I have a confession to make. I really don't like listening to popular Christian songs.
Between the generic music and the often-shallow lyrics, I have trouble getting excited about supporting most Christian artists.
I'm not here to say that all Christian music is bad, or to bash Christian musicians in general. But a lot of the music that is played on Christian radio is pretty lame and occasionally showcases some really messed up viewpoints.
Take, for instance, Jason Gray's hit song "More Like Falling in Love." If you listen to a dozen songs on Christian radio, that song will probably be in the mix somewhere. It's a nice song, with nice sentiments about falling in love with and losing your heart to Jesus. It's the kind of song that causes Christian youth groups to raise their hands and get warm feelings about spirituality.
The song also takes a shot at "religion," which seems to be public enemy number one for young Christians who think that theology and rules are unnecessary.
The chorus to "More Like Falling in Love" goes like this.
It's gotta be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
I know those lyrics sound sweet and inviting. But they aren't really. Actually, they are contrary to what the Bible teaches.
Merriam-Webster defines the falling in love type of fall as passing "suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind." Good luck trying to find that concept in the Bible.
According to the dictionary, "believe" means "to have a firm religious faith"; "to accept something as true, genuine or real"; and "to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something."
Unlike falling in love, believing is clearly a biblical concept.
Perhaps the most popular verse in the Bible is John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Romans 10:9 says that "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Nowhere in the Bible could I find the phrase "falling in love" or "losing my heart."
These verses are just two out of the dozens of passages describing the importance of belief in Jesus and His resurrection.
Beyond the lack of a biblical foundation for the ideas, the danger of "falling in love" or "losing my heart" is that the whole process is entirely passive, and not based on a person's firmly held values.
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says that faith is "the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes."
Lewis highlights an important point that Christians should take note of. We may not always feel like God makes a whole lot of sense. We may not always have the emotional connection to Jesus that we want. We probably will have doubts as to the veracity of what we have faith in.
But if we truly believe in something, these bumps in the road of our Christian life won't affect our relationship with Jesus.
If, like this song suggests, we simply fall in love and lose our hearts, then there may very well come a day when we think that the whole of Christianity seems absurd and promptly fall in love with something else.
This is what C.S. Lewis describes as "a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion."
We must stake our Christianity not on falling in love, but on steadfast belief in the truth of Jesus's death, resurrection, and promise of eternal life.
To suggest that we need to have a Christian faith based more around falling in love than around belief is not consistent with the Bible's teaching on salvation, and it can lead to a dangerous understanding of Christianity.