May 28, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
On the last night of the Friends Conference at Crown Baptist College in April 2014, Kenny Baldwin sang Big Daddy Weave’s “Redeemed.” He introduced the song by saying that in a service at his church he had asked his song leader to sing the song repeatedly because it “touched so many people.”
Regardless of whether or not the song “touched” people,” it is a dangerous error for a fundamental Baptist preacher to promote Big Daddy Weave or any of the other CCM groups that have the same ecumenical, non-judgmental, one-world church philosophy.
One brother who listened to the sermons from the 2014 Friends Conference observed, “I was saddened to see how Christian ‘liberty’ is held in such high regard and ‘biblical separation’ is seldom if ever mentioned.”
Big Daddy Weave is a successful contemporary band composed of Mike Weaver, Jay Weaver, Jod Shirk, and Brian Beihl. Their hits include “Redeemed,” “Fields of Grace,” “Audience of One,” and “Every Time I Breathe.” The band was formed in 2002.
They are Christian rockers who hold the ecumenical, “non-judgmental” philosophy that permeates CCM.
In an interview for their 2008 album What Life Would Be Like, Mike Weaver said:
“We all grew up in church. That is awesome, and I’m thankful for it, but there is also some baggage that comes with that. We grew up hearing people talk about grace, but there seemed to be an unspoken law that said, ‘but you also have to do this, this, this, this, and this.’ Nobody ever said it out loud, but I saw how people who didn’t do ‘this, this, this, this, and this’ were treated. Now truly, you will know a tree by its fruit, but that’s not grace. With What Life Would Be Like we are ripping up our old expectations to get to a place where we can receive the heart of God” (“Big Daddy Weave Bio,” 94fmthefish.com, n.d.).
The “grace” that Big Daddy Weave and their friends in the contemporary Christian music scene preach is not the grace of Scripture.
They would have us believe that trying to live by a careful standard of holy living and preaching against worldliness is legalism, but that is heresy.
The “grace” preached by the vast percentage of CCM musicians is not true Christian liberty; it is antinomian license. It says, “Don’t tell me how to live, where I can go, how I can dress, how long my hair can be, what music I can listen to, what kind of church I can attend, how often I must attend, whether or not I can drink or smoke or dance.”
No wonder Contemporary Christian musicians love rock & roll. They have the same rock & roll attitude I had before I was saved when I was hitchhiking across America!
In contrast, consider the following definition of Christian grace by the apostle Paul:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).
Bible grace for Christian living is a grace that denies all ungodliness and worldly lusts. That is a far-reaching requirement. It means that the grace-saved, grace-living believer is extremely careful about how he lives. He knows that He is saved by the free grace of Christ that was purchased on Calvary, but he also knows that he is saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). In order to please the Lord who saved him and now owns him, he continually analyzes his lifestyle to reject anything tainted with ungodliness and worldly lusts. He seeks to avoid even “the appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Paul ended the previously-cited passage in Titus with the following exhortation to the preacher:
“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).
If a preacher takes this biblical exhortation seriously today and speaks with authority and rebukes worldly lusts, he is slanderously labeled a Pharisee by the CCM crowd.
In fact, Big Daddy Weave have a song that does just that. Here are some of the lyrics:
Hear no evil, see no evil
Speak no evil
On the outside
Full of pride, full of lies
So well they hide
On the inside
They’ll never be
All that they seem
They live the life of a Pharisee (“Pharisee,” Big Daddy Weave, from Fields of Gracealbum).
It is true that hypocrisy is a sin, and it is an easy sin to commit, but Big Daddy Weave and the CCM crowd go far beyond a warning about hypocrisy. By their philosophy, the Bible believer that wants to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil,” and the preacher who preaches such a standard, is a proud Pharisee. This is a slander.
The Pharisee’s error was not that he was too zealous for the truth of God’s Word. His error was that he was more zealous for his tradition than for God’s Word. Jesus NEVER reproved the Pharisees for being zealous for God’s Word.
It is true that truth must be delivered with godly grace and love, but it is scriptural and right to reprove sin and worldliness. Consider the following Bible commandment:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
Thus, it is not enough that the believer not fellowship with evil; he must also reprove evil.
The preaching of God’s Word is to be done with rebuke and reproof (2 Timothy 4:2).
And when sinners are reproved and they do not repent, they become offended at the reprover. When Demas heard that Paul had warned Timothy about Demas’ worldliness (2 Tim. 4:10), don’t you think that Demas was offended at Paul and his “legalistic” preaching?
Big Daddy Weave also preaches the heresies of “unconditional love” and self-esteem. Of the song “Redeemed,” he says:
“Redeemed” came out of a place of brokenness for me. For as long as I can remember I have always never felt like I was enough. And no matter what God has done through my life and around my life, I never really let that affect the way that I felt about myself. We kind of resolved to do this Biggest Loser-esque kind of idea in 2009. The goal was for me to lose 90 pounds in ’09. In November I was down 70 pounds, all the way down 80 pounds in December, with only had 10 pounds to go, at that point. Honestly, it had become less about my health and more about reaching this number on the scale. And so on the last day of 2009 I got on the scale and I had lost 84 pounds. I realize that is nothing to sneeze at. But when I realized that I had missed the goal by 6 pounds, I was destroyed. I couldn’t see any of the good in it. All I could see was the failure and it resonated in that place in me that had always said that about me. It just sent me into a really, a really dark place in my life.
“I remember there was a day when it was at about it’s worst and I was down in our garage pouring these feelings of self-hatred out to Jesus. And just saying God if you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.
“And it was like the King of the Universe said to me, ‘Mike why don’t you let me tell you what I think about you for once. I like the way you smile man,’ and he said, ‘I love your heart for people, and I even like your silly sense of humor, because I put all that stuff in you. And you’re mine, not because of your track record, not because of your ability or inability to do anything, it’s based solely on what I have already done for you, the blood of Jesus Christ shed for your life. You’re mine because of my track record’” (“Big Daddy Weave’s Mike Weaver Talks about ‘Redeemed,’ Lifeway.com, n.d.).
This testimony is that of an individual who is focused on himself. It is all about self-esteem, which is not a biblical principle. While God’s love for His people is unconditional and unchanging, His fellowship is not. The true believer’s position in Christ is sure and eternal, but daily fellowship is a different thing.
To be in fellowship with the Lord who saved me, I must walk in the light and confess my sins (1 John 1). I must obey God’s Word to die to self, to put off the old man and put on the new man, to put away lying, pride, fornication, covetousness, worldliness, incontinency, etc. This is a major theme of the New Testament epistles. If I do not put off the old man and put on the new, and I walk in carnality and unrepentance, God chastens (Heb. 12:4-13). The chastening is not pleasant but grievous. If I refuse the chastening, there are many serious consequences. There is even a sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17). When some of the believers in Corinth abused the Lord’s Supper, God did not encourage them about their cheerful smiles; He smote some of them with sickness and some with death (1 Cor. 11:29-30).
If a believer is doing wrong, he should not “feel good” about himself.
Hughie Seaborn, a former Pentecostal, made the following observation about Mike Weaver’s testimony in regard to the song “Redeemed.”
“If we read in context what he said in the interview, Big Daddy was actually plagued with low self-esteem because of an image problem. The way he looked didn’t fit the image of how he wanted to look in front of all those he wanted to impress with his God anointed gifts. So in his anguish, he cried out to God, ‘If you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.’ God is supposed to have brought ‘real humility’ to Big Daddy by His response about loving his smile, etc. … There’s some very deep and significant ‘theology’ in there, and sadly, it’s the type of ‘theology’ that is being promoted and accepted in churches everywhere today. Instead of telling Big Daddy that if he wanted to be a true disciple of Christ, he would need to stop trying to impress everyone, deny himself on a daily basis, take up his cross and follow Jesus; instead of telling him further that if he wanted to be Christ’s disciple, then he would need to get to know what the Bible says and continue in it; instead of telling him that we live in perilous times when self-love would be confused for godliness, God is supposed to have told Big Daddy some sentimental lies about himself, like he’s been gifted from God with an irresistible smile.”
It is this worldly, heretical CCM philosophy, this antinomian “grace,” this unscriptural emphasis on self-esteem, that brings so many changes to every Bible-believing church that is careless enough and foolish enough to mess around with it.
When young people in a church listen to Big Daddy Weave or the other CCM musicians who hold the same principles, they can easily fall in love with their heretical principles.
Fundamental Baptist preachers who promote these groups have a lot to answer for.
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com