“Pastor” Jaeson Ma of the New Apostolic Reformation movement has released a new music video called “Rise and Fall.” At core it’s a Pelagian gospel instead of a Biblical gospel.
To begin with note what is omitted in the video: The Gospel of how Jesus Christ actually saves us from our sins through Christ’s death, burial and Resurrection.
Now I realize that not every Christian song must be a three point sermon. I’m not imposing a harsh standard that he has to use theological terminology like “Extra calvinisticum,” “Supralapsarian” and “Asiety.”
The criticism here is more than nit-picking on what Jaeson Ma omitted; I don’t want to conclude that Jaeson Ma’s new song is heretical based merely on an argument from silence since that would be fallacious. We must also see what is in the content of the actual song: What is it’s message?
We must ask what is every song’s message or “gospel.” Every song does reflect a worldview; the question is, which one does it reflect, the Christian worldview or a non-Christian worldview?
But how can we discern a song’s worldview? Ask yourself, what does the song say about
- Man–Is he basically good or sinful (as Romans 3:10, 3:23 teaches)?
- God–Is He all Love without Holiness or is He Holy, and a God of Love and Wrath?
- The Problem–Is man’s basic problem with sin or something else?
- The Solution–Is Jesus the Savior or something else has become our functional gods and saviors?
Note what Jaeson Ma says between 3:16-26:
I know I made some mistakes in my life, No matter what you do right, no matter what you do wrong, you got to know you’re just human.”
Just “mistakes?” God has revealed in the Bible that we have more than just mistakes–we have serious sins against Him. It’s not picking on word choice–note also after pointing out how “no matter what you do wrong,” Jaeson Ma wants to comfort his hearers with the fact that “you got to know you’re just human.” Does the Bible ever give that as a solution for man’s wrong doing and sin–to just know we are humans? Is knowing we are humans then make everything wrong okay?
What a terrible means of justification; it’s fall short of being Biblical.
Note what else is in minute 3:16. The back ground lyrics between 3:16-24 says
You can knock me down I’ll get up standing tall, we rise and fall.”
Sounds like Moralistic Therapeutic Theism to me with its emphasis on one’s own effort. The whole song has that theme but it’s at minute 3:16 that the content clearly is antithetical to gospel both with what Jaeson Ma has to say and the background chorus. Come to think of it, it’s ironic that Jaeson Ma’s 3:16 is contrary to John 3:16, since one presuppose sin (John 3:17) while Ma present Moralistic Therapeutic Theism assurance that we’re just human.
That is not the Biblical Gospel since the Bible shares that the Gospel is about Jesus Christ who died and rise for our sins when Adam and all mankind has fallen.
The most disturbing part of the song that brings the brightest clarity that Jaeson Ma is preaching the Gospel of Pelagianism is towards the end of the song between 3:35-42:
Hold on to Hope. Know that inside of you, there’s something good, so rise up.”
Jaeson Ma’s message is contrary to the biblical understanding of man’s total depravity. Note how his lyrics contradict Romans 3:1-12:
as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
No doubt some might object that Jaeson Ma’s song can’t be heretical because it has a picture of Jesus. Merely having a picture of Jesus doesn’t make one song Christian. The question is whether or not the song is faithful to Jesus’ message.
In conclusion, Jaeson Ma’s Pelagian gospel attempt to rise, but it fall because of his lack of depth in understanding about the Fall.
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