The 42nd Dove Awards was held last week, April 20, in Atlanta, Georgia. And I admit that I am disturbed with the winning piece for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year, Marvin Sapp’s The Best in Me. You may read the lyrics here or hear the song here.

Although the song runs for almost six minutes, it contains nothing but repetitive disregarding of the fallen-ness of man and the necessity of the cross. I hate to say that the Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of 2011 is devoid of the Gospel. Let me explore three areas that are necessary for the Gospel but are squashed in the song.

The Total Wickedness of Man

Nothing good with eternal significance can ever come out of man. No good gospel tract will ever remove this point. No faithful evangelism will ever leave this unsaid. Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 64:6 are favorites in illustrating this. But the song starts and greatly lingers upon the thought that,
He saw the best in me
When everyone else around
Could only see the worst in me
When GOD sees man and He finds the “best” in him acceptable, then this drags His infinite holiness and demand for perfection. Just the chorus of the song insults GOD’s infinite perfection. GOD is perfectly holy and demands nothing but perfect holiness, something that only Christ can satisfy.

The Severe Sacrifice of Christ

When GOD sees man, He sees nothing but objects of His righteous wrath (Romans 1:18). A pinch of wickedness against the infinitely holy GOD demands an infinitely severe penalty. But it seems that Marvin Sapp believes otherwise,
See He’s mine, and I am His
It doesn’t matter what I did
He only sees me, for who I am
Does anybody know that today?
What you did DOES matter a lot. GOD hates all who do wrong (Psalm 5:5). And in the cross, let us feel how our deeds matter a lot in the eyes of GOD. Because of what we did and what Marvin Sapp did, the only begotten and most precious Son was compelled to take a form of a servant (Phil. 2:6-8), became sin (2 Cor. 5:21), and absorbed the full fury of GOD’s wrath for us (1 Pet. 3:18). To say that what we did does not matter is to disregard what Christ has severely suffered.

 The Awful Deviation of Sin

In the creation, GOD had indeed made man so privileged that He created Him in His own image (Gen. 1:26). At first, man was like GOD: he was made to be rational and mirrored some of GOD’s attributes such holiness, purity, and sinlessness. But Genesis 3 has massively destroyed this mirroring. Man became so tainted that his “holiness” has deviated with a great distance that no one can measure from the holiness of GOD. “The Best in Me” seems to neglect the fact that the image of GOD in man is so blurred by sin,
And the reason He sees me for who I am
Because He created me in His image and His likeness
Why did GOD predestine us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29)? Why is Paul exhorting us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2)? Because sin has caused man an infinite gap from the privilege of reflecting GOD’s purity.

The Best in Man and the Worst in Cockroaches

Christ died for men. Did He die for cockroaches? No. It is not because we are better than these pests. It is actually the perfect opposite. Christ died for us because we are worse than cockroaches. These flying creations did not offend the holy GOD. They don’t need a Savior because they are not as bad as we are.

The hypocrite has his mind pleased and delighted, in the first place, with his own privilege, and the happiness which he supposes he has attained to, or shall attain to. True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God.
~ Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections

2 Response for the "The Best in Marvin Sapp is Worse Than the Worst in Cockroaches"

  1. Eric says:

    Thanks for your post/analysis. I do not follow the contemporary Christian music scene very closely, but this seems to go along with my basic sense of it.

  2. You are welcome, Eric. I believe there are still a few players in the contemporary Christian music scene that are worthy to hear. But more and more are becoming theologically unsound. Thanks for your comment.

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