Tauren Wells' Known Among Slew of Growing Number of 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?'

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.


  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.

  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!

  3. I loved your article! God has continually been opening my eyes to the deception of Truth in music. I barely listen to secular music anymore and am just now discovering (through revelation) that today’s “so called” christian music can be just as misleading. It saddens me and make me wonder where to turn to enjoy music that truly praises and worships the one true God. I may have to take it back to listening and singing classic hymns!

    1. Thank you Jennifer. Amen! For me, as I grow, I want less and less of secular music as well. It would be great if those gifted in the area of songwriting and singing would start writing hymns again, wouldn't it? God bless you!!

  4. While I agree with most of your points here, and I am super heartbroken that Wells is associated with Olsteen at all, I think using Known as one of these examples is a stretch. Ridiculous is often used not as a word that means silly or foolish, but along the lines of awe-inspiring or ineffable. God is very much both of those things.

    It’s so like me to go astray.. there’s a well loved hymn that sounds like that. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love. Or Biblically we see that truth in the chapter of Romans that follows the chapter you quoted: For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.

    Christ illustrates the propensity to run away in the Prodigal Son. Both sons were lost! The elder and the younger. Moses ran. David ran. Saul ran. Peter ran. Elijah ran. Periods and moments of faithlessness are common and altogether should be expected and guarded against.

    Regarding that last bit about sharing one’s vision of Christ, I think it’s very important to realize that God does the same. I’m sure you know the different focus’ of the four Gospels. Christ as A Jew, a man, a servant, and God. Paul hooks a crowd beginning with the Unknown God becoming known. Some are convinced because of the miraculous. Some come to faith because of the apologetics and use of the OT. Psalms says the Heavens declare the glory of the Lord. That’s literally general revelation (science, philosophy, and the like).

    I’m not one to post messages are argue on the internet. I don’t want to come across as divisive, but just want to tell you that in the zeal to guard against foolishness, you may be missing some more modern translations of timeless truths.

  5. Hi Jamyl, very well said! It's important to understand that I have written this "in light of" certain facts. In this case Wells' statement "it's so like me to go astray" is in light of him also saying that God "won't let go no matter what I do". And since God "fully knows" us, as Tauren correctly states, God also knows we can either fall away - potentially for good - or, endure to the end.

    Jesus also said to his disciples that they would all
    "fall away" on account of him (Mark 14:27). When I think about that, it's really a miracle that anyone can even be saved at all, which makes His grace simply amazing. But yes, I agree that we can and do "fall away" in our weaknesses and be restored when we fully return, but this does not not appear to be the message that Lauren is communicating. It sounds a lot more like a license to me. The message seems to be "I have a tendency to fall away all the time, but I'm safe no matter what", which is Calvanistic in nature.

    I am still waiting for ANY artist to sing about repentance, a necessary fruit in being a Christian. Let's face it, God did tell us to not only repent but also to be holy as he is holy. Christian music is focused mostly on Jesus' love - as if he turned on the love faucet and then broke the handle. God is love, but is also a holy and righteous judge, and has the power to send people to hell who live a sinful life. If one falls away constantly, they are essentially living like that. There is no true repentance. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-12. This is not a "no matter what I do" passage! God bless

  6. Question, and I don't ask this argumentatively: are you suggesting that someone can lose their salvation? I straddle Arminianism and Calvanism, in that I don't think faith is a work, but I also don't think one can lose their salvation. Where do you stand? Thank you in advance!

    1. I believe a person can lose their salvation for sure. Calvanism teaches a lie that you can't, that you are chosen no matter what, and that you can do pretty much live an ungodly lifestyle and still be saved. After all, in that false teaching everything is determined and you have no choice in the matter. There are many passages that prove the point that you can fall away. While Jude 24 says that He is able to keep you from falling, He can't force you to. Hebrews 3:12 says 'See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.' Romans 11:22 says 'Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.' He goes on to say that we can be grafted in again, but with repentance. Jesus warns his own disciples, "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3). If we live a lifestyle of sin and also believe we can't lose our salvation, beware! 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says 'Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God'. Wow. Of course, the great apostasy is also a great reminder that many can, and will "fall away" and hate and kill one another, and the love of most will grow cold. I believe that God alone is the only one that can help us obtain and keep our salvation, but His hand only stretches so far, we have to exercise our faith, for without faith we are doomed. Salvation is a type of marriage between God and believers. Marriage doesn't work if one person falls out of love with the other. Since God's love never fails, ours can, our love can grow cold, and we can begin to love the darkness more than the light (John 3:19). We can also be "hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13), and anyone says he is without sin is a liar says 1John. If anyone thinks he is the chosen one, destined to be saved no matter what, not able to walk away from Christ, this person is in great danger of deception, in fact being deceived already.
      God bless!!

    2. I disagree, it says you sealed till the end. You can't lose your salvation. The bible says if you were to lose it you can't get it back.if you are living an ungodly lifestyle without conviction you are not saved. Roman's says it's not a license to sin. Salvation comes from faith and if you believe in your heart you wont lose it.

    3. Can you provide some Scriptures? There are many passages that disagree with this. For instance you said that "The bible says if you were to lose it you can't get it back". The following passage speaks to this: Romans 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

      Please don't leave a comment without providing some Scriptures! After all, it is with Scripture that we correct error :)

      God bless! Be strong in the power of His might!

  7. Please what Christian artists would you say are safe to listen to? I realized my playlist is full of hillsong, elevation worship and Tauren wells

    1. That's a great question. While there is much music out there that is actually pretty good and biblical, you have to use this as an opportunity to really listen to the music and get plugged into some discernment ministries. I used to listen to Hillsong all the time and it sounded great to me...nothing bad. In fact they played my favorite song when I first got saved in 2000. But after I found out that they are really a false church just full of heresy I steered clear. Same was with Bethel music. Awesome talent, very catchy songs, but terrible theology to the point where they can't call themselves Christian -- but downright New Age or worse.

      I wouldn't listen to them at all but remove them from your list. I wouldn't want you or anyone supporting them or potentially hindered spiritually because of them. What we are interested in is TRUTH. We also want to praise with those who are really following Jesus. Think about this. Suppose Marlyn Manson wrote a song that sounded worshipful, and even borderline Christian. Should a spirit-filled Christian worship with it? Sing along in harmony? Absolutely not!
      Many supposed Christians label themselves with a Christian label (it can be lucrative), but they don't practice Christianity. Churches like Hillsong are a business, simply put, and some would argue a cult. If you want a real artist check out Keith Green for example, or listen to old hymns. But educate yourself. There is a ministry called Goodfight Ministries that put out a series on Bethel (Bethel or Beth Hell?). You can find that on Youtube. Very interesting.

  8. What is your opinion on Tauren Wells' new song 'Crazy About You'? "He's never been mad at you // He's only been madly in love". This seems to dismiss God's wrath and only focus on His love...


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