Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Bad News

We all know that a lot of contemporary Christian music is fluff. I can live with that. There's a lot of good music to be found and a lot of good messages as well. Besides, who is perfect, anyway? We are all "in process", "under construction", being sanctified.

I may pay more attention to fluff than I have because I was shocked at Natalie Grant's In Better Hands. Now, wait a minute! I'm not calling for a boycott or excommunication or anything like that. I am only calling for your attention.

The first time I heard this song, my attention was instantly caught by Natalie's plaintive and sincerely grandiose style, which I often find beautiful and moving. But I was stunned to hear her sing "You can't love if you don't love yourself"! What? Did I hear that right? Can I rewind the radio? Isn't this a Christian station? Who is that? What's the name of that song?

In Better Hands is typical, nearly vacuous, contemporary Christian fluff, though better for having been sung by Natalie Grant. I don't mind at all that there is only incidental doctrinal content or that no figure of the Godhead is mentioned, though "the breath of Jesus" can be found in one line. I don't expect that kind of content in what is, essentially, pop music.

I'm sure no more thought was given to the line I find alarming than to others like "It’s like the world is silent, though I know it isn’t true". But, really? "You can't love if you don't love yourself"?!?!


We learn just the opposite from the Bible. If you can't love, it is most certainly because you do love yourself.

Some of this worldly thinking must come from the common confusion between love and joy. Many don't enjoy their identity, but that's only an issue because they love themselves so much. What does it mean to enjoy who you are, to enjoy your identity, to exult in yourself? It means to be proud and self-centered! Contrary to loving oneself, rejoicing in Jesus miraculously results in humility and love for others.

I love Natalie as she is our sister in the Lord. I stand behind her profession of faith. I have no desire to call her to account. May the Lord keep her, bless her abundantly, and continue to grow her up in Christ. May we all be discerning to see, smell, and taste before we swallow whole.

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