Bible Gateway's Verse of the Day


Welcome to my blog, MB's Theological Thoughts. If you have a question you'd like me to answer, feel free to ask, either in a comment or an email. If it's a legitimate question, I'll do my best to answer it. Might take some thinking and some time, but again, I'll do my best.

05 January, 2011

Update/More Like Falling in Love?

As I was home for two weeks over Christmas Break, I found it hard to get into the swing of things. Having just touched down from a particularly stressful quarter (which explains my lack of regularity in posting entries), I was expecting to relax, to have two weeks to spend with myself and my family. What I got was the most hectic and stressful break of all time. In short, both my parents were gone most of the day attending to essential business and family matters, and I was left without a car or really the time to go and relax.

We did, however, get to spend Christmas Eve together. We opened gifts, as is our tradition, and then went to bed in preparation for the rather unique church service the next day. When all was said and done, at least the Christmas weekend was restful in some respects.

Speaking of Christmas Day, I got to drive my aunt to the airport on Christmas morning. On the way back to collect my tie, I listened to Air 1, my favorite radio station (and almost the only one I listen to). As per the holiday at hand, the station was playing a marathon of Christmas music. I rejoiced as the obligatory Sarajevo 12/24 by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was played, and enjoyed hearing arrangements of my favorite carols and songs by my favorite bands, as well as hearing some of the "less favorable" songs. But I listened anyway.

Later the next week, as I was driving back from the grocery store after picking up some cottage cheese for an Adventist staple, Special K Loaf, I heard a song that I've heard on occasion. The chorus philosophizes, "It's gotta be more like falling in love / than something to believe in / more like losing my heart / than giving my allegiance." Of course, it is referring to the nature of the Christian's relationship with Christ. And it is, of course, wrong...or at least, partly wrong.

When I heard this song the most recent time, it gave me a mixed feeling. Part of me was disappointed and part of me was cynical. As somebody who has "fallen in love" before but whose affections haven't really ever been returned more than a little bit, I'm very cautious when people talk or sing about loving Jesus like loving a significant other. Because love is such a complicated thing when it is brought outside the safety and security of something like a familial relationship (and even then it can be complex and nuanced), it feels like sometimes these songs or sermons idealize the relationship with God. Instead of bringing it down to simplest terms--Jesus died for us so that we could go to heaven--they complicate things. In addition, this "falling in love" and the losing of one's heart generally suggests infatuation, which (as I have much experience) is rarely a genuine, enduring love. If it needs to be more like an infatuation with Christ, than an unquestioning obedience, then I want out.

The reason I would want out is a product of my present relationship with God. It was forged in the throes of a deep depression (also the source of my caution against falling in love); all the heat and pressure crystallized it from an amorphous blob of coal to a diamond. No, the stone isn't perfect, but it is harder and stronger than anything the Devil can throw at me. Why should I make capricious something that is founded on bedrock?

The last line of the chorus finishes the contrast: "...than giving my allegiance". All right, let's look at this for a second. To give one's allegiance is to vow loyalty and devotion. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Now there's something you probably haven't said in a long time. I haven't said it in years, not since eighth grade. And yet it is something I mean every time I say. I love my country and would gladly die for its (original) ideals. Likewise, I am a soldier for Christ. I love Him such that I would sooner die than recant my beliefs. And it appalls me that this song seems to suggest that allegiance comes from dogmatism or being proselytized. That's what the anti-Christian world thinks, those militant atheists who openly mock us. But I know better. My allegiance comes from the same place my love does: trial by fire.

This "something to believe in" is my lifeblood. This giving of my allegiance is everything I care about. If the world were to end today, I would be confident that my struggles have brought me closer to God. But if I were to make it more of a turbulent roller coaster of emotions, such as the feeling of falling in love, then I know I wouldn't stand.

The wise man built his house upon the rock (and was as gold refined in the fire)
The wise man built his house upon the rock (sing it with me)
The wise man built his house upon the rock
And the rains came a-tumbling down.

And the rains came down and the floods came up (more trials and tribulations)
And the rains came down and the floods came up
And the rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the rock stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand (flighty nature of falling in love, a mere emotion)

The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
And the rains came a-tumbling down.

And the rains came down and the floods came up
And the rains came down and the floods came up
And the rains came down and the floods came up
And the house on the sand went SMASH!

Yes, we need to love God. But it needs to be strong and rooted. A tree whose roots go deep will fall, but if it is rooted in shallow soil, a strong wind can topple it. It needs to be devotion, not infatuation. It needs to be a diamond, not cubic zirconia.

Your Brother in Christ,


  1. Amen! Amen!

    I had never heard the song you refer to so I decided to look it up and listen to it. Wow, I honestly cannot believe that such lyrics are considered "christian", because not only the chorus but also the verses fly in the face of true commitment to our Lord and His Word.

    The song opens with: "Give me rules / I will break them / Give me lines / I will cross them /
    I need more than a truth to believe"

    Does not our Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly state in John 14:15: "If you love Me, keep my commandments"? And then He also says: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31b-32) How then can a professed follower of Christ say that they will "break rules" (commandments) and need more then "truth"?

    It is flippant contemporary songs like this that contain feel good messages yet are contrary to the very Word of God that Satan Himself uses to undermine their trust in God's Word and weaken the foundation of their faith. In 1 Peter 5:8, it is written: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

    This demonstrates that just because something is labeled or marketed as "christian" does not mean it is actually is. As the Bible tells us, we need to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) How do we prove or test what we see and hear? "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20) As Mark Finley said in a seminar of his I attended at the GYC conference, where there is no light (Christ and His truth), there is darkness, and Satan is the prince of darkness.

    Sadly, I wonder how many have allowed songs like this one and feel good preaching to lull themselves into a false sense of security, thinking that they no longer have to obey God or devote their lives to Him, because they are relying on feelings and emotions? Emotions are not bad... God gave us these emotions, Christ Himself displayed emotions... but to have rock-solid faith, we need to have more than just emotions, as our emotions are easily swayed. We need to rely on trust in His Word, value the evidence of God in the world around us, and fully commit ourselves to Him in earnest prayer and Bible study on a daily basis.

    Your sister in Christ,

  2. I see this kind of sentiment cropping up all over Christendom. In essence, people are sick of rules and traditions, and so as a response they leap to the almost anarchic "Anything goes as long as you believe" mentality.

    God gave us the dietary laws in Leviticus, yet many Christians have thrown them out. God set aside a special commandment by starting it with "Remember", and yet only a handful of denominations do.

    While following Christ is easy and doesn't have many rules, it's hard in that it takes raw devotion to live a Christlike life.