What the emerging church is desperately trying to stay away from teaching is, on judgment day (if they even teach that anymore), no one will go to a hell. Even the foulest of men to ever walk the earth will enjoy and bask in the presence of the Lord (perhaps a little further away from Him than the nicer people are allowed to be?). There will be no condemnation, but actual reward for the likes of Hitler, because God is pure love, and He “...desires that none should perish, but have everlasting life” (2nd Peter 3:9).
Again, this theology has slowly crept into mainstream Contemporary Christian music. I understand the function of praise music is to encourage the listener; to give them hope in troubled times that they shall one day be delivered from the chains of this earth. But seriously, when is the last time you heard a successful Christian band write lyrics concerning the true state of affairs in the Christian world; how the universal church is fragmenting into a thousand false doctrines and "tickling of the ears", preaching what amounts to nothing more than positive thinking and man's psychology? Where are the deeper messages to be found about what we do to please God? It’s seems to be all about what God can do for us. It could be argued that music is not the proper venue for such messages. But Christian music is supposed to be a full expression of the faith, just like any other ministry or gift - bringing with it edification and warnings; the good and the bad news.
For example, there’s never a hint of talk about suffering for the sake of Christ, when the gospels and epistles are full of such references. No one wants to hear about how they need to suffer. Heck, I guess we all feel in our own way we’ve already suffered enough in our lives. But if you truly believe in the Bible, you will believe it all, and not just the parts that make you feel good. Paul wrote very directly about this subject (Acts 14:22). There is a reason we must go through tough times for our Lord. Roman 5:1-4 reads, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” The hope spoken of here is the continued faith we have in our Christian journey, waiting for Christ’s return. We must also be willing to suffer sometimes so God can chastise us in order for us to learn from our mistakes. Very unpopular doctrine, because those who do not understand cannot see how God could cause anyone any kind of pain. They do not understand that God only chastises when, out of our stubbornness to follow His will, He must try to teach us a lesson to point us back in the right direction so we can be blessed by Him. His chastisements are acts of love. Many times, we bring our suffering upon ourselves. I also must add that some of us have already suffered for the sake of Christ, and in His mercy, He is now allowing us a time of peace, encouragement and restoration, though our battle may not yet be over.
Here’s another one. With Satan and his worker’s so obviously busy nowadays in all sorts of human affairs, why do we not hear more messages about how to deal with their power and influence? It is a fact that fewer and fewer professed evangelical Christians believe Satan even exists! Contemporary Christian bands won’t touch the subject with a ten-foot pole.
I’m getting all this off my mind because I’m serious about my Christian faith. There is no subject matter I will not tackle in my music. I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes that gets me into trouble with other Christians who are living in their own insulated “feel good” bubble. They must feel they are constantly being blessed by God, or they will fall into a depression. That is a sign of how weak their faith is. Paul wrote to the Christians at Philippi under severe persecution, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving (and praise), present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) These Christian who were under severe duress for their beliefs were to thank God for the privilege of suffering for Christ, because He suffered for them!
I admit, my lyrics can get pretty edgy, but they have been inspired to prompt you to think about the real state of affairs in this world, and the state of our relationship with our Lord, so we don’t fall into its snares. Please do not think I’m acting condescendingly for doing that. I just realize that we all, even I, need to be reminded time to time of the life God wants us to live and what the scriptures actually teach. We can choose to reject God’s Word. He gave us free will to do that. But if we’re going to reject it, let us be consistent, or be hypocrites - Let us reject it all, or accept it all.
Yes, God loves to love us. He loves to shower us with His blessings. But He also knows what is ultimately best for us, and will do what He can to help us realize it, even if it means making our lives a little uncomfortable sometimes. It’s called “maturing into the likeness of Christ”, and it’s something any true believer should yearn for with all their heart.