I’m Not Feeling It, TobyMac

The other day I was listening to the radio and a song by TobyMac (Toby McKeehan) started playing. Since I had nothing better to do as I was driving, I listened.

I was disappointed.

Folks, if you will remember what I wrote in a previous post, I’m not anti-contemporary music…I’m just anti-bad theology. New songs, even those with styles I can’t stand, are fine with me as long as they convey biblical theology, edify the Christian, and bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ. Really, that leaves the Christian music artist with a lot of room to  create.

But it seems to me that Toby Mac really missed the mark with this song. In “Feel It” (released in 2015) TobyMac seems to want to appeal to the modern, post-Christian, millennial culture by basing the whole argument for God’s existence on his personal, subjective feelings.

The chorus of “Feel It” reads:

“Feel It”

[Chorus:]

Oh I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know (oh oh oh ohah)
You take our brokeness
And make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know
That’s how I know (You can’t take that from me)

I’m sorry, brother, but your argument is weak, to say the least.

Contrast the above with the first verse and chorus from another song, “Never Alone” by Barlow Girl:

“Never Alone”

I waited for you today
But you didn’t show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You’d be there
And though I haven’t seen You
Are You still there?[Chorus:]
I cried out with no reply
And I can’t feel You by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here and I”m never alone

Do you see the difference? The first finds comfort and reassurance in “feeling,” but the second finds faith secure in “knowing.” There is a difference.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:13

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” – John 17:17

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32

Notice that last verse? What did Jesus say? Did He say, “You shall have a feeling, and the feeling shall set you free”? Don’t think so.

Feelings fluctuate. Feelings lie.

In the tagline of “Feel It” TobyMac repeats,

Everybody talkin’ like they need some proof
But what more do I need than to feel you?

I’ll tell you (and I bet you already know), Toby, you need the Truth, God’s promises, His Word that never changes…

’cause feelings sure do.

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7 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, Faith, music

7 responses to “I’m Not Feeling It, TobyMac

  1. roy cavender

    Truth

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. I hear you. I struggle to explain these things and it’s hard because our language is so limited. In the modern world we have also idolized feelings above all else, so that throws an extra wrench in things. The problem is we can also get into our heads too much,so than we begin to reject feelings as a bad thing. So feelings can be in the sense of, “can you feel me now?” In His presence, sensing His realness. Without that our faith becomes dry, flat,two dimensional.

    • In reality, faith in Christ should not be void of feelings, for how can one experience joy unspeakable and full of glory without praise? How can one truly give praise with thanksgiving without emotion? How can one deny the thrill if experiencing the Spirit’s still, small voice when it’s obvious? But we can’t explain those feelings without foundation; there’s no context, otherwise. That’s why I feel the song, although true, is lacking.

      • But if we concede that feelings are an important part of relationship with God then I don’t think we can simply dismiss the song if it does minister to someone. I don’t think a song needs to contain the whole truth to be valuable, I’m not sure anything could. I’m reminded of Chesterton who said he came to preach comfort to the afflicted and affliction to the comforted- maybe some of these songs minister to people who need it at that time. Now, I’m more drawn to songs like the one you described by Barlow Girls or Tenth Avenue North’s song Worn. But it’s not a black and white issue in my book.

      • Oh, I have no problem with “feelings are an important part” of our relationship with God. And, yes, I’m sure this song has and will minister to people. My main point, however, was that Toby equates his feelings with proof of God’s existence, the implied audience of the song being an unbeliever. If it was written simply to Christians then I wouldn’t have as much of a concern. Does that make sense? Just my thoughts.

      • Hmmm…that is a different spin than what I responded to. I do believe that faith is not based upon emotion. I’m not sure I’m ready to have his song pulled from the shelves 🙂 But I think we may be on the same page.

  3. Well said. I’m not willing to die for a feeling. I’m certainly not willing to figuratively die to myself and live for Him if it’s all based on “because it feels good, you know?”

    Because some days it doesn’t feel good. But that’s when I look back over what I know, and those “altars” along the way where I can say “God met me there.” And then I can press on in the “momentary light afflictions” and struggle of today knowing that there’s a far greater weight of eternal glory prepared.
    And knowing that feels pretty good. Yeah yeah uhh la-la-la-la-la 😀

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