Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heretical song...

I was looking through various song sheets which I have accumulated, and of which I am trying to compile, when I noticed one song entitled I'm held by Your love. It has a nice tune, and it is featured on Bob Fitt's album I will bow to You. However, as I was trying to find out the author and copyright owner of the song, I found out that it was written by a certain Karen Lim from New Creation Church in Singapore, the largest Word-faith 'non-church' here. That set off alarm bells, and I analyzed the song more closely. Here are the lyrics of the song, and here is the first stanza:

I’m held by Your love,
Upheld by Your strength,
On Your shoulders You bore me,
By Your faith I stand,
Cherished by You, Lord,
Treasured in your sight,
So close to Your heart,
Held firm in Your hands.

Look closely at the text in bold red. Is the song trying to say that the reason why we Christians stand is because God has faith?! What nonsense is this!!?!! This is blatent heresy! Isn't it enough that the 'church' preaches a false gospel of prosperity or 'health-and-wealth', and that they deny that the first chapter of 1 John applies to Christians? Must they continue to add to their iniquity by exporting their poison to the non-discerning churches of Singapore?

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be anathema. (Gal. 1:8-9 - ESV with slight modification)


Jenson said...

I cannot say what was going through the writer's mind when she wrote the lyrics. Perhaps:

"For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?" (Rom 3:3)

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" (Rom 3:22)

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ..." (Gal 2:16)

"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Gal 3:22)

"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith..." (Phil 3:9)

It is a translational issue, that is some food for thought for you.

ddd said...

Hello Jenson,

eh... May I know what version are these verses taken from? The ESV doesn't seem to translate is this way. ISTM that the correct rendering should be faith IN God/Christ, not faith of God/Christ.

Rong-er said...

yo... maybe it meant:
3. Loyalty to a person or thing;
erm... does this make sense... haha

ddd said...

Eh... Rirong,

In short: no. The primary reason is because faith is never used in this fashion in the Bible (i.e. just loyalty). Such is only used between people.

Secondly, Jesus didn't have faith, or at least what we would call faith. He only had someting analogous to faith while on earth as he was incarnate then, but then it is not true human faith. Such is because being God, the only time He was without God's presence (which makes faith viable) was on the Cross when the wrath of God fell on Him.

rong-er said...

but then, this is a song expressed by a human being... what if she used faith in this fashion (i.e. just loyalty) in this song she wrote? becos putting "faithfulness" at that line will make the song sound strange...
If this is how the song meant(at least to those who sing it), then the song is not heretical already rite?

and sidetracking for discussion...
"He only had someting analogous to faith while on earth as he was incarnate"
this is interesting... my impression is like... Jesus need to do things by "faith" as human yet at the same time he knew all things as God... is this wat u mean? or is it something else?
and one more question, did Jesus also have God's constant presense that He didnt need "faith" before He was baptised? this i'm not too sure...

ddd said...

Well, Rirong, that is why theology matters. We cannot just say that faith is very similar to faithfulness, and that in some circumstances the words are interchangeable; we must see what each word means. I will grant that if faithfulnes is used, then the song would be fine, but awkward. The question therefore is to be asked:

"Knowing full well NCC's inclination towards Word-faith and health-and-wealth teachings, isn't the usage of the word 'faith' used here in conformity with NCC's inclinations, and therefore the song is suspect?"

>Jesus need to do things by "faith" as human yet at the same time he knew all things as God... is this wat u mean?

Yes, according to his human nature, Jesus requires something akin to faith. However, since He is always God, He does not really have what we call 'faith'.

>Jesus also have God's constant presense that He didnt need "faith" before He was baptised?

At his baptism, Jesus was indwelt with the Holy Spirit. This baptism is to be used an example for us Christians, among others, and was meant for empowerment for service, not that Jesus didn't have God with Him before that.