I am a young minister who happened to stumble upon this website and notice the problem songs page. Having seen Christians (generally older) take up arms to try to prove all contemporary songs of worship to be blasphemous, I appreciated the fact that the problem songs listed were a little more "equal opportunity." I also appreciated the fact that almost all of the problems noted in the songs were legitimate concerns, some of which I may not have otherwise noticed. For that I am grateful.
But I say "almost all the problems" because I feel that I must stand in defense of "Follow Me," by Ira F. Stanphill. It seems that the selected lines from the song were inappropriately paralleled to the parable of the talents. Don't forget that the idea of the redemptive value of a cup of water is just as scriptural as the parable of the talents (Mt. 10:42; Mk. 9:41). I believe that it is incorrect to assert, in fact, that the concept of the believer giving all that they have (which is the circumstance of the song), however insignificant it may seem, is out of line with the concept of the talents. Isn't that the point of the widow with the two mites? (Mk. 12:42-44.) Or should I apply the parable of the talents here and preach that she should have given four mites? How dare she give all that she had! She was supposed to invest it so that later she could give the two mites plus interest! Don't disregard this either - the congregation does not sing that Jesus is content with a cup of cold water so that's what he's getting: "But if by death to living they can thy glory see, I'll take my cross and follow close to thee."
Please see the answer to Question 277. Additionally, let me emphasize that the song is not criticized as unscriptural. The “cup of cold water” language is just out of place in a song about giving ourselves to the Lord and taking up our cross and following him. Paul was careful to point out that even though the Macedonians had been given little by the Lord in the way of material goods, they gave far and above that little – the “first gave their own selves to the Lord.” 2 Cor. 8:5. This is what the Lord demands. He has never given anyone “just a cup of water” nor has he ever demanded “just a cup of water.” The giver of the cup of water will not lose his reward for that gift, but nowhere in the context of Matt. 10:42 or Mark 9:41 does Jesus say that is all that he demands. He did not say of this person had “given all that he had” as he did of the widow who gave the two mites. It was not the giving of the mites that he praised, but the giving of her all, of which the giving of the mites was but evidence.
You Must Hear the Gospel
You Must Believe
You Must Repent
You Must Confess
You Must Be Baptized
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death