Paul's Passing Thoughts

Casting Crowns and a False Gospel Played to a Sweet Melody

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 17, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Casting Crowns is a mega talented “Christian” band who I absolutely adored in years past. In fact, I have written rave reviews of their concerts right here on this blog. Furthermore, a shared love for their music was one of the things that brought Susan and I closer during the time we were dating.

However, Casting Crowns is indicative of the challenging work that is ahead if God’s children take back our true family-of-God culture. The vast majority of Christian songs are about staying at the foot of the cross because that’s Protestant soteriology in a nutshell. Stating it in a theological way, Christian music is about justification only as set against our supposed unchanged nature. If you think authentic Protestantism endorses a changed state of being via the new birth, you are simply misinformed about Protestantism—it defines the new birth as a mere God-given ability to see our total depravity in a deeper and deeper way resulting in an ever-increasing appreciation for our salvation. A victorious Christian life that glorifies our Father is not the goal, but rather a deeper and deeper perception of our existing evil as set against God’s holiness.

What is needed is songs about sanctification. In the same way that the past 500 years has been about justification only, the next 500 years need to be about sanctification. This is a vast uncultivated need in regard to Christian music. We desperately need music that lifts up a true biblical definition of the new birth.

What spurred this post? Someone posted a video on my Facebook newsreel; specifically, a song by Casting Crowns titled, “Who Am I.” Per authentic Protestantism, the lyrics deny the new birth and propagate two primary doctrines that make up the false gospel of progressive justification; double imputation, and mortification and vivification. Let’s take a look.

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth, would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt? Who am I, that the bright and morning star would choose to light the way, for my ever wandering heart?

As born again Christians transformed into a state of being where “all things are new,” we are defined by having a “wandering heart”? Here is where most Protestants error in assuming that Protestant presuppositions regarding mankind make a distinction between the saved and unsaved. Not so. Faith is defined as a mere ability to “see the kingdom” without any participation on our part. Actual participation in good works that flow from our new nature is deemed as works salvation according to Protestantism because sanctification is the progression of justification. The only difference between the saved and unsaved is an ability to see the true depths of our depravity. This is how Protestantism defines the word “faith.” It’s an ability to perceive only and not act. In fact, according to Protestantism the more faith we have lessons the “temptation” to think we can do good works. The song noted here is obviously dripping with this logic.

Not because of who I am, but because of what you’ve done, not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.

A proper view of biblical salvation assumes that who we presently are as new creatures in Christ has nothing to do with getting us saved in the first place. It goes without saying. The song makes who we are presently a salvation issue because that’s what Protestantism does. Again, note the present tense of the lyrics. Also, who is “I”? The song comes from the perspective of a Christian. Clearly, the identity and character of the Christian is linked to “doing” in contrast to what Christ presently does. This makes what we presently do as Christians relational to our salvation; in other words, what we presently do is an issue because our salvation is not finished, therefore, it’s Christ who must do the doing for us. This fuses justification and sanctification together into salvation on an installment plan. This is why John Calvin referred to justification and sanctification as a two-fold salvation.

Don’t miss this: what we presently do isn’t related to who we are, but who Christ is and what he does. Get it? “who I am” and “who you are” puts the whole context in the present tense regardless of “what you’ve done” and “what I’ve done” which is a little more ambiguous and doesn’t necessarily refer to the cross, but recently completed works.

This is the Protestant doctrine of “double imputation” which claims that Christ died for our sins to make salvation possible, and also lived a perfect life to sustain our salvation. Because salvation is a process and not a finished work in the believer, there must be a double substitution for sin and any good works that we would do during our life. Christ earned the credentials to die as the perfect sacrifice for our sins through perfect law-keeping, and to sustain our salvation by perfect-law keeping which is imputed to our present life apart from anything we do. According to Martin Luther and John Calvin in explaining this doctrine, the Christian life is experienced subjectively; we never know whether it’s us performing the “good” work or Christ, but we must confess that every deed we do (yes, even as Christians) is evil. Even when our works have the appearance of good they are tainted with sin and therefore fall short of the “law’s righteous demands.” According to Luther and Calvin, anyone who believes they are capable of doing a good work believes in a works salvation.

This denies salvation as a gift that we take ownership of by virtue of a changed state of being. Any work we do is sin because it doesn’t flow from a new state of being and falls short of perfect law-keeping. Note that the law is the standard for justification and not the new birth. This is not a “righteousness apart from the law.” Also, if the Bible talks about “rewards,” and it does, this makes salvation a reward and not what we do in our service of using the law to love God and others. Think about that for a little while. “Reward” always has the idea of something earned. Is it our love according to the law apart from the condemnationtion of the law, or a recognition of our wandering hearts? Either way, it’s a reward. Is our work of service the reward, or salvation? Do we get rewarded with salvation for letting Jesus work for us? How is that not earning our own salvation? Because Jesus does the work and not us? If you allow someone to do the work for you that’s still doing something that you are rewarded for.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a, vapor in the wind, still you hear me when I’m calling, lord, you catch me when I’m falling, and you’ve told me who I am, I am yours.

Are born again Christians tossed about like the waves of the sea by every wind of doctrine? Does that define us? Are we defined by “falling”? See the problem here? The lyrics don’t state “when I fall,” but rather a past, present, continuing tense. We are supposedly in a state of falling. This is the Protestant total depravity of the saints that requires a continual atonement for the condemnation of the law because the doctrine keeps so-called Christians “under law” requiring a progressive covering for sin.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love, and watch me rise again? who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea, would call out through the rain, and calm the storm in me?

“Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love, and watch me rise again?” This is the Protestant doctrine of “mortification and vivification.” Instead of the baptism of the Spirit being a onetime event that transforms us from death to life and from darkness to light, the baptism of the Spirit (the New Testament new birth) is defined as a recurring event experienced after the mortification of sin. Viz, because we need ongoing covering to prevent being condemned for violations against the law, we continually return to the same gospel that saved us for ongoing forgiveness of sin which can only be obtained while in good standing at church. The result of these perpetual returns to the cross of Christ is experiencing the “joy of our salvation” (resurrection)again and again. So, our original baptism is something we partake in throughout our Christian life. Basically, perpetual re-salvation through church membership.

Please don’t try to deny all of this; it’s documented Protestantism. Your attempts will prove futile in the face of stated Protestant orthodoxy.

The question is, what will you do about it?


8 Responses

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  1. Russell said, on April 17, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    I see nothing Holy or Redeeming about Casting Crowns or any other CCM band. If you love the world that much to listen to CCM music, then you might as well listen to secular rock. There’s no difference between the two, except maybe bad theology.


    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on April 17, 2017 at 3:56 PM


      That may or may not be the case, which might be a topic for a different discussion altogether. So before we become distracted by the CCM vs non-CCM vs secular vs traditional worship debate, let us not lose sight of what the real issue is; that the majority of CCM music is packaged and sold perpetuating the same false gospel message of progressive justification and total depravity of man (including the saints). Incidentally, you can find that exact same doctrinal error in the majority of traditional hymns found in your average church hymnbook, so the issue is hardly limited to a matter of genre or “worship style.” The point of the article addresses the real problem and not the symptoms.


  2. Shane said, on April 17, 2017 at 8:31 PM

    It’s also an aggravating song because it pushes what I call the “suffering doctrine”, that you will always be submerged under continual suffering, problems, and calamities (as in, “I’m hurting”, “I’m falling”, “I’m swept under” etc etc etc). People that believe in “suffering doctrine” are easier for the leadership to control, since they go to get their fix of the same message every week, which is “You have tons and tons of problems, but Ggggggoooooooooddddddd….” In reality, God will fill my life with gladness, contrary to the unending “suffering doctrine”. Things could happen, but these guys make it sound like it’s continual, unending suffering. At least to my ear.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 18, 2017 at 12:05 AM

      Right. Well stated.


  3. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on April 18, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    The name of the group itself is disingenuous. “Casting Crowns” implies that it is believers who cast their crowns before Jesus as king. But the only ones mentioned in scripture is in John’s vision of the 24 elders in Revelation.

    “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…” ~ Revelation 4:10

    Furthermore, scripture speaks of believers receiving crowns of righteousness and crowns of reward at the Bema. These would be the rewards due to us for our works in this life, something we have earned!


  4. John said, on April 20, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Okay, I’m going to be slightly sarcastic, if I may. In the following ditty (no twerking, nudity, profanities, inappropriate touching, or other bopping things, at least), the main character dies at the end of a song…as we all will (not in a song though); so, that’s not my main punchline.

    So, as the little congregation is praying for the soul of the dearly departed, who is busy “winging” his way to heaven, this beautiful, reassuring, heart-melting, tear-jerking, rubbish Calvinist/Reformed Russian roulette line comes along and spoils the only-house-on-the-prairie moment.

    “May his soul find the salvation
    Of thy great eternal love.”

    Did it? Or didn’t it? Will we ever know? Do I care? Yes, even in the fifties, people were not sure of their salvation, and it showed in a simple song such as this one. Progressive justification and total depravity have been around a long time; since Satan learned to talk, long before TV.


  5. Anonymous said, on March 27, 2021 at 2:45 PM

    You probably think all Christian contemporary music is unhealtyy


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 28, 2021 at 8:47 AM

      In that it promotes progressive justification… always,


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