Jason Gray: "G. K. Chesterton said that our Christianity should look less like a theory and more like a love affair. That an important idea to me."
Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue is a thought-provoking collection of artful, emotional and radio-friendly tunes that achieve a high level of accessibility without sacrificing any of Jason Gray’s personality or creativity.
Jason has an uncanny ability to absorb images, emotions and truths from a variety of sources: theology, literature, relationships, his own struggles, pop culture, poetry, etc., and to pull together those diverse strands into a unified whole. Over the years he has developed a razor sharp knack for saying deep things in a way that the rest of us can relate to.
Gray’s previous project, All The Lovely Losers, dealt with brokenness and now he takes the subject a step further, dealing with brokenness that begins with confession. Jason’s fixation on redemption is based on his history as a kid with a chronic stutter who eventually discovered his calling as a singer meant that his weaknesses are nothing to hide. In fact, because of our weaknesses God’s grace and strength are perfectly revealed.
I had the great opportunity to interview Jason about his current single “More Like Falling In Love.”
What's the main message of the song, "More Like Falling In Love"?
G. K. Chesterton said that our Christianity should look less like a theory and more like a love affair. That an important idea to me. Sometimes, I think we’re in danger of making our faith about intellectual beliefs of facts of who Jesus was and is today. The danger, at least for me, is that a solely intellectualized faith can lose its heart, and over and over we are told in Scripture that the heart matters. Belief in the facts is an important part of faith for sure--believing that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and rose from the grave--but there is that unforgettable Scripture that reminds us of the limits of mere belief where we are told that “even the demons believe, and tremble.” So clearly, a faith that pleases God is more than just believing the facts. So what is the "more" that God is looking for?
What Bible verses did you use in writing the song?
John 15:15-17: I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
Romans 3:21-24: But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:21-25: So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
What’s the take-away message for listeners?
I believe Jesus came to give us more than just better information about who God is. I believe He came to give us a relationship with God. At its most basic level, the story of Christianity is a love story between God and man. He even refers to us as his bride, and this helps me understand what God desires. I’m reminded of my own marriage to Taya and what it has taught me about the difference between law and love. When my wife traveled home to visit her family for one week every year, and I used to do a half-hearted job cleaning the house out of obligation, which of course didn’t please her at all. About four years into our marriage, something strange happened, and I had a new thought, unlike any I’d ever had before: Man, Taya would be really surprised if I oiled our hard wood floors. So, after finding the oil and the mop, I polished those floors to perfection. And then I had another thought: you know, Taya would feel really loved if I were to vacuum the upstairs. And so I found the vacuum cleaner, figured out how to turn it on, and proceeded to not only vacuum the upstairs but also dust and wash the bedding and clean the mirrors and on and on through the rest of the little green farm house we rented. I was completely driven by some new found desire to please her. Taya was indeed amazed. Almost as much as I was.
Afterward I was wondering about what the heck came over me, and I realized that all along I had been doing the least that was required of me out of obligation to the law of Taya, but this time it was different--I had done it out of love. And that is the distinction.
Give me rules, I will break them
Show me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
Its gotta be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
Its like I'm falling, Ohhhh
Its like I'm falling in love
Give me words, I'll misuse them
Obligations, I'll missplace them
Cuz all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me
Jason has been one of my favorite artists ever since I first heard his song “Blessed Be” which is based on the Beatitudes. “Blessed be the ones who know that they are weak.” I’ve been very blessed to enjoy Jason’s songs and get to know his heart for God. “More Like Falling In Love” takes the listener to a deeper level, asking to fall in love with Christ instead of just following the rules of Christianity. This song provides a real life picture of the difference between dead religion and a vibrant relationship with Christ, where faith can either be a burdensome, obligatory, passionless ideology or a response to love that spontaneously erupts and spills out of our lives like a well that cannot be contained. I know which one I prefer, how about you?
Posted June 01, 2010 | Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
When Switchfoot Comes Alive Tuesday, July 29, 2014 Chad and Jerome talk about fire metaphors, which illustrate the idea of truly living.