Reflections on a Holistic Gospel

This is a song that I wrote after I returned from India late 2013. The title of the song is Hol(e)istic and it is about how the hole in our gospel is provoked by lies. It is also a call to prayer for holistic gospel reformation in the church; for individuals to step outside of the bounds of what is considered normative for the sake of the global lost, for the sake of the global suffering.

Hol(e)istic

(1) You are the Son, and by you I see (2) Freedom is substitutionary

(3) Take everything from my heart that is fallen (4) A bottomless pit, an abyss of destruction (5) Redeem my soul, redeem my mind (6) Until I die for the One who has opened my eyes

(7) GOD SAVE ME from the lies I BELIEVE ABOUT YOU

 (8) “Take me away from this place I submit to slavery” (9) You have already freed me to live as I was meant to live

(10) I am alive, but the world is still dying (11) Purpose fulfilled breaking bonds of injustice (12) No special revelation will replace the words you have already, clearly, spoken

 “Take me away from this place I submit to slavery” You have already freed me to live as I was meant to live

(15) REDEEM MY SOUL, REDEEM MY HEART, REDEEM MY LIFE TO BE USEFUL

 Take everything from my heart that is fallen A bottomless pit, an abyss of destruction Redeem my soul, redeem my mind Until I die for the One who has opened my eyes

 GOD SAVE ME from the lies I BELIEVE  ABOUT YOU

Line by Line Explanation

Lines 1-2 are praise to God. Praise that freedom comes by the blood of Christ alone, and not by good works. And praise that because of Jesus Christ, I no longer live in darkness; both the darkness of sin and darkness to the will of God.

Lines 3-6 reflect the disparity between the desire of man and the desire of God. There is a clear sense of conscious reflection about this battle and a desire to be freed from a self-destructive life based on living as one still alive to sin (when, really, dead to sin is the truth– Romans 6:6). Line 6 displays the desire of any heart that has been washed clean by the blood of Christ; “Lord, let me follow you until I can die for you, whether that by in martyrdom or of old age.” Overall, lines 3-6 are a prayer for internal reformation; a prayer that Jesus would make clear that there are global issues regarding poverty, idolatry, and sin that are being addressed by less than 1% of the global Christian force. This prayer is for holistic transformation.

Line 7 is nearly a lamentation. When I wrote this line I was in the midst of praying a similar prayer. I had been wrestling through what the church was teaching vs. what I was reading in the Bible and seeing in the world. I was wrestling through why my heart felt burdened to reach the global lost through gospel preaching and redeeming of injustices yet I was being brandished by the local church to forego that calling. I knew God had spoken to me, and I knew that what I was reading in His Word lined up with that revelation. This prayer reflects the lies spoken to me by others that ran contrary to the Word of God and my own calling.

Lines 8-9 reflect the struggle of hearing from God and hearing something different from others. The reason why there are quotation marks surrounding line 8 is because that was literally the prayer I had been praying. I felt that I had submitted myself to being a slave to man, not to Jesus; that my commitment to the church superseded my submission to Jesus Christ and the great commission. I knew I was free to live as Jesus made me to live, yet I continued to submit to slavery instead of to Him and His will. (Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 37:4)

Lines 10-12 are almost a lamentation. I found myself time and time again weeping over the words in line 10, and knowing that I was called to do something about it (line 11). I continued to think that if God really created me for this purpose, He would miraculously reveal that in an undeniable way. However, I also knew that the Word of God – and even God Himself – had clearly spoken to me. Special revelation cannot replace objective revelation through the Word of God.

Line 15 is another call to prayer. A call to be holistically reformed to live a life worthy of the calling by which I had been called.

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