November 1, 2017. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Whole Heart” by Brandon Heath which currently sits at #7 on 20TheCountdownMagazine.
This song is a synergistic mess, a humble brag, and an empty promise to a very weak understanding of God. Seriously, whichever god this song is appealing to isn’t the God of the Bible who is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. We’ll discuss this below, but for now, let’s get the whole “listening to the song” over with and move straight into the lyric.
BrandonHeathVEVO (Lyric Video)
Lyrics (via K~Love)
Well I called Your name a long time ago
And You sprung a well from a heart of stone
But I was careful then what I let You see
Only thought You wanted the best of me
The less I trust You the less I grow
The more You love me the more I know
I don’t have to be afraid to show
All of me, all of me
Where there’s hurting
You show me what healing can do
Where there’s hatred
You show me how kindness can move
Where there’s fear deep inside
I won’t run, I won’t hide
I’ll give You all of me
So that You can see
Every broken piece
And open up my whole heart, whole heart
And love You with my whole heart, whole heart
My Whole heart
So I’m ready now gonna let You in
All the way to the scars beneath my skin
And You don’t look away cause You understand
And You hold my heart with a gentle hand
The less I trust You the less I grow
The more You love me the more I know
I don’t have to be afraid to show
All of me, all of me
Where there’s hurting
Oh where there’s sorrow and shame
Enter into the pain
Publishing: © 2017 Haidaway Music (BMI) (admin. by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing); EGH Music Publishing (BMI)/Be Essential Songs (BMI) (admin. at http://www.EssentialMusicPublishing.com); Fair Trade Music Publishing (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Writer(s): Brandon Heath, Ethan Hulse, Colby Wedgeworth
Verse 1. Well I called Your name a long time ago And You sprung a well from a heart of stone… A heart of stone cannot call upon the Name of the LORD. The order of these lines is backward. God regenerates us, saves us, softens our hearts, granting us faith. He springs the well before we call on His Name.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Romans 10:10-17 (ESV) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 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? 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!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The beginning of faith is external to us, our will, our decisions, our thoughts, our desires, our dedication, our speech. The beginning of faith is in the Word of God. It is God who saves, God who regenerates, God who grants faith by His Grace, through His Word. This is monergism, only One does the work and that One is God.
But I was careful then what I let You see Only thought You wanted the best of me… you cannot truly think that you are successful in hiding anything from God, right?
1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Proverbs 17:3 (ESV) The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.
Romans 8:22-27 (ESV) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
I made this point in the intro, God sees, searches, knows our hearts. There is no hiding ANYTHING from God. God is God. The only way to think about this line in the song is “I withheld confession and repentance” in certain areas of my life. God knows this. He knows our hearts. Our hearts are wicked. We are so vain we actually think we can keep secrets from God.
Pre-Chorus. The less I trust You the less I grow… here we see a theology of “infused righteousness”, a notion that “getting saved” is a starting point that infuses us with the ability to grow into sanctification. Failure to trust God is a breaking of the first Commandment, and is sin.
Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
So, yes, one doesn’t grow toward God in sin. But the problem is so much bigger than simply “stalled growth”, sin kills. Doubt, worry, anxiety, run contrary to faith. The other problem with this wording, is that it is unclear on how to do the opposite in order to grow. How does one “trust God more”? Well, the song will present a sort of “commitment” thing where you make God empty promises. Scripture points us to dying daily to the flesh, repenting of sin, including the sin of failing to trust the Lord our God with all our hearts and soul and mind. This isn’t a one-time declaration sort of thing, it’s daily.
Luke 9:23-24 (ESV) And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Paul’s teaching to the Romans on this point is excellent. All of Romans needs to be read as one teaching, though this portion from Romans 6 through Romans 8 is a great place to examine the “how we grow in Christ”. It’s not glorious in this life, it’s frustrating, it’s painful, we sin when we don’t want to as Christians because our still sinful flesh craves sin. The Law convicts us of our sin and sentences it to death. The Gospel grants us repentance and the forgiveness of sins and a Promise of the Hope of our Salvation in Christ Jesus. We remain connected to Christ by Grace through Faith, not of our own doing, there is no room for anyone to boast in their justification nor sanctification.
The more You love me the more I know… Really hate what is being implied here. So, two things:
— firstly, there is simply no room for anyone to complain that God didn’t love them enough. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV) No one gets to make that complaint.
— secondly, it seems to be pointing to a demand that God keep doing things for the singer “the more You love me” so that he’ll know who God is. I’m sorry, but we are called to trust in the LORD our God despite our circumstances. The early Christians expected to die as martyrs for their faith… many did just that.
I don’t have to be afraid to show All of me, all of me We’re back to this nonsense of being brave enough to show God “all of me”. *sigh*. I think this comes mostly from the really bad “relationship paradigm” of drawing from earthly romantic relationships as a model for faith in God. It’s nonsense. Stop trying to woo God or sing about Him wooing us through our emotions. Cut it out. Faith isn’t an emotion.
Chorus. Where there’s hurting You show me what healing can do Where there’s hatred You show me how kindness can move… This is a form of mysticism. Looking for God in our experiences/emotions rather than looking to where He has revealed Himself to us fully, in His Word. Please note, I’m not saying God doesn’t heal, He does. We are ask (not demand or command) for healing in prayer. We pray for these things. We do not make our faith in Christ contingent upon having those prayers answered in this life. Christians are persecuted by hatred, even killed. Christians suffer from disease, sickness, injury, mental illness, and God’s Truth still remains. We are not guaranteed temporal healing, but eternal healing IS guaranteed for all who are in Christ Jesus when He returns.
I won’t run, I won’t hide I’ll give You all of me So that You can see Every broken piece And open up my whole heart, whole heart And love You with my whole heart, whole heart My Whole heart The rest of this chorus is empty promises. This is the humble-brag I mentioned above. When we make such grand gestures, oaths, of what we are going to do for God, it makes us look/sound so pious, so committed, so godly. But it is pure arrogance to suggest that God is somehow hoping and waiting for us to give Him “all of me”. That’s not how Scripture talks of any of this. Let’s look at how Paul opens his letter to the Colossians. In this letter, he opens with encouragement in the Gospel to Christians.
Colossians 1:3-14 (ESV) We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. 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, 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; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The focus isn’t on their inside secrets or fears; rather, the focus is on Christ, His Word, the Gospel, and what Christ has done and is doing among them. We should do likewise. This business of “giving God all of us” or “showing Him all of the stuff we’ve been hiding” is nonsense, folly, a distraction. God sees it all, and He has already bled and died for those sins. Confess, repent, and Trust in what Christ has already done for you on the cross, in your place.
Verse 2. So I’m ready now gonna let You in All the way to the scars beneath my skin More of the same junk. This seems to be building a case for the synergistic “re-dedication” altar call bit, where this time you’re really gonna let God into your life… blah, blah, blah. You don’t get to play that sort of role here. God is God. Jesus is LORD. You don’t “let God” be Lord of your life in stages. Nowhere does Scripture speak like this about God. He is Sovereign over all creation, and He is the Head of His Church. Those who were baptized into the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6). Now, in this life, the sinful flesh wages war against the Spirit, and we must take up our crosses daily, dying to sin and walking in the Spirit. It’s hard. This temporal life is one of repentance. And You don’t look away cause You understand And You hold my heart with a gentle hand There’s a nugget of truth here. Sadly, it’s buried beneath a lot of false premises. There isn’t enough here to salvage the song, not by a long shot, but I do want to acknowledge that God is a loving God.
1 John 3:1-3 (ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
We don’t need additional proof of His love, we simply need to look to the proof already provided at the Cross of Jesus.
This song is just awful. Don’t try to make bargains with God to secure healing and victory in this life by offering to then show him what he already knows… He knows you better than you know yourself. Don’t bargain with God, humble yourself. Confess your sin. Repent. Trust. Repent again for failing to trust. It is God alone who saves.
1 Peter 1:3-13 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In Christ Jesus,