Really interesting blog from Marc James:
I was impressed that he was willing to change his lyrics when his song failed the "theological filter".
I would like to think that all Christian songwriters would be the same. Is this the case?
I once wrote a song that had the line "...I will follow Him to Calv'ry, I won't turn my eyes away. I will take a stand and see what He did there, then nail myself to that cross everyday."
When I showed that to my pastor at the time, he advised me that I can't nail myself to the cross; only God can do that. So I dropped the song. It took years before I remembered Romans 12: "Present yourselves, therefore as a living sacrifice..." which was exactly what those words were meant to express.
So running your songs through a filter process is good, but we still have to think for ourselves.
So the 'filter' must be the Bible, or others who use the Bible to interpret the lyrics, along with
we still have to think for ourselves
Yea, figurative, like trees bow down, trees clap, but oceans don't bow, they roar. I caught that in a song recently. "The oceans bow... didn't set well with me.
I have a line in my song "A Better Way", that says, "we'll live days of heaven on the earth". from Deut. 11:21. Now the King James and many other translations put it that way. Others translate it to mean, "as long as there is a sky over the earth".
I had posted the rough copy on "Christian Songwriter's Network". A few responded that it sounded like a Jehovah's Witness statement. I comely replied that I was more speaking of the Kingdom of heaven coming down to earth and reign in our lives. They didn't buy it.
So I bounced it off of my buddy and he gave me a different interpretation of the scripture telling me that it was not the literal translation. So I just wrote him back that in the Lord's prayer, Jesus said to pray, "The will be done as in heaven, so on earth". For that he said he would not tar and feather me. I kept the verse in. lol
Oh I remember also the reason they said it sounded Jehovah's Witness is because the chorus said,
So we'll take our stand
This is our promised land (the promised land part thru them off)
And we'll live days of heaven on the earth
I was simply referring to the point that the Lord made that everywhere the sole of your foot shall tread, I have given it to you. Promised land, not meaning the literal earth I live on, but the kingdom. Needless to say, it didn't go well with them.
I'm not sure what the JW's say, but the kingdom will be here on this earth in the future. But also, the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, it's here now. There's the kingdom now that's growing in us, invisible as it were. Then the King will be installed physically and there will be the visible kingdom on this earth. So I think you're on good ground. I don't know, maybe you're totally off base. Are you actually a JW?
We don't want to be contrary to Holy Scripture, but we need to allow room for metaphor, if even in a loose sense. As it turns out music, from all ages, is full of metaphor. Even many songs in Holy Scripture have metaphor and not intended to be taken literally. Heck, look at the parables. If you take many of those literally, you're doing something with scripture that it wasn't intended to do.