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Friend of God Worship and Theology -- Damage Assessment 15 Years Later

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Was David exalting himself in this psalm? Heavens no! what Gungor and Houghton do here is they take the attention God pays to His creation and they apply it to themselves. David is referring to man in general and how low he is on the cosmic food chain that God would even look in our direction. To Houghton, it is not about the collective but rather the individual. The same is true for the fact that God hears us. Consider this beloved. there are only 28 words in these two stanzas yet the word "I" or "me" are repeated 6 times! Yet, is the basic premise even correct? Remember the person writing the scripture was King David, a man after the very heart of God. The vast amount of people standing in church each week are not actually saved. Is God "mindful" of them? In the sense of not wanting any to perish I suppose so but that is not how Houghton presents. Yet through the opening two stanzas and 28 words, what theology has been taught to the worshipers? That God is mindful of you, that He hears you when you call, that He is thinking of you and that how he loves you is amazing. Not that God is amazing! Just how He loves us. This would pave the way for one of the worst false worship songs ever, Oh How He Loves Us. Beloved, it is not worship to tell God how much He loves you. It is petulant and rude but most certainly not worship. It is arrogant and self-centered but most certainly not worship. When your teaching is this narcissistic it can only lead to this:

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

This is what they call the hook. It is the line repeated over and over again like a mantra. It is what informs our theology the most. I was once at a local service where the worship leader was rambling incoherently for 15 minutes and the only thing discernable was the hook that said, "jump in the river if you want a hug from Jesus." No thanks, I will pass. Another bad example is the hook in Blessing of Abraham, where worshippers are invited to scream -- "Get your inheritance!" So, what is wrong with this hook? As a pastor friend of mine once pointed out; singing Friend of God does not make you a friend of God. When discussing the hook in lyrics, secular artist Blues Traveler writes:

"It doesn't matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection
That makes you feel I'll convey
Some inner truth or vast reflection
But I've said nothing so far
And I can keep it up for as long as it takes
And it don't matter who you are
If I'm doing my job then it's your resolve that breaks"

Because the hook, it brings you back"-- Blues Traveler

The hook is what resonates in our minds beloved. as stated it forms our theology because we say it over and over again. Just a word here regarding Christian entertainment. There is nothing wrong with having a Christian song that is not necessarily worship. Casting Crowns has a wonderful song about the masks we wear in church called, 'Stained Glass Masquerade." I am relatively sure that the band would not claim it is a worship song however. Friend of God however became the most popular praise and worship song in this country. So, what's the damage of singing Friend of God when you're not one? Matthew 7. In this chapter there are people who stand before Christ for judgment who think that have spent their lives aligned with Christ only to discover after it is too late that He never even knew them! How does someone spend their lives under such deception? Just look around at the apostate church in this country as it grows astronomically each year. The bible says that people will gather around them teachers to tell them what they want to hear:

God wants you rich!

You're just a god with a small "a!"

Your words have the power to create!

You are a friend of God!

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