When people who speak different languages start socializing with each other on a regular basis, it doesn’t take long before they start merging their languages. Each fellow steals some words and phrases from the other fellow’s language and he starts teaching those new phrases to his pals. The English language is a fabulous example of this. If you buy an English dictionary, you’ll find that it contains many words that aren’t English at all, but English speakers have adopted them with such enthusiasm, that they now consider them part of normal English. Take sauerkraut, for example. There’s nothing English about that word, it’s totally German. If English speakers wanted to keep their language pure, they could redefine what sauerkraut is in English terms. But if you go into an American food market, you won’t find cans labeled as containing “pickled shreds of cabbage.” Even though that’s what sauerkraut means in English, the Germans make it sound so much tastier by the way they say it, so English speaking Americans have stolen the term. Continue reading
How many professional Christian musicians does it take to write one bad song about repentance? Well, in the case of Soul on Fire, it took six: Matt Maher, Brenton Brown, and four members of the Christian group Third Day. So, really? Six guys to write a song with so little to it? Can you imagine that conversation? “Hey, I put the G chord in the second verse, so I get my name on it.” “Hey, I wrote that one line in the chorus, so I get my name on it, too.” “Hey, I came up with the title, so I get a cut.” We Christians really do get ridiculous in our lust for glory and fame, don’t we?
Now to understand why singing Soul on Fire is going to leave your soul feeling discouraged about ever getting into a good place with God, you need to get a correct understanding of how repentance works. It’s time for some analogies. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Would you want your spouse to just snatch some random greeting card off the rack and hand it to you without bothering to really think about what the card says? Isn’t it true that phrases like “I love you” become very hurtful when they’re said insincerely? When we sing songs to our glorious Makers, we need to be giving serious thought to the lyrics and make sure they are ones that our Gods would actually find pleasing. There are many worship songs in circulation today which grossly insult our Gods. Singing to Them is not like singing at some brick wall which neither knows nor cares about what you’re saying. Our Gods are very sensitive and deeply passionate Beings. They detest it when we just yammer on at Them with no consideration for Their feelings. Do you want your husband to groove along to some song that grossly demeans women just because it has a cool beat? Do you want your wife to be singing along to a song that grossly insults men and then scoff at your protests by saying, “Don’t be so touchy! I love the melody!”? A lot of really irreverent songs become popular among Christians simply because of catchy rhythms and great harmonies. We can’t help the fact that we enjoy a tune, but if the words insult one or more of our glorious Lords, then where do we get off singing it at Them? Worship is not a game to Them. Our worship needs to be sincere, and that’s not going to happen until we are really thinking about the words we’re singing. Don’t be saying or singing stuff to God that you don’t mean. He finds it annoying—wouldn’t you? Continue reading
A favorite trick that Satan uses to get you to lower your guard is to quote Scripture. Just stick a verse in the middle of the lies and that makes it all okay. And while we’re at it, let’s yank things out of context and try to pretend God was talking to Christians when He so wasn’t. Whenever you hear someone quoting the Old Testament and trying to say God was really talking to YOU—a New Covenant believer—when He said whatever He said, you need to be extremely cautious. While the Old Testament provides us with an invaluable education about who our Gods are and what pleases Them, many of the passages we love to quote are being grossly misapplied. Malachi 3:10 is a prime example of this—the old “Bring the whole tithe into My storehouse.” Let’s take a quotation from a furious Yahweh who is reaming out a bunch of snarky rebels and pretend He’s talking to Christians who actually care about pleasing Him. Can we get any more foolish?
Now Christian leaders know that you don’t know your Bible very well. They know that they can yank Scriptures out of their contexts and make them say whatever they want. Since you’re too lazy to look up the passages for yourself, you’ll never realize how many baloney sandwiches you’re being served on Sunday morning. It’s a classic trick, and you’ll find that many false shepherds rely heavily on verse quotations to woo you into trusting them. Continue reading
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: Continue reading