The Dangers of Getting Your Theology From Songs

music scripture

Songdove Books - Green Treble ClefA “worship” song was introduced to my church roughly a year before the “pandemic” hit. Most of the song is fine theologically-speaking, but the bridge has given me, my daughter and a few others, serious pause where we can’t sing it.

The bridge goes like this: “It’s rewriting my history. It covers me with destiny. It’s making all things right, the precious Blood of Christ”. This bridge gets repeated at least 4 to 6 times before launching back into the rest of the song.

The problem here, is that the Blood of Christ doesn’t rewrite your history. It takes your sin and plunges it under the cleansing flow. The consequences of your sin live on. The consequences of your sin is part of what created the history you have. The Blood of Christ does not reverse the consequences of your sin, rewriting your history. In being justified by the Blood of Christ, we stand before God as if our sins never happened. The person affected by your half-truth may or may not forgive you. The person who died because of the car accident you caused, won’t come back to life because you came to Christ. The items that you stole and sold may never get back to their original owner because you repented and asked God’s forgiveness. Your history is still your history, but now the sting of that history, the sting of your sins, is removed and under the Blood. Because your Salvation experience doesn’t wipe out your past, there is no guarantee that all will be made right in this life. God is a God of reconciliation, yes. However, even God knows that reconciliation isn’t possible all the time between all parties.

Songdove Books - Author's Bible open to Psalm119-9These two lines appear to be taking a few thoughts from Scripture and applying them in ways that are not true or accurate. Let’s look at a few verses here:

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Psalms 51:6-7

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:16-18

Matthew 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Mark 14:24

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:22-29

The reference in Hebrews gives title to the song whose lyrics we are discussing here. Specifically this verse:

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Hebrews 12:24

The reference here is to what God told Cain back in Genesis:

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:8-10

One theme that comes out across these verses and others like them, is that Christ’s blood was given for the remission of sins. We like to quote the verses:

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19

However, this is the removal of our transgressions, not the consequences of our transgressions on lives and circumstances around us. Paul writes of himself this way:

And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
Acts 22:18-21

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 1 Timothy 1:12-16

Did Stephen come back to earthly life after Paul got saved? No, he didn’t. Paul’s history was not wiped out or rewritten. It was forgiven!!! Life here on earth carries on after Salvation. The dead stay dead. The lives changed due to severe injury don’t suddenly revert to pre-injured life. Destroyed goods and property don’t suddenly show up in former useful condition. The consequences of our sins many times are never reversed. Those consequences are often what give many Christians passions for ministry as they seek to reach out to those suffering the same ways they did prior to coming to Christ.

Paul wrote concerning old ways and new ways:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

This appears to be the verse most drastically taken out of context for the bridge of this song! Paul isn’t saying here and doesn’t say elsewhere that his past is wiped out. But he does say his past has no bearing anymore on his eternal future or on how he lives life going forward. Our past reminds us why we need Christ and need to remain under His Blood. In Christ, we are new creatures and able to leverage the lessons from our past to bring others to Christ, that if Christ could forgive us, He can forgive others as Paul writes to Timothy. We are no longer bound in sin, but free to live as God asks us to live. Paul writes at length on this topic in the first half of the book of Romans. Paul talks about giving the old man a knock-out punch on a regular basis, because sin has a way of repeatedly trying to call to us. The sinful man is no more, spiritually speaking, and earthly-speaking moving forward in a daily life impacted by the sinful actions of the past.

The line: It’s rewriting my history, is a false statement as a result. This is not an accurate interpretation of the justification we have in Christ before God and is actually very New Age in it’s interpretation. Only in New Age thinking are memories rewritten to be what we want them to be. Over and over in Scripture, God calls His people to remember where they came from.

Paul writes in Romans:

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:20-23

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: Ephesians 2:11-16

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:5-17

That last reading above doesn’t merely remind us of our past, but tells us to take action that in Christ, it doesn’t ever become our present again either. This is done a number of ways that he spells out here, the biggest of which is dwelling on the Word of Christ! No, our past is not being rewritten. Our history is not being rewritten. Our destiny is what has been rewritten!

The one line in the bridge of that song that is closest to the truth is covering us in destiny. The Blood of Christ gives us a hope and a future only found in Christ and no other.

We must be careful not to allow New Age thought to infiltrate and decide our doctrinal and theological understandings of what Christ did for us and who we are in Christ. Don’t sing songs in Church just because the worship leader is leading them. If there is something not doctrinally sound, something that doesn’t sit right theologically, something that tweaks you as not quite right but you can’t put a finger on it, stop singing that lyric or set of lyrics. Literally just shut your mouth in those moments. What you say is taken by your subconscious mind as validated information. Scripture tells us to guard our mouths and even gives us a prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to put a guard over our mouths.

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3

For “the person who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 1 Peter 3:10 (ISV, not my usual KJV for this verse)

New Age thought is very deceptive! It sounds good on the surface, it can be wrapped in Christian language even, but it is deceptively misleading and has given rise to some strange teachings in various Christian counselling circles since I first recognized it at age 12 well over 30+ years ago now.

Scripture says we can deceive ourselves by what we say.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; Deuteronomy 11:16

Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. Jeremiah 37:9

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:3-5

So I write this blog article today, concerned that what is coming out of many believer’s mouths in music, is deceiving themselves into believing things that sound Christian, that sound Biblical, but when you actually go to the Scriptures, they are anything but! Listen to sound doctrine! Sing sound doctrine! Don’t sing it if it isn’t 100% true!

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