DiM | “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz

disapproveCCM Radio Edition.

March 15, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz which currently sits at #13 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

The song is more eastern philosophy than it is Christian. It has more of a Yoga or Tai Chi sentiment than a Biblical one. God is mentioned, and the imagery invoked hints at Jesus, but the thrust of the song isn’t a distinctly Christian message. The focus of this song is far to inward, emotional, and mystical… that’s why we’ve disapproved the song for our audience.

Yes, we are a busy society that confuses “business” with “fulfillment” or “success”. As Christians, we need to understand that there is rest in Christ Jesus… but the key to finding that rest isn’t in “breathing”… it’s in the Word of Christ. Let’s check out the song and its lyrics.

Jonny Diaz Official Lyric Video

 

Lyrics (via KLove)

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel You say just

(chorus)
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Wanna make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear You say just

(chorus)
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in fill your lungs
The Peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
Let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe

(chorus)
Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

Publishing: ©2015 Centricity Music Publishing (ASCAP)/So Essential Tunes & Not Just Another Song (SESAC)/Wordspring Music, LLC & Tony Wood Songs (SESAC)
Writer(s): Words and Music by Jonny Diaz, Jonathan Smith and Tony Wood

Discussion

The target audience is the “inner you” of the listener. This is steeped in emergent theology of the self, of “being in the moment” in “experiencing the now”. Very Rob Bell like. There are allusions to Biblical language, but nothing substantive. Let’s work through the lyrics.

Verse 1. The whole verse is about all of the things the singer is doing… not calling it sin or wrong just a list of stuff filling his life. So what is the problem? The stress. That’s the problem. What’s the solution? Oh, well, there’s a little voice on the inside (implied to be God’s voice) giving him the answer of the chorus

Chorus. Just Breathe. Great. Time to do some breathing exercises, maybe throw in some Yoga? Tai Chi? How about an adult coloring book? If you’re asking why I’m being so snarky, reread the last phrase of verse 1, “in my heart I feel You say…“. The artist is implying that this is something God is saying. God didn’t say “just breathe” in His Word. Jesus says “do not fear”, and “peace be with you”. Jesus told us not to be anxious, but he didn’t leave it there… we are to trust in Him. Not in us, not in our breathing, or physical discipline… we are to Trust in Him.

Now, if we’re trying to put our best construction on this vague chorus, we might push to find meaning in the phrase “come and rest at My feet“. Now to do this right we have to completely forget the sensual direct revelation at the end of the first verse and think back to Mary and Martha when Jesus visited them at Bethany.

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV) | Martha and Mary

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.

Did Jesus tell Martha to just “breathe”? Was Mary merely resting at Jesus’ feet? No and no. Mary was listening to Jesus’ teaching. Martha was distracted with much serving. Distracted from what? Jesus’ Teaching. And it is the this one thing that is necessary… the teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. What was He teaching? Most likely He was teaching about the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV) | Do Not Be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Now, if you can fill the empty words “just breathe” with all of this teaching, you’ve rescued those words. I encourage you to share these words of Scripture with others, though… not simply ‘just breathe’.

Now there’s still the issue of the problem being solved. In the first verse it was labeled “stress” that rises due to this face-paced life. In the chorus it’s given a nebulous name of chaos. There are many theological systems that personify evil as chaos. Is that truly the enemy of the Church, the accuser of the brethren? No. Sin, death, and the devil are the enemy, and they are all defeated in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. Is it chaos calling us away from the teaching of Jesus Christ? Not really… its sin. our flesh. Our sinful passions and desires thirst after sin, death, and destruction. This is why it’s such a bad idea to look inwardly into our hearts for God. We look to the external Word of God that says He dwells inside us, and we trust His Word, not our feelings/impressions/passions.

Verse 2.  The second verse takes an odd turn. It is almost a confession of the sin of self-centeredness but it doesn’t quite cross that threshold. He doesn’t reject a me-centered life, just suggests that its the unwanted outcome of losing your grip on your crazy day. There isn’t really any repentance for me-centric living… in fact, what is the answer? me-time. Oh, well… not just “me” time, it’s me and that little voice inside of “me” telling me to just breathe.

Bridge. Finally there is a reference to the Peace of God that overcomes… what? Let’s take a look at Paul’s instruction to the Philippians:

Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Again, if you can cram all of this substantive teaching into the vague phrase just breathe, more power to you, but that is not what is being conveyed to every listener. We skipped some mystical phrases to get to this gem in the Bridge. What is the hearer supposed to be filling their lungs with, according to this song? Smells like Presence theology to me, the idea that we can feel the Holy Spirit filling a room or our hearts or our lungs is unhealthy. Scripture doesn’t promise us we’ll feel the Holy Spirit, but Scripture does promise us He is with us always until the end. Place your trust in the Word of God, not your senses.

Lay down what’s good and find what’s best… wow, so the songwriter isn’t willing to label the busy life itself as a sinful thing or even the problem. He’s trying to keep it in the felt realm of stress and not enough rest. Why? Well, because the synergism of seeker-mergent religiosity demands constant work, constant progress, endless pursuit of a purpose… a drive to greatness… to glory… we often will call this a theology of glory as opposed to the Theology of the Cross.

Conclusion

Living a life that is focused on your works, your business, your accomplishments, your failures, your purpose, your sanctification is to live a life of distraction from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Gospel isn’t found in our works… only sin and death will be seen in our works. Instead, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He has brought us out of the darkness and has imputed to us His Righteousness… the Righteousness of God that comes NOT by works, but by Grace through Faith, alone.

Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

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.

It is in Christ where we will find our rest, our being, and the good works God has prepared for us, to server our neighbors. So, yes, do sit at His feet, listen to His teaching, take refuge in Him through Faith in His Word. Do not forsake the gathering together of the Saints. Spend time in the Written Word of God.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

PS: Table Talk Radio Praise Song Cruncher 2.0 assessment:

  1. Jesus mentioned? no… sort of implied (best construction)
  2. Mystical Form? yes. Vague partial sentences, incomplete images
  3. Mystical Content? yes. Feeling God speak in my heart, breathe in filling my lungs
  4. Proper handling of Law and Gospel? No. Wrong Law (stress rather than sin) Wrong Gospel (relaxation techniques != Gospel).
  5. Explicit False Teaching? Depends on how strongly you read this as contemplative centering / eastern mystic teaching. I think it is rather explicit.

Verdict: Crunched (Disapproved).

 

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