Draw me close to you. But what’s with “I’ll lay it all down again?”

(See related criticism of the song “At the foot of the cross” in You have won my heart, now I can trade my ashes in for beauty: No, that is not the Gospel, at all).

The song “Draw me close to you” makes congregations warble and swoon. It moves for two reasons: first, it gets to the emotions, and second, it moves away – very far away from the Gospel, indeed, in the opposite direction to the Gospel (Good News). Here are the lyrics, which can be heard on youtube. I focus on the words in italics:

Draw me close to you

Draw me close to You

Never let me go

I lay it all down again

To hear You say that I’m Your friend

You are my desire

No one else will do

‘Cause nothing else could take Your place

To feel the warmth of Your embrace

Help me find the way

Bring me back to You

You’re all I want

You’re all I’ve ever needed

You’re all I want

Help me know You are near

Lay it all down again? What did you lay down the first time? The only thing you lay down – if you are a true believer – is your sinful nature. And you didn’t even lay that down. Christ took your sinful nature on him and exchanged it for His righteousness. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I lay it all down again

To hear You say that I’m Your friend

A Christian with some understanding doesn’t ask God to be His friend. When you are drawn into God’s Kingdom you become a child of God and remain so for eternity.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44 ESV).

For those whom he foreknew (foreloved) he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30 ESV).

[Addendum 08/04/2011: I said, “A Christian with some understanding doesn’t ask God to be His friend.” On thinking more about this, I need correction, because it is the common experience of Christians (and Jews) of being abandoned by God. The psalms are replete with this sense of God “not being there.” And, of course, Jesus, quoting from the psalms, is the premier example: “My God, ny God why have you forsaken me?”].

The last verse is better:

You’re all I want

You’re all I’ve ever needed

You’re all I want

Help me know You are near

All Christians feel at times that God is not near. Those are the times that a “true love for the Good Book will bring us great peace from the great God, and be a great protection to us…Nothing is a stumbling block to someone who has the Word of God dwelling in him richly” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Cheque Book of the Bank of faith, April 9).

Someone who sings the following words with or without all his heart, does not have the Word of God dwelling in Him richly – or poorly. Unless one can have the Word of God standing on its – and your – head.

I lay it all down again

To hear You say that I’m Your friend

(See related criticism of the song “At the foot of the cross” in You have won my heart, now I can trade my ashes in for beauty: No, that is not the Gospel, at all).

 

 

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