"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Insight From Hymn 43

I couldn't see Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, as a church’s preacher; his stage persona is just too sinister for that. Yet, a number of his songs focus critically on the church.
     Hymn 43, though it overstates the church’s corruption, eloquently presents a tragic truth that, while easily observed from the outside, God can only remedy from the inside:
If Jesus saves, well, He'd better save Himself  
from the gory glory seekers who use His name in death.
     Though the first line feels offensive, it likely just states writer Anderson’s offense taken from his observations of Christendom’s shenanigans that deny God’s power by asserting their own hunger and thirst for influence. “If Jesus saves,” draws its reference from Mark 9:24, where the father of a demon possessed boy who kept throwing himself into the fire, humbly asked Jesus to heal his son. “He’d better save Himself,” refers to the mocking Jesus endured throughout his seeming eternity on the cross. In the sense that “Himself” refers to God’s church, Hebrews 6:4-6 reveals the often neglected truth regarding apostasy.
     The second line paints a truly sinister picture of a shocking parallel between nominal Christian religion and Satanic religion. “Gory glory seekers,” are those Sunday Christians whose smiles and glad-handing mock true piety, which word, by the way, once described godly character, but is now used in mocking God’s church.
     No doubt, all Christians would take exception to accusations that they, "use His name in death." I know I do. Yet, in the sense that Bible-thumping Christians routinely use Christianese in our usually vain attempts at sharing God's good news with outsiders, we must heed Anderson's harsh words, repent, and use His name in life! People listen to the stories of how accepting Jesus loving work on the cross changed our lives, and how loving Him in return affects our every thought, word and deed.
     In view of outsiders’ scathing observations such as this Jethro Tull song, are we unjustly accused? Yes, but not by as much as we’d love to believe about ourselves.

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