Very Bad Praise Music Lyrics

With the recent purchase of a new guitar, and my desire to get back into leading worship and playing my guitar and writing more, I decided it was time to weed through all of the worship music I’ve had on my computer since college and do some categorizing. I made folders (Good Songs, Okay Songs and Bad Songs) and went to work going through them, reading the lyrics, deciding which songs were ones I could sing with integrity & use in congregational worship.

Unfortunately, some of my college favorites made the “Bad Songs” folder, while using the “Okay Songs” folder as a form of purgatory for the ones I wasn’t quite ready to claim as theologically-inappropriate.

While going through the process, I did find some really bad lyrics…many that I’ve sung and used to lead worship in the past…and thought I’d share them with you. Please feel free to share below in the comments some of the lyrics that you find inappropriate-theologically, uber-cheesy or just bad.

Can a nation be changed?
Can a nation be saved?
Can a nation be turned back to you?
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees again.
Matt Redman“Can a Nation Be Changed?”

Sure, a nation can be changed…should we sing in worship for our nation to be converted and “saved” and turned back to you? There is the implicit understanding that our nation (while Matt Redman was probably referring to the UK) was previously a “Christian” nation and that everything would be better if it returned to such a state. Not so.

You are my desire, no one else will do
‘Cause nothing else could take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace
Kelly Carpenter - “Draw Me Close”

Yes…I love me some warm embraces from Jesus. No one else can fulfill that desire…

Friend of sinners, Lord of truth
I am falling in love with you
Friend of sinners, Lord of truth
I have fallen in love with you
Matt Redman“Friend of Sinners”

Matt, as you’ll see below, really loves this “falling into love” motif with Jesus. Some of his stuff is the strongest “Jesus is my boyfriend and I love him more than anything” type of praise music out there…good stuff.

You call me child and I’ll call you Father
Kisses from heaven of joy and laughter

I want to lavish my love on you, Jesus.
David Harper“I Want to Lavish”

I really don’t know exactly what it looks like to lavish your love upon Jesus…but, this could just be me, but I don’t know that Jesus really needs us to lavish our love on him…I think he’s probably doing just fine. But hey – that could just be me.

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness, you are there
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait only for you
‘Cause I want to know you more
I want to touch you, I want to see your face
I want to know you more
Andy Park“In the Secret”

Andy, Andy…oh Andy. Did you read these lyrics before you published this song? Did you think about the fact that talking about finding Jesus in a secret, quiet place, and talking about touching him in that secret, quiet place might have some unfortunate connotations. Let alone the whole “Jesus is my boyfriend & I really, really love him” type of song – the sexual overtones are just a little much…but maybe that’s just me.

The nails in your hands
the nails in your feet
They tell me how much you love me.
The thorns on your brow
They show me how
You bore so much shame to love me.
Richard Cimino“The Nails in Your Hands”

In addition to “Jesus as my girlfriend” songs – songs about the cross also have some pretty bad theology. Is it true that the only way we know about Christ’s love is through the blood, nails and the thorns on Christ’s brow? And why do we sing songs that are so “happy” sounding about something that was such a brutal and vicious death?

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to you
So I’ll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with you.
Matt & Beth Redman“Let My Words Be Few”

Finally…I don’t know much about how Matt writes his songs…but it seems like maybe he needed a quick one to finish out an album, and he figured, “Hey, I have a little love note that I wrote to Beth once…..maybe I could just pull that out, and stick Jesus’ name in there.” Beth had to give approval, hence she’s listed as the co-author…that seems to work pretty well. Now I just need to find some old emails to Sarah…or better yet, some of those 20 pages “love” letters I wrote to Shannon in 8th grade. A few E-A-B and G-C-D chord progressions, and I might have the next hottest worship album.

What do you think are some of the worst lyrics you’ve sung in worship & praise music…? Please share below…

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Comments

  1. Amos says

    I guess if Christians cannot hope for the conversion of nations to the way of the Lord, then I would have to include a whole host of Psalms in my “list of worst lyrics ever.”

  2. Corbet says

    For one reason or another… (ok, numerous reasons), “I Want to Lavish” provided far more sexual overtones for me than any other. It’s funny though because when you’re really in the mood–and to clarify, I’m referring to the mood or worship– songs like “In the Secret” you wouldn’t think twice about singing. I feel a little dirty now for playing that dozens of times to middle schoolers at Covenant back in high school.

  3. says

    Yeah “In the Secret” is in the “Sex with Jesus” category in my worship book.

    I’m quite negative about worship music so another post about songs that have theological integrity I’d be very interested in exploring…

  4. says

    ooh, i’m a high critic of lyrics. very little theological integrity. try these on from “mercy me”–i’ve tried unsuccessfully to get our church to stop singing this:
    Who are we that You would be mindful of us?
    What do You see that’s worth looking our way?
    We are free in ways that we never should be.
    (“God With Us”)
    really–we weren’t meant to be free? we aren’t valuable to God at all? wow.

    • says

      This was long time ago, but, these lyrics are funny because they borrow partly from psalm 8, verse 4:

      4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
      and the son of man that you care for him?

      But stop there and don’t keep going on with the passage, which is all about how man is the centerpiece and crowning achievement of God’s Creation:

      5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
      and crowned him with glory and honor.
      6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
      you have put all things under his feet,

  5. says

    Strewth, mate, those are lightweights compared to this doozie by Dave Bryant:

    Jesus take me as I am,
    I can come no other way.
    Take me deeper into You,
    Make my flesh life melt away.

    Thanks to Gareth Higgins for bringing this one to my attention.

  6. Rachel Pennington says

    Careful, now…the “progressive” fundies will have your head!
    I second UMJeremy’s comment – what made your “Good” Folder?

    • says

      Maybe his re-visiting of his writing these songs as a “bloke” can help me see where you are coming from, Adam. As a “non-bloke” female, I still find these songs perfectly beautiful! LOL I have always thought it was amazing when a man would sing these romantic lyrics to Jesus, but hearing it from Matt this way opens my eyes in a new way. I have a lot of respect for him. Kyle, thanks for sharing this.

    • says

      mnn it tends to wreak of emporers new cloths,
      the ECM was so successfull that along with push justice issues to the forfront of the mainstream church consiousness so was terrible worship music.
      The problems the same perpertrators have jumped on the bandwagon so now if they just repeat the critique without dealing with the underlying issues they’re still good

    • says

      I don’t think it’s just about blokiness – I’m female and I really can’t sing some of those Jesus is my boyfriend songs as they feel so inappropriate.

    • says

      Jenny – I’m with you. I don’t really think it’s about blokiness either. For that guy mentioned in the video, that might be more his own discomfort with same-sex expressions of love than it really being a theological reasoning for why he can’t sing “I love you so much” to a “guy.”

    • says

      I am uncomfortable with what seems to be an underlying heterosexist assumption in this video, which I think you’re getting at in your comment, Adam. Also, while it was a passing comment, the assertion that the church is being “over-mothered” and “under-fathered” is troubling. I have heard those kinds of arguments far too often in support of masculine images and pronouns for God to the exclusion of feminine and other images. I don’t want to get into an in-depth discussion about gendered language here, just to note that I am unsettled by the heterosexist and sexist assumptions that seem to underlie the conversation in this video.

  7. Sarah says

    re the Redman song, “Can a nation be changed” I’m thinking nations as in “people” as in the Greek ethnos or the Hebrew which escapes me right now….the term and theology of turning (hebrew for this is transliterated shuv I think?) has a scriptural basis and is actually one of the main themes in the story of God’s people and their relationship with God. but am pretty much with you the rest of the way – evaluating the theology of music, and its role in faith development, is a key interest of mine – what and how it helps teach/support/shape faith.

  8. says

    Yeah, it’d be easy for me to nit-pick and question your purpose in this post littl the integrity of all the lyrics and (as some of the comments already have started doing) we could get into little blog-o-sphere battle over tiny little details.

    But the main, overarching problem is this: to SO SO SO SO SO SO much of North American christian worship revolves around musical love songs. Those make us SUCH A SMALL percentage of the God we find in the Bible and SUCH A SMALL portion of what humanity experiences. Which leads to the biggest problem…

    …our churches poorly reflect both God and human experience….

    our music team played a song that was about feeling like God has turned God’s back on us (the lyrics were “Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to? I wish You’d remember Where you sat it down.”) and we had more complaints than ever.

    These worship songs you’ve selected are merely a small case study in something that is a HUMUNGOUS frustration for many of us working in churches.

    • says

      Hey man – it is hard to find good stuff, isn’t it. And, by the way, I love the song, “All I Can Say” by the David Crowder Band. It actually made it into my “Good Songs” folder. I’ll share more of what’s in my good songs folder later…

    • says

      Agreed. I think that it reflects a problem in popular “secular” music today. Apart from rap music, which still is very much representative of the trend, almost everything that gets played is a romantic love song. So it’s like that’s the only type of music anyone knows how to play. I put secular in scare quotes because I find more of God in much of what we don’t typically think of as Christian worship music than what I do in ccm. I’d rather listen to Ben Harper sing ‘Blessed to Be a Witness’ or ‘Better Way’ than just about all the songs Adam listed above, because they resonate more with my relationship with God.

      @Adam I think Crowder’s usually an exception. It’s worship music, but it’s art.

      “The definition of Christian art is to be found in its subject and its spirit. Everything, sacred and profane, belongs to it. God does not ask for “religious” art or “Catholic” art. The art he wants for himself is Art, with all its teeth.”
      -Jacques Maritain

  9. Lee Koontz says

    Good post, Adam. After year of disdain for praise music, I’ve only recently begun to discover praise songs that I can tolerate in worship, and even claim a few that I genuinely like. “We Are Called” is probably my favorite of the lot. The list of songs I still really, really dislike due to lyrics or theology is miles long. In addition, many of them just aren’t good music. I wonder if some of them would even be noticed if they weren’t about Jesus.

    On a theological level, the biggest problem I have with much of the praise music I hear (and this shows up in the examples you cite above) is the fact that the lyrics and theology are so self-centered. By this I mean that the lyrics are predominantly first-person, and presume a theological center in which there is little other than an individual’s emotions about Jesus. I believe the Christian faith (and authentic worship) to be about so much more than that, and can’t help but push back against any attempt to reduce it to a message akin to “me and Jesus, ain’t we special”.

  10. says

    Actually, “In the Secret” and “I’ll Let My Words Be Few” are two songs I have regularly sung to Jesus with much passion, and they are definately on my “Good” list. They are very similar, for me, to “Draw Me Close”, which you have on your “Good” list.

    I laughed at your sex reference to “In the Secret” because it was funny, but that song takes me to a special (non-sexual) place much the way good poetry might take a reader to a special place. It is a place of intimacy, not the same as group celebration at all. It’s really personal and private … and holy. And that is what that song is for me. It takes me there. Lyrics about seeing his face are to me about knowing him better, what he looks like in the practical sense. Like social justice, or the pain in another person’s eyes when they look at me. I want to hear his voice, which is metaphorical for feeling he is validating something in my life, or invalidating it if you will. I want to touch him, to feel my spirit align with him. Sounds spooky-spiritual but I cherish my spiritual connection to him thru the Holy Spirit. I know people don’t like to talk about him/her much (the HS), but he/she is real and moves in me. Really! LOL I’m not even a conservative or fundy and I tell you this is true in my life. EC has its Spirit-seekers and I am one of them. :-)

    “I’ll Let My Words Be Few” has been a celebration for me of the times that I spend with Jesus in which I am not really speaking. My soul is crying out to him in one way or another. This is a lot like contemplation for me. But it goes deeper than that.

    Anyway, I couldn’t not chime in and share my positive experiences with these two songs that made your “Bad” list. They still top mine. Peace to you, and I pray none of your commenters shred me for disagreeing. I don’t disregard the validity of your opinions and I hope nobody disregards mine. This is a very important topic to me.

    • Bethany says

      I immediately thought of this episode while reading the post.

      I’ve really struggled to connect with a lot of contemporary Christian music for the reasons you illustrated–vapid lyrics, 5-note ranges in the melodies, bad theology, etc. And also because a lot of it is very self-centered (and Western). More often, I’m deeply moved by hymns that connect me to Christians around the world and across history and weave in poetic and biblical language.

      Did you read Nadia Bolz-Weber’s somewhat-related blog about congregational singing? Another thing to consider in the whole worship music conversation. http://blog.sojo.net/2009/12/29/in-defense-of-congregational-singing/

  11. Jenny McDowell Eccles says

    So happy you blogged about this. LOVE the discussion.

    My number one song in the bad category? Holiness. I hate this song. I really shouldn’t as the message is fine. For some reason, I can’t help it. To hear it for me is torture.

    #1 It is sooooo slow
    #2 It is usually sung in a round at camps, beating it to death
    #3 Worship Leaders will tack on other verbs to extend the length

    Holiness, holiness is what I long for.
    Holiness is what I need.
    Holiness, holiness is what You
    want from me.

    Holiness, holiness is what I long for.
    Holiness is what I need.
    Holiness, holiness is what You
    want from me.

    So, take my heart and form it.
    Take my mind and transform it.
    Take my will and conform it.
    To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord.

    Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I
    long for.
    Faithfulness is what I need.
    Faithfulness, faithfulness is what.
    You want from me.

    Brokenness, brokenness is what I
    long for.
    Brokenness is what I need.
    Brokenness, brokenness is what
    You want from me.

    • says

      Hey Jenny – umm, I’m pretty sure I led the song, “Holiness” at camp many, many times….as well as “In the Secret” – oh boy…

      Yes, that one is a pretty bad song too.

    • Dave says

      Jenny, what’s theologically wrong with this song? The only other virtue I’ve heard added to the ones you’ve listed is “righteousness.”

      Holiness, faithfulness, righteousness, brokenness – to paraphrase Paul – against such things there is no law.

      Any problems with a worship leader playing it too slow or repeating the verses and choruses too many times is an aesthetic problem, not a theological one. We’ve all heard classics absolutely butchered by someone who wants to play the chorus just one more time, and then goes on forever.

      Writing good worship music is hard, and no easier when someone tries to do it from liberal slant as evinced by the likes of “When We Sing: Contemporary Music for Liberal Worship” (http://www.myspace.com/whenwesing). The lyrics of these songs make “Shine Jesus Shine” seem like “Be Thou My Vision.”

  12. Jenny McDowell Eccles says

    Dave, reread what I said– “I hate this song. I really shouldn’t as the message is fine,” in other words, the song is on point with scripture, I just don’t like it.

    “Please feel free to share below in the comments some of the lyrics that you find inappropriate-theologically, uber-cheesy or just bad.”

    Which is what I was doing.

  13. says

    I can get into the song “Above All” by Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc until the chorus ends with

    Like a rose, trampled on the ground,
    you took the fall, and thought of me
    ABOVE ALL.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think Jesus was thinking of me. Would it be so wrong to allow Jesus to have a thought of himself and his own needs once in a while? When I visit the church that loves to sing this song I sing it “you thought of me, and of all,” but I don’t like that either.

    I get an “icky” feeling from the “Jesus is my boyfriend” lyrics, but at the same time, it’s no different from the writings of many mystics, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Julian of Norwich (who talks about suckling Jesus’ breast), Hildegard of Bingen, and others.

    It reminds me of the earlier post about sex and youth ministry. Can we find a way to better integrate our spirituality and sexuality so that it is not creepy or theologically inappropriate, but life-giving and embracing of all that makes us who we are?

    • says

      I confess I've never understood the "like a rose" line. Sounds nice, but makes no sense. But then "In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me" never has made sense either.

    • Kathy says

      The second half of this song (the part you quoted) is really bad poetry, besides being incredibly self-centered. Jesus “took a fall” ? sounds like mafia-speak. Bad theology – as another poster commented, it’s centered on the worshipper instead of the worshipped.

  14. conradd says

    EXHIBIT K:

    ‘Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You.
    There is no greater thing.
    You’re my all, You’re the best, You’re my joy,
    my righteousness; and I love You, Lord.’

    seems like Graham’s kind of clutching at straws with the third line. ‘Oh Jesus… you’re, like, the Best’. Ouch. Sounds more like a line from a heartwarmingly bland American family sitcom than a paean of praise to the Saviour of the world. It’s one step away from just saying ‘hey Christ, you’re a really nice guy’. Shame bcause it’s a reasonably pleasant melody and the sentiments, I’m sure, are sincere.

    But I never could bring myself to sing that offending line. So, head bowed, I always replaced it with what I imagined to be a reverent silence, reminiscent of the manner in which colleagues from my former Calvinist Baptist days would pass over any lines that hinted at Arminianism or Romishness or liberalism or any other more minor theological irregularity. (a practice which smacks a little of Matt 23:24. but that’s just an opinion )

    Oh the joys of hymnal self censorship. (Do we have the Priesthood of all Believers to thank for that liberty?)

    On a lighter note (apologies if this is only of interest to me – a self confessed muso geek) can anyone notice the similarity between the guitar riff of this quite passable Redman offering :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIzvI9umgdI

    and this (at 0:53) um…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRYNYb30nxU

    unlikely musical bedfellows indeed. For a world colliding freak-out, I like (maybe the wrong word) to open two browsers and play simultaneously. Salvation and Spandex. A combination not often seen. Probably for a good reason.

  15. says

    Take Me Away by Andy Park was a bit jarring during worship:

    I am looking for, I am long for the place where I can
    lay my head upon Your breast
    I am looking for the place where You will pour Your oil
    over me all over me

    The oil and breast at 8:30 AM was just too much for the college student on Sunday morning.

  16. says

    I have been thinking about the “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” comments that have come up here. I remember when I was a single Mom, well-intentioned church people kept telling me that God was my husband. I never bought into it, it always frustrated me. He’s not. He’s my God. He’s not my boyfriend either. I understand the squeamishness associated with songs that convey the boyfriend feel, but the songs I mentioned above aren’t like that for me. It’s not that he’s my boyfriend who I am romancing. It is about the intimate pursuit of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I know that sounds very uncool, very fundamentalist, but I’m not afraid to share this part of my life because regardless of the way it has been negatively presented and abused by so many, it is still a very deep and genuine part of my spirituality. I share it with you now because in our refusal to buy into Bobble-Head models of Jesus (including the boyfriend model that honestly really needs to be deconstructed badly) we can lose something important.

  17. says

    In addition to the rendevousness of In The Secret, it also uses a term common in KJV “to know.” and all I know is that my Baby Jesus doesn’t want to touch me in my secret place and “know me” in a Biblical sense.

  18. says

    Can any discussion about Jesus-is-my-boyfriend songs be complete with talking about St. Teresa of Avila's writings or John Donne's "Batter My Heart"

    Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
    Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
    Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

  19. revdup says

    "What a friend I've found
    Closer than a brother
    I have felt your touch
    more intimate than lovers
    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, friend for ever"
    Martin Smith (he of delirious) 1996
    Written when he was only 16 – presumably with limited experience of "intimate touch".

  20. Tom says

    Wow, I randomly came across this article and can’t believe how many “Christians” and “leaders” have a problem with people loving Jesus in an intimate way. Ever read Song of Solomon? Seriously I mean the great commandment is to LOVE God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength. I think if the lovey-dovey lyrics bother you because it reminds you of fleshy love or lust then you need to renew your mind. Really, I’m pretty shocked that people will defend “theology” more than loving Jesus and having a more intimate relationship with Him. To “know” God is all throughout the old and new testament. Do a word study on “to know” in Hebrew and Greek and you’ll be amazed.

  21. Will says

    Love singing about the beauty of Jesus. Nothing like getting lost in His love in worship. Not just singing, in living with Him. This is coming from a guy 6′ 230 lbs, can bench over 300lbs.

    I also love to dance before Him. While you guys can hang out with Michal and wonder why David would act like a fool, undignified, almost naked, I’ll dance right beside him. Why? He knew that for all those years, the priests when through the motions of worshiping God, everything was nice and neat, but one big problem, HIS PRESENCE, His Holy Ark wasn’t even in the tent! The joy of knowing His presence was restored and what promise was in his heart knowing this lowly shephard boy would now begin ruling a kingdom truly under God’s rule.

    Sorry that some songs make it hard for you to worship. Truly sorry.

  22. Jeff says

    It seems to me, that most of the “Bad” songs listed here, are mere modern day repetitions of what is in the Psalms.
    wor·ship
       [wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or ( especially British ) -shipped, -ship·ping.
    noun
    1.
    reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
    2.
    formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
    3.
    adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
    4.
    the object of adoring reverence or regard.
    5.
    ( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).
    Concordia Lutheran Church
    Saturday and Sunday Worship Contemporary or Liturgical
    Ad
    http://www.ConcordiaSarasota.org
    verb (used with object)
    6.
    to render religious reverence and homage to.
    7.
    to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).

    Maybe the real uncomfort here is not that the songs are actually bad, but that they are talking about Worship, and you feel bad because your reserve your worship for other things. For some it would be their spouse, for others, their kids, etc… There are a LOT of things we tend to worship without even knowing that we are doing it. We were MADE to worship God. It’s what our hearts, and souls long to do.

    Worship is something that is supposed to be more intimate than the relationship between husband and wife. Since husband and wife is used as a picture of the Church and Christ in the bible numerous times, it is in reference to the fact, that God desires a VERY intimate relationship with us. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that there are some songs that are labeled as “Worship” that have nothing to do w/ worship. But worship is something special and intimate between each person and God. So maybe the discomfort comes from worship in public.

    On the other hand, some of us have more intimate relationships with our favourite sports teams, and adulate and worship them when they win, openly in public. So why is it so difficult to worship the one who created us?

    God wants to be intimate with you, but he won’t force the issue. Why are you so afraid?

  23. Brie says

    I *loved* “In the Secret” when it first came out. It was one of me and my boyfriend’s favorite CCM songs. One day, I was driving with my dad and it came on, and I said “Oh, me and Chris LOVE this song! It’s one of our favorites!” When it got over, my dad was seething. He didn’t even realize it was a Christian song, he just thought it was filthy. I had to explain to him that it was a worship song. Now, whenever I hear it, I can’t help but agree with him and with you.

  24. RH says

    Can we get to “sloppy wet kiss!”. That one line, done with a sense of rebellion by many, is setting contemporary music back years. The lyrics discussed here should be recognized and talked about, but that line is so obvious yet many continue to explain it away while using it as the last generation (the traditionalists that did not want drums, guitars, etc. to begin with) listen in horror. Even the young people I talk to say there is only one place the adolescent mind goes when hearing those lyrics, yet many worship leaders still use it as they take apart other song that you have to really dig into to reveal the lyric short-comings.

  25. Mike p says

    I really appreciate this blog. I am about to take over leading music at my church, but I hate worship music… Well, most of it. My problem with the majority of worship music is that the writers aren’t saying anything new, and neither are they putting biblical principles into a new light. They use the same exact words over and over again. How many songs include the phrase “in this place”? And how many of those songs are using “place” to rhyme with to “see your face”? It sickens me that these hacks get paid for their work. As Christians, we are supposed to put our passion for Christ into all we do, and yet these writers lazily steal ideas, and demonstrate a complete inability to avoid cliche. It makes them sound uneducated.

    • Dave says

      I have to disagree with the direction here. The negativity of this blog is tough to read. Words like hate, sickens, hacks, steal, uneducated, and so on and so on. There are more than a couple ways to praise the Lord, and while you may or may not like a certain style or genre, I question the value in degradation of honest worship. Personally, some of these lyrics are over the top for me as well, but going over the top in the way we comments is just as inappropriate.

  26. Taylor says

    I would just like you to hold these worship songs up to scripture before declaring them “theologically incorrect.” If you don’t like the song for whatever personal reason, but do not say that it is bad or theologically inappropriate if it does line up with scripture because then what are you insulting? The living Word of God? Here are some examples:

    “In the Secret” probably refers to Psalm 91.
    “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 KJV).
    People also often refer to the “secret place” as the place where they worship, pray, and meditate on scripture.
    “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 ESV).

    “I Want to Lavish” could have been inspired by many Bible stories, but one that comes to mind for me is when the woman breaks the alabaster box anointing Jesus’s head with the rare perfume in Mark 14:3-9. [“Lavish: verb: bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon.”] Certainly she was lavishing Jesus in the perfume as a sign of her love for him. Perhaps she was trying to give back the love the father has lavished on us described in 1 John.
    “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1 NIV).

    Don’t get me started on “The Nails in Your Hands.” Just read the Gospels, especially John, and you should come to the proper reverence and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for us. I read what you said about it not being the only way Christ showed love, but certainly it’s the most radical! And the song does not suggest that that is the ONLY way he loved. We as humans, as sinners, condemned ourselves but are redeemed through Jesus Christ who bore the wrath of God meant for US. Sounds like true radical love to me.
    ” For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:17-18 NIV).

    I really hope you read this and rethink some things. (and study the Bible before judging other lyrics). I am not saying you have to use these songs in worship if you do not care for them, but please do not deem them as inappropriate, and beyond that do not mock those that line up with scriptures.

    “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV).

    • Ginger Edwards says

      Taylor – Thank you for pointing out that many of the lyrics here are based on Scripture. One you missed -Brad complains of “very little theological integrity” and comments, “I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get our church to stop singing [God With Us]….We aren’t valuable to God at all? wow.” But the lyric “Who are we that You would be mindful of us?” is straight from Psalm 8. How about a song that goes, “Do nothing without arguing or complaining?” (Philippians 2:14)

      • Taylor says

        I can see why Brad is upset with that song because he is saying God values us. The problem is we aren’t worth anything. We are all wicked sinful people that fail God daily. The song is basically reflecting on the mystery of why God values us anyway. The song is saying we shouldn’t be worth anything to God, but for some reason we are! It’s a beautiful and amazing thing to meditate on if you open your mind to understanding the meaning. Psalm 8 is my favorite Psalm for that reason. It first praises God for his greatness and then praises God for making man great even though we are like grains of sand in comparison to God.

  27. Anonymous Creeker says

    While keeping in mind Phil 2:14, I would still gently suggest that praise music writers be careful of their grammar and phraseology, so that God is glorified and his church not open to ridicule.

    Here’s an example from “God’s Children” by Aaron Niequist, a worship pastor at Willow Creek. God is described as “lover of the least impressed.” Really? Because people who are least likely to be impressed are usually proud and arrogant. Based on Scripture, I guess he meant to say God loves people who are least likely to impress others. (Ps 34:17-20, The Beatitudes, 2 Cor 12:19) Is this just lazy writing? Surely someone pointed out the error in the phraseology/theology before it was published? After all, his father-in-law is Bill Hybels.

    But of course, the Bible reminds us, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” Phil 1:18

    • Anonymous Creeker says

      Additional note – To make sense, the lyric should go “lover of the least impressive,” but that doesn’t rhyme with oppressed, does it? In less than five minutes, using Google, I found a phrase that could have been used instead: “most distressed.” Not the best lyric maybe, but better than “least impressed.”

  28. says

    Worst praise song yet:

    “Draw Me Close” (Words and Music by Kutless)

    Draw me close to you; Never let me go
    I lay it all down again; To hear you say that I’m your friend
    Help me find a way to bring me back to you

    [Chorus:]
    You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed
    You’re all I want, Help me know you are near
    You are my desire; No one else will do
    Cause no one else; Can take your place
    To feel the warmth of Your embrace
    Help me find a way to bring me back to you

    [Chorus:]
    You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed
    You’re all I want, Help me know you are near

  29. Anonymous Creeker says

    I know, right? These terrible songs that celebrate our relationship with God as that of two lovers. Imagine God chasing after us as if his love for us was emotional and passionate or that we might have love for him like that of a silly bride. That’s so undignified. That’s so unbiblical! Oh wait, wasn’t something like that in Hosea or maybe it was Ezekiel 16? Or maybe it was Ephesians 5. No, I remember! It was Revelation 21! Whew, glad we got that cleared up.

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