03 May 2012

A Song About Jesus, Us and ... a Sloppy Kiss?

Last night, visiting a megachurch where I once sat as a blissfully ignorant, Hell-bound false convert, I could not help but be overwhelmed. As I looked around at the massive Wednesday night crowd, I could only thank my Lord Jesus for opening my eyes and for saving me. I prayed that He would offer the same grace and mercy to some of the blind souls there that evening, especially in light of what they were about to hear.

Note: The actual purpose of my visit to this church will perhaps become evident in a future post. So, consider this an off-topic teaser.

The "worship" music played for about 25 or 30 minutes. I stood silently and observed. Noticing the people, the lights and the beat of the drum, there certainly was quite a mood created and emotions manipulated. At the start of one particular song, however, my attention turned to the song lyrics. It was clear that the regulars were quite familiar with this song, and some of my readers may be as well. Apparently it has been around for a couple of years now. Of course, you must understand that I am hopelessly "out of the loop" when it comes to contemporary "Christian" worship music. I like it that way.

The song that caught my attention was "How He Loves" by John Mark Mcmillan. Video and lyrics are below.


He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I Realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

Pre-Chorus:
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Chorus:
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

Verse 2:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way...

Chorus

Verse 3:
Well, I thought about You the day Stephen died,
And You met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony.
...They want to tell me You're cruel,
But if Stephen could sing, he'd say it's not true, cause...

Chorus 
(Source
There is a lot to be disliked about this song, and plenty within it to elicit concern. For starters, it is about me. And you. Us. And someone loving us. We can only assume this someone is Jesus, though the song doesn't actually say. It also does not really say why He loves us, just that He loves us. Does Jesus love  us? Well, yes. Yet, this song fails to acknowledge that you and I are nothing more than (presumably) saved sinners, and that there is nothing inherently lovable about us! Still, it was not these lines that made me gasp. No, I gasped when I heard the band sing, "So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss, And my heart turns violently inside of my chest." 

Really? A sloppy, wet kiss? What does that even mean? Well, apparently this question has been asked before, because the writer of this song has written a blog post with the following answer:
It seems that people either hate it or love it because they think I’m some how talking about kissing God. Please folks, I never ever, ever, ever, thought of this line as though it was talking about kissing God. Please read the words.


“HEAVEN meets EARTH like a sloppy wet kiss”


The idea behind the lyric is that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth converge in a way that is both beautiful and awkwardly messy. Think about the birth of a child, or even the death of Jesus himself. These miracles are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sloppy ("gory" may be more realistic, but “Heaven meets earth like a gory mess” didn’t seem to have the same ring). Why does the church have such a problem with things being sloppy? Do we really think we’re fooling anyone on Sunday morning, especially God? Are we going to offend him? I mean, he’s seen us naked in the shower all week and knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we’re awesome. What if we took all the energy we spent faking and used that energy to enjoy the Lord instead? That could be revolutionary!
(Source
While it's helpful to know that Mcmillan did not intend for this lyric to say that we are kissing God, the fact remains that this phrase does bring with it certain connotations.

For a moment, though, let's look at what the writer did intend for the line to mean:
The idea behind the lyric is that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth converge in a way that is both beautiful and awkwardly messy. (Source
It seems that Mcmillan believes people are concerned with the idea of something being "messy," yet that is hardly my concern. What strikes me is that he has relegated the incarnation of Christ, His life, death and resurrection to a "sloppy, wet kiss." How does this picture in any way accurately depict the reality of the story of Christ?

Further, in his explanation, Mcmillan says that God "knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we're awesome." No. Jesus didn't die because He thinks we're awesome. He died out of obedience to the Father to bring glory to Him. And if we are in Christ, we still aren't "awesome" on our own accord. No, Christ in us, Christ as our Mediator, Christ as our Substitute, He is awesome. Covered in His blood, the Father sees us as righteous. But if God looks upon us without the righteousness of Christ, well, we're in trouble. The point is that Jesus does know our worst thoughts, He does know that we are wicked and sinful, and yet He died for us anyway. If He had died because we were so awesome, that wouldn't be good news. But He died even though we weren't awesome. Not even close. Now that is some good news.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
To denigrate this amazing sacrifice, this perfect work, this saving act to the picture of a "sloppy, wet kiss," is loathsome. While it often seems that words cannot fully describe the gracious and merciful act of Christ's atonement, surely we can do better than comparing it to something such as this.

There is much more that could be said about this "worship" song, and this line in particular. In searching for information about this tune, I stumbled across this article at the Stones Cry Out blog. It offers a very comprehensive treatment of this discussion, and I suggest taking the time to read it. 

40 comments:

  1. Ebenz:

    Sign of our times...

    Unregenerate men and women are capable of not only creating and singing UnBiblical lyrics and entertaining masses of similarly deluded souls,....they are also clearly able to concoct " gods" made in their likeness and to their "liking".

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  2. Thank you, Ebenz, for posting this. I am a member of a megachurch and although the "worship" songs are not as bad as this, they come close. I have known something was wrong but didn't know how to articulate it. You have done a great job. "Loathsome" is a good and accurate word. I also visited a church recently - a very different church from my megachurch just to have a different experience. Without going into detail, the "worship" songs were 18th and 17th century hymns with a theological depth that I have never known at my megachurch. I have been giving a lot of thought to this and have been trying to research how and why contempory church music has become so insipid. John MacArthur has a new book out on worship that was helpful to me and led me to some more resources. Your post is timely and I thank you for it. Keep up the good work. You are deeply appreciated.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'll be praying for you as you research and seek God's wisdom further on this issue. Personally, I prefer hymns, although there are plenty of bad hymns out there too! However, as you noted, most contain a "theological depth" that is greatly lacking in today's worship music. Those old hymns were not only worshipping God, they were didactic, and teaching the people of God. They cause you to ponder and truly worship the Almighty, rather than lessening Him and His work down to something so human and trite.

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  3. Erin,

    Just when I think I've heard the worst "Christian" song, someone like you gives me another one to put in the list. ARGH!!!! These goats who sit and listen to this tripe will never understand the true relationship between God and his people.

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    1. Sorry, Glenn, but I know the feeling. I kind of wish I could have seen my own face when they sang that verse. I believe the most appropriate description would be that my eyes "popped out of my head." I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

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  4. Thank you for giving us something to consider here. I actually liked this song on some level when I heard it (the parts of it I could understand), but I never noticed the heaven and earth and the sloppy, wet kiss because I didn't hear it clearly. It is also significant to note that we make the assumption of who this song is about and assumptions about what the use of the word grace means, etc. Perhaps I was distracted too. That happens alot as a mother. So, again thank you for this. We must stay alert! Music is power and is not spiritually neutral. Praise God for opening my eyes to that truth!

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  5. Although I usually agree with you,I believe you are way off on this one. Why were you even in a "mega"church? I left one,and do not go back to "visit". Perhaps you were looking for something to point out,and you found it.

    I'm sure you don't want to hear this,but it seems you have gotten angrier ( subtly so ) in your posts.

    People can be truly saved,and say things that disagree with your theology. Don't go to places that you know may upset you,it seems silly and arguementative to be in places you were "saved" from to begin with. You aren't doing the Lord a favor by pointing this out.

    Perhaps you should rememeber Paul,who choose not to point out dividing issues. Live your life as a Christian,saved by grace,if you are. Pray for those you,in your human wisdom,you think are wrong. And work hard to preach the gospel to those who are lost.

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    1. Brooklyn,
      As I mentioned, the reason for my visit will be explained in a future post. I did not go "looking for something to point out," but rather to report on something, as any "real" reporter would do. Would you attack a reporter from a publication other than a blog for doing such a thing?

      This song was simply something that caught my attention while there, and I don't believe that this is merely a "silly" issue. This song denigrates the person and work of Jesus Christ, yet it is lauded and applauded as a "worship" song. Is that really okay to you?

      You told me to pray for those who I think are wrong. Did I not say that I was led to pray for those who were there? Once you know more about the teaching these people were exposed to, then perhaps you will understand why I felt that burden. Did I not point out the gospel in this very post?

      How is it that I have gotten "angrier"? Can you offer some examples? Or is it that you don't think I should have visited a megachurch, and that upsets you? Can you be more specific as to why you think I am "way off on this one"?

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    2. Brooklyn,
      Paul certainly DID point out false teachings, as did Jesus. They condemned it.

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    3. Brooklyn, are you kidding about "Paul,who choose not to point out dividing issues." Have you read much of Paul's writing?

      1 Timothy 1:19-20 ...which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

      Over and over Paul warned of false teacher/teachings and called out numerous people BY NAME.

      Jude 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

      We would be following in our Lord's footsteps to be somewhat angry at what we see all around us in so called christianity. Jesus turned over the money changers tables at the beginning and end of his earthly ministry because he was angry at the religious corruption.

      Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

      Beware not to succumb to the spirit of the age which is tolerance, false peace, and false unity.

      EBENZ: Keep up the good work and stand fast!


      Michelle

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    4. Well, I suspect that Brooklyn would say that those people and false teachings that Paul called out were of greater importance than this issue. Brooklyn, please do correct me if I'm wrong. Surely you did not mean to imply that Paul never said anything "divisive"!

      Michelle, thanks for your encouragement! :-)

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    5. "Paul,who choose not to point out dividing issues."

      Really? Hmmm, I think you wanted to say that Paul did not only point out dividing issues...For example he condemned to hell false teachers:

      "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."
      ~ Galatians 1:8

      Paul also wished that those Pharisaic false teachers would castrate themselves:

      "I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!"
      ~ Galatians 5:12

      Broklyn, given just above do you think Paul was angry? You bet. Do you think he had a valid reason to be? You bet again so please do not assert that anger a priori is something completely foreign to faith unless you want to make the case that Paul was wrong or not of the faith but then I can show you same about Jesus and what are you going to do then?

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  6. The song itself is sloppy. It fails to lift God up and elevates man. It belittles sin and diminishes the person and work of Christ. It is because of God's great love that we are not consumed.

    EBenz I'm glad you took the time to evaluate this in hopes that people will come out.


    This is quoted from a book I read that talks about Music:

    "One of the saddest features of contemporary worship is that the great hymns of the church are on the way out. They are not gone entirely, but they are going. And in their place have come trite jingles that have more in common with contemporary advertising ditties than with the psalms. The problem here is not so much the style of the music, though trite words fit best with rite tunes and harmonies. Rather the problem is with the content of the songs. The old hymns expressed the theology of the church in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome, memorable language. They lifted the worshiper’s thoughts to God and gave him striking words by which to remember God’s attributes. Today’s songs reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate one’s thoughts about God.
    Worst of all are songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word, or phrase over and over again. Songs like this are not worship, though they may give the churchgoer a religious feeling. They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among God’s worshiping people.
    An excellent study of worship by a Lutheran woman, Marva J. Dawn called “Reaching Out without Dumbing Down” which is actually about worship. She makes the chief point that much of what we call worship today is not worship at all but is instead a glorification of ourselves."

    she gives an example of the song "I will celebrate"
    The chorus seems to be praising God---it claims to be praising him---but that is the one thing it does not actually do. As Dawn points out, “The verbs say “I will” but in this song I don’t, because although God is mentioned as the recipient of my praise and singing, the song never says a single thing about or to God.”
    What is the song about then? If we look at it carefully the answer is clear. With all the repeats, “I” is the subject twenty-eight times, not God, but “I’ myself. And ot even myself along with other members of the covenant community, just “I.” With that kind of focus,” says Dawn, “we might suppose that all the ‘hallelujahs’ are praising how good I am…. At celebrating and singing.”
    What is this but narcissism, an absorption with ourselves which is absorbed in our worship services, as weseem to be, it can only mean that we are worldly in our worship, and not spiritual as we ignorantly suppose.

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  7. Ebenz,
    I think you should write a blog piece on "Does Jesus Think I'm Awesome?" Bet you would get a LOT of comments and we would get a good picture of the contemporary American church.

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    1. Hmm...that has some real potential...

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  8. While I understand the writer of this article is concerned for the truth and state of the church and worship, and that the overall negative experience of visiting the mega church could have influenced the analysis of McMillan's song, it is my opinion that the critique characterizes the song beyond its actual substance to make a greater comment on contemporary worship music while misrepresenting the song by not taking into consideration the context of John Mark McMillan’s directly expressed theological views and the musical/lyrical works in which artistic expressions of his theological assertions and beliefs have context and meaning.

    Understandably, the writer may not be familiar with John Mark McMillan and thus the contextual work of McMillan, so I understand why the writer may be frustrated at the seeming ambiguity of the lyrics caused by the absence of a direct inclusion of a name of God. To the discussion of the need for this or not, I am not making entry for argument. Those who are familiar with McMillan would be aware of the Christian emphasis and directive placed in his music through lyrics that make great use of poetic and literary devices of language. McMillan regularly uses synonyms, imagery, and other poetic/literary devices to communicate stylistically. To my point: I think it would be more of stretch to think that McMillan would be talking about something other than God.

    Secondly, criticizing McMillan for not explaining why God loves us or the absence of expressing that we are saved sinners is, to me, an invalid measure of critique. Must every song (in the entirety of songs) include these two direct theological expressions to be acceptable? If so, then many songs currently considered "good" (by those who critically analyze such things) may no longer be considered "good"; there are hymns which to do not contain these two direct theological expressions.
    In analogy, criticizing this song on these two theological points in similar to criticizing John 3:16 in that it would not be a "good" verse because it does not contain these two ideas (why God loves us or that we are saved sinners) expressively. Such a conclusion would be illogical. John 3:16 should be considered within the context of all scripture where the two theological expressions do exist. Similarly, McMillan's song should be considered within his expressed theology both in his artistic works and direct quotations. A critique should analyze the entirety of McMillan's theology to determine if there is error. No assertion of error regarding these two theological statements should be made simply because the writer of this critique did not find them directly addressed.

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  9. To the statement: "this phrase does bring with it certain connotations" I can say that when I first heard this song, I did not have any connotations of sexual immorality or the implication of fleshly spirituality with God. Therefore, I do not consider it fair to criticize McMillan when the basis of argument can be as open ended as a hearer's non-contextualized interpretation of a phrase; especially when I know that there are many who have heard this song and not been troubled by associating the lyric with fleshly lust or unholy relating to God. Familiarity with McMillan’s artistic use of language would relegate this point of critique mute.

    In my opinion, this critique paragraph is in error:

    "Further, in his explanation, McMillan says that God "knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we're awesome." No. Jesus didn't die because He thinks we're awesome. He died out of obedience to the Father to bring glory to Him. And if we are in Christ, we still aren't "awesome" on our own accord. No, Christ in us, Christ as our Mediator, Christ as our Substitute, He is awesome. Covered in His blood, the Father sees us as righteous. But if God looks upon us without the righteousness of Christ, well, we're in trouble. The point is that Jesus does know our worst thoughts, He does know that we are wicked and sinful, and yet He died for us anyway. If He had died because we were so awesome, that wouldn't be good news. But He died even though we weren't awesome. Not even close. Now that is some good news."


    My conflict with the paragraph is not in the asserted theological truths of rebuttal, but that the author of this critique has created error on behalf of McMillan to argue against, rather than show McMillan in error. (My argument here is similar to my argument regarding the absence of McMillan's expressively stating of a name of God.) The author of this critique has taken the opinion that McMillan is stating that God loves sin or thinks we are awesome because we sin. McMillan (in context of his art and quotations) is stating that God finds us (referring to believers in his context) awesome (reflective of his use of language) or acceptable because we are in Christ.

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    1. In re-reading some of this, I wanted to respond to the following:

      "The author of this critique has taken the opinion that McMillan is stating that God loves sin or thinks we are awesome because we sin. McMillan (in context of his art and quotations) is stating that God finds us (referring to believers in his context) awesome (reflective of his use of language) or acceptable because we are in Christ."

      If you read my post, you'll see that I never say, or even imply, that McMillan is stating that "God loves sin or thinks we are awesome because we sin." What I am saying is that the song, in its declaration that we are "awesome" completely ignores the finished work of Christ, and instead puts the glory on us.

      You say that McMillan is saying that God thinks we are "awesome or acceptable because we are in Christ." He may very well believe that, but I don't see it in his explanation and I most certainly do not see it in his atrocious song lyrics.

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  10. The crux of this sentiment is quite clear in McMillan's expression (paraphrased): "I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us". This is theologically in alignment with Paul's encouragement to "press on toward the goal", "forgetting what is behind" found in Philippians 3. My opinion is that it is within reason to say that McMillan's song, is in part, to encourage believers to continue toward Christ despite past sin (what is behind) in light of Christ’s propitiation for our inadequacies. This is what McMillan is referring to when he says: “Do we really think we’re fooling anyone on Sunday morning, especially God? Are we going to offend him? I mean, he’s seen us naked in the shower all week and knows our worst thoughts, and still thinks we’re awesome.” Again, in context with McMillan’s art and quotations, “awesome” refers to the favorable attitude that God has toward believers because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ on their behalf. I think it also reasonable to understand that McMillan is addressing a problem that is somewhat more associated with young people who feel like giving up in their walks with Christ because they feel disqualified to continue working out their salvation due to past sin. Accordingly, he expresses the need to focus on the love of God shown through Christ's propitiation that Christ's sacrifice makes us acceptable to God (the statement awesome reflecting a favorable attitude of God toward us because of Christ).

    Again, I find error in this critique with the statement: "To denigrate this amazing sacrifice, this perfect work, this saving act to the picture of a "sloppy, wet kiss," is loathsome. While it often seems that words cannot fully describe the gracious and merciful act of Christ's atonement, surely we can do better than comparing it to something such as this."
    This statement again implies something that McMillan has not done as though he has done it. McMillan is not relegating the work of God, in its entirety, to be contained within the expression "sloppy, wet kiss". The author of this critique is imply that McMillan is expressing an all-encompassing, holistic, thorough, all-encompassing, complete, exacting, and non-artistically linguistic presentation of the theology and history of Christ’s atonement (I assert this upon the author because such a case must exist in order for the detracting opinion of the critiquing author to exist legitimately and with substance). Such an expression by McMillan cannot be proved from the song, nor can it be after examining the context of McMillan’s work and direct theological statements.

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  11. McMillan writes: The idea behind the lyric is that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth converge in a way that is both beautiful and awkwardly messy. Think about the birth of a child, or even the death of Jesus himself. These miracles are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sloppy ("gory" may be more realistic, but “Heaven meets earth like a gory mess” didn’t seem to have the same ring).”
    In light of this statement by McMillan, the lyric "sloppy, wet kiss" is not denigration as the author of the critique implies, but rather a informal commentary that the work of Christ on the cross was gory/messing to the point that it was offensive to self-righteousness. The cross of Christ was an offense to the Jews because it was not "neat" enough for them, it was too “messy” and so they rejected Christ as Messiah. Therefore, within reason, one can conclude that McMillan is making the statement that the Cross of Christ is to be accepted as is, full of pain, suffering and death, and that the sovereign choice of God in response to our sin must be fully accepted as our only means of salvation. It is within reason that McMillan is making the statement that in as much as believers must accept the reality of Christ’s death as the only propitiation for sin, so also must believers move forward in Christ, working out their salvation by the grace of God; knowing that the love of God casts out fear and frees the believer to forget what is behind.

    It is my opinion that the author of this critique, while making a commentary on the state of mega churches and modern worship music, vilified John Mark McMillan’s song to expediently express his dissatisfaction with his visit to a mega church rather than thoroughly examine the song within the context of John Mark McMillan’s artist works and quoted theological statements. I do feel familiar enough with McMillan and his work to make the assertions and draw the conclusions that I have regarding this song; however, I do not claim to exhaustively know all of his theological positions nor all of his intentions in creating music and art.

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    1. Anonymous,

      I assume that the previous 4 comments are all from the same individual. While I realize it is not explicitly stated in the Comment Policy (though will be after today), the point of a comment string is to be brief. When we combine all 4 of your comments, there is more content here than in the original post! Might I suggest, then, that if you have so much to say, it may be a good idea to begin your own blog. They are free and quite easy to set up.

      That said, I will not even attempt to respond to every point here. I suggest that you go back and read the article which I linked to in my closing paragraph. In that article, you will see a cogent argument explaining why, in the context of a corporate worship song, it is important for a writer to be clear about meaning. How many of the thousands (or millions) of people who have sung this song do you suppose are intimately aware of the theology and thoughts of Mcmillan? My guess is that, even if someone listens to his music regularly, they still are not informed of this in detail. This is unfortunate because, as a writer, he has an opportunity to share that theology clearly and distinctly with a large number of people.

      Of course, I would argue that the lyrics to this song do reflect his theology, and that is precisely the problem. I have already explained this in my post, so there is no reason to repeat that here.

      Thank you for sharing so many of your thoughts but, if you choose to comment again in the future, please keep it brief.

      Thank you.

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    2. Wow, so many words, so little reason. Singers with apologists, what next? If the theological statements and beliefs of JMM are so wonderful, why did you not treat us to a couple? Frankly, I'm not interested. There was enough of his convoluted "theology" in this "artistic work" of his. To address one or two phrases in the song: "sloppy, wet kiss"; there is only one valid and honest interpretation to these words and that it is wholly of a sexual nature. If Mr. JMM has such a command of the English language as you claim that he does, then he would know that. Or does he know that and inserted the phrase on purpose? I'll opt for the latter.

      In his explanation (read excuse) for this insult to God he states that God thinks we are awesome. Please provide book, chapter and verse from the Bible that even hints at this, muchless says it outright. He's not doing too good in the theological arena so far.

      "We are His our portion, He is our prize." The first half of this is true, we are His inheritance (Eph.1:18). The second half is highly questionable in that He is our inheritance (Eph. 1:11) NOT a "prize". Prize, as in something to be gained through contest or striving as if we can persuade God to save us because He thinks we are so "awesome". No genuine believer would ever consider themselves as being awesome in God's sight and most especially after salvation has been granted to them (Eph.2:8&9). Rather, they would see themselves as did Job, Isaiah, David, Paul, Peter and others saw themselves---totally filthy, unworthy, sin-filled, and deserving of the wrath of God, EXCEPT for the grace of God that redeemed them.

      Why the diatribe of defence for someone and his song who is in obvious error? Defence of the faith (Jude 3) would be a much more profitable exercise than defence of one who blasphemes the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice by putting a disgusting sexual bent to it.

      Darrel

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  12. Hi Ebenz,

    chanced upon your blog when I was searching/looking at Christine Caine's info after watching Joyce Meyer's video on human trafficking.

    After reading some of your sharings, my thought was its not easy to be a pastor. It must be God's calling into the ministry and its indeed a high calling.

    Are you called to be one too? That's why you are burdened and also went to study Bible. Or focussing more on the academic ("research") arena? That's why all your detailed sharings on what should be God's truth?

    Thanks for your sharings.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      Thanks for your questions. I most certainly know that I am not called into the pastorate for multiple reasons. The first and only important of those is the biblical mandate against women holding such an office (see 1 Tim. 2:9-15 as well as the description of the qualities of an elder in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1). God would never issue a call that is contrary to His revealed will in His Word.

      I contend for the faith because it is something that every saved, regenerate person should do (see Jude 3). This has nothing to do with formal education. Every person who has been saved by the grace of God should be seeking to proclaim His truth, and expose error when it is compromising that truth.

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    2. Hello =)

      Thanks for replying.

      Wow, I didn't know women aren't supposed to "hold such an office". So I guess my comments on Christine Caine & Joyce Meyer might have displeased your knowledge about God...

      Haven't really study about this area and the actual context when Apostle Paul said that. I thought there was a woman judge in the old testament? I can't deny the grace of God in most of them and how God has used and is using the women in pastoral/evangelical ministry mightily for His glory. Of course refering to those who walk in the reverent fear of the LORD.

      Would you also consider writing some good reports about the Church too? This will help provide a balance view of a God who is in charge of His creation.

      Thanks for your interest and dedication to see the advancement of God's kingdom.

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  13. Broklyn, as an analogy consider it like a contagious disease. False teachings and error are like a contagious disease. You wouldn't want a contagious disease to get out of hand and spread. The same thing with Error and false teachings-in order to protect the spread of this disease(error and heresy even unbiblical songs)for the well being of others, this disease MUST be confronted, isolated and STOPPED just the same. Just like any good doctor or the CDC would do to control the spread of a disease, so EBenz has done in that she has brought out in the open-into the light to the public this danger that needs to be exposed for the health of the body of Christ and anyone who is caught up in such dangers. We ARE to Get the facts and the latest news about emerging false teachings--The Word of GOD says so--EXPOSE ERROR-Ephesians 5:11. It IS love to expose "the fruitless deeds of darkness" to inhibit the spread of such error. We are to learn error prevention by reading the Word of God as well. You don't want error and false teachings to spread anymore than you would want an infectious disease to spread.

    It IS LOVE and what EBenz has done is EXACTLY what pleases the Lord Jesus Christ because she CARES for to confront our Family members with this error just like a diseases before it gets out of hand and affects others.

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  14. I will keep my comment brief... it is a stupid song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for being brief, Anonymous. And thanks for giving me a chuckle. :)

      Delete
    2. Glad to do so, EBenz. Keep up the good work.

      Delete
  15. Now that I saw the lyrics, yea, it is bad.

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  16. This was originally a David Crowder Band song. But I don't recall that third verse - John Mark must have added it. The original song doesn't have the "Heaven meets Earth in a sloppy wet kiss" line either - it reads "Heaven meets Earth in an unforeseen kiss," which has a totally different meaning. I don't think this is a worship song either. If I were David Crowder, I would sue for copyright infringement. If you're going to sing someone else's song, sing it right. Here are the original lyrics:

    (Verse 1)
    He is jealous for me
    Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden
    I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
    And I realise just how beautiful You are
    And how great Your affections are for me

    (Pre-Chorus)
    And O how He loves us
    Oh, O how He loves us
    How He loves us all

    (Chorus)
    Yeah He loves us
    O how He loves us
    O how He loves us
    O how He loves

    (Verse 2)
    We are His portion and He is our prize
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
    If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
    So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
    And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
    I don't have time to maintain these regrets
    When I think about the way

    Pre-Chorus
    Chorus
    Link to lyrics: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/How-He-Loves-lyrics-David-Crowder-Band/43DBCF23CFAF819F48257631002ED36D

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    Replies
    1. Diane,
      As I noted, I don't keep up with contemporary "Christian" music, but from reading McMillan's blog, it sounds to me as though McMillan wrote the song first, and then Crowder covered it and changed the lyrics. No reason to sue, as they were both aware. After all, if they really are both Christians, they shouldn't be suing one another anyway, now should they?

      And for the record, the fact that David Crowder, who is a contemplative mystic, sings this song in any variation does not help make a case for this song as a tool for Christian worship. At all.

      Delete
  17. Ebenz: another well-thought and analyzed out post. Thank you for all your efforts and articles. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.
    To 4-posting, long-winded Anonymous: here's a tip--brevity is the key to effective communication. SImply pulling out the thesaurus and writing as much as you can for the sake of masking any substantive argument doesn't get you anywhere...it only convinces readers that you just like hearing yourself talk (or see yourself write)!

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  18. Didn't David Crowder do this song as well. I liked the song and melody, but would never have considered it a worship song...

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  19. Diane,

    Actually McMillan wrote this song. David Crowder covered (re-recorded) this song from McMillan. David requested permission from McMillan to change the lyrics of the sloppy wet kiss to an unforseen kiss. McMillan noted this in his blog post.

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    Replies
    1. I must have missed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Delete
  20. EBenz said-"And for the record, the fact that David Crowder, who is a contemplative mystic, sings this song in any variation does not help make a case for this song as a tool for Christian worship. At all."

    Nope songs like this written by Contemplative mystics should never be used because are incompatible with Christianity and do not mix like oil with water don't mix. We should NEVER mix the holy with the profane

    We should instantly see such words as contemplative, mystic, ecumenism, syncretism etc and reject it knowing they are unbiblical.

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  21. Anyone have any suggestions for a good hymnal, one that is theologically sound ? I see lifeway has the Broadman Hymnal (first published in 1940)back in production, is that one good ?---Thanks

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  22. I just got back from a Life Action Family Camp and this song was used in one of the worship services. I don't care for most contemporary Christian music and was mouthing the words to this song without really singing them since I didn't know the song, and I was stopped in my tracks when the "sloppy wet kiss" phrase showed up on the overhead screen. I stopped singing the song and was shocked that others were still singing, besides my husband and close friends beside me. This is a conservative group of people and I'm sure others thought the same thing. I would love to voice my concern on this song, but didn't know who to speak with since everyone seemed to like the song. I hate that songs like this are being used at this camp, but I think the problem is that young, college kids lead the worship music. I felt like the visiting preacher didn't like it either because he led us in a beautiful hymn as soon as his feet hit the stage.

    ReplyDelete

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