Featured You're Accepted As You Are

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by chatwithstumac, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. chatwithstumac

    chatwithstumac Puritan Board Freshman

    In the song To The Table" by Zach Williams the phrase is used in the third verse.

    HE CAN SEE THE WEIGHT YOU CARRY
    AND THE FEARS THAT HOLD YOUR HEART
    BUT THROUGH THE CROSS YOU’VE BEEN FORGIVEN
    YOU’RE ACCEPTED AS YOU ARE

    Aren't we accepted because of the Cross and not as we are? I feel like those statements can go a couple directions.

    And does this carry the same sentiment as Just As I Am?

    JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA
    BUT THAT THY BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ME
    AND THAT THOU BIDD'ST ME COME TO THEE
    O LAMB OF GOD I COME I COME

    Here's another example of a modern song with this language.

    COME NOW IS THE TIME TO WORSHIP
    COME NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE YOUR HEART
    COME JUST AS YOU ARE TO WORSHIP
    COME JUST AS YOU ARE BEFORE YOUR GOD
    COME

    Your thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you.
     
  2. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

    I also think about the lyrics used in songs.
    Yes.
    This is also a modern secular phrase of affirmation -- of acceptance without the need of change. If the lyrics are saying things like this but have no mention that you are a sinner (and God saves you) or of repentance then how are we to counteract a secular phrase of affirmation being sung in the church?
    These lyrics have more explanation.
    This means there is no value of anything within me from which I can make one plea to God. This provides the context for:
    This one would fall into the same category as the first song. Do other lyrics explain what is meant?

    (Just my opinion.)
     
  3. chatwithstumac

    chatwithstumac Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks Keith. You're right in line with what I was thinking.
     
  4. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Sophomore

    We are accepted as we are on the merit of Him we are not.

    There is a popular idea today that since God is a God of love, he loves us for who we are. This is simply just an excuse to continue living in sin. We need to steer clear from this view.

    As for the lyrics in the songs you mentioned, the first one concerns me somewhat, although it could be taken properly I suppose.

    "...by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." (Eph. 1:6b)

    Since we are accepted in Christ, it is not in this sense "as we are."

    The problem with much of Christian music--especially modern stuff-- is not that it is in error by itself, but much of it is shallow and does not make clear distinctions.
     
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  5. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    One problem with a lot of Christian music is that it doesn't understand the Love of God. But another Problem is that God tells us how to worship him and we will not listen nor do that. It is called the Regulative Principle of Worship. Aaron lost his sons because they didn't listen. Jeremiah Burroughs wrote on Gospel Worship in a way that is evident and illuminatory we should all accept. He spoke about Aaron and his sons in the book in a way that we should all understand. I am not sure I have any posts on that topic but I will look. There are many other threads on the Regulative Principle on the Puritanboard that can help out though. Most want to argue from a Normative Principle. What God does not forbid he accepts. But Aaron's sons prove that to be false.

    I post on the Love of God here. Many believe they are loved and love.
    https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/the-love-of-god/

     
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  6. Held Fast

    Held Fast Puritan Board Freshman

    A Gospel without transformation is no Gospel at all - "come as you are" that does not immediately move into, "and become something new," falls short of the Gospel as it leaves them in the tomb having identified in the death and burial of Christ, but not the resurrection.
     
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "You're accepted as you are..."
    "Just as I am, without one plea..."
    "Come, just as you are, to worship.."

    Each of these lyrics could be understood in one of two main ways:
    1. They mean you can come to God without having to change. He accepts you regardless of whether or not you are repentant.
    2. They mean you don't have to make yourself holy enough to come to God. Even knowing yourself to be a sinner, you may still come to God by faith—not based in any measure on your merits but based solely on Christ's merits.

    The first way of understanding those lyrics is wrong and dangerous. The second way is right and life-giving; in fact, it reflects the heart of the gospel, faith in Christ, and Reformation principles.

    When I consider the full lyrics of each of song you cite, it seems clear that the song writers mean the second understanding. These songs speak of having no plea before God but the blood of Christ. Or they speak of bending the knee before God, which indicates that repentance does matter. So the full songs sound good to me.

    We might still worry that some people might only notice a few lines and think repentance doesn't matter. Maybe we believe the main problem the church faces today is that people are slack about holiness, and these lyrics sound like they'll only encourage more slackness. Well, I acknowledge that we always need to guard against becoming slack about holiness. But the church today also must keep preaching sola fide (faith alone) and sola gratia (grace alone). Just last week, a Pew study showed a majority of American Protestants hold Roman Catholic views on sola fide. And even among those of us who would confess right doctrine, many of us functionally have a faith-plus-works mindset as we come to worship, silently worried about how we measure up or proud of our law-keeping. So the church has a great need to keep confessing, "Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me."

    I might also point out that this illustrates the need for a church's teaching ministry to be solid, with a robust presentation of the entire gospel. A single song or bit of Scripture will not say everything every time, nor should we expect it to. Many, many song lyrics, psalms and Bible verses might be understood wrongly if folks don't have ongoing, well-rounded teaching to put it all in proper context.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  8. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Sophomore

    I guess my first thought it too obvious. Sing the Psalms. Daily I sing the Psalms and only the Psalms in my private devotions. In my church, I rarely sing the uninspired songs. Instead, I scrutinize the words, correcting them as I am able and pray and praise God as much as I can in this situation.
     
  9. chatwithstumac

    chatwithstumac Puritan Board Freshman

    Amen, brother. Thank you, Jack (and everyone) for helping me clear this up. I agree with all who aim to be clear and precise with the lyrics with sing. Why sing something vague and confusing? We should put every hymn and church song to the test against God's Word (like we do everything else in the Christian life).

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  10. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    We might easily have the same sort of discussion when singing a psalm from the Bible. Say we're singing Psalm 40. Verse 6 says, "Sacrifice and offering you have not desired... Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required." What's this? It might sound as if obeying God's law doesn't matter.

    The solution to the concern is to see the context. First of all, Psalm 40 itself explains a few verses later that it is speaking of the importance of the heart, and that the law does matter: "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart" (v. 8). Secondly, a well-rounded singing of several different psalms, plus solid teaching, will keep the worshiper from making the mistake of thinking the law doesn't matter. There's Psalm 19, for example: "The law of the Lord is good, reviving the soul" (v. 7). So even if Psalm 40 didn't clarify things itself, you still have the entire psalter and the rest of Scripture to help sort it out.

    Stuart, I think if you have been appointed a worship leader in your church it means you should be gifted to teach and charged with that task, or at least a share of that task, within your church. This means part of your job is to be careful about the content of song lyrics. But I don't think it necessarily means you must reject every song that has a few lines that seem unclear or could be misunderstood. If you did that, you would have to reject large parts of the Bible itself! In many cases, the best solution is to include more context and clarify things rather than chuck the song.
     
  11. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Sophomore

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