Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Well, it looks like 20theCountdownMagazine continues to be the most reliably updated music chart. Today, at #7, we find Colton Dixon’s “More of You”. Without getting too far ahead of myself, let me just say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Lyrics (via K-Love.com)
More Of You | Colton Dixon
I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want You and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that’s left is
More of You
Less of me
Make me who I’m meant to be
You’re all I want all I need
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You
Less of me
More of You
This life I hold so close
Oh, God I let it go
I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul
So take it all I abandon everything I am You can have it
The only thing I need is
All to You I surrender
All to You my blessed Savior
I surrender all
Publishing: © 2014 9T One Songs / Ariose Music / Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing / / 19 Tunes / D Soul Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com)
Writer(s): Colton Dixon, Ben Glover, David Arthur Garcia
The video for the song adds a positive element to this analysis. Let me say in advance that I do not “like” the video artistically, but they managed to convey a Gospel message that is quite refreshing, so I find myself in a position of recommending something I actually don’t “like”.[youtube http://youtu.be/qYXjXi8PtzQ]
Verse 1. This is my kingdom and it needs to fall got me nodding my head in agreement. The first “You” is quickly clarified as a reference to God the Holy Spirit as the verse moves on to empty me of myself.
Chorus. Such a wonderfully refreshing focus on God. More of You, less of me. Wonderful. You’re all I want, all I need, everything… Be my King.
Colossians 1:9-10 (ESV) 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Verse 2. Letting go of the cares of this life, refusing to gain the whole world, Lord take it all. The focus is good.
Luke 9:23-27 (ESV) | Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Music Video. Okay, so the scene playing out in the music video doesn’t flow with the storyline of the song. I found it visually frustrating and in some places rather disturbing, until I realized that the entire music video seems to be locked into the very first verse of the song. We start with a person looking to build his own kingdom out of sand.
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV) | Build Your House on the Rock
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Matthew 19:23-30 (ESV)23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
But the really cool thing about this video comes when the main character is underwater (after the great fall of his house of sand) and he sees a treasure chest. He pulls out a helmet and puts it on. The significance of the helmet?
Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV) | The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
And I love that once the main character finds his friend again, he passes on the helmet, which is a picture of evangelism.
Video. As pleasantly surprised as I was with the video’s ending and the focus of the lyric of the song, it wasn’t without some concern. Primarily, the idea that the helmet is all we need. I mean, read the full passage from Ephesians 6, there is so much more that Paul was trying to convey. We live in a time when the visible church keeps trying to make “becoming a Christian” as simple as possible… relevant… and palatable for the unbeliever. Some have made it as simple as raising their hand and agreeing silently while the speaker leads in the “sinner’s prayer”… and they’re good so they just need to become members, volunteer, give money, and invite friends. By the way, that isn’t the Gospel. The “hope” there is that eventually the Gospel will catch up to the church member and overtake them or something, but I digress. Regarding the passing along of the helmet of Salvation, maybe it was an artistic choice to simplify the visual, but I think it leaves too much room for error. It takes a full Gospel to create a full Christian. The gift of faith (shield) doesn’t come through “our testimony”, it comes through hearing the Word of God (Sword of Truth).
Romans 10:14-17 (ESV)14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Lyrics. Lyrically, the major concern here is that the song seems to skip over the need for us to deny ourselves in a real sense, or at the application level. It’s great to “want” to be emptied of “me” and to ask God to do that work in our hearts, but at the application level we must repent daily, take up our crosses and follow Christ. How do we follow Christ? We die to ourselves, we die to the flesh so that we might walk in the Spirit. As long as we live in these mortal bodies, this will be a continual process. We must take every thought captive, and tear down every lofty opinion that raises itself against the Knowledge of God. We must bear fruit in keeping with repentance. In popular Christian music, I get so frustrated with the tendency to sing anthems of self-importance with all of the great things “I” can do because “I’m a Christian”, but when it comes to denying ourselves and repenting the songs make that an appeal for something God has to do. We need the Law (as Christians who still walk in the world in fallen flesh) to convict us of sin, and we need the Gospel for the forgiveness of sin. The song does not clearly convey Law and Gospel, particularly in the confession, repentance, and the forgiveness of sin.
This song turned out better than expected. While the video is odd to me, and the closeups on Colton in the transitions just seem out of place to me, but overall it is not bad. While this song does not clearly convey Law (sin, confession, repentance) it does present a Gospel message and focuses primarily on keeping a Christ-centered focus and attitude of humility and deference to God. Colton Dixon’s voice is phenomenal and the song is a solid pop song. While I don’t care so much for the visual styling of the video and the brevity of verse, the chorus has the right focus to serve as a reminder for Christians driving to and from work, school, or play.
Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.