The song "Someone Worth Dying For" by Mikeschair. Lyrics here
Since I first heard it four or five days ago it has really bothered me, I've been watching on line for ANYONE to make comments similar to what I'm thinking, and I just read the lyrics again and its bothering me even more.
It's actually a well done (musically) song, very singable, and the tune keeps popping back into my head...The words to the 1st verse pulled me in...I AM the man struggling to provide, the son who chose a broken road, feeling hopeless sometimes, praying God can you hear me? Are you listening?
I was hopeful when I heard that verse (not yet knowing the name of the song) then the chorus..."Jesus help me believe that I am someone worth dying for".
That's what immediately bugged me...I'm not worth dying for, Jesus kindness and grace caused Him to die, not any inherent value I have. I understand I am created in God's image, He loved me first, DECIDED to value me, and die for us (me), so I must have some inherent value, but...
The song seems to miss the point that we are so irredeemable (that a word?) that Christ's death was the only way to save us, and instead seems to say He died for us because we're so great. It's bugging me even more as I think this through to type it.
At one point, I thought "change the phrase to 'help me believe that I'm someone that you died for' and it would help a lot...still weak, imo, but much better"...then... I re-read the lyrics, and saw the bridge:
You're worth it, you canít earn it
yeah the cross has proven
That you're sacred and blameless
Your life has purpose
AAAHHHHHRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!! The cross has PROVEN I'm sacred and blameless? Last I checked, the law has PROVEN me guilty and deserving damnation, and the cross MADE me sacred and blameless!
I'm contacting local radio and pointing this out to them.
Anyone else bothered by this?
I don't know if I am bothered by it...but there are certainly better ways to present the truth. The concept of the song is good...obviously we were worth dying for, or else nobody would have died for us. To God, we were worth it.
But yeah...the lyrics are...odd.
There have been several songs that have received a lot of play on Christian radio the past few years that have had words that are contrary to or very weak on Scripture.This comes about because of several factors.
1. Songs are being written apart from serious Bible study and prayer. If I, or any other songwriter, just sit down to write, and write the first thing that pops into my head, there is a good chance that the words will be mine, rather than God's.Rather, I should spend serious time in Bible study and prayer before I ever pick up my pencil to write.
There is a great need in the church today, as we move away from the old hymns and their rich scriptural base, to replace them with songs that are firmly grounded on scriptural truths-- even songs that quote scripture directly.
2. Songs are being written by people who have a shallow knowledge of the Word of God. How can a songwriter write of that of which he knows practically nothing?
3. There is a high demand for shallow, feel-good songs by the radio audience. This demands a question: For Whom are we writing our songs? Are we writing them for an earthly audience, or for our "Audience of One"?
In a world that is listening to every kind of teaching, that marches to the beat of whichever drummer is playing, that is searching for meaning and purpose in every wrong place, shouldn't our churches and Christian radio be offering something real, solid, honest, and different? The world is dying without the Savior, and they are desperate for what the Savior offers, but they are listening to every other voice alongside the voice of Truth. If we are going to be able to reach them through all of this, we must be sure that the message they are hearing is the Truth, not some half-truths that sound good.
Fortunately for us, our churches, and Christian radio, there are new resources for good, well-written, well-performed, biblically-strong songs available now. One of the best is the new weekendwarriorworship.com started by fellow TWC member Mark Snyder. I would invite all who read this to check them out. One of the songs from the pilot project is scheduled to begin airplay on Christian radio soon, and all the songs are available with lead sheets and chord charts for worship service use.
Hey Tom, first of all, thanks for the plug. We have a forthcoming expansion of our catalog with the songs of a local worship pastor who has also been on a similar mission for a few years, and he is a good songwriter to boot. Watch for it! You can also find our resources at PraiseCharts.
On this topic, I actually was planning to respond to this thread today. We were studying in James in our Sunday School class yesterday. We were talking about James 4:5, one of those 'difficult' verses:
Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: " He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? (NASB)
As we discussed that verse, I thought of this thread. God is jealous for us, He Loves us, He desires our fellowship. But our worship songs many times stop there, and they miss the point of this verse. He desires the Spirit He has made to dwell in us. Meaning that He desires the changed beings that we become when we are filled with His Spirit. His desire for us was enough for Him to die for us to give us the opportunity to be saved and cleansed from sin through His blood, destined to live and fellowship with Him forever. What a marvelous truth! That would have been enough (or, dayenu as the Passover Seder liturgy says) but He also sent His Spirit to indwell us that we might evidence a changed life, here, and now. I believe it is us, as changed beings indwelled by His Spirit, that he is 'jealous for' now and that that is what James is telling us. Worship songwriters, take note! These kinds of points are not arcane minutae, they are very important in the modern voice we are trying to give the church to express their worship to Him.
Look for a few blog posts on our site for more discussion of these kind of topics, and, by all means, chime in! These are exactly the kinds of discussions we need to have as modern day hymnwriters for the church.
The thing with songs like this is that it's easy to overthink things. People are at all different places with their walk, and a new believer or someone not as experienced in the faith might need to hear something like this. The fruit is what will tell if it's the real deal.
I agree to a point that there is a lack of rich songs in modern Christian radio, but at the same time, there is an audience out there that need to hear songs like this- it resonates with them more than some uber-deep scripturally based song.
This does not bother me. I see the perspective that you are coming from and why you view it in the way that you do. However I also can see the perspective of the song it self. We often look at ourselfs as dirt, and lower than dirt and filthy people who are so unclean we don't deserve God's love.
However, we have been bought at the cross. Hebrews 12:2 says that he endured the shame of the cross for "...The Joy that was set before him." We know he went to the cross for us, to reconcile us to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) Then of course, we all should know the most popular verse in the scripture John 3:16 "God so loved the world..."
These all point to show that we are highly prized by God. Think of the Parable of the treasure in the field. Matthew 13:44. This is a beautiful description of God's love for us. In a field, he found us, but he recognized our beauty and sold that which was most precious to him (Jesus on the Cross) to get us. Romans 5:8 "In this, Christ demonstrates his love for us; While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
God values us. He thought we were worth dying for. If he didn't think so he wouldn't hae died for us. However, we often get the mindset that we are dirt, we are filth, and we are slop. Much like the younger son in the parable of the Lost Son. However, remember that the Father was eagerly waiting for the return of his Son. He knew his son was failing and living in sin, but he was more concerned with restoring the relationship than condemning his son. When The son came home, he was expecting to be a slave for his father. However the father knew said, "No you are my son" (paraphrase) And he was restored.
Through Jesus lvoe for us, which was displayed vibrantly at the cross, we are brought out of condemnation. (Romans 8) and made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is how Christ has viewed it. We are new, the old is forgotten, and we are to move on. But we often are consumed by guilt and shame, and we put condemnaiton on ourselves. That is why the song doesn't bother me.
Its not meant as a worship song, its an expression of what they were going through and what was on their heart at the time.
Great points, everyone, and I agree that God DOES value us, love us of course, and that is one of the 'tensions', as our pastor calls them of the Bible. Contrast verses given with Romans 3 (apologies if its rude to cut & paste so much) emphasis mine
10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
13 "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit."17 "The poison of vipers is on their lips."
14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
I guess my point is: Yes God loves us beyond measure as several have quoted, and, yes Rom. 3 applies to us as well....I believe He sent Christ for us based solely on His mercy, grace, love, goodness.
The song misses that, I think it implies otherwise.
I could possibly be comfortable with it were it not for the bridge ...sacred, blameless...cross proves it.
Many songs I wouldn't use in worship yet I still listen to, not this one.
keeping in mind I have never heard the song. (I utterly detest christian raido.) I have only read the lyrics. But given the bridge you are refering to:
Your worth it, you can't earn it
Yeah, the cross has proven,
That you're sacred and blameless.
Your life has purpose!
When I read that I do not see it the same way you are seeing it. (or I should say I assume you are seeing it.) I read that (and the whole song) as someone who is already a Christian reflecting on their life. The cross is the proof. By the shed blood of Jesus at Calvary's cross and by the resurrection from the dead we are made clean. His blood washes those stains and makes us into something new.
Romans 3 refers to the need for salvation, but reading the song I see the song as referring to someone who has already accepted Christ but is still struggling with Shame and Rejection and similar issues. I do not see the song as trying to say that everyone is clean, or blameless at all.
just my 2 cents, maybe worth less than 2 because I have never listened to the song. But here is my closing thought, why not see if you can find something about the story behind why they wrote the song. What were they thinking and why did they choose to write what they did. It might give you an insight into the intents beyond how you have perceived it.
I am certainly NOT worth dying for, and that is exactly the thing that makes God's grace amazing.
I sounds like you have good theology and think critically about what you hear so, yes, this song should bother you. It certainly bothers me. This and many other songs that pass as Christian bother me quite a bit.
Great point. Shallow thinking, lack of Biblical study, and so on lead to shallow, unbiblical writing.
Amen, couldn't put it any better.
Can I get a little more talent in the monitors?