I have featured this atrocious video before but it is so theologically bankrupt that it bears another look. I saw this again recently on You Tube and was disturbed to find many people actually defending it. Sadly, this song sums up the soteriology of a large segment of Evangelicalism today. I have listed below the lyrics to ‘I Give You Freedom’ or ‘The Whippoorwill Song’. A few observations will follow. Blatant heresy has been bolded for your convenience.
I set the boundaries of the ocean vast,
Carved out the mountains from the distant past,
Molded a man from the miry clay,
Breathed in him life, but he went astray.
I own the cattle on a thousand hills,
I write the music for the whippoorwills,
Control the planets with their rocks and rills,
But give you freedom to use your own will.
And if you want Me to, I’ll make you whole,
I’ll only do it tho’ if you say so.
I’ll never force you, for I love you so,
I give you freedom – Is it “yes” or “no”?
I hold the waters in My mighty hand
Spread out the heavens with a single span,
Make all creation tremble at My voice,
But My own children come to Me by choice.
Even the oxen knows the master’s stall,
And sheep will recognize the shepherd’s call
I could demand your love – I own you twice,
But only willing love is worth the price!
First, let me give the song a little credit. It does speak adequately of the sovereignty of God over all things with lines such as the following:
- Molded a man from the miry clay, Breathed in him life
- I set the boundaries of the ocean vast, Carved out the mountains from the distant past
- Control the planets with their rocks and rills
Unfortunately, the song goes south from glorious biblical truth quickly. The lyrics then contradict themselves by displacing God’s majestic sovereignty and exalting the will of man high on the pedestal of vanity and self-righteousness.
- And if you want Me to, I’ll make you whole, I’ll only do it tho’ if you say so.
This verse teaches several false ideas.
- That God utterly relies on the free exercise of the will on man’s part to bring about salvation.
- Jesus Christ does not save. Salvation is dependent upon the wisdom of man to freely choose Christ above all other desires.
- Contrary to Scripture God can’t have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
- Man must give God permission before he can make him whole.
Here is the truth:
- Scripture rightly divided teaches that a sinful person, depraved and incomplete in his separated state from God has not the faintest desire to be made whole. His satisfaction and pleasure is found in sin, not with God. The Lord would be waiting in vain for someone to give him permission to be made whole.
- I could demand your love – I own you twice, But only willing love is worth the price!
Hold down your tacos, it only gets worse.
- It is obvious here that the author of this song is taking direct shots at the doctrines of Grace. He is mocking Reformed Theology, using this song as a vehicle to accomplish his goal.
- The songwriter infers that in the Reformed view God uses some form of coercion to save men -kicking and screaming against their will if need be.
- The phrase ‘only willing love is worth the price’ is the pinnacle of irreverence in this horrid tune. It suggests that the price Christ paid on the cross of his suffering for our redemption by bearing all our sin and the full wrath of God was only worth it because it would win over the love of a company of wise men and women who were spiritual enough to comprehend the Lord’s gracious love. God had to do something so spectacular and over-the-top that it would win their love and sway their will to adore and embrace him. It’s almost as if John 3:16 had been rewritten to say, ‘In order for the world to so love God He had to give his only begotten Son that whosoever is impressed with his display of love shall not perish but inherit eternal life.’ The fickle love of man is not, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be the deciding factor of who shall inherit eternal life. It is God so loving the world that truly matters.
- To summarize, this verse teaches that the value and worth of God’s plan of redemption hinges completely upon how the free will of man apprehends it. If it doesn’t cause men to come willingly to God then it is not worth the price Christ paid. Does anyone see how anthropocentric this kind of theology is and how it casts a veil over the glory of God in salvation? A doctrine like this gives rise to a significant question: if no man is willing of himself to come to the foot of the cross does it invalidate the accomplishment of Christ’s sacrifice? Think on that.
In the fourth century the debate between Augustine and Pelagius divided the church. Pelagius sided on the power of man’s will in salvation while Augustine sided on the sovereignty of God in salvation. In the 16th century the Protestant Reformation revived the debate in a newly revised form. Arminius sided more with the Pelagian view (though not nearly to the same degree) while Calvin allied with Augustine’s sovereign view of God. Here in the 21st century, as manifested concisely in the above video, it is clear that Pelagius lives! Modern Evangelicalism as a whole posits a view that sits squarely between his extreme position and Arminius’s more conservative view. Theologians refer to this as Semi-Pelagianism. It is a dangerous, heretical doctrine that must be vehemently opposed by those of us to whom God has revealed the glory of his sovereignty in salvation. It appears that in Christendom Arminianism is no longer the chief error the church must contend with: Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian theology is. these heresies must be debated and argued down with scripture and with love and temperance if we are to see a robust, God-centric Christianity restored.
In my next post I will present a chart that I hope will be helpful in clearing up the confusion of 50 cent theological terms such as Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism, Arminianism and Calvinism. Check back in a couple of days!