I have found from running this blog over many years that you can rave on about all sorts of things, you can have a laugh about people and places and churches and theology, you can even delve into a bit of politics here and there, if you dare. But the one thing that seems to be the most problematic is when you criticise music.
As soon as you say something about a popular ‘Christian’ song, or any song for that matter, the first reaction from a lot of people is, “How dare you! That is my favourite song / hymn because:
- it’s the song my grandma sang to me when i was a toddler;
- that is the song that converted me;
- I want that song played at my funeral!
So with all that out of the way. Here goes!
We sometimes sing the lovely old hymn, “Trust and Obey” at our church. The best thing about it is the very catchy tune. I often can’t get the melody out of my head. But we are often encouraged to think about, and reflect on the words. I am not sure whether it is because of my own Christian background, or theology, or issues in life, but some of the lyrics either do not make sense to me, and do not fit in to what I would consider good theology. Now I am not a theologian (as do you think any serious theologian would write a blog called Christian Funny Pictures). But more than theology, it just doesn’t seem to fit with what I read about in the Bible. Here are a few very quick points, which I would love to hear from you whether you agree or disagree:
- “While we do His good will, He abides with us still” – really? So God only abides with us while we do His good will. I hope not because we have all fallen short of his glory. What happened to ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’?
- “Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey” – double really? Some doubts and fears and sighs and tears can result from doing exactly that, namely trusting and obeying. There will be no tears in heaven, but in this world, that is tainted and wracked with sin, it is full of all of these things.
- Even the chorus is a bit of a problem: “Oh, Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey”. Are we really aiming for being happy in Jesus? What about genuine Christians who have depression, or grief, or sadness, but are still living with Jesus as their Lord and Saviour? Still trusting and obeying!
I could keep going, but I had better stop before people turn away completely. I get the point of the song, that Jesus does call for our trust and obedience. But this song seems to be more influence by Stoicism, and lacks a bit of nuance as to what life is really like in this world.
But hey, that’s my two cents worth. What do you think? Is the song a load of piffle, or is this post a load of piffle?
Let me know with a comment below.