We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Where's the Meat?


I have a friend still attending the assembly which we’ve left, and he tends to fill me in with a lot of the nonsense going on there.  Recently the new youth pastor was going to preach on John 8:48-49, focusing on vs 58 where Jesus refers to himself as “I Am.”  Well the “pastor of worship” decided that he had a song to sing before the sermon, which he said tied right in with the message.  The song of choice was “I Am,” by David Crowder.  Take a look at the lyrics now:

There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place where we can't find peace
There's no end to Amazing Grace
Take me in with your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go, never leave my side.

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am

Love like this, Oh my God to find!
I am overwhelmed what a joy divine!
Love like this sets our hearts on fire!

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am

This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
There's no space that His love can't reach
There's no place that we can't find peace
There's no end to Amazing Grace

I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to you.
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on,
I am


Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there anywhere in this song where it refers to God as “I AM”?  What I read is the singer saying, “I am holding on to You” — i.e., he is holding on to God.  

There is a whole lot here about the lyric-writer but not a whole lot about God.  The endless repetition is one of the problems with today’s “worship” songs. 

I also have to ask, “Where’s the meat?”  Yet this is what passes for “worship” in today’s church assemblies. 

11 comments:

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

MEAT? That's not even milk. It's more like cotton candy.

Anonymous said...

That's what's being sung at your former assembly, Glenn? This song, tied in with a sermon about how God is "I AM"... and yet the lyrics are about the person's so-called ability to hold onto God in their own strength? Sorry to hear that, that's really awful.

I agree, cotton candy, if that.

-Carolyn

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

We were hoping that assembly would see what's happening and change back to the way they were, and I keep hearing more an more people disgruntled there who still hang around hoping, but I think they are firmly on the road to where they are traveling now. Sad, after investing 13 years there, yesterday as I finally told them to revoke my membership.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Glenn, I'm very sorry to hear this. It seems to be more and more common these days, unfortunately. I hope the Lord will find new assemblies for the believers who are still there. They will starve to death if they remain.

-Carolyn

Anonymous said...

Sadly Glen, man is thinking in his heart that he is the great "I am."

Listen to the conversations around you in church and in the public forum, read the local newspapers as well as media in general, and compare it to what our LORD says....this is what I hear constantly in communities...."I AM SO PROUD."

So what does humility really look like amongst those who profess Jesus, the Christ, as LORD and Savior? For I personally have not met a humble believer and follower of Jesus in this generation. All inside the church institution promote the self, the great I am in reference to advancing the self and the self agenda.

Jesus humbly went to that cross to save me from hell, all the while man says, "I am so proud of myself.

I just want to cry.

Martin said...

I'm sorry, to place in the public arena, your quarrel, and to do so on the back of a song quoted, is rather tragic. You can't even testify yourself to what is currently happening. Controversially I like the song, and think that some of them phrases are thought provoking, but understand that it might not have been right to use linked to an I am saying. But it is not a bad song. Repetition? Not a modern song problem as psalm 136 shows! And that from every era there are good songs, Charles Wesley for example, wrote some great hymns, but also quite a lot of twaddle!! Same in every age.
There are sometimes good reasons to leave a church community. To quote one worship song when you weren't there and to use that as the reason to cancel your membership is tragic. Looking for the church to change back to the way they were sounds like a grumpy old man being nostalgic. Good luck at finding the perfect church.

Anonymous said...

I read it that the I am section is God speaking to us. That there is no end to grace is a great biblical truth that most of us (including me) are still grasping the implications of.

Doug Evans said...

I am is repeated 25 times... My first thought was that this really brings Matthew 6:7 to light. My second thought was to say I am twenty five times especially before a sermon on John 8:58 is an outright declaration of divinity. Maybe we should look into this noise and see if it has Mormon origins.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous, 7/20,2:29AM

Even if it IS God speaking, it has absolutely nothing to do with God's name "I AM". Nothing at all to do with the cited sermon passage.

I find absolutely no need for this sort of fluff in the assembly

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Martin,

My "quarrel" is in the public arena to demonstrate what is happening the the Church at large today. It is all Hillsong and Vineyard, and both places are rife with aberrational theology.

What I am saying about this particular song is that it is ambiguous as to who is actually hold on to whom, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the cited text. The song is trite and totally inappropriate for the assembly. The repetition in this song has one purpose - working up the emotions.

I know there are old hymn with problems and have never stated otherwise ("In the Garden" is a perfect example of an early "Jesus is my boyfriend" genre)

I never ever stated or even intimated that song was the reason I cancelled my membership. Canceling our membership is something my wife have been discussing for months. And it isn't just the music they introduced last fall, rather it is the whole change towards "market-driven" they've adopted, they lack of discernment which has been building among the leadership, and a whole lot of other behind-the-scenes stuff which has been happening, and which I have been outspoken about to the leadership.

Again, I use this song as an example of the milk passing off and worthy worship songs.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

You know, there is a very good reason to understand the lyrics as saying the singer is holding on to God and not the other way around - "You" is capitalized!