Tauren Well’s Hit ‘Known’ Among Slew of Growing Number of Misleading and Unbiblical Christian Songs

by Greg Cooper   Originally posted on 8/15/2018

“I’m fully known and loved by you; You won’t let go no matter what I do, sings Christian artist Tauren Wells in his latest popular song, Known
Tauren Wells
Peaking at #12 in the August 2018 Billboard charts, the song follows a questionably themed 2017 hit Reckless Love by Cory Asbury, which placed in three notable #1 spots in three categories within the Christian genre on Billboard charts last year. That song describes God’s love as just that — reckless, a word strictly used as a dire negative in the Bible (it literally means, ‘without concern’). Asbury defends its use by saying, “When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God,’ I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves is, in many regards, quite so.” His word choices in one interview make this statement even more questionable. He suggested that Jesus' birth and subsequent death on the cross was "the most foolish thing you can possibly imagine".
Reckless Love, as released by Bethel Church (accused as being heretical by many), is just one of countless songs that are blurring the lines as to what is deemed acceptable lyrics — and theology — within the Christian culture.  
While much of Christian music communicates biblical truths that are very much needed in the truth-starved culture in which we live, the absence of essential truths related to the faith can lead to the idea that, as a Christian, you can do whatever you want and still be saved.  While this concept is not found in the Bible, the church at large is increasingly leaning toward this ‘once-saved always-saved’ (or, 'forever safe') theology. Our modern Christian music is an indication of its major influence.
Chris Quilalaas part of the band from Jesus Culture, reinforces this false doctrine in the song Fierce.  He sings that God’s love is an ‘inescapable tidal wave’ that ‘can’t be outrun’, describing God's love as 'fierce'.  While God's love is very often alluded to this way, the Bible describes God as one whose "face is against those who do evil" (Psalm 34:16), having "fierce wrath", and "fierce anger' toward the disobedient, as found in Jeremiah 25:38, John 3:9 and Revelation 19:15, among several others. Jesus Culture has also been criticized as being unbiblical and even heretical.  One site writes, ‘Jesus Culture is not just a band; it is a movement that promotes false teaching and teachers, is built not on the Bible but on the supposed visions and prophecies of its leaders, teaches a false view of physical healing and prosperity, and has a tragically low view of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Because of this, their lyrics may often be misleading.

A Blending With Pop Culture

Cory Asbury of Jesus Culture
The popularity of today’s theologically-off music is reason for concern.  Polls have indicated that just 19% of church-going Christians read the bible regularly, and just a slim 3% of the overall teenage population in the United States. With such small numbers of people reading the Bible and many others not attending church regularly, mainstream Christian artists are playing an overly significant role in 'teaching' Christianity through 'expressive art' rather than from biblical text. 
Christianity has been negatively influenced by the sways of pop culture with its dominating “it’s all about love” ideology which embraces immorality, and licentious living which is guided by the deceptive power of Satan. Naturally, it is a world seeking an increasing freedom from moral decency as guided by sacred Scripture.  Christians’ blending in with the culture around them has resulted in a literal redefining of who the Jesus of the Bible is — by Christians themselves.
Like many other messages found in this musical genre, Tauren Wells’ ‘You won’t let go no matter what I do’ line along with calling God's grace "ridiculous", and saying, "it's so like me to go astray" in Known, summarizes a morphed worldview.  It flies directly in the face of the Biblical truth to which it seems to be eluding. Repentant faith and a turning from sin is an essential component of salvation, which, as a part of the Christian life, is missing from too much of Christian music.  The culmination of its absence can lead a weaker and uninformed Christian onto a slippery slope of marginalized Truth and, ultimately, an induced state of blissful naiveness in regards to the serious person of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus that said, "...unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3b), and, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).  Hebrews 12:14 says that “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” Each of these passages are to be taken quite seriously.  
A False Kind of Freedom 

Christians today have a tendency to think of God solely as a God of all-accepting love, as indicated in its music and teaching from the pulpit, which is an abuse of Scripture.  Francesca Battistelli sings in one song, “I’m Free to be me, and you’re free to be you.”  She explains"God loves us just the way we are, dents in our fenders and all, and extends His grace to stand on His shoulders and be free!" 1 Peter 2:16, however, describes what true freedom looks like: Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 

Tauren Wells’ preluding statement in his song, “I’m fully known and loved by you”, may deceptively reinforce that a believer is loved and fully accepted despite the sins that may be enslaving them.  It reinforces a common theme of the “freedom” so often heard in music, which can be misunderstood as freedom to sin rather than a freedom from sin. The Bible says,Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16), and,For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin…. and since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. Consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6) 


“I’m Free to be me, and you’re free to be you.”

-Francesca Battistelli in Free to Be Me 



There is a danger in that people who don’t heed or know Scripture will do as they please — no matter how sinful or how often — and still be named a true follower of Christ.  Galatians 5:13 says,You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.” In vs 19-21, The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” It continues with a harsh warning to every person, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 
Christians and non-believers alike are not getting the full counsel of God by listening to artists like these, who otherwise appear to be holding to a high moral standard by reaching the lost and encouraging believers. Regarding the culture we are living in, Wells says that it is "visionlessness" as far as getting a true glimpse of who Jesus is and what He’s about. He stated, “If we can give people a vision of who Jesus is and who they are, then we can effectively create change in the world.”  As do so many other artists of his genre, Wells likely prefers to share his "vision" of Christ through self-expression: “Everything that we do is geared towards showing people who Jesus is and who they are in Him and inspiring them to connect the dots between the two so that they can be an effective world changer for the cause of Christ in their own unique way," he says“They can use expressive art or science or whatever they want to communicate Christ to the culture.”
The problem with this approach is that it negates the Word of God, which the Bible says is "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 12:4) 

License to ‘Run Away?'

MANAFEST
Rap-Rock stylist MANAFEST (spelled using a curiously upside-down 'A") professes in his song Every Time You Run,“Every time you run, every time you hide, every time you run away, I’m right here with you."  According to Scripture, however, believers do not casually 'run away' and remain unconditionally accepted by God while in a persistent state of rebellion toward Him, if that happens to be the case.
Jordan Feliz indicates in a song that you can run from God all you want:You can never outrun My love” he sings in Never Too Far Gone.  Interestingly, in speaking of the beginnings of his career in music, he said,“God kept giving me revelations and ideas for songs.”  It could be argued that this song wasn’t given by divine revelation. 
Disappointingly, the most popular of artists seem to be caught up in the same questionable theology.  Like so many others, Dove Award winner Lauren Daigle, who contributed to the The Shack's soundtrack, does profess in her song Loyal“I’m forever safe in your arms… I can’t outrun your love.”  It is questionable why a loyal follower of Christ would want to outrun God in the first place.

The Takeaway

While Christian music is oftentimes very biblical and uplifting, it also consistently holds to deceptive ‘truths’ whose aim is solely on God’s love and unconditional acceptance.  This can lead unsuspecting believers to conclude that they can live a life free from repentance, and having a license to run from Him and doing whatever they please. The repercussions of this could one to a false sense of security and a falling away from Christ, the very Person that Christian music is singing about.  We are warned about this in regards to the coming Great Apostasy, the 'falling away' of the Church: 'At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.' (Matthew 24:10-11) 
In Colossians 2:8, we find this pertinent message: 
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ" (The ‘Christ’ to whom Paul is referring is the One who is ready to judge the living and the dead, hates sin, and those who distort the truth of the gospel).  

In these last days, it is becoming more evident than ever that we need to test the messages we are hearing from professing Christians against the Word of God  including the music being generated.  It is important to understand that in order to be fully embraced in God's love, we must continually repent, believe, and obediently follow Him until the end.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. There are so few today who are willing to critique books, movies and especially music from a Biblical perspective. Of course, Christian songs are considered completely above reproach, but thanks for discerning them despite the unpopularity of such a move.

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  2. Thanks Anonymous. I believe God did put it on my heart to begin writing on this topic (and to pay greater attention to the doctrine in pertaining to my own sanctification). After listening to Christian music for years, at a certain point something about them just "didn't seem right". I began to really listen very closely to what was actually being said, and was shocked at the sheer amount of music that was being produced which was averting the Truth towards a downright nonsensical love-laced message of grace and unconditional acceptance. We really need to engage our God-given truth filter when we listen to music, especially the secular kind. I appreciate your kind words, and it is encouraging to know that you are seeing the bigger picture. God bless!

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