A Man Shaped Hole in God’s Heart?

I ran across an article on Christian Worldview Network the other day written by Way of the Master’s Todd Friel. In it he points out the amatory phrasing that seems to be prevalent in  Phillips, Craig and Dean’s banal song “No Matter How Long”. Here’s The article in its entirety. Disclaimer: The blog owner claims no reponsibility for the psychological, emotional, physiological,biological ramifications(and possible trauma) of having endured the throes of human self-love enconced in these lyrics. Read at your own discretion. Have a good day!

Todd Friel, Way of the Master Radio Host and Worldview Weekend, Code Blue Rally Speaker
A quick listen to most contemporary Christian preaching, writing or singing would lead you to believe that God is gaga about humans and just longs to spend time with us.  The latest dreck from Oneness Pentecostals (i.e., they believe in a heretical Jesus) Phillips, Craig and Dean, is a typical example.

 No Matter How Long
I watched you as you stumbled out of bed,
Rushed out the door, your coffee in your hand.
And you looked so lost and lonely,
I knew I had to find a way
To make you understand, I wanna be your friend. 
So I painted a sunrise in the sky
And I caused the birds to sing you lullabies, 
And I whispered sweet “I love you’s”.
No matter how long it takes, somehow I’ll find a way
Somehow My love will find a way,             
No matter how long it takes.
I watched you as you fell asleep last night,
And I trembled as I watched the tears you cried.
So I splashed your face with moonlight, and I longed for your embrace. 
 

A Brief History Lesson

Before we dissect that song, it is crucial we remember that evangelicalism blossomed out of the dead, liberal Protestantism of the middle 20th century.  From the early 1900’s, Biblical Christians watched as liberal Protestantism produced false converts who pretended to worship God on Sunday, but were completely detached from Him on Monday.   Evangelicalism roared to life with the correct mantra, “You need to have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”  To that I say, “Amen.”  But as is the case with every movement that arises in response to a singular problem, it is not long before it falls into an opposite and equally damning ditch.  In this case, evangelicalism appears to have fallen into the pit of Godly romanticism. Evangelicals now present God as a love sick puppy who yearns to spend time with us.  We have exchanged His loving-kindness for a gooey, romantic love. 

What is wrong with this song?

While I suspect the author is alluding to Psalm 19 and II Peter 3, his repositioning of theology is staggering.  My comments are in parenthesis.
I watched you as you stumbled out of bed
Rushed out the door, your coffee in your hand
And you looked so lost and lonely (God does not desire to save us from loneliness, but from our sins)               
I knew I had to find a way  (This makes God sound less than omniscient)                       
To make you understand, I wanna be your friend  (While the Bible says we can be friends with God, it means reconciled, not bosom buddies)
So I painted a sunrise in the sky
And I caused the birds to sing you lullabies  (God gives us creation to appreciate Him, not lull us to sleep)
And I whispered sweet “I love you’s” (Is God our boyfriend or the Sovereign Creator of the universe?)
No matter how long it takes, somehow I’ll find a way. (God is not thwarted by anything, let alone us)       
Somehow My love will find a way, (Poor, pitiful God)                 
No matter how long it takes. (“It is appointed unto man once to die, then judgment”)
I watched you as you fell asleep last night
And I trembled as I watched the tears you cried.  (God trembles?)
So I splashed your face with moonlight, and I longed for your embrace.  (This sounds more like a Harlequin novel than Scripture)
 

Redefining the Atonement

Not a single Bible verse can be found to support the idea that we are so loveable that God yearns for us.  Instead, God desires to restore children of wrath to a right relationship with Himself so that His loving-kindness can be displayed (Eph.2).   

God does not pursue us because he finds us so adorable that His heart will just break if He can’t find a way for us to fall in love with Him.  He desires to save the unlovable so that His mercy can be magnified.  The salvation that God offers is for His namesake, for His glory.   

Why have we so altered the doctrine of reconciliation?  I am convinced it is because we have abandoned expository preaching and the preaching of God’s Law.  The result?  We have relegated God’s sense of anger, wrath and justice to the Old Testament as if He were a different God than that “nice New Testament God”.   

While we do not want to end up in the “God is only angry” ditch, we have to find our way out of our present moat.  My suggestion: we need to preach verse by verse to have a complete knowledge of the character and nature of God.  We need to preach the Law to understand that we are not loveable, but loved despite what we are. 

That is my take.  What’s yours?   

 

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Comments
16 Responses to “A Man Shaped Hole in God’s Heart?”
  1. Gayla says:

    Hi Scribey!

    Amen. Todd is spot on in his analysis, in my opinion.

    It’s interesting that since God opened my eyes to His sovereignty, 3 yrs ago, I see song lyrics in a completely different way. IOW, I actually pay attention to them – Is God getting the glory, or man?

    Good to see you, again, my friend.

  2. Scribe says:

    Gayla!? Good to see you around sister!

    I personally can’t listen to half the music that is in heavy rotation on “Christian” radio…it drives me bonkers. I can’t believe what passes for Christian music these days-do any of these guys read their bibles?

    In Christ,
    Sam

  3. Mark Pierson says:

    Sam,

    Great post!

    I don’t listen to Christian radio anymore, and for that very reason – it stinketh.

    Mark

  4. scribe7580 says:

    Mark,

    In what thou sayest, thou hast well said. Stinketh it does!

  5. Angela says:

    amen! bobby did a post awhile back about the P,C and D and how they are Oneness…anyway,we don’t listen to them anymore. Great post!

    Merry Christmas!

    angela

  6. scribe7580 says:

    Angela,

    Thanks! I am indebted to Bobby for this.

    I didn’t know they were modalists untill Bobby wrote that post about them.

    [[Scribe-A true trinitarian]]

  7. Rhett says:

    I have been doing some stuff on Modalism on my blog. Believe it or not, I have found (via email discussion) that there are many professing Trinitarians that could care less about the Modalism issue and see it as mere semantics.

  8. Mark Pierson says:

    Sam, A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

    Mark

  9. scribe7580 says:

    Rhett,

    Mere semantics huh…evanjellyfish hard at work.

    Mark,

    Likewise my brother!

  10. Cristina says:

    I am just going around and wishing all my favorite bloggers a Very Merry Christmas. I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas and that the days and years ahead are full of joy for your family and most of all joy in Christ. I am so glad you are my brother in Christ!
    God bless,
    Cristina

  11. angela grow says:

    Merry Christmas Scribe to you and your family!

    love in Christ,

    angela

  12. scribe7580 says:

    Cristina,

    Thank you so much for your warm comments, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours! How are you James holding up anyway-praying your strength in Christ.

    I am so glad you are my brother in Christ!

    Awww! I feel the warm fuzzies in my tummy.. 😉

    In all seriousness, I also am honored and privileged(and glad!) that you are my sister in Christ. May our Christ bless thee and thy household in abundance.

    Angela,

    Thanks! You Grows have fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 🙂

  13. Jazzy Cat says:

    It seems it has become very acceptable in America for theology to be based on the imagination rather than Scripture. Those of us who want to stay grounded in Biblical theology have become those dangerous fundamentalists who thake the bible too literally. I am afraid it’s going to get worse as we will see more and more false prophets and teachers surface and deceive many…..

  14. scribe7580 says:

    Jazzy,

    I couldn’t agree w/ you more…by way of equivocation we (fundamentaists doctrinally) are being likened unto closed-minded Islamic terrorists. It will (and is) getting worse.

    Does anyone even read their bibles anymore?

  15. Marcia says:

    Yuk, this is bad stuff… I haven’t listened to Christian radio in a long time. I prefer my hymn CDs and the like.

  16. Scribe says:

    Marcia,

    “Yuk” is definately on-point, perhaps an understatement… 😉

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