Song Analysis: IN CHRIST ALONE by the Newsboys
Courtroom Drama: A Metaphor of Heaven that Insults Yahweh
Intercession: Exposing the Lies

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