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Question #341

Thank you for speaking up for the truth about those songs!


I came across your website today and was compelled to email you regarding your section of "Problem Songs".

For years I have noticed various songs which I believed to be contrary to the teachings of the Bible, and have brought a few of these songs to the attention of my elders & fellow brethren. Indeed I know that "poetic license" is used frequently but even that should not contradict Bible teachings.

Here are a couple from the "Songs of Faith and Praise" songbook that are used in worship even today which I find objectionable:

No. 979 "I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger" -- in the 2nd verse, the words, "I'm going there to see my mother, She said she'd meet me when I come". As near as I can tell from the Scriptures, I will not be concerned with who else is in heaven - I will be in the presence and glory of God, my Father. Nothing else will matter.

No. 523 "I Know the Lord Will Find a Way for Me" -- the first two verses repeat the phrase "I know the Lord will find a way for me". It seems to me the Scriptures teach that Jesus (our Lord) has made a way for us. In singing the words of this song, it seems to promote an idea of the Lord still looking for a way for each one of us.

Undoubtedly, there are many other questionable songs in this same book which tend to lead us in another "broad" direction. Like you, the songs you listed that were omitted in this songbook are tried and true. Speaking for myself and having led singing for over 40 years, I have carefully tried to select songs that abide by and maintain Scriptural teachings, and will continue so until my days are done.

Thank you for speaking up for Truth!

The Answer:

Thank you for your kind comments. Thy Word Is Truth is committed to defending and spreading the gospel. The Lord has blessed our work with hundreds of “hits” per week from all over the world. It continues to grow. There are some who disagree with the comments on songs, but most of those make no effort to defend their position. Care must be taken so that overreaching does not undermine the challenge to “think” about the songs that we sing and hold them to the same standard that we do preaching and teaching – the word of God. But there is also another standard that must be kept in mind – the need to sings songs that are worthy of the God we worship in order that our worship will be the very best that it can be. Many of the modern “ditties” are not unscriptural in their words but have music that is more like hard rock that the Rock of Ages. Such songs are unworthy of being brought before the Lord God as a sacrifice of the praise of our lips. Heb. 13:15.

Some things that you might think about in connection with the two songs you mentioned are: 1) If our mothers died as faithful Christians, and if we will know one another there (and we shall), and if we expect to go there, would we not hope to see our mothers? Surely we would. We certainly will be occupied with the worship of God in heaven, but that does not mean that we will not enjoy the presence of our parents. Many of us have enjoyed worshipping with them here, but we still worship. As you say, however, we will not be “concerned” about who meets us. “Concerns” are a thing of this life, not of that which is to come. 2) The Lord certainly made a way for us at Calvary; however, as we journey through life and its struggles does the Lord not find a way for us? 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.”

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)