It is evident that the controversial, already proven blasphemous song, Reckless Love has not yet died down. On the contrary, this song is sparking conversations amongst believers. Just when you think explaining the word reckless to someone is actually getting their attention, another self-justification arises to satisfy the need to listen to this song. Defining “reckless” in relation to God and how unbiblical it is, is now not enough. There are people that will blatantly ignore this fact and move on to justify the rest of the song. As though the more truths one can find in the song will outweigh the one lie. So let us now move on from “reckless love” to the underlying meaning of “leaving the 99”.
Jesus left us a very important principle while on his mission here on earth. It is a principle that can be found all throughout the scriptures and one that we should live by daily.
…Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
The apostle Paul puts this into a more practical form.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Without getting too detailed about this, understand that the Pharisees are who we would refer to as preachers, teachers, songwriters of the Gospel. The leaven is their own understanding. It is to say that we should beware of the self-made doctrines of those who claim to be ministers of the word.
This song, “Reckless Love” comes with more than just a mischaracterized God. There are phrases within it that sound seemingly biblical, yet with no scriptures to back them up. For instance:
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
This stanza alludes that God will pack His bags and head out on a journey searching for a lost soul. Scripture does not describe God as someone who will leave His throne in search of a person, as though He does not know where you are. Scripture clearly opposes this statement. We are to search for Him. We are to come to him and not the other way around.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The entire chorus of this song stems from the misunderstanding of the “One Lost Sheep” parable. What is being portrayed in this song is that God will leave the 99 sheep to go after the one lost sheep. The songwriter portrays himself as being that one and of course, any listener will put themselves in that place while listening to it. The debate about this entire song as gone so far that the justifications are a bit overwhelming. It has been argued, particularly by those in favor of this song, that all who oppose it would change their minds if they would only put themselves in the shoes of the lost sheep. As emotionally driven as that defense argument is, their fundamental explanation of the lost sheep is found to be unbiblical and not to mention, illogical.
Leaving The 99
The song is quoted in saying that “the reckless love of God” will leave the ninety-nine to “come chase me down”. Let us be clear on who the ninety-nine are, then we will be able to clearly breakdown why this phrase should not be uttered by any true Disciple. Really, this whole argument becomes an absurd thought when you think about what is being promoted. There is an article written by relevantmagazine.com in which a writer quotes a YouTuber who speaks on this subject:
“The hosts of popular YouTube Channel “Worship Tutorials” make it a point to emphasize that the lyrics seen above make explicit reference to God’s love and not God’s identity. It is the way that God loves that is reckless, they say, and not God Himself that is reckless.”
We are seeing an astounding amount of self-justifications on the meaning of the song. This quote removes the love of God from God himself as to say that although the love of God is reckless, God Himself is not. The Scripture clearly defines God as love. God and love are inseparable. The writer ends his piece with a wish for more descriptions of God’s recklessness in the song.
1 John 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
There is a clear distinction in this passage of scripture from the artistic and emotion-driven song. Jesus’ sole mission was to come save those which were lost. He made that one trip to the cross so that all those who want true, unchangeable forgiveness could come to the cross and receive it. We are the sheep that are in the corral. We are the ninety-nine.
The lost sheep is the one that is in need of the gospel of Jesus. It is the one who is far from the presence of the Sheperd and that is in the danger zone of death. It is a sheep that was once part of the flock, yet has gone astray. Just as Jesus was the human servant who went out into the world and passed right by the saved and healed to the sick and afflicted, so are we called to do the same. We are called to leave the 99 and call out to the lost sheep of the flock. Our mission is a mission that is directed by God Himself. We are His ambassadors and we go out as representatives of His love. So in a sense, God is leaving the ninety-nine, through us. God has made it abundantly clear that He, Himself would never abandon us.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Leaving The 99 Is Actually Not Reckless
As ambassadors of the Almighty, it is evident that if we leave the 99, then God has left the 99. But has God, Himself, recklessly left the 99 behind in an attempt to regain one lost soul? Though we as His representatives may leave our weekly church routine to go minister to someone in need of the Gospel, God has not forsaken us. Let us not boast at the fact that God must continually knock down walls, climb up mountain “coming” after me. This phrase should read more like: “climbed up mountains, knocked down walls when he came after me.” If we are still in a place where God is looking for our lost soul, and we know this well enough to sing about it, then we must re-evaluate ourselves.
I fear this will not be the end of the Reckless discussion and sadly many other Artists are following suit to the de-characterization of God through their lyrics. Scripture says:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
It is with sadness to say that this scripture is being fulfilled within the Body of Christ. My plea is that we stop referring to our Father in Heaven with words that de-grade His majesty and Praise Him with words of true meaning.