Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship
(2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).
January 12, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Live On Forever” by The Afters which currently sits at #16 on the 20theCountdownMagazine top 20 chart.
Today we get back to working through our original context for DiM, that of the casual listener playing CCM radio in their home, work, or vehicle. Today’s song was a bit of a disappointment, I was hoping we could get an “approved” song before we start having to “disapprove” songs for 2016, but this one simply couldn’t be avoided. There is nothing in this song that is particularly Christian in any way. Christianity is not the only religion that holds to an after life, or a heaven. It’s an eerily spiritual/mystical song with a gnostic feel to the lyric. I don’t like it, and I’m concerned that it is on the top 20 chart.
The Afters VEVO Official Lyric Video
Lyrics (via KLove)
Live On Forever
Dark days are gonna go away
They won’t have the final say
These bones were always gonna fade
Cause we were made for another place
The moment of our final breath
When all our fears are put to rest
Every tear will disappear
Heaven is real
We’re gonna live on forever
We’re gonna live on forever
We are not where we belong
We have a hope that we’re going live on
Breathing air we have never breathed
We’ll see colors we’ve never seen
Every sound like a symphony
Rising up as the angels sing
The arms of grace are open wide
The face of love before our eyes
Where every tear will disappear
Heaven is real
Our hearts have been set in motion
For something more, for something more
Than we could ever imagine
There’s so much more, there’s so much more
Publishing: The Secret Parade / Simply Complex Songs / Songs From The Indigo Room (SESAC); Nashvistaville Songs / Light The Night / Songs of the Casbah (BMI); Vistaville Music / Bad Nacho Music / Music from the Casbah (ASCAP); Sony/ATV Timber Publishing / Open Hands Music (SESAC)
Writer(s): Josh Havens; Matt Fuqua; Jordan Mohilowski; Dan Ostebo; Jason Ingram
There is no mention whatsoever of Law and Gospel, Sin and Grace, Repentance or the Forgiveness of Sin. There is no mention of God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit. The song simply tells the listener he/she will live forever… which is true… but it doesn’t say why, doesn’t indicate there are 2 options, eternal Life or eternal punishment, and doesn’t in any way point to the Gospel of Jesus Christ… not even in part.
Verse 1. So, yes, Heaven is real. So is Hell. It is true that everyone will die, and then comes the Judgement.
Hebrews 9:22-28 (ESV)
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
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.
The first verse is odd and empty. For those without Faith, death will not put to rest their fears, they will become unfathomably increased for they will be judged without the LORD Jesus Christ as their advocate, their covering, their Savior.
Chorus. There is nothing of value here. These are half-thoughts repeated in a bit of a chant. Again, not being where we belong is too vague to be a truth. Unbelievers are born into this world under common grace, so that they might hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, come to Faith and be born-again. At birth, we are dead in sins and trespasses, we “belong” to be judged, but God’s grace delays the judgement and He grants Grace upon grace in opening our eyes and ears to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, washing away our sins, and creating in us a new creature, an adopted child of God. The saints of God, those who are of the household of Faith, do not belong to the world, are not OF the world, this world is not our home, but God has us here by His Will, for His purposes, and for His Glory. Christianity is not spiritual escapism from an ugly temporal existence.
Verse 2. While some of this imagery might hold true if it were connected to the Gospel, as it stands here it is whip cream piled on a plate with no dessert on it. Just whipped cream… no pie, no cake, no fruit, nothing. This imagery is sugary fluff. Nothing more.
Bridge. Melodically interesting change, still utterly lacking in substance. It’s not like being born again is like we’re a wind-up toy being released into a completely foreign world to figure things out on our own. Such nonsense. We are awakened to new life IN CHRIST. It’s not some blank-check “so much more that we can never fathom”… we are brought to life IN CHRIST, to grow IN CHRIST, to be the Body OF CHRIST, the Church.
I won’t listen to this song. I’d rather go channel surfing or turn off the radio to listen to the road noise in my ’02 Elantra. Careful, now… don’t covet my awesome ride, lol. It grieves me that this song is on the top 20 charts… it truly does. Sure, if you like the song it’s because you’ve poured in your own meaning for the song and are somehow encouraged by it. How long does such effort last? The song, on its own, has no value.
Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) | Doxology
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
In Christ Jesus,