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Jason Gray – More Like Falling in Love

12 Jul
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I heard this song recently on a local radio station. I had a problem with the lyrics I heard, then I looked them up. I think my concerns were valid.

When we tell God: “It’s gotta be like this, not like that,” then haven’t we put ourselves above God, telling him what things should be like?

The fact is, we are called to give our allegiance to love himself. We are given words from the one who is The Word. We’re given obligations by the one who laid down his life for us. There is something to believe in. And religion is just a set of beliefs about reality, which we have.

We don’t get to demand how God should act. That’s prideful self-idolatry.

What do you think?

Lyrics:

Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

Give me words
I’ll misuse them
Obligations
I’ll misplace them
‘Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It’s gotta be

CHORUS

…It’s like I’m falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

 
 

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  • nathan

    While these lyrics are both vague and stupid, it seems fairly obvious that he’s just trying to say that “relationship” is more important than “religion”. Conceptually, that sort of disctinction lacks any serious meaning for me, but I feel like I’m willing to understand. Sometimes, for some people, God can feel so distant that Christianity becomes nothing more than a set of rules by which one must abide, and at that point, following any religion (be it Christanity or something else) can begin to be a mental prision, which is not the goal of following Jesus.

    Whatever the case may be, the lyrics are at least a little shallow, which, when surveying the state of “Christian” music as a whole, is the real thing that irritates me.

    • @Nathan – I agree with the idea that true Christianity is more than just a set of religious rules, doctrines, words, lines, etc.

      But – it is not, as this song states, in opposition to all rules, doctrines, words, lines, etc.

      I’ve long been annoyed by statements that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship. By definition it is a religion, but its relational – unlike competing worldviews and truth claims.

      If this song writer was just trying to say he wants a relationship and not just a religion, I’d understand. But that’s not what he says/sings.

      I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I can grant that he’s just a lousy communicator accidentally singing very dangerous ideas about faith. My problem isn’t as much with him, though, as it us with the words he’s put out there.

      The words say that he’s chosen experiential Christianity because its a faith that fits his wants and his predisposition. Not because any of it is true, but because it makes him “feel” a certain way that he likes.

  • Robin

    Agreed. I can’t stand that song…one more reason I’m not a fan of KLove.

  • Lori Engel

    Do we hold “Christian” music to a higher standard, there is a ton of crap on mainstream radio most of it is pretty shallow…I’m not saying I love this song, but I’d rather listen to a “Christian” message over a secular message any day.

    • @Lori – Yes. I do think we are right to hold people to a higher standard when they are speaking for Christianity, whether it’s a sermon, a book, or a song – in the same way I have higher expectations for Christians than non-Christians.

  • [via youtube]
    If you are referring to the lyrics in this song, then you are jumping to conclusions. He is talking about other religions just believing, but as a person in Christ one should have a relationship with Him.

    • @CAOskate1 I wasn’t jumping to conclusions, I came to that conclusion after reading the lyrics a few times. Jumping to conclusions would have been me taking this view from hearing only part of the song on the radio. Instead I read all the lyrics, which say nothing about other religions. They only talk about how he doesn’t want beliefs, allegiance,words, obligations, or religion. Christianity includes all of these and more.

      Where in the lyrics do you see other religions mentioned?

    • If you honestly think he is making fun of his own religion and that Christian radio stations are going to play it, then you need to rethink your accusations. When he says, “more like falling in love, than something to believe in” he means falling in love with Jesus Christ. Other religions talk about just beliving their way is right and you will live. He says that it has to be more than just beliving in something.

    • @CAOskate1 There you go jumping to conclusions again. I’m not saying he’s making fun of anyone. Do you think he’s making fun of other religions?

      Despite your take, he doesn’t say “more like something to believe in AND being in a relationship.”

      There’s 2 problems:
      1. We don’t get to decide what faith should be like. That simply means that because Jason Gray wants an emotional experience, he’ll determine that’s what his faith will be like. If someone else wants a spirituality of legalism, that’s what they should have. If someone else wants a religion that will help them violently overthrow their enemies, they should have it. I disagree. There’s an ultimate reality we should conform to, without demanding it be what we want it to be.
      2. You can fall in love and out of love. Even marriage is not about falling in love. People think it is, so when the feeling fades, so does their commitment – because it was more like falling in love than giving allegiance. If people’s relationships and faith were more about giving allegiance, or in biblical terms, making a covenant, then they’d be healthier. This simply isn’t a biblical model.

      Where in the Bible to you see that faith should be more like falling in love than beliefs, giving allegiance, etc?

  • He is a Christian artist. And are you forgetting the title? It’s gottal be more like falling in love than giving my allegiance. He is talking about Christianity all the way through. Christianity’s gotta be more like falling in love than giving my allegiance to it and just saying I believe. Does that make sense? I’d like to know if it didn’t. God bless!

    • @Jesusismy1savior That’s exactly my point – he’s saying that Christianity has to be the way he wants it to be – we don’t get to tell God what it’s going to be like. He’s saying he will determine what his faith should be – it IS: an emotional experience. It IS NOT: rules, obligations, words, things to believe in, or requiring allegiance.

      He’s wrong. It’s all of those things.

      Perhaps he wanted to communicate it’s not JUST those things, but he doesn’t communicate that.

    • He’s saying that many people have made it that way, with only rules and rituals. But he says it’s not thy way and that it should be more like something you just do without thinking: falling in love.

    • @Jesusismy1savior – “Do without thinking.”

      That may explain your comment, his lyrics and a lot of people’s faiths. But it is in no way a biblical faith. Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We are not called to be mindless, acting out of emotion without thinking.

      You can have a faith like that, but it is not a biblical faith – and it is acting in rebellion to Jesus’ own teaching.

    • I’m sorry, I forgot the word “only” it shouldn’t ONLY be rituals and the such. It should be something you should just want to do (I said do without thinking and that was not the right word choice.) many people forget th heart part of that verse, which was what I was trying to point out earlier. Thank you for correcting me on that. 🙂

    • @Jesusismy1savior – This fits my point – words mean something. What you said with the wrong word choice is what Jason Gray seems to have done in his song. He says faith should be “this not that” but you’re saying – and I’m saying – faith should be “this AND that.” The difference is HUGE!

      It seems you think “rules, obligations, beliefs, the need to give one’s allegiance are good only if there’s relationship.”

      But this song says all these things (that Jesus himself taught) are bad.

  • Miami

    I realize that it’s been a long time since anyone has commented, but this artist has done something that most people have not: they have added an 7 part series to this song which clairifies many of your concerns, which can be found here: http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/jfhblog/template_archives_cat.asp?cat=35

    In addition, many of the concerns that I had about this song were laid to rest by reading these blogs about the song as well. It was just a suggestion if you were having a problem with it. Thank you for listening if you wish.

    • @Miami – Thanks for the comment!

      I wasn’t aware that Jason had written 7 long blog posts to try to explain what his thinking is behind the words of this song. I haven’t read all 7 posts yet, but it confirms what I thought: He seems solid in his beliefs about salvation (soteriology), even though his song isn’t. In his 7th post he says he must be correct because people have different problems, and as we hear politicians say, if people from both sides disagree with you, you must be right.

      There are, of course, always people further to each end of any spectrum than you. Certainly, if you’re so much of an extremist that no one of the 6 billion people on earth is more extreme than you, that’s certainly questionable, but not being the most extreme person on the planet isn’t necessarily a heartening endorsement.

      In this case, I think his song lyrics are poorly written. While his blog posts address the weaknesses of the song, the vast majority of people who hear the song aren’t going to be able to read through the several pages of clarification – the fine print, if you will – that should be read by the announcer who speed-reads the fine print for advertisements wherein it’s revealed that the true intention of the advertiser is the opposite of what was just communicated.

      Jason downplays any importance of his song by calling it “a pop song no less.” But, ideas have consequences. Ideas in writing, in recording, in audio broadcast around the world have consequences and are affecting people’s theology. Certainly secular music can do the same thing, but most people with any intelligence know not to get their theology from Lady Gaga.

      The ideas of his blog posts are not communicated in the song, different ideas are, which is what made the blog posts necessary in the first place. The ideas presented in the song are unhealthy. The ideas posted in the blog are what I’ve been saying:

      It’s gotta be more like giving your allegiance to a person than giving your allegiance to a person-less religion.

      It’s gotta be more like a set of beliefs connected to the person behind all of creation than a set of beliefs not connected to him.

      That’s a significant departure from the song lyrics which don’t contrast allegiance to Christ with allegiance to another system, but contrast the emotional experience of “falling in love” (that’s good) with giving any allegiance (that’s bad). The song itself doesn’t contrast Christianity with any other religion, but says within your “faith,” it should be the emotional experience of falling in love, it should not be allegiance, beliefs, etc.

      If I were Jason and had a hit song on the radio, I’d likely do the same thing – post a ton of clarifications to explain that what is said in the song doesn’t really communicate what I meant. I’d explain in in concert as well, because the song plus the clarification could be fine. Then I’d seek to be more careful with what I’m telling thousands upon thousands of people to believe about their faith in future songs.

      I’m sure that’s just what he’ll do.

  • nathan

    @Lori – I don’t hold Christian music to a higher standard than regular music at all.

    I’ve always been a big music fan. When I became a Christian during my high school years, I threw out most of my secular music and tried to listen only to Christian stuff. That lasted for about three years. Quite frankly, 99% of the music in the CCM industry is horribly lazy, both in lyrical content and in musical composition. There are a few bands and singers that I can listen to.

    There’s also loads of horrible secular music out there too, but there’s simply more good secular music out there. It seems that secular musicians actually have a vested financial interest in pushing themselves creatively; Christian musicians, on the other hand, can make due with some half-baked lyrics (see above) and the key of D.

    This comment will probably never be read by Lori, but I have to make it anyway. Christian music, which gave us Bach once upon a time, is in a bad, bad place today.

  • Sunshine

    I heard this song just a minute ago on my local radio station and just like you what I heard sent me in search of the actual lyrics.

    Wow. That is pretty much all I can say. Really?

    “Cause all religion ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet”

    Yes Jason Gray, you are a sinner. But you missed the glorious gospel message! A sinner can be saved by GRACE- By Jesus’ death on the cross for us! Repent and your sins are forgiven!

    I think this has a great deal to do with preachers not preaching the Law and the Gospel. The law convicts of sin and the Gospel gives us the good news about how those sins are forgiven and we are set free.

    I also hate this gushy “I am falling in love” music, Jesus is not your boy/girlfriend. He is so much higher and holier than that! Yes we love Him but not in such a squishy-gushy way!

  • Beka

    Personally I think that certain parts of this song are really neat! I do NOT like the verses as they seem defiant. I love having guidance and having a truth to believe in. Words shouldn’t be misused and Obligations should be to God.

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    The chorus is what got me singing along today on the radio.
    I want it to be love Him while I’m believing in Him.
    I want to lose my heart to God.
    I want to fall in love with him.

    I think someone could rewrite this and make a really good song…
    This is just an opinion.

  • I really dislike Christian radio. However, I’ve been listening to it recently in an attempt to give me a better attitude on the road.

    I’ve heard this song a lot and had taken a different interpretation. My assumption was that he was using some sort of poetic device (name unknown) and saying something to the effect of “this was me” “now this is me”.

    But I’ll admit I hadn’t thought about it a lot because frankly lots of CCM is insipid like that. And if you have to write SEVEN blog entries to explain it, then something is seriously off in your lyrics. I’m not going to waste time reading them.

  • Religion makes some people think they have to believe , its what everybody should do and by doing so you are chained. Love of God, love of Christ is a choice and only if you truly love him not to just because your friends say they do or because momma and daddy want you to. I have heard many of my elders say this phrase ” I’m so glad to say I love the Lord for myself”!! When you love him for your self you don’t care who does not like it or what other people think about you.

    • I agree, though the point you’re making don’t have much to do with the lyrics of the song .

  • What he’s saying is that he was tired of just having religion, and now he’s fallen in love with Jesus. Not that he doesn’t want to do what Jesus wants him to, but loving Jesus so much that you don’t just have to say ” I love Jesus”… it’s about actually feeling it.

    • Can you point out where in the Bible we’re taught that Christianity is about “feeling it”?

    • You have to FEEL love for God. It’s not like a love that you have for someone in the world but FOR God and you can’t just go through the motions and say you love God. You have to FEEL LOVE FOR GOD.

    • My question remains – does your view of “You have to FEEL love for God.” have anything to do with what the Bible says, or did you get your ideas of following God from someone else, or make it up yourself?

      It’s amazing that not one person who is arguing this point has gone to the Bible to back up their case. All you’ve got is a pop song. If you can back it up with the Bible and you can convince me that following Jesus is about feeling an emotion. But if you can’t back it up…?

  • brigheta webster

    Really??? How cool is it that a dialogue was created and people were caused to think? All because of this song? I totally get it . I am not going to pretend, like some christians do that just because im saved that im always doing the right thing. We were created defiant and I am. If you arent WOW!! Also, he is saying he doesnt want to just mark church off his list every week like some of us do. He wants it to be more than just something we do sunday and wednesdays. I love this song!! Makes me want it to be like falling in love. Remember your first love, it was all you thought about?

    • Hi Brigheta, thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, what you say the song means is not what the song says. The song says that faith needs to be about “falling in love.” Let’s look at what that phrase actually means. Here’s wikipedia’s entry on it: (if anyone has a competing definition from a reference source, please comment with it.)

      “Falling in love” is mainly a Western term used to describe the process of moving from a feeling of neutrality towards a person to one of love. The use of the term “fall” implies that the process is in some way inevitable, uncontrollable, risky, irreversible, or that it puts the lover in a state of vulnerability, in the same way the word “fall” is used in the phrase “to fall ill” or “to fall into a trap”. The term is generally used to describe an (eventual) love that is strong, although not necessarily permanent.

      Problem #1: Biblically speaking, we are not moving from a state of neutrality. The Bible teaches we are all in opposition to God.
      Problem #2: Christians are not those who are defined by a feeling of love.
      Problem #3: Love in a relationship with Jesus is meant to be an everlasting covenant commitment that is permanent, not just a passing feeling.

      When the Bible says that love is “walking in obedience to his commands,” taking up your cross, laying down your life for others, a covenant that requires allegiance and obedience to rules, it is inappropriate and wrong to say that this is all bad and instead we should substitute a passing emotional feeling, which is what “falling in love” means.

      Certainly the dialog here is good – but to say that anything about which there is good discussion is good… well, I’ve blogged and had plenty of comments about abortion. Is abortion good because good discussions have been had?

      Unfortunately no one I’ve talked to about this song who has defended it has been willing to have a biblical discussion. How shameful when we are more willing to form our ideas about Jesus from pop music instead of what Jesus himself and his disciples said.

    • brigheta webster

      It appeared that you in your reply actually helped to solidify what I was trying to say. Thank you. A dialogue between people, that causes them to think about how they believe or dont is always good. Wether that be about abortion or the death penalty, or if it is about a man who really loves his Lord Jesus and wrote a song about it and how we should strive to have it be more like falling in Love, NOT only falling in love but caught up and called out. Please .

    • Thank you. I’m glad that you believe that what I’m doing, causing and enabling dialog is good. Unfortunately the song isn’t good, regardless of whether the writer is a good guy.

      There wouldn’t be such a significant problem with the song if you were correct in your assessment “a song about it and how we should strive to have it be more like falling in Love, NOT only falling in love”

      Unfortunately, that’s incorrect as you can see by reading the words of the song again.

      Yes, we should love God with all our heart including our emotions should be one aspect of our love for God.

      Jesus commanded that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. What Jesus didn’t say is that loving God should be more like loving God with all your heart than loving him with your mind.

      The song draws contrasts between “falling in love” (which is a distorted and inaccurate view of love to start with) and giving allegiance, obedience, and belief. The song says it should be more like “falling in love” and less like commitment (allegiance), less like obedience (“give me rules I will break them”), less like faith (something to believe in).

      This stands in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches. The Bible says it is about commitment, obedience, and faith. The Bible does not say following Jesus is about feeling like you’ve “fallen in love,” but is about taking up your cross, hating your friends and family, denying yourself. See Luke 14:

      25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
      28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

      31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

      34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

      “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

      When plenty of people wanted to follow Jesus, he didn’t say that there was no cost, no obedience, no rules, no allegiance. He said, essentially,

      It’s gotta be more like giving up everything you’ve got
      than an emotional high.
      More like hating your family
      than feeling lovey dovey.
      Dying to self, taking up your tool of self-execution,
      Take a look at yourself now
      It’s like you’re dying, oh
      It’s like I’m dying to everything I’ve held dear”

      Unfortunately this song does not encourage people to count the cost, as Jesus said, but denies the costs, and encourages people to follow Jesus in a way opposite of what Jesus taught, that is more likely to cause them to lose their saltiness. As Jesus says, if salt isn’t salty anymore, it’s so bad it would ruin a pile of manure and should just be thrown in the trash.

      I may copy over the comments from this video on youtube where someone arguing, like you, that the unbiblical ideas are better than biblical ones, told me that if someone stops feeling the emotional high of “falling in love” they will turn away fro God. That isn’t what we’re called to do. That person has faith that would ruin a pile of manure, to use Jesus’ words.

    • (Wow that was a long comment. I’ll edit it and turn it into a follow-up blog post)

  • man, some of you are pretty grumpy, not too mention not very generous. Vague and stupid? Nathan, that’s just not very nice. And Second Jon, does my song really say that what I’m talking about is in opposition to all rules? I don’t see it, and I didn’t write it that way, so I humbly offer that you read that into the lyric.

    Now listen, I’m a big boy and I can handle criticism, so no worries there. But it is a bummer to feel misunderstood. And it’s also a little disappointing to not be given the benefit of the doubt – an ungrace that has infected the church.

    If you care to, I would invite you all to read a series of blogs I wrote last year and am reposting about the meaning and intention of the lyrics. The first one is posted here: http://www.rabbitroom.com/?p=12156

    you’re welcome to still disagree with me or dismiss the song, but I hope you get a fuller picture of what I intended. Thanks for your consideration 🙂

    And Nathan. Chill out man. You too Robin 😉 I have felt the way that you do about Christian radio, too (and still do to a degree) but at some point I just got tired of being angry about it all the time. So I decided to try and do my little part in changing it. I had hoped that people would experience my song as deceptively simple, but still a conveyer of a significant theological thought. it was inspired by G.K. Chesterton who wrote that our religion should look “less like a theory and more like a love affair.”

    It’s still cool if you don’t like it, but I wish you knew that I was on your side and trying to contribute to a reshaping of the landscape of Christian radio. Baby steps…

    If you want to know the kind of songs I normally write, check this one out – it might make you feel like I have more street cred: http://www.rabbitroom.com/?p=7709

    In the time, can I humbly suggest that you try giving artists the benefit of the doubt?

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your time and your comment. It’s got to be weird to see critiques online, and then leaving a comment not knowing how it will be handled or if it will even be published.

      It doesn’t seem you’ve taken much personally (aside, possibly, from Nathan’s comment – Nathan is never shy about expressing his opinion in strong terms), and I’m glad – since my original post I’ve tried to be increasingly clear that my issue is not with you or your theology, but just the lyrics of one song by itself, and what it communicates to the listener.

      You referenced Chesterton – now that’s speaking my love language. 🙂 I looked up from a Chesterton book (The Outline of Sanity) to see your comment come through.

      I found what I think is the original quote, from the intro of St. Francis of Assisi:

      He was a lover. He was a lover of God and he was really and truly a lover of men; possibly a much rarer mystical vocation. A lover of men is very nearly the opposite of a philanthropist; indeed the peantry of the Greek word carries something like a satire on itself. A philanthropist may be said to love anthropoids. But as St. Francis did no love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ. Say, if you think so, that he was a lunatic loving an imaginary person; but an imaginary person, not an imaginary idea. And for the modern reader the clue to the asceticism and all the rest can best be found in the stories of lovers when they seem to be rather like lunatics. Tell it as the tale of one of the Troubadours, and the wild things he would do for his lady, and the whole of the modern puzzle disappears. In such a romance there would be no contradiction between the poet gathering flowers in the sun and enduring a freezing vigil in the snow, between his praising all earthly and bodily beauty and then refusing to eat, between his glorifying gold and purple and pervesely going in rags, between his showing pathetically a hunger for a happy life and a thirst for a heroic dath. All these riddles would easily be resolved in the simplicity of any noble love; only this was so noble a love that nine men out of ten have hardly ever heard of it. We shall see later that this parallel over the earthly lover has a very practical relation to the problems of his life, as to his relations with his father and with his friends and their families. The modern reader will almost always find that if he could only feel this kind of love as a reality, he could feel this kind of extravagance as a romance. But I only ntoe it here as a preliminary point because, though it is very far from being the final truth in the matter, it is the best approach to it. The reader cannot even begin to see the sense of a story that may well seem to him a very wild one, until he understands that to this great mystic his religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love-affair.

      I don’t know a lot about Francis of Assisi, but this portion of one paragraph from Chesterton is very informative. In his mysticism he pursued a real love relationship with Christ. Chesterton describes what he means by “a love-affair,” which is about real sacrifice, and real allegiance. That’s the biblical picture I see of love as well. John wrote “and what is love? That we walk in obedience to his commands.” In 1 John he writes about the importance of right beliefs in loving God and loving our fellow brothers and sisters. Along with Jesus and Paul, John also writes about the importance of unwavering allegiance, even to death.

      My frustration with this particular song is that it promotes the “falling in love” idea of love which is stated (er… sung) as in contradiction to all of these characteristics of the biblical concept of love. Perhaps not in direct contradiction per-say, but that there’s something else about “falling in love” that is superior to how the Bible talks about love, which it does, in terms of obedience, allegiance, and belief.

      “Falling in love” is term we use to convey a short-term emotional high. Emotional highs do not drive one to “enduring a freezing vigil in the snow… refusing to eat… pervesely going in rags.” Real love (obedience, belief, allegiance) does; and that seems to have been Chesterton’s point – to make a distinction between how people normally thought of love and how Francis of Assisi’s love-affair differed.

      I realize that I sometimes express opinions too strong, and that I can misread things. While I personally disagree with the lyrics, I’ve been disturbed by how others understand them as well. I’m glad you’ve taken so much time to write on your blog about the concepts behind this song. Yet I think the lyrics by themselves matter, because far more people are going to hear the song on the radio or in their collection than are going to read your blog series explaining more.

      I’ve repeatedly had people tell me that in agreement with the song (in their mind), they see faith as primarily emotional. One person writes:

      I know for a FACT that you have felt for God, and that you feel that something EVERY SINGLE DAY of your life, and if it wasn’t for that feeling, YOU WOULD? NOT BE RELIGIOUS. point blank.

      I am really going to poke your nerves with this next statement, but if you were really a Christian, you would accept the fact that people fall in love with Jesus, you wouldn’t criticize people’s thought’s on how they think it should feel to come to Jesus. And YES you HAVE to FEEL to love God. If you don’t feel him,? then you wont believe in Him, like I said before, you’ll just believe he is just another non-fictional character up in the sky.

      Aside from the humor of the commenter, in a declaration that no one should criticize what others think denying my salvation in criticism of what I think on the topic, it’s overwhelmingly sad that this person’s foundation of faith is their emotions; they’ve declared that the day they lose this “feeling” they’ll stop believing in Jesus. It’s a very sad statement about their faith, and how they’ve interpreted the song to back that up is my issue. Years ago I had a good friend who was always so excited about her Jesus and her church. One day she just walks away from the church and moves in with a guy she met. In the end, she had simply “fallen in love,” she had a purely emotional faith. When a stronger emotion happened along, it replaced what she was receiving from her “faith.”

      I hope that you can understand my concern for the understanding that people can leave this song with. Again, my criticism isn’t of you or your faith or your theology. I hope you see that I am giving you the benefit of the doubt.

      I’m not a song writer – I don’t have to deal with trying to communicate in just a few verses and a chorus! I’m certain that is a task that only a few can handle, and I am not among that number – just look at the length of this comment!

      My wife and I have recently discussed whether we Christian lyricists have the same responsibility from God that teachers in the church have. Given the concept of the global church (all Christians), and that Christian songs are formative in our faith, I’m inclined to think that makes sense. I’d love to hear the thoughts of someone in that position, such as yourself.

  • Thad

    This comment thread blows my mind. The song could scarcely be more clear. The fact that it’s causing this sort of non-sensical dissension is going a long way toward proving his point I think. Some of these comments make it seem like folks are going out of their way to deliberately misunderstand the song. Wow. Just wow.

    • Hi Thad,

      I’ve never seen the benefit of this style of argument: You disagree with me, thus you’re non-sensical. You’re so dumb and I’m so brilliant, I can’t bear to bring myself to lower my mind to try to understand you.

      What’s the point of participating in a discussion when you just write off anyone who doesn’t agree with you as non-sensical? And then why post a comment just to say “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING BUT YOU’RE WRONG!” ?

      It reminds me of an early scene of a movie I walked out of because of the crass humor – Anchor Man. Various characters are arguing about something and Steve Carell’s character yells “I don’t know what we’re yelling about!.” In the end, it just makes him look like an idiot for yelling about not understanding what the other guys are saying.

      That’s the gist of your comment. How can you think that you’re constructively participating in a discussion when you’re not even willing to understand where other people are coming from?

  • I feel like I just read a very long book, an interesting book that caused me to laugh, frown, and just say pffttt at times. I happened to come across your blog at random, but I am glad I did.

    I think you have done a very good job at listening, and getting your point out in a way that is not condemning to others. Its awesome to see how this became a conversation.

    To me this song shows the beauty of Christ, it shows the true reality of what it should be about. Over and over and over again in the bible Jesus stresses that love is the most important, that without love there can be nothing. So the lyrics to me paint a beautiful picture of a child like faith. Of a faith that allowed all their walls to be broken, and their pride to be torn down.

    James 1 talks about how we fall into sin, and it is our desire that does it. I think Jason did a good job at making it clear that we are not perfect, that we will break the rules, we will break what God has set before us…because we are human.

    In a response to a comment you talked about the part where he talks about allegiance, and religion. But in the bible when Jesus talks about how we won’t be able to enter the kingdom unless we have faith like a child. What do you think that looks like? When we were young we trusted our parents with everything, we were in love with them completely and it took a lot for us to be torn from them. That is how God wants us to act towards him, with this insane amount of trust that is above and beyond an allegiance, its like loosing your heart as Jason sings. Its falling in love, and that sometimes looks crazy to other people.
    mmmm God is so good, thank you for allowing all these conversations to take place. I have enjoyed your blog.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your thoughts, and thanks for joining the conversation. I want to keep the conversation open regardless of whether the comments are in agreement or disagreement.

      The problem that I see with the song is that it isn’t repeating what Jesus said about love. Jesus never described love as “falling in love” or being “swept off our feet.” As appealing as that idea may be, that’s not what “love” means when the Bible speaks of loving God.

      There’s a lot of different ways people use the same word, “love”:

      I love my wife.
      I love potato chips.
      I love gratuitous violence.
      I love my country.
      They made love.
      She is my love.
      I love that author.
      For the love of humanity, stop that noise!
      I’m in love with my work.
      No love was lost between the two.”

      We don’t get to pick our favorite definition and impose that on scripture. “Love” can be used to mean an obsession with sin; to have sex; to feel warmly toward; to be romantic with; and many other things. When the Bible speaks of love, what does it mean?

      The good news is: the Bible tells us. 1, 2, and 3 John is a great place to start. What is love for God? That we walk in obedience to God’s commands. What is loving others? Laying down our lives for our brothers and sisters as Christ laid down his life for us.

      We just don’t find the “falling in love” concept in the Bible in regard to what it means to “love” God. The biblical authors went out of their way to make this point clear.

      I agree that Jesus talked (once? maybe more) about a child-like faith. It’s kind of gross to say that a child-like faith is like being swept off your feet and falling in love; to say that when children have faith it’s about a love-affair. I disagree with Freud on that one.

      The faith of a little child, as you pointed out, is trusting in everything God says. Yet here we’re trusting in what Jason sings and not going to what God says at all.

      We cannot write off obedience, allegiance, or belief. The Bible places those things as primary in what it means to love God. To draw a distinction between love and the others is to take a scalpel to the Bible and cut out those things that make us uncomfortable. I’m not okay with that.

  • Robin

    I’d like to respond and follow on the heels of what Jon has been saying because I was called out by the artist and instructed to “chill out.” I’ve seen that more and more in Western “Christianity,” the focus is on what WE want in a relationship with Christ, how WE feel, what WE need from Him. The shift to this egocentric belief system exchanges the authority of Scripture and God’s definition of our relationship with Him for the desires and traditions of men (Mark 7:6-7; Romans 8:25).

    When we don’t agree on an authoritative standard, we cannot agree on how Scripture speaks to these issues. While I enjoy the writings of G.K. Chesterton as well, they are not Scripture. Unfortunately, there is not a single passage of Scripture to support this idea that we are to “fall in love” with Christ. These lyrics communicate a symbiotic “love relationship” between God and man, with the emphasis on the emotion of the relationship; however, we know that that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked – totally incapable of offering anything to God (Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19). Scripture defines “loving Christ” this way:

    -Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

    -Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

    -John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

    -Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

    -Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    -2 John 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

    -1 John 2:3-4 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    Scripture is unmistakable: we don’t even KNOW God if we don’t keep His commandments (HIS rules, HIS lines, HIS obligations). It can’t be any clearer than this. We don’t get to tell God what we “need” to believe; unless He intervenes, we have no hope of belief or faith (John 6:44; 2 Timothy 1:9). While the artist may believe this and communicate it elsewhere, songs, lyrics, poetry, etc, must stand or fall on their own merits.
    And while we’re on the subject of what Scripture DOES say the Christian life will be like – Jesus, Paul and Peter all described it as warfare, nothing even reminiscent of falling in love.

    If someone claims to be a follower of Christ, yet is misleading his or her brothers and sisters, it is incumbent upon us to call out errors in the doctrine they promote, not giving the “benefit of the doubt,” regardless of his or her occupation in the body of Christ. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

    While I’m admittedly no theologian, it was my heart’s desire to share these verses as they came to mind on this subject.

    • @Robin – Thanks for your comment and going back to scripture. That’s something that’s missing in a lot of Christian music consumers talking about this song.

      A few clarifications.

      I agree that Chesterton (and you, me, C.S. Lewis and Jason) is not more authoritative than scripture. However, G. K. Chesterton never said what Jason has been saying is his backup for the song – at least nowhere I can find it. Nowhere on the Internet that quotes it cites a source, and most online occurrences cite Jason as the source crediting Chesterton. Above I quoted the text I believe the quote is from, and it is suggesting that the Roman Catholic mystic was onto something that should be emulated, to take this impression over what Chesterton was crystal clear about in, say, Orthodoxy, is not beneficial.

      You are in fact giving Jason the benefit of the doubt when you write “While the artist may believe this and communicate it elsewhere…” You are granting the benefit of the doubt to Jason and his beliefs. At the same time, we aren’t supposed to be granting doubt when it comes to truth. Somehow in this conversation we’re doubting truth and we’re placing ourselves as Lord over the Bible to decide what we will and won’t accept. Here’s a quote actually written by G. K. Chesterton on the topic:

      “What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert–himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason. . . . The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it’s practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . . The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.”

      G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy [Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1957], pp. 31-32

  • Grace

    I don’t think he’s demanding anything of God. I believe he is realizing that God wants a relationship with him and not just saying “I believe in God” and not living like it.

    • I agree with you Grace: saying “I believe in God” and not living like it is wrong – that’s why God demands our obedience and allegiance. Without these things, you don’t have love, and you can’t be more like love than living like you’re loving God – obedience, allegiance, belief.

      I just think Jason’s lyrics fundamentally disagree with what you wrote.