the public faith of Ben Harper

I just read these lyrics from Ben Harper’s album Diamonds on the Inside. It’s a powerful CD. Musically it has some great songs and it has been on my playlist for months. It would be so easy to just say “Yes this is how Christian music should be!” Some even propose that this is Christian music because it talks about themes that are found in Christianity. The problem is Ben Harper isn’t singing Christian music because he doesn’t know Jesus. Harper’s faith is like his music. It’s eclectic, honest, and moving. Yet, that doesn’t make it truthful or make him right with God. The problem is not that it does not represent Jesus fully but it doesn’t represent Jesus truly. Ben Harper sings “Burn One Down” and “Sexual Healing” with the same passion he sings Picture of Jesus. It appears that Harper’s faith is more influenced by Rastafarian than biblical Christianity. “Jah work is never done” in the song Jah Work is about the Rastafarian god Jah. Rastafarian is a mixture of Christianity and pagan religions that include the use or narcotics or mind altering drugs. Sacred sex can be mixed in as well. God help us when we don’t know the difference between biblical Christianity and that. Ben doesn’t call himself a Christian for a good reason. He isn’t one! His view of God is both quasi personal yet intrinsically pantheistic which is far from what Scripture tell us about God (John 1:1-14). To quote Harper:

“The God I am speaking about is Creation. It’s a force moving on the Earth. It‘s the creator of Heaven and Earth, the King of the angels and the Father of light. It‘s the Father in the Gospels, it’s nature, trees and valleys… Everything that comes from the earth. I know that one must have faith in a spirit greater than a single individual. I know that we have to learn to give instead of taking. I know that each person must be worthy of what he asks for. You have to know how to respect others. I dedicate my life with faith and love to the Great All that desires only peace and goodness but I am not religious. At first I wanted to become a priest or pastor, something like that, but then I realized that even if I had this immense love of God in me, it wasn’t enough to start a life of abnegation and semi-frustrations.”

Hopefully one day Harper will discover Jesus and that will be a awesome day for music in the Kingdom of God. Harper knows that his gift comes from above. That is a great start. Yet he needs to learn who God is. Sincerity is never a substitute for truth. The music Ben Harper sings now is not Christian music nor should it be confused as such. The only bases of Christianity and the music that represents should be the following question. Does the musician and music clearly exalt Jesus? In his song “Picture Of Jesus”, he sings with passion but it isn’t of the true Jesus who was God made flesh. Instead it is the picture of Jesus that Harper’s mind has constructed. Ben has done what all of us so can easily do create a god that is palatable to us. When we can picture Jesus on our own terms he ceases being our Lord and becomes just another religious object. He’s reduced to a picture in our wallet that comforts us instead of a Savior who delivers us. Christians need to pray for men like Harper to become Christians so that he can realize that his chief end should be “To glorify God through Jesus and enjoy Him forever.”

  • Claudia

    I agree with you, no one goes to God except through the Son that is what the bible says, and until one makes these declarations they are not a christian. To be a christian means a follower of Christ, to recognize why he came and the purpose behind it, so that we may have eternal life those that understand this know that the only truth lies in the Bible.

  • Ben

    I totally disagree with your interpretation of Jesus. ‘God’, ‘Transcendance’, ‘Allah’, ‘Krishna’, are all one. No one has to be exclusive to any faith, any religion or ‘the scripture’ to have eternal life.
    It is a well known fact that up until a couple of hundreds of years ago, scripture was taken for its truth, its alegorical value, not interpreted literally as it was never intended to be. Religion or the fundamental movement in the ‘deep south’ of America is the biggest threat to spirituality in the world as it is today. When the bible is taken literally by ‘fundamentalists’ the lessons of god are dishevelled and only a shallow remnant of what was intended to be transferred from god or the only truth in all of us, the light in us, to ‘the lost sheep’ or ignorant people, is sadly lost. I belive ‘fundamentalists’ must move on from their literal interpretation of the Bible or continue to blindly stumble around the dangers of believing the bible literally.
    Religious exclusivity denies many people in the world a full experience of what all the different faiths of the world have to offer.
    And over all, i believe you do not have the right to judge Harpers beliefs or think you know his faith and belief well enough to be able to judge it.

  • Ben

    I totally disagree with your interpretation of Jesus. ‘God’, ‘Transcendance’, ‘Allah’, ‘Krishna’, are all one. No one has to be exclusive to any faith, any religion or ‘the scripture’ to have eternal life.
    It is a well known fact that up until a couple of hundreds of years ago, scripture was taken for its truth, its alegorical value, not interpreted literally as it was never intended to be. Religion or the fundamental movement in the ‘deep south’ of America is the biggest threat to spirituality in the world as it is today. When the bible is taken literally by ‘fundamentalists’ the lessons of god are dishevelled and only a shallow remnant of what was intended to be transferred from god or the only truth in all of us, the light in us, to ‘the lost sheep’ or ignorant people, is sadly lost. I belive ‘fundamentalists’ must move on from their literal interpretation of the Bible or continue to blindly stumble around the dangers of believing the bible literally.
    Religious exclusivity denies many people in the world a full experience of what all the different faiths of the world have to offer.
    And over all, i believe you do not have the right to judge Harpers beliefs or think you know his faith and belief well enough to be able to judge it. Ben Harper has shown me the incredibly beautiful depths of faith, hope and love,
    And by the way, i am not judging you per say, but religious exclusivists and fundamentalists.
    Go in Peace, Ben

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Ben,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you keep reading and interacting. Since your post was more than about Ben Harper I will come back to him as the main subject but will briefly tackle a few responses to your thoughts.

      As for Jesus, he made historical claims rooted in the Jewish context of strict monotheism. Christianity emerges from that mindset. He was familiar with other religions. Zorastianism, Samaritan, Edomic, Greek, and Roman religions were all in the geographical areas of his ministry. He denied them as false religious traditions. Instead he built upon the Jewish understanding of God. The core of the Jewish mindset is that it is a revealed religion exclusively given by the Creator God who is uniquely singular in being. This God claims stridently to the Jews and humanity that he is indeed the only true god and the only God period. We must deal with Jesus in this historical context in which he interacted and left his views for us if we are to be fair to Him as a person.

      As for Scripture, if you read through the Church fathers they interpreted Jesus literally. The Gospels and epistles were taken with literalistic interpretations. They interpreted large parts of the Old Testament allegorically in that they saw the Church in the various places of the Old Testament people. A good book on Patristic hermaneutics (the art of understanding something, in this case the Bible) will show that from the first century onward, Scripture is the primary rule by which God has made himself known. This ideas was renewed in the Reformation is the belief in the truthfulness and fullness of Jesus in the Scripture (and what principles draws forth from them) alone in the principles of the Solas of the faith. If you know of some scholarly work that denies this I would be interested in seeing it.

      You presuppose that “religious exclusivity denies many people in the world a full experience of what all the different faiths of the world have to offer.” I do not doubt that other religious ideas have many wonderful cultural benefits in their temporal historical context. I respect that in the Hinduistic faiths there are elements of merging the physical with the metaphysical that has led to ethical restraints in this world. In Islam there is a deep devotion to reverence and beauty of that which is divine which has led to some social justice. In native American religions there are often elements of creation care that have led to balancing care of the natural realm with human necessity for habitats for survival. The problem though with other religions is two fold. First, all these religions miss the most beautiful of all which is from God. Namely the revelation of the fullness of the personhood of God in the person of Jesus. Jesus slowly emerged in the cultural context of the first century Judaism as a Jewish person sent primarily to a Jewish people. The mission expanded only after his resurrection. Second, The Jesus of Scripture is historically bound with objective claims that he made. He states all these other systems are insufficient and false. Jesus claims that he is literally the only way to experience God’s grace and avoid God’s wrath. This is why Christians practice evangelism. We desire other to see the beauty of the Jesus of Scriptures. It is there choice to accept it or reject it. We do not force conversions. Admittedly there are false evangelist and true evangelist that represent Jesus falsely or very badly. Neither of these abuses deny the central claims of who Jesus claimed to be.

      You assume I am a “Fundamentalist.” Yet you don’t define what that means. Does it simply mean I believe in the fundamentals of an idea in this case the historical Jesus or does it have a wider negative cultural implication that I am some how maliciously intolerant? Are all fundamentalist equally good or bad in your view? As you read through this blog post (hopefully others as well) you drew certain conclusions about me and my ideas. Drawing conclusions and reacting is the very definition of judgment. So you made a judgment on me but what I said. I have done the same thing with Ben Harper. I would love to sit and chat with Ben. I find him a uniquely interesting entertainer. Yes I have judged his ideas. We do that all the time. We say we like this or that based on our judgements. They may not always be right but they are what we have come to believe in light of the evidence that we have.

      I enjoy Ben Harper’s work. That is why I have bought his music and have it on my playlist. That is why I blog about him. He does what he does to express his beliefs and views so people can reflect on them. You affirm that when you speak of his faith, hope, and love. You made a judgement after listening to him and that is your judgment upon his work. Whenever we speak we open ourselves up for judgment of our ideas. I have judged though his work is indeed thought provoking it misses the beauty of the historical Jesus.

      • luke

        Imagine if we spet more time reaching out to the broken hearted and hurting, instead of discussing someone else’s faith.
        Hmmm…

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  • Ben

    As I’m only relatively new to life, I cannot respond to your first two paragraphs because of a lack of understanding of theology and the history of Jesus etc.

    However, there are a few statements you have made which I don’t agree with per say. First of all, I think you are complicating things by looking at other religions (or all for that matter) too intellectually. All religions have inherent flaws which of course are brought about by people, not by the divine presence they are worshipping. I don’t think we should judge too harshly other religions and the ones that we choose to follow based on these flaws which I believe are brought about by the misinterpretation of the divine presence or god by ignorant peoples. Sure all religions have internal flaws (created by man) but when the most intrinsic message is taken from the religions it is blatantly evident that all religions are following the same message and ultimately the same god as of course there all gods whether it be the christian god, krishna, nirvana, allah, whatever, they are all one and the same! I acknowledge there are flaws in all religions, however it is essential to see that they are brought about by man and to look beyond to the truth that all relgions have found and the intrinsic divinity they are trying to be at one with.

    You say that ‘Jesus claims that he is literally the only way to experience God’s grace and avoid God’s wrath. This is why Christians practice evangelism. We desire other to see the beauty of the Jesus of Scriptures’. I believe you have totally misinterpreted his message. Jesus is not saying that he, himself, his egoic or personal beliefs is the only way to heaven. For one, Jesus did not have an ego. Jesus was ‘pure light’ or you could say pure presence without a judging or a wanting ego. You are interpreting Jesus as a shallow, egoic person and have missed his true beauty, a man with the blood of all of us flowing through his veins who wants to show us how to shed our ego and get to our intrinsic self which is god. ‘Gods wrath’ in my interpretation is the ego which does bring much suffering hence why it is refered to as a fiery furnace and ‘gods grace’ is mans intrinsic self, beyond the illusory blocking ego. To sum up, jesus did not mean that HE is the ONLY way to find god, he is saying PURE PRESENCE (which is what jesus is) is the only way to god with the loss of the ego (or gods wrath!). I believe that one must look further into the intrinsic heart of things instead of taking that statement ‘he is literally the only way to experience God’s grace’.

    I understand I may not be making myself as clear as I would like to be yet as I said, I am young and have yet to further my education and intellect and it is late and I must be off to bed so I didn’t have much time to write! I hope you will ‘get’ what I am trying to convey to you with an open mind (without the ego which clings to things or beliefs in an attempt to uphold identity or a sense of self). Ill stop rambling now and go to bed. I look forward to your reply.
    Peace, Ben

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Let me respond to your second paragraph with a few questions. The question that we need to start off asking is where do religions come from? Not why do they come. The why is because there is written in the programming of our hearts a desire to know something beyond us. What is the intrinsic message that you are speaking of? Where do you get that they are all one in the same?

      Let me respond to your third paragraph. When you read a book do you take what the book says at face value or do you attempt to critique it from your personal perspective? The four gospel writers, first century disciples of Jesus, and the early adherents and detractors all understood Jesus claim to be God incarnate. You seem to be using a modified version of Freudian language of id, ego, and superego. Where do you get your assertion that “Jesus did not have an ego”? Where do you get the concept of not having a “judging or wanting ego”?

      Look forward to furthering the dialog.

      of the
      You say that ‘Jesus claims that he is literally the only way to experience God’s grace and avoid God’s wrath. This is why Christians practice evangelism. We desire other to see the beauty of the Jesus of Scriptures’. I believe you have totally misinterpreted his message. Jesus is not saying that he, himself, his egoic or personal beliefs is the only way to heaven. For one, Jesus did not have an ego. Jesus was ‘pure light’ or you could say pure presence without a judging or a wanting ego. You are interpreting Jesus as a shallow, egoic person and have missed his true beauty, a man with the blood of all of us flowing through his veins who wants to show us how to shed our ego and get to our intrinsic self which is god. ‘Gods wrath’ in my interpretation is the ego which does bring much suffering hence why it is refered to as a fiery furnace and ‘gods grace’ is mans intrinsic self, beyond the illusory blocking ego. To sum up, jesus did not mean that HE is the ONLY way to find god, he is saying PURE PRESENCE (which is what jesus is) is the only way to god with the loss of the ego (or gods wrath!). I believe that one must look further into the intrinsic heart of things instead of taking that statement ‘he is literally the only way to experience God’s grace’.

      I understand I may not be making myself as clear as I would like to be yet as I said, I am young and have yet to further my education and intellect and it is late and I must be off to bed so I didn’t have much time to write! I hope you will ‘get’ what I am trying to convey to you with an open mind (without the ego which clings to things or beliefs in an attempt to uphold identity or a sense of self). Ill stop rambling now and go to bed. I look forward to your reply.
      Peace, Ben

  • unknown

    Wow. First one has to find the definition of TRUTH- the quality of being in agreement with reality or facts. Second of all if God is going to inspire and command people ( writers of the Bible ) to write actual accounts of history I do not think he would do it in riddles. Like a puzzle that one must piece together. If God wants you to know something he is going to be literal, which I believe he did through the writing of the scriptures. The Lord Jesus said that he did not come to condemn the world, but he came that all may have eternal life. That is why he took our punishment of our sins upon himself. Talk about compassion, WOW.. To me that is why I gave him my heart and asked Jesus into my life and I worship him. He is Love. I only know him because I searched for him, through prayer. It is a historical fact that Jesus died on a cross, and many scientists had made fact that their is an authentic shrowd that covered Jesus when he arose from the dead. Given personal encounters and historical facts, That is Truth.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/willadair willadair

      Thanks for commenting. Where are you going with this? Who are you responding too? Need a little clarification to get where you are coming from. No need to be unknown share who you are. Thanks!

  • unknown

    Doesn't matter who I am responding too. Just thought I would lay some truth down in case anyone wanted to pick it up. Good discussion between yourself and Ben. But, it does not take so many fancy words to lay the truth down, you know. Peace

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/willadair WillAdair

      Actually it does, it is rude not to answer a question when asked. You wouldn't let someone in to your house without knowing their name would you?

  • holly

    Well done your explaination helped me to understand Ben, i googled Ben harper-chrisitianity and your page came up, you are right. He does not know jesus. Oh how God has blessed him and i look forward to the day he comes to know the kingdom of Christ :) WHata glorious life it is with Jesus by our side!! God Bless

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=672399656 Dave K

    I am a practicing Christian with a strong and healthy relationship with God. I am also a huge fan of Ben Harper and the message his music preaches. "Jah" translates to "God." Its the same being with a different name. No religion is completely correct because we will never fully understand God and the universe. If you are a Christian, you should know that judging people should be left up to God alone. "Burn One Down" is a great song. It is about something real; smoking marijuana to enhance a spiritual experience. People do it. If it helps you to tune out the noise of the secular world and get closer to God, then more power to you.

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Dave,

      I could write a long rebuttal to what you have written point by point and point you to Scriptures if you would like. I’m on facebook, feel free to add me or comment here and I’ll shoot you a email. Just for the record though let me just say four brief things in rebuttal to some errors in your statement.

      1. Jah does not equal God. God is self revealed as Yahweh in Scripture. Within the English speaking dialects they are to be understood as two totally different gods/beings because Jah does not conform to the level of holiness of the God of Scriptures Yahweh.

      2. Christianity that focuses on the person and work of Christ is completely correct and allows us pre-judgment humans to fully know as much about God as can be perceived about God before the final judgments. Christianity as revelation about God is completely correct because it is the only revealed religion by God, about God, and for God’s purposes in displaying his holiness and saving his people.

      3. Scripture is clear that judgment belongs to God who invest it to God’s people in this life and in the Kingdom to come. Judgment must be done in God’s holiness and not in self righteousness. Jesus and the apostles uniformly taught we must at times play the role of the judge as part of our faith.

      4. Using drugs to get closer to God is unbiblical. In fact it is prohibited and condemned in the Bible by God in both testament as a form of sorcery. Furthermore it says that Jesus as God incarnate will judge all forms of illegal drug use.

      The critique of Ben Harper’s music stands. It is still technically excellent music but much of it is still theologically abysmal. Like I said if you really want to discuss this then feel free to contact me.

      • Hot Toddy

        I don’t know where you are getting you scripture that prohibits all drug use. If you can show me those verses, that would be awesome. I’m not trying to say your wrong, but I have never seen any references to marijuana use and sorcery in my studies.

        My understanding has always been from Romans 14:

        14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

        If marijuana causes someone to sin, then they are to refrain from it. If alcohol causes someone to sin, then they are to refrain from it. Obviously smoking or drinking in excess can cause people to lose control of themselves. This likely leads to sin, and so if you aren’t capable of partaking without over-indulgence, it isn’t proper for you to partake. This is just how I’ve understood it in the past.

        As for the Jah reference, the Bible uses the name Jah to describe the name of God in Psalm 68:4 (King James Version):
        Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

        Jah is a shortened version on Jahweh (or Yahweh).

        Anyways, I’m not trying to attack you in any way. I just was wondering about Ben Harper’s faith, and I find your take on it to be very interesting. I hope to hear a reply from you very soon.

        In Christ,

        Todd

        • http://willadair.com Will

          Todd,

          I don’t get online much right now. Life has been really busy. Saw your comments/replies and wanted to reply. One is in a post below about marijuana use. I am glad you are studying the Scripture. Keep studying. I would suggest maybe a better English translation such as the ESV, NASB, or RSV.

          Just wanted to address the KJV translation of Psalm 68:4. The word is very erroneously translated JAH. English is a West Germanic language and early Bible translations (such as the 1611 KJV) borrowed and were influenced highly by German. German has no Y sound. They substitue a J sound. So Jehovah and Jah are not biblical words in the original languages. A lot of cultic groups have deceived many people by claiming these names are the true names of God. If you want I can go in to the Hebrew a bit for you on that but a better translation is:

          “his name is the Lord”

          It is used to describe who this awesome God is that we should be singing praises to.

  • Jess

    It's not as important to know which "God" to pray to… but to be able to feel "God" is just as important if not more!

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Jess,

      Jess, God is a person. As a person it is important we respond to him as we would any other person. Honestly it is silly to say it’s not as important to know who we are addressing as much as how we feel about addressing that person. I could say “Jess you are girl I went to high school with.” You would respond, “No I’m not. We have never met.” If I said “It’s not important to know which “Jess” I’m speaking to… but what is important is how I feel about “Jess” is just as important if not more!” You would think I was living in my own little delusional world. If God is real it is very important we know him and come to him as he is. Our feelings are secondary at best.

      Feel to respond. I look forward to future dialog.

      Will

  • Honeychild

    Who are you to say who knows Jesus and who doesn't? You are exactly what turns people away from Christianity….despicable! Only God can judge who knows Him, so how dare you? It is not our acts, words, looks, etc that get us to Him….It's our hearts and I believe Ben's is in the right place but I have no business saying whether he truly knows God or not, for God only knows that
    Your pride is surely showing here…

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/willadair willadair

      Honeychild,

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I judge Ben's words, not Ben's soul. Christ in the gospels commands us to judge people's works (which includes their words) but not to judge their worth as individuals or their value to God. From what I can publicly tell Ben Harper is a nice guy. I was not writing on that. I was writing on if his music is Christian and if his public persona is Christian. The answer from his music and public statements leads to the conclusion that he is not. He is theistic (believes in God) but does not appear to be a Christian (believes Christ is God made flesh and is the Lord) theistic (believes in God). Perhaps that will change and I hope it does.

      To define Christianity apart from being centered around the person and work of Christ by definition abrogates it from being Christianity.

      I agree with you it is not our acts, words, looks, or anything we do that makes a person a Christian. It is the person and work of what Christ has done on the cross, has done and is doing in someone's personal history, and will do at their final judgment.

      Slightly paraphrased you say "it's our hearts" "that get us to Him (God)." On what bases do you make that claim?

      • Honeychild

        Willadair,

        You clearly stated that Ben does not know Jesus. That was a conclusion based on his music, actions, statements, etc?

        Who are we to conclude such a thing….I suppose that someone who praises God and makes Godly statements all the time knows Jesus in your eyes?

        You say that you were only judging his actions but you cleary stated that Ben does not know Jesus. You don't know that and you don't have the right to judge where his heart is.

        James 4:12 states: There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?

        Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us–

        • Honeychild

          It is our hearts that are judged by God and He is the one who knows our hearts.
          You don't know Ben's heart by his music…

          We cannot conclude someone's salvation by their actions or music, statements etc..
          As a matter of fact, I imagine that a large majority or church goers will not be in God's Kingdom.

          When I say it's our hearts, I mean that if our heart is with God, He will know it and by His grace we are saved.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/willadair WillAdair

            My response would have been to long to post in reply format here without several breaks. So here http://willadair.com/2010/07/21/a-response-to-hon… you can find my response. Thank you for your time and dialog.

  • Matt

    I understand the point you have made very well in your blog, but I feel you are missing an entire half of the argument at hand and thus it needs defining.

    There is a decisive difference between divine truth and inspiration and the source that it’s coming from and in this instance you have mistakenly confused the two. All truth comes from God. This statement isn’t stipulated by where the truth is coming from. Truth is an entity in and of itself separate and therefore cannot be discounted or discredited solely because of the source. To do so is to limit the ability and power of the Spirit to work and points to an immature faith being displayed in your opinion.

    Let’s use a great example to illustrate the error in your thinking that most everyone can relate to. One only needs to look at Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ to firmly grasp the difference between an inspired work of the Spirit and a delusional, antisemitic, misguided individual. To say that the film lacks the authentic fingerprints of God’s truth is rediculous at best, and at it’s worse displays the ugliness of a hardened heart in the guise of holiness. The same is true of Ben Harper’s work in regards to the message being conveyed. A song, much like truth, takes on a form often times vastly different when heard and felt through the ears of a listener, an individual only has intellectual property of a song’s distribution rights, but loses all ownership once internalized by the individual’s enjoying the song. You have once again credited the messenger too strongly and given far too little credit to the individual’s interpreting the message, which when containing truth has to be inspired by God.

    What you’ve managed to do here, although good intentioned, is to add another stumbling block to nonbelievers who can’t see past Christians in their search of Christ. While your heart may be on the right side of this debate I feel your own lack of understanding the mysterious ways in which God’s Spirit works has resulted in this blog doing more harm than good in the realm of evangelism which should be paramount. The only thing you successfully accomplished is limiting God’s ability to work through imperfect means in your own mind. It is my intention that for your own sake you stop limiting the ways in which God works, simply because you fail to comprehend.

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Thanks for commenting.

      So you think I said that God couldn’t use Harper’s music? Where did you get that from anything that I wrote? I spoke on the public spiritual persona of it’s author not his music.

      Second you end in a defense of the fact that God could use the music. I never spoke on the substance of the music. There are some spiritually provocative words mixed with some theologically troubling words from a Christian perspective.

      You said:
      I feel your own lack of understanding the mysterious ways in which God’s Spirit works has resulted in this blog doing more harm than good in the realm of evangelism which should be paramount.

      I never claimed to understand how the Spirit works. It’s hard describing the wind. I know the wind is there because it moves me. I know the Spirit is there because he move me. The Spirit works through imperfect medium yet it certainly doesn’t mean the medium is valid in and of itself.

  • JR Fordham

    There is a lot to respond to here…

    The fact that the author has taken it upon him/her self to decided the destiny of someone else’s soul, “Hopefully one day Harper will discover Jesus”, is the major issue I would like to bring into question. I listen to the music and have questioned myself, the inner workings of the man behind the music, But really?? You can determine the relationship that he has with jesus?? Very dangerous territory. I think our true fear is when someone is honest about themselves, and we as a body are unwilling to be honest about our short comings. The so called “conflicting” content of Harper’s lyrics are only proof that he is human, not that he is, or is not, a Christian.

    “Well done your explaination helped me to understand Ben, i googled Ben harper-chrisitianity and your page came up, you are right. He does not know jesus. Oh how God has blessed him and i look forward to the day he comes to know the kingdom of Christ :)” – Just further proof that we as a body need so much restoration.

    Read “Unchristian”

    “Rastafarian”- Not what you truly think it is. Do some serious research and you will find that a “true” or tradition Rastafarian will call themselves a Nazarite. And they will follow that. So just because a society has labelled a group as something, and a small group of those people do fit the stereotype, does not mean that we as followers of Jesus should do the same.

    Dont just study the Truth… Allow it to penetrated your heart, mind, and soul… And then walk in that.

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Ben Harper does not by his interviewed words or lyrics seem to believe in a orthodox understanding of Jesus in the Christian perspective. His Jesus does not look at all like the historical Jesus.

      I’ve read Unchristian. Not sure how this pertains. Enlighten me please on where you are going with this.

      I’ve studied Rastafarianism. It really doesn’t matter how they see themselves but how their views correspond to how God revealed himself in history. Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia is not Jesus Christ. Yet many Rasta believe that Haile is Jesus re-incarnated at least spiritually if not actually.

      In regard to your last comment. If the Jesus of John’s gospel is true than I have asked him in to my life and by his grace through faith alone then he is in my life. I pray daily that it does reach my heart, mind, and soul. I want to walk in Jesus and by his grace I shall.

      • JR Fordham

        I guess the question I am trying to get you to answer is, How is it that you have the power to decide weather Ben Harper has been given the gift of salvation or not?

        • http://willadair.com Will

          Have I said that God has not offered him that gift? I have said that I hope that he will get saved. His own words in interviews and his lyrics though do not show that he knows who the biblical Jesus is. That is problematic for Ben Harper. It shows that he probably does not know the biblical Jesus.

          Do you have a problem with Christians passing any form of judgment on someone’s words?

          Jesus in the 1st NT book, the Bereans, Paul, author of Hebrews, John, and Jesus in the last NT book (Matthew 7:15-20; Acts 17:10-11; 1 Corinthians 14:29; Titus 1:10-16; 3:10; Hebrews 13:7; 1 John 4:1; Revelation 2:20-24) tells us to search out what people say. Peter and John both told the Jewish leaders to judge what they were saying to see if it was true or not according to God’s Word (Acts 4:19). Paul tells the Corinthians to judge what he was saying is in line with Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:15). That is all I am trying to do.

          It appears to me that you think this is problematic. What is the problem that you are seeing in this?

  • Todd

    I left a comment earlier. I think it may have been deleted. Can you cite scripture that states that marijuana use is a form of sorcery? I have never heard anything like that.

    • http://willadair.com Will

      The English word sorcery comes from the Greek word pharmakeia. We actually get our word pharmacy from it. It primarily means the administering of drugs. It would include both the pusher and the user.

      Marijuana (cannabis) has Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly abbreviated as THC) in it. Cannabis contains more than 400 different chemical compounds, including at least 66 other cannabinoids (cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and tetrahydrocannabivarin(THCV), etc.) which can result in different effects from those of THC alone.

      It is addictive. It effects the brain so it falls under the idea of pharmakeia in the NT since it is used primarily to get a euphoria effect (in other words to get high).

      God does not desire that Christians who want to be holy to do that. The goal of the Christian is to live a peaceful and holy life. The Apostle Paul said that real Christians should desire “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” Paul said “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:7). In other words we don’t become Christian to be free to party. Our objective is to be with Jesus.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:3).

      Christians are not to be like the world. The world uses marijuana to get high. It is a natural method by abuse of a drug to replicate something that is only meant to be experienced by a supernatural means. God wants people who desire to live holy lives that are Spirit filled by supernatural methods not by abusing drugs.

      “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery (pharmakeia), enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

      The use of marijuana can pretty much make everything on that list of sins in Galatians 5:19-21 to occur. If you are doing those things then you need to stop and repent. Jesus even warned that there are those who think they are right with God and are not. “Then He [Jesus] said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self” (Luke 9:23-25)?

      Hope this helps clear it up for you.

      • Hot Toddy

        Wow that was a pretty intense response. You definitely did your research, and I can see your point. I do however have a question. Alcohol can be used in an extremely similar fashion as marijuana, and can sometimes be even much more dangerous. It can alter the mind, cause a feeling of euphoria, and it is just as addictive as marijuana (seen as how neither substances are physiologically addictive, but rather psychologically addictive). Moderation can be used in either case, and even Jesus himself drank wine, and provided wine for others. Any thoughts?

        • http://willadair.com willadair

          The Bible is clear that alcoholism and abuse of alcohol is a sin. Yes there are indeed similarities in the effects of both substances in that they both alter the mood by lowering inhibitions.

          One difference with Marijuana is that illegal in the United States at least. Christians in this country definitely shouldn’t use it for that reason alone. Since it is not lawful then Christians as a public testimony should abstain from using it.

          Second, the Bible depending on your translation refers to any mood altering drug as sorcery/witchcraft etc. It was strictly prohibited. Both Testaments make the argument that a person of God should not be defined by the use of drugs. The New Testament even ends with warnings about ungodliness. See Revelation 21:8 which is a warning in the Greek that those that practice ‘pharmakeia’ (Word 5331 in Strongs) will not take part in the Kingdom of God. The word pharmakeia means drugs, which includes non-medical Marijuana users. “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers “from the word pharmakeia”, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Each of these find their identity in their particular sin. They in effect are shaped in the image of their sin.

          The drinking wine that Jesus drank daily was never to the point of uncontrollable intoxication. It was not what we would consider as a strong drink. The question of the use of any substance for the Christian is 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful to me but I will not be enslaved by anything.” More often than not those who smoke Marijuana are being controlled by it. It is part of their identity. Hope this helps.

          • Hot Toddy

            I’ll agree with you with the legality argument.

            However, I think the marijuana/alcohol debate is rather confusing, primarily because alcohol itself is a mind-altering drug. Now, while I myself have never smoked marijuana, I have many friends who do. My friends who smoke don’t get violent or lose their minds. I also have both participated and witnessed acts of drunkenness in regards to alcohol. Alcohol typically yields much more violence, loss of control, and sinful situations than marijuana from what I have witnessed.

            I think your argument from 1 Corinthians is spot on, but I do disagree with your assessment of marijuana users becoming enslaved by it.

  • Robin

    Came upon this website accidentally when I was looking up Ben Harper because his song, “She’s only happy in the son” has the lyrical line, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed” in it. I’m a Christ follower and the song to me when I hear it is like this…”She’s only happy in the SON” especially because of that one line, whom the Son sets free is free indeed. I love it.
    When I heard this song for the first time it made my spirit just jump. Ben Harper is extremely gifted by God and I just love him.
    I hope you stop wasting your time judging people’s walks with God. If you judge people, it gives you so much less time to love them.
    Have a happy Saturday.
    Robin =)

    • http://willadair.com willadair

      Those aren’t the lyrics of the song. Btw, the Bible tells us that judgment begins at the house of God. Judgment can be done wrongly or rightly. I’m not judging the man Ben Harper but I am judging his music. The point of sharing music is so that other people will make judgments on what it means. That’s the point of art.

      • Luke

        I always thought the point of art was to enjoy its beauty.

    • Siricsingh

       well said robin ! you are right on..

  • Jonathan

    Awesome blog and some great replies to comments! I think I’ll share the one about marijuana use being a sin.

    Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

    It is great to use this verse in this case because it speaks of meat, and marijuana users are always quoting Gen 1:29 as justification for marijuana use. If you say, “Look, it says ‘for meat’”, then they reply that they could bake it into brownies. :(

    But Rom 14:17 clearly shuts that door that no man may open it! :) It puts down the FALSE idea that marijuana somehow amplifies true spiritual experience.

    Christians who look unto Jesus and therefore walk in the Spirit know that marijuana high, or any drug high, is a counterfeit to true spiritual experience and is not of the Spirit at all but is of the flesh.

    As for Ben Harper, I just received one of his videos on yt and really enjoyed it but also I could see some troubling hints that maybe he doesn’t really trust Jesus (have faith) but is trying to ‘do it’ himself. Works-righteousness, of which this is a form, is a sure way to go to hell, and you are right, it is quite possible that Ben Harper is lost. I would like to say that even before I was born again, when I was living in deplorable sin, I used to listen to Ben Harper and really liked him, whereas there was a lot of wicked music I didn’t like. I almost want to say that God used Ben Harper as part of a long process of drawing me to Himself, but I know many things that God used to do this, including pseudepigrapha like the Book of Enoch. Today, as a Christian, I would not endorse it and I do not believe it is inerrant. yet still, I believe God used it. This is the way I look at Harper’s lyrics. God knows them that are His, and it is clear that you are doing a great job here, since this topic has been a wonderful platform for you to preach the Gospel and teach the truth. It doesn’t matter if people don’t see that, of course, the LORD does.

    :) God bless you!

    Jonathan

    • http://willadair.com Will

      Jonathan,

      I am glad God used Harper in your life. He most certainly did in mine. God uses truth no matter where it resides, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the blessing and kind words.

      May God bless you too,
      Will

  • Siricsingh

    First of all you have totally warped this into your own projection…you do not know ben harper personally so who are you to judge??
    the quote you have included above is a great example of how one should worship God..do u believe god is a man in the sky?? ;)
    ‘god’ is an omnipresent energy-in all of earths creation..including in all beings.
    He chooses not to be labeled a christian because christianity is a fraudulent faith,and not something even jesus would aspire to.
    jesus rejected all sects and was especially irreligious.he was a revolutionary man..a man who never put himself in a box,and thats exactly how ben harper is..once you put yourself in a box with a specific label you are bound in a bondage that does not allow free thought of man.
    over the centuries the great monotheistic religions such as christianity,judaism and Islam have all been spoilt by mans sects and differing bias perspectives-reiterations that cant be trusted.
    To follow Christ is very different from following Christianity..christianity is organized,once something becomes organized it is done for.
    To truly follow Christ is to become a target of the oppressive governments..Christ spoke out,he rebelled against oppression,wheras Christianity is safe,its organized and controlled,warped and very far from the teachings of jesus.we can thank the Romans and the vatican for this distortion.
    As for bens songs ”Burn One Down” and “Sexual Healing” these are just songs not required to analyze over so severely..burn one down is representing the same message bob marley was saying-about the freedom to smoke a joint when he wants,as there is no harm to anyone in doing so,simple really,and sexual healing-just a cover of a great wonderful man-marvin gaye..nothin wrong with sex,if its shared between two lovers it can be healing and is a act of GOD..how else would we pro create?
    Picture of Jesus is a wonderful dedication to the messiah..beautiful..  Harper’s faith may very well be more influenced by
    Rastafarian than biblical Christianity,which in my opinion would be a more accurate account of ‘faith’ than what any church or Christian sect could preach.
    Ive studied up on the rasta ideology of Christ and so far I find nothing is stronger than how they view the history of jesus and his roots.
    The links between Ethiopia and Israel/palestine are there..Read the Kebra Nagast for some true history.bless ;)

    • http://willadair.com/ Will Adair

      “First of all you have totally warped this into your own projection…you do not know ben harper personally so who are you to judge??”

      Thank you for your comments. I’ll reply to your questions but in regard to the music ones here is my response. The point of music is to share ideas and have those judged by style and content. The point of sharing is to have both the medium and the media evaluated. That is judgement.  When Ben Harper puts his ideas (media) out through the medium of music then it is by definition open for judgment. Just as I put my ideas (in this post about Ben Harper) out for whoever (in this case someone going by the non de plume of Siricsingh) to judge. We all judge daily. The task of the Christian is to do so fairly which is the point of Jesus on judgment in Matthew 7.  

      “do u believe god is a man in the sky?? ;) ”

      The Christian conception of God is a Triune Spirit that took upon flesh and blood in the person of Jesus. God the Son and God the Father are in Heaven. Though Heaven is metaphorically in the sky. So, in a very limited sense between Advents that would be a qualified yes. God in that limited sense is the Son of Man in the “sky”. God in not one with everything and in everything according to the Bible. 

      “jesus rejected all sects and was especially irreligious.”

      Nearly everything out of Jesus mouth was commentary on the Old Testament. He was not irreligious, he was the only person to ever get religion completely right. “I have not come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Jesus in Matthew 5:17.

      “To follow Christ is very different from following Christianity..christianity is organized,once something becomes organized it is done for.”

      The first recorded work of Jesus was gathering disciples and organizing them. Jesus was pro-organization. So if you are right then Jesus was done for from the inception. Read John 1:35 through chapter 2 and Mark 3:13-19 and all of Acts which is the record of Jesus disciples being very intentional about organization and leadership.

      “Christianity is safe,its organized and controlled,warped and very far from the teachings of jesus.we can thank the Romans and the vatican for this distortion.”

      We have the Bible which has not been changed since the 1st century onward. Jesus teaching though divergently understood are as accessible now as they were from his lips in the first century.

      “Ive studied up on the rasta ideology of Christ and so far I find nothing is stronger than how they view the history of jesus and his roots. The links between Ethiopia and Israel/palestine are there..Read the Kebra Nagast for some true history.bless ;)”

      The Rasta ideology of Christ is not the biblical ideology of Christ. Regardless of the merit or lack thereof of historical linkage between the people of Ethiopia and the people of Israel. Ethiopia nationally rejects  Rastafarianism and the Ethiopian Church rejects the linkage of Rasta ideology with their historical religious culture. The Kebra Nagast regardless of its historical and religious cultural significance is not primarily about Jesus but the superiority of Ethiopia over Israel. 

      “once you put yourself in a box with a specific label you are bound in a bondage that does not allow free thought of man.”

      How have you not put yourself in the box of Rastafarianism? You have a text that you call “true history” which you put more faith in as more true than the biblical and various historic Christian faiths. We are all in some box. The question is that box a good one or not. 

      “bless ;)”

      May God bless you to reflect more on the Jesus that is in the metaphorical box called the Bible. 

  • Llgeobud

    dont you love that he refered to “burn one down” and “sexual Healing” just assumed that it doesnt say God in it its wrong. you are a typical christian. thats why i believe Christ didnt say, become a christian. he said follow me. and he told that to the worse of them alll who denied him and had sins, mary, peter, saul.. yet christians hide themselves behind a fig leaf like adam did. i think ben harper is struggling with his faith. he knows the truth yet is wreslting through it. and i believe this process is welcomed, allowed or even beckoned by Christ.. he doesnt want just a seat in the pew.. he wants a heart. he came to heal and restore the broken  hearted. not those who appear to have it all together. and that majority would be pastors or even ppl who blog about other people’s hearts… who only God knows!

    • Llgeobud

      I believe Christ is embarrassed on these theological hot headed-polotical republican christians.. present day pharisees. rules and morals yet so easy to think knowledge is love. and yea, im judging you by your own words as we are called. i think you discredit wrestling and struggling through something with God or even against God…. isnt that was Isreal means?? Struggle it self appears wrong, you make it appear. yet even mentioning sex is too. typical christian morals. let me guess, you think song of solomon doesnt actually refer to a husband and a wife but a stands for Christ and the church. You have this religious fog over your eyes. read beautiful outlaw and humble yourself.

      • http://willadair.com/ Will Adair

        “I believe Christ is embarrassed on these theological hot headed-polotical (sic) republican christians.. present day pharisees. rules and morals yet so easy to think knowledge is love.”

        His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-8 ESV)

        True knowledge of Christ leads to love that leads to fruitfulness in Jesus Christ. You say “I believe” yet you give nothing outside of your own subjective desire to defend using drugs and those who do so.

        “i think you discredit wrestling and struggling through something with God or even against God…. isnt that was Isreal means?? Struggle it self appears wrong, you make it appear.”

        “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)”.

        Wrestling is not done against God but our own selfish desires. Struggle is good as long as it is against sin.
        “yet even mentioning sex is too. typical christian morals.”
        The problem is sexual healing is not a full biblical view of sexuality. True biblical sexuality has a healing aspect but it is not meant to be displayed openly in the public square.
        “let me guess, you think song of solomon doesnt actually refer to a husband and a wife but a stands for Christ and the church.”
        Solomon and the Shullamite are the couple in the book. Marriage itself including in that book is a illusionary illustration between the reality of Christ love for his collection of people called the church.
        “You have this religious fog over your eyes. read beautiful outlaw and humble yourself.”
        The only religious fog that I know that I have is a desire for the weight of glory to come upon me.

        • Llgeobud

          i think ill keep babbling just so you could spend the time to quote each line and come up with cocky remarks. i grew up in the church, and i knew many men like you. political, hot headed, prideful christians. you quote people in the bible you take after, yet you do not have such humility as peter, paul or mary. i simply dont see youre trying to lay down your life for those you blog against.. keep bloggin in the free world. let me guess, you got an mdiv? you get wrapped up in christian culture- has to be 3 songs, welcome, offering ( we all sit in the pew and give money) sing another chris tomlin song.. ya, its culture that i believe you get wrapped up in. i  love how Chirst works with simple fishermen and even humbles a pharisee, but christians today turn this simple status that christian are to have into a political, hierarchy.. by getting degrees and doctorates to promote a grade level. if only you did follow Christ.. if only you didnt have to have a response for everything someone said.. cause sadly, you are probably stuck in our own sin. sadly, you may be pastoring a church and probably just visited a porn site..whatever your own sin is, i know pride is as ugly and as a sexual sin. for you are but a filthy rag. and your response will be, i am a sinner saved by grace. quite proudly. yet was that all? to saved sinners? or to actually make them alive.. for Christ started his minsitry by quoting, I have come to heal the brokenhearted. not, just to simply save sinners. watch your sins. dont hid. for they will find you out.

          • Llgeobud

            so name your sin, name your struggle. you know you have it. we all do. christian or not.. we are all wrestling with living in Christ.. its a matter of the heart, truly. Yes, he tells us all, to sin no more. but what he wants is not morality, but devotion to Him. Just do not let that knowledge of yours even block your heart. Cry for once. Think of how lost you still can be.. how so easily you can cheat on your wife, or leave your family or lead others astray. How you may not actually be a shepherd of your flock but rather just in love with the idea, or in love with studying the Word. I just dont see in your quick, prideful responses, a love to lay yourself down as Christ did.. a humble love. Genuine. even playful. For Christ was all that. Yet he too had a fierce righteous anger, but do I see Christ in you? I dont know you. But they will know you by your love for one another. 

          • Llgeobud

            and true, i dont know you. but I should know you by your love for others. not your knowledge, not your status in political church, not your masters degree. I have a B.A. Born Again. you cant taker yours after this life. but i could take mine.

          • Llgeobud

            h, not your masters degree. I have a B.A. Born Again. you cant taker yours after this life. but i could take m 
            Will Adair:
            Theological cool kids are Christians that have turned all their passion in to learning about God instead of living with God. They notice the sins of everyone else (especially spouses, other Christians, and coworkers) but are hard pressed to root out their own. They know what total depravity is in others but not themselves. I know I have the tendency to be one of those guys.I know I have the tendency to be one of those guys.I know I have the tendency to be one of those guys.I know I have the tendency to be one of those guys.

          • http://willadair.com/ Will Adair

            “ i grew up in the church, and i knew many men like you. political, hot headed, prideful christians… …Chris Tomlin songs.”
            So you judge me by your experiences rather than the word of God. A blog is just like a house, someone invites you in and instead of being gracious you attack the host. For the record I forgive you. BTW, to answer your question my Master’s is in Ethics.

            “its culture that… in our own sin.”

            You have no idea who I am. Much of modern Church culture is in desperate need of Reformation. I know experientially and objectively that “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed” is true and I trust Christ is working through the Church even the most sinful elements of it to bring about his kingdom.

            “sadly… find you out.”

            I once went through the Law. Of 613 laws I’ve broken about 400 of them. I am not just a sinner saved by grace, but a sinner being transformed by the Grace of Jesus.

          • Llgeobud

            typical.. 

            i judge you by your words. 
            ethics? 
            keep at it.. you didnt respond to my post below..which is odd…..

    • http://willadair.com/ Will Adair

      “dont (sic.) you love…”

      Your incomplete sentence is hard to follow. I am taking that you are also using the nom de plum Sircsingh.

      “you are a typical christian… …mary, peter, saul…”

      I am a sinner saved by grace just like Mary, Peter, and Saul (Paul). Like Mary I rejoice that Christ is risen. Like Peter I rejoice that I am called to follow Christ by “fleeing this wicked generation.” Like Paul I rejoice in the “Stone that the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone.”

      “yet Christians hide themselves…”

      How so? In that calling the use of a illegal drug as a sin? Like Jesus does in Revelation 21:8? 

      “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” -Jesus.

      Sorcerers – pharmakois – Φαρμακοις· Persons who, by drugs, philtres, fumigations, etc., pretend to produce supernatural effects, chiefly by spiritual agency.

       
      “i think ben harper…”

      He may be but at this point in 2012 just like in 2009 it does not appear to be a Christian faith.

      “he knows the truth… …even beckoned by Christ…”

      Christ always calls people by his Word, never drugs. ”It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” – Jesus in John 6:63.  Drugs effect the flesh not the soul.

      “ he doesnt want just a seat in the pew.. he wants a heart.”

      Jesus wants disciples which includes their hearts (Matthew 22:36-40) and their participation in a organized church (Hebrews 10:25). 

      “he came to heal and restore the broken  hearted.”
      Exactly, Jesus does by transforming them from self centered hedonist to worshippers of the living God. Jesus does not use or tolerate drugs to accomplish this and Jesus states in Revelation 21:8 that those actively participate in doing so will have no part in his kingdom.
      “not those who appear to have it all together. and that majority would be pastors or even ppl who blog about other people’s hearts… who only God knows!”
      I never claimed that I have it all together. Jesus tells us in 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” Jesus is healing me, I have a broken heart torn apart by my own and other people’s sins. Yet, ‘he who began a good work in me, will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.” – Paul in Philippians 1:6.

       

      • Llgeobud

        your argument has nothing to do with what i said. i never mentioned drugs.. i honestly believe from your words.. that you came to have a fog over your eyes on how you are perceived or even see others. you’re knowledge is more important and cloudy over your simple love that Christ calls from us. perhaps a present day pharisee. sad situation really.

        • http://willadair.com Will

          “your argument has nothing…”

          I kindly suggest you read both our words again. You did mention the use of drugs.

          “you’re knowledge is more important…”

          Christ calls us to worship him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). Paul tells us that our life goal is to really know Christ as fully as we can (Phil 3:10). To do so we meditate upon his word which is the most sure experience we can have (2 Peter 1:19).

          “perhaps a present day pharisee.”

          I am not a modern day Pharisee since their insistance was keeping on living the Law. I am for living the Grace of Christ Jesus imparted which frees us from lawless living (Ephesians 2:1-10). BTW, some of the Pharisees were saved too (Acts 15:5).

  • Duck

    Thank you very much for reassuring me that it is still OK to love Ben Harper. I was a bit worried that he might be a Christian but now you have convinced me that he isn’t a Christian, so I’ll go on loving him as before.

  • josue

    Hi guys

    the most important point about this is just the proof of

    the word of Jesus himself. the bible is not an ordinary book

    it is not a book where we can choose whatever WE want to choose

    an believe it. if it is true tha thje gospel is Divine. it is also true that

    jesus is love because the gospel says so. if ot is true that the he came

    to heal the broken .heart as some people love to believe, it is also true

    that no one shall go to the father except throught Jesus.

    the question here is that we want to believe the gospelk through the eyes

    of our natural understanding. and our understanding says: “it is not fair that

    only jesus can save what about all those other people who are sincerely praying

    to god” .. therefore they will choose in the bible only what their natural mind says its good like:

    love your neighboor, it is better to give than receive, healing of the broken hearth etc…

    and i understand why people think like that, because they want to be “FAIR”. BUT THE REAL

    QUESTION IS WHY IS JESUS THE ONLY?

    IT is a matter of christianity or religion or pastor. stuff. it is deeper than that. it is the spritual

    process of purification.and cleansing from sin that had to take place for the freedom of men.

    .

    sin, love, forgiveness are spiritual concept that cannot be understood by the mind because they are inside the spirit

    and as human being is spirit. he can have a limit experience of the beauty of love or the wrong of sin.

    now, the need of jesus come from the fact that in the realm of the spirit, there is a order,

    1- to pay for a man, justice requires someone who will suffer like human would have suffered. that way the payment

    is legal and the demand of justice is satisfied.

    2- Jesus said there is no greater love than the one who sacrfice his life for others…

    God so love the world, and the redemption was a demonstration of love in reality. God sacrificed himself for the humanity. he decided to take the human flesh. he therefore went throught the process of natural birth. Mary gave birth to a man. who was in reality the word of God made flesh. the substance of God, the express image of God. who came so that man could see with its phisical eyes the highest level of love: sacrifice love.

    this is why if someone reject Jesus he may think he is rejecting a spiritual leader, but he is wrong because he is rejecting God. because between the father and his word there is no difference… there is much more to it.. but

    by the way: few missionaries used the word of God to colonalised Africa, it does not make the bible a manual for colonalisation, therefore don’t allow your hearth to hate pastors only because some of them are not answering the call properly.

    the office of pastor has been created by Jesus for the building of the body. most of them pray and interceed every night for believer who sleep well and go to work in the morning. THOSE PRAYERS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR BEIEVER AND NON BELIEVER )

    the last thing i wanna says is: those who believed (it looked stupid,) and jumped saw a demonstration of power and glory in reality, a partnership with divinity that only those who believe can see. that why we see miracle from God every time (healing of the body, of the hearth etc…..)but those who want to believe only if their mind validates, believe me, its a mistake. be like a child and accept salvation from the lord and you will receive a revelation of the fatherhood of God that will blow your understanding away!!!!

    christianity is not for christian, Jesus is for those who believe. i can decide to believe in a cow, it is my choice, but
    it is not the fault of christianity or jesus or fundamentalism, but its the free choice of an individual to believe or reject God when it comes your way.
    God bless you.

  • sshiend

    You and people like you are the reason religion and religious people are increasingly mistrusted, hated, and ostracized. The core messages of all religions are honor, peace, and love and respect for all life. You spend so much time judging and nit-picking other people on minor issues you become exactly what all the religions warn against; judgmental, narcissistic, and dogmatic. And never have I seen one of your types turn your judgement inward. Would Jesus have approved of you spending a large portion of your free time deciding how faithful or true other people’s messages were? Is that a productive use of your time? Please, for the sake of our planet, of our people, that is the human race… stop with the infinite judgement. Just allow people to present faith uniquely and adhere to their own beliefs. Spirituality, faith… these are amazing things. No one has a right to put a stranglehold on them, to force them into what they want.

    • http://willadair.com/ Will Adair

      “The core messages of all religions are honor, peace, and love and respect for all life.”

      This is not the core of most religions.
      Core of Buddhism is purification to nirvana.
      Core of Christianity is oneness with the Father and others through Jesus.
      Core of Islam is submission to Allah.
      Core of Hinduism is karma and escape.

      “And never have I seen one of your types turn your judgement inward.”
      If you knew me that would be a line you’d never say again. I judge me all the time. Generally, I don’t care for what I see. That’s why I cling to Jesus.

      “Would Jesus have approved of you spending a large portion of your free
      time deciding how faithful or true other people’s messages were? Is
      that a productive use of your time?”
      Yes. Yes.

      ” No one has a right to put a stranglehold on them, to force them into what they want.”
      Yet after reading one post that is what you would have me do. You would have me look like you. Simply put we all judge. The question is what foundation is our judgment based upon? I choose the historical Christ.

  • Ben NotHarper

    “The problem is Ben Harper isn’t singing Christian music because he doesn’t know Jesus.” Firstly, nobody but God and Ben Harper know Ben’s mind. Judging by his words and music though, I would have to agree that he probably doesn’t truly believe in Christ and all of His teachings found in the Bible. But to say that his music is not Christian is untrue. The song, “Picture of Jesus” and many of his songs are completely Christian. A song is a work of art that’s open to the listener’s interpretation and even if Ben worshipped allah, i would still listen to “Where Could I Go” and be thinking of the God of the Bible while listening to it. A song is the finished product, so when it’s complete it stands separate from it’s writer and should only be judged by it’s content. And while i agree that “Jah Work” is in complete disharmony with Christianity to the point of me not being able to enjoy it, I find no fault with most of his secular songs including “Burn One Down”. I’m unaware of any Bible verse condemning weed. There are verses about abuse of alcohol, but being drunk and high are two very different things (i don’t smoke but have). Smoking weed is much less harmful than drinking, but (like anything) it can be abused and can have negative effects, namely complacency and laziness. But I know people who use it responsibly, and in ways that i’m pretty sure Christ would have no problem with. I do wish that Ben Harper knew and loved the God that you and i do, but i’ll continue to enjoy his music in the meantime. Some of his songs mean a lot to me and a lot of other Christians, i’m sure. Sometimes you can separate an artist from his art and enjoy the work for what it means to you and God.

  • k

    Who are we to judge Ben Harper, only God can judge. We are all sinners, we are all a work in process and the fact he has sang songs such as burn one day and sexual healing, and you have written a blog about it judging him is wrong. You don’t know the relationship Jesus has with him? His struggles? What he has planned for him or how he is working in his heart? This is disappointing, we are all sinners please stop judging.

  • Mcblahflooper

    God I love you silly Christians. “This guy isn’t a Jesusfreak and has a more open mind about faith and spirituality? He doesn’t openly discuss word for word Christian themes? Hopefully he can find Jesus some day.” That’s very ignorant, intolerant, and sad that you dismiss someone that you would have otherwise enjoyed just because he doesn’t preach nonstop about Jesus.