God moves in mysterious ways. Just last week I was writing about the dangers of Wishy Washy Christianity and then this week I just happen across the song ‘This Little Light’ by the band LZ7. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask for a better example of Wishy Washy Christianity. Here, watch it…
What are you going on about? That was fine?
Initially, that’s exactly what I thought. Sure, it was a bit cheesy, sure it was not what I was used too but the song was catchy and energetic and it was 20 something in the charts. Non Christians were listening to it. Happy days.
But then I actually, properly, listened to what the song was saying. I even went online to read its lyrics. And I realised that ‘This Little Light’ wasn’t proclaiming the true gospel but a false one.
You can read the lyrics here.
But I know the lyrics and they seem good to me
Exactly like the Wishy Washy Gospel the problem with this song is not so much with what it is saying but with what it isn’t. In my post on the Wishy Washy Gospel I mentioned that the three things this gospel never mentioned were: sin, God’s complete sovereignty and anything challenging.
Let’s deal with sin first: there is no mention of sin in the lyrics of the song. Not a single mention of man’s wretched condition before God or God’s righteous wrath against sin.
So what? Not every Christian song has to mention sin
True, but this doesn’t even mention Jesus as our Saviour. It doesn’t mention Jesus dying for us, his resurrection or anything about him!
As Paul says:
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”
1 Corinthians 15 v 17
Talking about Christianity without talking about the resurrection totally negates the existence of Christianity! Singing about Christianity without mentioning the saving work of God isn’t just silly it’s madness.
But more than that the song teaches a gospel of morality rather than salvation:
“Yo i give you praise coz i love what you do
Coz you give me something people dont understand (Yo)
You know you make me wanna be a better man”
Even if we disregard who theologically unsound the first line I’ve quoted is (we praise God because he deserves it solely for being God not because we ‘love what he does’. Even non-Christians are commanded to worship God.) Look at the third line – all Christianity is, all that salvation has done, in the words of this song is to make people want to be ‘better’. Wrong! We are saved from our sins, united in Christ and then go on to do good works. It misses out any mention of being saved from hell, reconciled to God and substitutes the truth of the gospel for the bland morality of the Wishy Washy Gospel.
How does the song not mention God’s sovereignty?
‘I wanna talk to your people
Give 'em a chance to get up and to hear the truth”
“If he did it for me he will do it for you
He's knocking on the door you gotta let him through”
Talk about man centred evangelism. The song ignores the sovereignty of God in salvation. It ignores that salvation comes from the Lord and from him only. We proclaim the message but God applies it to people. You don’t let God through unless God’s been working in you.
How does this song not mention anything challenging?
Listen to it! There is nothing thought provoking about it. It is a vain and empty song for vain and empty people. Does anything it says convict of sin? How can it for it does not mention sin? Is it an encouragement to live a holy life? Slightly, I suppose. But a direct challenge? I think not. I’d say it was a song for five years old if that didn’t insult them.
In my post on the Wishy Washy Gospel I mentioned how it exalts man and humbles God. I mentioned how it is a man centred gospel. Likewise this song is a man centred song.
The song contains 36 uses of the word ‘I’. And guess how many references to God? No, wrong, three. Three! Not that the song actually mentions the word ‘God’. It’s most explicit reference is using the word: ‘King’. Other than that there’re a few other uses of the word ‘he’.
Ample proof that the entire song is all about man and not about God. It’s singing me, me, me, me not God, God, God, God, God.
The song totally fails to recognise that Christ is our strength. We go out into all the world to preach the truth because of his power and his work. There’s no ‘I’ in Christianity there’s only God.
The Music Video
The gospel is a light that comes out a fridge of an ice cream van? Really? That’s how you choose to represent it? The gospel is a light bulb? You encourage kids to leave detention? You think back flips are adding to your video? You think we’re impressed by the fact that a song about light actually features lights? Oh well, at least the black guy meets the diversity criteria.
And I couldn’t help but pick up the impression that only children can get this light. Maybe because they know that the only people who would believe their Wishy Washy message are minors. No wonder the first girl to ‘get’ the light has a blank expression expressing no intelligence whatsoever.
Songs don’t have to be theologically sound
Yes, they do.
“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14 v 6
You can only come to God through Jesus and Jesus is the truth. Not just part of the truth but the whole truth. Therefore, truth becomes of singular importance. No Christian song should have wrong, misconstrued or false teaching in it. That includes omitting truths. Yes, songs have poetic license but it cannot extend that far.
It doesn’t matter
This song is doing reasonably well in the charts. For many people this may be their only introduction to Christianity. And while we can laugh at how cheesy it is, how funny it is and how namby pamby it is non Christians may think this is the real deal.
Think about that: their sole knowledge of Christianity is based on the Wishy Washy Gospel – no mention of sin, hell, redemption, God’s complete sovereignty or even God himself!
Christianity is more than just an emotional reaction. Christianity is an intellectual subject – it requires knowledge, thought and the application of the mind. The very act of thinking about God cannot help but expand someone’s intellectual boundaries. There is no more taxing or rewarding subject. And this song portrays Christianity as ‘opium for the masses’, a cheesy, emotional, fuzzy headed, brain washing force rather than the saving grace of Almighty God.
This song is intellectually bankrupt, spiritually deficient, truth lacking, lying, pathetic, ignorant, gratingly condescending filth. It doesn’t deserve the term ‘Christian’ for it’s message is watered down, deceiving and misleading gospel. A gospel of man and man’s brilliance.
A Christian song exalts God and humbles man. A Christian song worships God in his majesty and recognises man in his nothingness. A Christian song proclaims the message of gospel in its entirety. A Christian song is the opposite to ‘This Little Light’.
This song is more than just not good; it’s evil. For it’s very lies are the ones non Christians most want to believe. The unbeliever doesn’t want to know about sin, that they owe God everything, that God is in control of their life and that hell is a real place. Yet these truths are what is taught in God’s word and what we need to proclaim to the world.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
2 Timothy 4 v 3