Sunday lyrics: In Christ Alone

By glblguy

Michael English

In the early 90s, Contemporary Christian and Gospel singer, Michael English was quickly working his way up the charts. His ability to take a song and make it incredibly powerful through his vocals caused Christian music listeners world wide to turn their heads in a big way. In 1994, he was nominated for and won 2 Dove awards and was #1 on Christian music charts.

May 6, 1994 changed all of that and rocked the Christian music world with a scandal that caught many off guard. Michael English admitted to having an extramarital affair just two weeks after receiving the Dove awards. He was dropped by his record label, removed from all promotions and Christian music stations pulled his songs from play. Within a few days, Michael returned his Dove awards and disappeared from the Christian music scene.

The whole event was incredibly sad. While I understand the Christian music industry not wanting to support his affair, at the same time I wonder what happened to our message of forgiveness and “depise the sin, not the sinner”. I felt the whole situation was incorrectly handled by the industry and us as fans. He and his wife Lisa divorced shortly after the scandal.

I often wondered what would have happened to his marriage and career had we practiced a little more forgiveness and prayer, instead of placing the scarlet letter on him as we did. Don’t misunderstand, what he did was wrong and he deserved some type of penalty, but to completely turn our backs on him and his family just seems wrong to me. What do you think?

Fortunately, thanks to a loving and forgiving God, Michael has remarried, has a beautiful little girl and his slowly rebuilding his career. If you are interested in reading more about Michael’s story, grab a copy of his new autobiography: The Prodigal Comes Home.

Below are the lyrics to In Christ Alone one of my favoriate songs by him. You can watch him perform it on this YouTube video.

In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself
In battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone, I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hands
But these trophies could not equal
To the grace, by which I stand

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory
In the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace
I am redeemed
And only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness
To my need
Now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses
And to the glory of my Lord

In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory
In the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

8 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Sunday lyrics: In Christ Alone”

  1. Connie Siders Says:

    I have been following Michael English for a long time and have witnessed how the media treated him. I agree that what he did was wrong and there are penalties for all our wrong actions. However, they should not last a lifetime and strip a person of everything they have. That is what happened to Michael. He is now coming back and he is stronger than ever. His voice is tremendous. Thanks to all the fans etc. who did not give up on him. God certainly didn’t give up on him and I am glad about that. I go to his concerts whenever I can. He is fantastic and his testimony is filled with feeling, redemption and thankfulness to God. God must have a lot for him yet to do.

    Thanks for the article.

  2. Lynnae Says:

    I, for one, am pretty glad that God didn’t shun me the way the media shunned Michael English. There always needs to be room for grace and forgiveness, even amongst the penalties.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song. I recognize the refrain, but I don’t recognize the verses. I’ll have to watch the youtube video.

  3. plonkee Says:

    Funnily enough I’ve never heard the guy, but I despise that sort of treatment. It’s not a surprise to me that Christians would either have affair, or turn roundly and harshly on someone who has erred. After all, Christians are just people like me, prone to making mistakes.

  4. deepali Says:

    While being shunned by family and friends would be rough, I wouldn’t feel too bad for the guy – he did manage to do quite well on the pop charts during his gospel break…

    If I remember correctly, didn’t he go through rehab too?

  5. Curt Says:

    It doesn’t seem fair but that’s how it goes when anyone gets caught in a lie. When you portray yourself as a Christian musical leader, you are leading by example and people put their hope in you. When you break that trust, your followers can no longer find hope for their lives in you. Michael has to realize that just as politician careers have been destroyed by living a lifestyle controversial to their claims, a marital affair is just not acceptable.

  6. Connie Siders Says:

    I agree with all that has been said. However, it is the fact that people are still pondering over Michael’s fall and it has been 14 years ago. It is time to give it up. He has paid dearly for his mistakes. The fact that he needed rehab tells me he did not do so well after his fall from the gospel scene. Yes, maybe he had some songs that made the charts but that doesn’t mean HE was doing well. His life just spiraled downward. I know that as a mother, no matter what any of my children might do, I would still forgive them and be there for them even though I wouldn’t approve of what they did. That to me is the saddest part of this story. Ones that should have supported him (not what he did) but him as a human being who fouled up. Jesus forgave everyone, associated with the sinners, picked sinners for his followers and came to redeem us…sinners. Why can’t we get his message. Yes people do wrong, we all do, however, there has to be someone to be there for that person no matter what. And the person should be given another chance. After all, God gives us chance after chance after chance and he doesn’t say, well, you did commit a sin. Sometimes living with the sin is really penalty enough for what we do. I know Michael and I know that his life at that time was a living hell. He was lucky to have survived. But God has made his stronger for what he experienced. Being the man he is, he does not hold grudges because of the way he was treated. He really is a testimony of what God can do if we hang in there, ask for forgiveness and trust in God.


  7. Sarah Says:

    This was always one of my favorite songs…it meant alot to me during high school as I made some hard choices to follow Christ.

    I think that God does ask us to leave the judging to Him; but in cases of blatant sin, there has to be an amount of “separating” from the sinner. Not shunning him in hate, but separating until there is repentance.
    It is also hard when you have set yourself up as a worship leader in Christian circles. I think more is expected of you. The Bible talks about that with church leaders. He put himself in the spotlight, so there would obviously be a bigger deal made out of his scandal. Right–maybe not, but that is how humans react unfortunately.

    I am glad to hear that he is back on track. I hope that God used those tragic and painful moments in his life to draw him closer to Him!

  8. Elizabeth Gage Says:

    I am not a churchgoer, not necessarily a Christian although I try to follow Christ’s message of love and forgiveness as much as possible. The treatment of Michael English that you describe reflects a stereotype I may have of the evangelical Christian world: too quick to condemn and shun, too slow to forgive and love.

    I have also learned, though, that being quick to condemn and shun often reflects a person’s own difficulty loving themselves. We treat others with the scorn we feel we ourselves deserve. So if we can learn to love ourselves, we will be better able to love others.

    Thank you for creating an interesting and helpful blog. (I came to you via the Simple Dollar, specifically interested in becoming a Hypermiler.)