(The modern Christian’s obsessive love affair with music.)
Remember this old song? The chorus begins with:
“Let us have a little talk with Jesus,
Let us tell Him all about our troubles.”
The song goes on to mention a “prayer wheel.” A prayer wheel is a Buddhist originated instrument with mantras written on it. The writer of the song, Cleavant Derricks, likely did not know that fact. In the early part of the last century some Christians, including Billy Graham, openly used prayer wheels.[i]Apparently, according to a recent discovery of the Liesborn Prayer Wheel, the use of a prayer wheel in Christianity goes back to the 12thcentury. It has been defined as a map of “the soul’s journey to God” or “a Christian way of life,” a “meditation aid” and “a study guide.”[ii]I advise against spinning a prayer wheel to “have a little talk with Jesus.”
However, millions of people, including me, have sung that song with gusto not realizing that, although it was entertaining, it did not contain solid doctrine. In fact, if we consider all the troubles or the seriousness of our trials, we may need much more than a “little talk with Jesus” to “make it right.” We should know that God’s word instructs us to pray to God, not to Jesus—but we pray in Jesus’ name. It is also a fact that Jesus is not “a friend that guides us day and night,” but the Holy Spirit is our guide.
The song represents what is wrong with so-called Gospel music, and Christian music in general. Please do not misunderstand me. There are some godly singers and songwriters in Christian music and I’m personally acquainted with a few of them. But merely because a song is appealing, well sung, and stirs our emotions does not make it sound doctrine. As it is with preaching and teaching, it takes a genuine relationship with God to write songs with substance. Reading an old hymnbook often makes me weep at the richness of line after line saturated with meaning.
I often hear Christian songs that are not only void of any helpful substance, but are pollinated with heresy. Some Contemporary Christian Music could be sung in a nightclub, or a New Age church. Amy Grant, dubbed the “Queen of Contemporary Christian Music,” once said that the best Christian songs were “god/girlfriend” songs, i.e., songs that could be sung to God or your girlfriend. No thanks! Continue reading