Monday, April 12, 2010

kentucky fried music

Lord, we are few, but thou art near;
Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
Oh rend the heav'ns, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own!
-William Cowper

So I sat down earlier today to read the online newspaper from my community. Now this wasn't the major Houston paper, but one from my little part of the greater metro, which means the headlines read something like these: "Vern Richard's cow escaped and was torn in half on the railroad tracks down by the Texaco" and "local man arrested for public urination...there were no witnesses." You know, the real good stuff. I really read these papers for the obituaries, if you must know.

Anyway, so I was reading about the prayer breakfast held earlier by the local Kiwanis club. It was all fine until I got to the part about the musical selections. Someone sang this song called "We've Got to Get America Back to God." Well, naturally, I was horrified by the title, so I checked into it further. Apparently, it's a cute little southern gospel number that has been recorded at least a couple of times and I finally came across the lyrics. It's a real gem. It goes like this:

What ever happened to “In God We Trust?”
Prayer has been banned and taken from us.
When will we say, “Enough is enough!”
And get our country back to God?

We’ve got to get America back to God
We’ve got to rule the world with the staff and rod.
We’ve got to fight the Devil everywhere we trod
We’ve got to get America back to God.

Millions of babies we’ve lost each year
What have we done to stop their tears
Christians rise up let America hear
we will take our country back to God.

The silence is broken
It’s time now to stand
Well take this world for Jesus
If we go hand in hand.

Not sure who the lyricist is, but I'm guessing it's someone named "Sonny," or, in the unlikely event that it's a woman, "Jean." Fortunately, I hadn't yet eaten lunch. Good thing.

Needless to say, this song is horrific. It is so far from the gospel that there’s nothing actually Christian about it. It’s pure nationalistic fervor and griping about the fact that Christianity is no longer the civil religion in our country.

Guess what. This was never a “Christian” nation. Oh, people tried to say it was, but there was never a time when we looked like Christ. In fact, we’ve done horrible, ungodly things in His name. It’s time we break away from that cycle of abuse and choose God’s Kingdom over this earthly kingdom. The U.S. may be one of the more successful earthly empires, but the Bible is clear that all of those are in Satan’s domain.

How silly is it to say prayer has been banned? Prayer can never be "banned and taken away." It is not our job to “rule the world with a staff and rod.” That will come later on the renewed earth when Christ sets up His reign. Political power isn't the answer. We do that by living and loving like Jesus. The U.S. will pass away. We serve a higher throne.

Instead of whining and complaining about how we’re uncomfortable with our society and how much our feelings get hurt all the time and showing everyone how touchy we are, maybe we should take some real steps to change it. We need to love other people - really love them as Jesus did instead of condemning them. We need to stop trying to legislate Biblical principles because that is not a way to effect actual, visible change in people. If we do these things, then we might see a real change.

So stop being so freakin' sensitive.


Dan Martin said...

"Rule the world with the staff and rod?" OMG what a horrible misappropriation of biblical terminology. David in Ps. 23 said that God's staff and rod COMFORT HIM! I think a more appropriate scriptural reference for this kind of junk is Romans 2:24: For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

jaigner said...

You're right Dan. The really terrible thing is this toxic mindset that we should be using political means to expand the Kingdom. Boyd's idea of the "power under" Kingdom is found nowhere in this model.

What a joke.

E. A. Harvey said...

That looks like it came straight out of an e-mail forward. *Shudders*

Dusten said...

I couldn't agree more with your presuppositions. However, in your writing you say we are to love as Christ loves, but I would argue that the way you berated the author of this song (terrible as it may be) is just the opposite of the love you speak. Gentleness is a fruitof the spirit!

On the other hand where did you come up with that terrible song?

jaigner said...

Thank you for your comment, friend. Hope you're doing well.

The difference here is perhaps a bit subtle at times, but I think it is distinct.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to use speak strongly in denouncing a point of view that is so horrific. Any sarcasm or strong wording was done so for that purpose. Denouncing an idea or a belief is different than demonstrating judgment in an interpersonal relationship.

And I didn't berate anyone in the process.