"Don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit just give me a new law"

05 Jul

With all the buzz about the Southern Baptist resolution on alcohol (no link: just google it!) I thought Derek Webb’s song here would be quite appropriate. Plus I’ve been thinking whether or not I really believe that the Spirit of God is a sufficient guide for a life of holiness.

A New Law

(vs. 1)
don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for

don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me

i want a new law
i want a new law
gimme that new law

(vs. 2)
don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law


what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid

New Law Video
Derek Webb Home


Posted by on July 5, 2006 in music


4 responses to “"Don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit just give me a new law"

  1. jason

    July 6, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    Scot McKnight at has an interesting series going on on zealotry that was spurred on by the alcohol resolution.

    As a SBC person I find the resolution frustrating on several fronts. Legalism, bad understanding of scripture, misuse of scripture.

    A lot of the people try to frame the argument as being larger: a lack of belief in the sufficency of Scripture.

    What are you thinking about the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit. I think He is sufficent but want to make sure we don’t filter the meaning down through our overly individualistic captain of my own ship American mindset. I think the Holy Spirit is active and at work through the church that Christ has established. We are guided by the Holy Spirit also through what is going on as our community of faith searches and studies the Sriptures and is guided by the Spirit.

  2. Josh

    July 6, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the nod to McKnight.

    I believe/assent that the Holy Spirit is THE perfect guide and sustainer for a life of righteousness. However, I constantly evidence that I don’t believe/practice this this truth. Christians are way too afraid to admit they struggle with unbelief. Yeah of course we acknowledge so tons of truth, but do we live it? A life of belief, or faith, is never divorced from a life of obedience. In fact, you can never have faith and be disobedient.

    So I’ve been praying that God would reveal any unbelief in my life: attitudes, behaviours, habits, circumstances, etc that I am relying on more than the Spirit.

  3. jdarlack

    July 9, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    Wow. Interesting post. Comming from the Assemblies of God (and Pentecostalism’s ties with the Wesleyan Holiness movements) I can identify with the “zealotry” of the SBC here, but I don’t agree with it. As to the Holy Spirit’s sufficiency as a guide for holy living, I am indebted to my pastor’s example in this. He has disciplined himself to rely on the Holy Spirit to sanctify his church, rather than rely upon his own machinations. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from him. This is not a ‘hands off’ approach to discipleship, but an approach that emphasizes the right things – committment to the Holy Spirit & intimacy with God via a lifestyle of worship and obedience rather than a system of rules or an extra-biblical code of conduct. Emphasizing this has lead to folks with not-so-kosher lifestyles within our church to change their behavior because the Holy Spirit lead them to – rather than the pastor or a disgruntled church member. The great thing about this, is that it leads someone to testify to a newly discovered intimacy with God (birthed out of obedience to his direction. This is better than a congregation that whinces like a dog when his abusive master raises his hand. It’s a messy policy. Not everyone in church “looks” like what an “Evangelical” or “Pentecostal” Christian should “look like”, but it allows people to be transformed into the likeness of Christ on his terms, rather than the terms of zealots.

  4. Josh

    July 11, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    Glad you stopped by. Glad to hear your pastor has wisely sought the Spirit to be the Sanctifier not himself. It’s an easy but deadly route to go down.

    Gotta love what our apostle buddy, Paul, says about trying to improve upon the God’s Spirit–

    Colossians 2:23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


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