I only want to teach the very best songs to the congregation. I take every song through a rigorous evaluation process. This is not meant to offend anyone. If my evaluation seems harsh or intense, it is out of a zealous heart for true worship of the true God, and the sacred responsibility that we have in choosing songs for our congregation to sing. I invite feedback. I recommend that you do this same thing, and ideally with your worship team and your church’s spiritual leaders (elders). I believe the words we sing, the theology in these sung prayers, matters. I hope this is helpful to you. Please also note, this is not an evaluation of the artist or the use of this song on radio or for various other purposes, only for use in congregational singing.
Let’s take the music questions first, since they are often the least controversial and easiest to agree on:
- Can we sing it? Yes
- Singable Range? (highest note +-D4, lowest note +-A2) Yes
- Predictable Rhythm Pattern? Yes
- Mostly stepwise melodic pattern? Yes
- Does the music help express the meaning of the words? Yes
- Is it interesting and catchy? Yes
- Is the music relatable, in common musical dialect? Yes
I don’t see any issue with this song musically. People will be able to sing along just fine musically and it will fit right in to our current repertoire.
Is it true? Hmmm…. lots of good stuff there.
He’s a pain taker?
The most difficult line that I am debating in my own head with is the idea of Jesus being a Pain-Taker. I’m not quite sure what is meant by that. In the long run, yes, in heaven there will be no more pain. But in the here and now? He promised more, not less. I find that many churches tend to be embracing a theology that would falsely suggest that if we follow Christ we will have less suffering …. whereas Jesus seems to indicate there would likely be more: persecution, trials, troubles of many kinds, hated by the world, … Does he come alongside and share our pain? yes. Will He redeem the pain for His glory and for the good of us and those around us? Yes! Will he comfort us? yes! Will He take the pain? (away?) … in this life? ? …. maybe … often not.
IF you need freedom? IF you need saving? uuhhhhh … yes, we all do and that is the main problem, people are trying to hide from the light and not let anyone expose the truth of their sinfulness. Many people simply don’t believe they need saving. Is putting “if” in the sentence reinforcing that myth?
Another author, who I just found, wrote this blog post on the topic:
And yet …. so many good things. I think most of us can relate to feeling like we keep walking the same road for miles and miles, without getting anywhere, especially before we put our trust in Jesus, or when we don’t trust Him, …. same with hearing the lies of the evil one, and the same with trying to fill that hole inside … and Jesus offers us BETTER life, TRUE life, Eternal life, ABUNDANT life, … And again, I think it is true and people can really relate to feeling lost and worn out and running to things because of their fear and pain that they know aren’t right … but don’t know where else to turn, or struggle to turn to Jesus.
If you believe it …. yes!
If you receive it … yes, by faith, by trust, by belief!
If you can feel it … at that moment … maybe? I don’t always FEEL like Jesus loves me and that that is enough. Does anyone? Are we asking if anyone is getting goose bumps? Are we asking if anyone is currently having an emotional experience? Are we asking if anyone can “feel the presence” of the Holy Spirit? What if you just aren’t feeling it at that moment. Does that mean you are sinning? Is it possible to be living according to the Spirit, moment by moment, and still be struggling emotionally?
How about “if you’ve experienced it”? Anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time should be able to be a witness of the changes, of the hope that we experience when we put our trust in Jesus and when we follow and do what He tells us to do. I know “feel it” rolls off the tongue better. I’m just brainstorming and dreaming and experimenting.
I think this is a song that can and will be used in many churches. Hopefully they have solid theological teaching to help clarify what is meant and to offset the possible distortions and fuzziness here … Why do I have to like this song so much!?! 😉
What do you think?
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