DiM | “More Than You Think I Am” by Danny Gokey

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

April 21, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “More Than You Think I Am” by Danny Gokey which currently sits at #16 at 20theCountdownMagazine.

We’ll continue using this top 20 song list until I find a better list. Your feedback in this would be greatly appreciated.

We have another song of encouragement, with an extra shot of espresso. Danny Gokey’s voice is amazing, and this song was masterfully produced, but I cannot recommend this song to anyone for any purpose beyond practicing discernment. This song displays a theology along the lines of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. The real answers the Bible offers for the hurting, the questions, and the fears we face are far greater than any man-made philosophy, pep-talk, or song.

VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLOVE)

More Than You Think I Am by Danny Gokey

You always think I’m somewhere on a mountaintop
But never think behind bars
You’d be amazed the places that I go
To be with you, where you are

So forget what you’ve heard
What you think that you know
There’s a lot about Me
That’s never been told

CHORUS
I’m more than you dream
More than you understand
Your days and your times
Were destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on My heart
Be still and trust My plan
I’m more than you think I am
More than you think I am

Rumor has it there’s a gavel in My hand
I’m only here to condemn
But let Me tell you secrets you have never known
I think of you as My best friend

So much has been said
Even done in My name
But I’m showing you now
Who I really am

CHORUS

Let me open your eyes to see
The heart of Me, differently oh oh
Come closer than you’ve ever been
Let Me in like never before
Bring Me every broken part
The wounds and scars of who you are
Hide in Me and you will see…

CHORUS

More than you think I am
More than you think I am
I’m more than you think I am

Publishing: © 2014 Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Goes Something Like THiS Music/Nichols’ Boys Music (BMI) © 2014 G650 Music, Pure Note Music, Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI) © 2014 BMG Platinum Songs/Creative Heart Publishing/Admin by BMG Rights Management (BMI) Used By Permission. All Rights Reserved.
Writer(s): Danny Gokey/Bernie Herms/Tim Nichols

Discussion

The musical and vocal talent in this song is fantastic. The lyrical content is at-best drivel (on the order of Sarah Young) or at worst dangerous (like Bill or Beni Johnson of Bethel, CA). For the unbeliever, this song is absolutely dangerous because it falsely elevates the unbeliever to the status of God’s Best friend. To the Believer, it is still dangerous if it serves to reinforce bad theology. We will not be trying to put a good construction on this song. Let’s get to the major problems in the lyrics.

There’s a lot about Me, That’s never been told. Okay, so this is the point in the song where my head sort of exploded (not literally). It is one thing to tell someone they have been taught a false gospel, or have been deceived by false teachers, but to claim that God is telling the listener that He is going to tell them things about Himself that have never been told is absolutely treacherous. While one can make the philosophical (or metaphysical) argument that there is a lot about God that has never been told, whatever God hasn’t revealed of Himself to us in His Word is NOT for us to know or speculate on in the here and now. When we see God in the Kingdom of Heaven, we will stand amazed at all that He is, and still not fully know what He has not revealed, for we are the creation and He is the Creator. God is not revealing things about Himself to us individually that He hasn’t revealed of Himself in His Word. He simply isn’t. God’s Word is the standard by which we measure all things. If God were to reveal something of Himself that has never been revealed, we’d have no way to confirm it in His Word. Therefore, I know that God wouldn’t do it. What’s worse, if any claim to a revelation of God (Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit) is such that it cannot be validated in Scripture then we know that it isn’t of God; rather, it is a demon posing as an angel of light. There is also the lines invoking some sort of post-modern “forget what you know or think you know”. What is that? To whom is this song addressed, Christians? Forget what they’ve heard? like the Gospel? This actually reminds me a lot of Rob Bell and his nonsense.

But let Me tell you secrets you have never known, I think of you as My best friend. This is attempting to say a lot more than “God loves you”. This is intended to paint a picture of God wooing the listener, in much the same way as Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” mysticism. But notice the 2 lines before this one… “rumor has it there’s a gavel in my hand”… This line is intended to refute the idea that God is a Judge. When Jesus first walked this earth, it is true He didn’t come to judge, but to save. From what did He come to save? God’s Judgement. Oh, so there IS a gavel. Yes.

John 3:16-18 (ESV) | For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

2 Timothy 4:5-8 (ESV)
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

But isn’t there a passage in John where Jesus does call the disciples His friends? Yes. Let’s look at it.

John 15:12-17 (ESV) 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Still doesn’t reflect the context of this song, and even refutes the earlier points of some secret as-yet untold revelation of God. Nonsense. Jesus IS the revelation of God and He is returning to Judge creation.

But I’m showing you now, Who I really am. This stanza is horrible. Who is doing the showing? What is being shown? This song is designed to entice the listener to forget what they’ve heard about God, forget that the Bible is the Word of God, how He has revealed Himself to man, and to openly embrace some new secret that elevates the status of man to “best friend” of God, whose name has been burned into God’s very heart. This is mysticism. Just open up for something new and never before revealed encounter with god, and do so stripped of any discernment, whatsoever. Dangerous.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV) | Preach the Word
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Amen. In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

7 thoughts on “DiM | “More Than You Think I Am” by Danny Gokey

  1. Hey Jorge,

    I agree that we should be discerning in our enjoyment of Christian music. I heard this song on the radio and my ears perked up when I heard “rumor has it there’s a gavel in my hand.” I thought “rumor has it?!” There IS a gavel in His hand and thank goodness for that. However, I feel like you’re being overly harsh here. While I wish there were more songs being written about the holiness of God and His hatred for sin, the is NOTHING technically wrong with these lyrics. It’s a song from written from God’s perspective about our need for a fuller knowledge understanding of who He is. Yes, we get to know Him through His Word, and the song does not contradict that fact, but the Bible is a treasure trove that can never be exhausted. People study it their whole lives and at the end are still learning new things. Even the line about the gavel is explained in the next line “I’m only here to condemn.” It’s true that God isn’t “here” only to condemn. If you think of God as all condemnation you have an incomplete knowledge of God. He truly is more that we think he is. I’m all for theology and standing on the truth, but I believe you also have to leave room for a little mystery. We must be ready at any time for God to break through our feeble thoughts and show us something about Himself that we never realized before like He did for Job. Just some thoughts.

    Drew Hettinga

    • Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and share your thoughts. I agree that the song was conveying our need for better understanding of who God is, what the song doesn’t do is point to Scripture. Rather, in some ways it was dismissive of Scripture and implored the listener to get ready for a direct-download or an experience that grants knowledge. The audience of the song is also unclear, was this to Christians or non-Christians? That ambiguity leads to a mixed message in some of the lines. For example, one might accept the notion that an unbeliever should forget what they’ve heard about God and then hear the Gospel, but then God doesn’t proclaim friendship with the unbeliever. If the audience is a Christian, we shouldn’t be issuing a blanket charge to forget what he/she has heard of God and be open to some “spiritual encounter”. It is good that the song doesn’t explicitly reject Scripture or Orthodoxy, but we are aiming for a higher standard of discernment here.

      I understand wanting to counter the perceived harshness of my post with support for the song. I agree that the idea of God waiting to smite sinners is an incomplete view; however, that one idea doesn’t really salvage that stanza nor the song in my view. I am exceedingly grateful that we can disagree on these points as brothers in Christ. Again, thank you for sharing.

      One final note (for other readers): there is a lot of music out there. We only look at what is making the “top 20” for DiM Tuesday because our chief concern is more about what Modern-Day Evangelicalism is promoting and consuming in mass-quantity. Today’s Christian pop-40 radio stations play a limited selection, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept what they promote or do without music altogether. We feel the Church has allowed Christian bookstores and Christian Radio stations to run amok without calls for discernment for far too long.

  2. You have clearly identified the problems in the song. Gokey is a fan of The Shack , and even sang at an event in Seattle celebrating The Shack. Like Sarah Young’s contemplative “jesus,” the “god” of The Shack is not biblical, and does not even punish sin.

  3. 1st off, sorry for all of the typos in that post 😛 Jorge, I can understand what you’re saying, the song is pretty ambiguous. And I have heard that Danny has some wacked out theology. I just think that brotherly love means not automatically assuming a brother is saying something heretical when he is not being clear. Lord knows, there is enough clear and unambiguous heresy in popular Christian music without reading more into it. Saying that the songwriter “intended” to say this or that seems presumptuous to me, if not just a little uncharitable. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not crazy about the song myself and again, I’m all for discernment.

    • Try as I might, sometimes I publish blogs with typos, so no worries there, Drew. The platform that has been given to our Christian Music Celebrities calls for greater scrutiny, especially those who endorse false teaching. Ambiguity gets resolved in the mind of the listener, so we want to provide Biblical resolution where we can. This song didn’t leave much room for that, so we chose to highlight the artist’s problematic theology as a way of warning the listener.

  4. Excellent analysis and observations… My chief concern about the lyrical content is that secular listeners who may like the song based on its production values will actually miss the idea of its point(s) as a whole. There simply isn’t any contextual perspective offered that it is “supposedly” God who is sharing previously unknown aspects of His Being. It actually seems in point of fact that it the singer himself who is attributing himself with a God like persona/status as a result.
    More Later…

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