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, December 7, 2017

Another Song to Manufacture Emotion

This is a song I haven’t seen for a few years (thankfully) but this past Sunday it invaded our assembly.  It is based on charismania, which is why it gets everyone feeling good instead of thinking about what they are singing.  Let’s take a look:

Shine Jesus Shine
By Graham Kendrick

Lord, the light of your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth you now bring us
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus
Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth your word
Lord, and let there be light

Lord, I come to your awesome presence
From the shadows into your radiance
By the blood I may enter your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus

As we gaze on your kingly brightness
So our faces display your likeness
Ever changing from glory to glory
Mirrored here may our lives tell your story
Shine on me, shine on me

Chorus, repeated.

I’m not sure how Jesus can “shine upon us,” but I’m willing to allow poetic license.

“Blaze, Spirit, Blaze” — what is that supposed to mean? This goes along with the charismatic crowd’s praying (more like shouting) to the Spirit, which is totally unbiblical. Still, how does the Spirit “blaze” for us?  And setting “our hearts on fire”?  Well I understand about being “on fire” for the Lord (or for whatever one’s cause), but with the charismatic crowd they are always shouting, “Fire, Lord, more fire!” Which doesn’t make sense.

“Flow, river, flow”:  HUH?!?  What river is flowing, what river do we want to flow - that we are calling for to flow?  Charismania, again, is always talking about the river of the Holy Spirit, regardless of how unbiblical that idea is.  And the song calls for this “river” to “Flood the nations with grace and mercy,” so I think that proves that the “river” is supposed to be the Holy Spirit.  But this takes poetic license too far, into the esoteric phraseology of charismania.

Other than these issues, the lyrics of the song are acceptable, but the unacceptable, nonsensical chorus puts this song as not being something to bring into the assembly, not matter how much emotion it raises!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you might be being a bit hard on this one. The song predates charismania, and I wouldn't have thought it particularly charismatic, having been involved in the past with 'charismatic renewal'.

In a country like the UK, where it originates, the men left the churches after world war 1, the facade of Christianity carried on until after world war 2, and since them a marked decline in Christian numbers and influence, although it is not yet totally absent by any means.

It would be fine if believers were 'aglow with the Spirit' rather than lukewarm, but in a country where so much darkness has descended, a blaze would be better. The light of the world shining brightly. Baptised in the Spirit and with fire!

Jesus promised rivers of living water would flow out from us rather than a sprinkling, so again a river as symbolic of the Spirit to whom he was referring is good. An abundance of life rather than the dryness - and dreariness - of so much churchianity.

I've found the lyrics of this song a bit quaint for want of a better term, but the underlying sentiments fine. I would vote to extend the poetic licence a bit!

Ken B

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Ken,

Well, I beg to disagree. I don't know when it was written or by who, but charismania is not a recent phenomenon -- just look at the mid-1800s in the USA, let alone Asuza.

Still, how does the Spirit "Blaze" and how can anyone determine what the "river" is that "flows" from this song.

As for manufacturing emotionalism, wow. Every time I've been where it is sung everyone starts swaying back and forth, raising arms in the air and getting all hyped up as they go around and around and around with the lyrics.

It is meatless, it promotes silly emotionalism, and serves no purpose but to make people feel good.

But hey, that's just my opinion. I don't have much respect for 99% of what is considered worthwhile in church nowadays.

Jesse said...

"I don't have much respect for 99% of what is considered worthwhile in church nowadays."

I could not agree more!