It's a generally attested fact that the rise of modern worship songs in churches has meant that Christians have ended up singing some really ropey lyrics. From sentimental schmaltz to heinous heresy - we've got 'em all! However, there are a few which I have sung recently which seem to be in a class of their own. In listing these turkey's I also offer you, gentle reader, the opportunity to post your nightmare lyric to see if we can find the very worst Christian lyric of all.
For starters there is the perennial favourite, "Jesus, we celebrate your victory". The offending lyric is "and in his presence our problems dissappear". This lyric is appalling because it means, if you got problems, guess what? you're not in the presence of God! If you have enjoyed something of God's presence, His guidance, His touch, His love - then it's all just a delusion, a self-induced pseudo-spiritual facade; if your problems remain. This is unbiblical hogwash of the first order; justifiably usually parodied as "and in his presence, our theology dissappears".
Next up we have the otherwise well-written "Shine Jesus Shine" a good song marred by its rather poor central lyric/title which seem to imply that the glory of God is mostly about how shiny He is. Now there is no doubt that God in His glory is absolutely dazzling to human eyes. However the glory of God is much more about his sheer significance than his mere luminosity. The 'mountains melt before Him' because of His absolute importance, or 'weight' and overwhelming presence - rather than his shiny-ness. It's not a disaster, but it misses the point and to outsiders sounds trite.
Finally we have a recent favourite lyrical disaster zone from Australia, where the song, "the power of your love" tells us that "the weaknesses I see in me, will be stripped away, by the power of your love". In 2Corinthians, the great apostle Paul, (weak, poor, harrased, blind, with thorn-in-flesh) wrote that our weaknesses are God-given. There is no indication in scripture that our inherent weaknesses will be stripped away at all - rather that they will be used to glorify God. The Bible often says that God gives His people strength, but that is completely different because the strength of God comes through reliance on Him and enables us to accomplish more that would be possible in and of ourselves; however we remain reliant because our weaknesses remain. Wasn't Jesus 'weak'? Didn't he sleep, cry, desire food, struggle to do God's will!? If we are in the business of being transformed into the image of Jesus, then we may achieve great things, but not necessary diminution of our weaknesses. Perhaps Adam in the garden wanted to eat the apple because he was fed-up being weak, being finite, being dependent and wanted to be like God in a wrong way. I hear this attitude reflected in the song that suggests that God is making us less weak. If only the author had written that God was at war with our "sins" rather than our "weaknesses" then I'd sing the line gratefully, joyfully and with expectation, because there is no doubt that God is at war with these! -
"Our weaknesses stripped away?" Give me strength!