Friday, November 30, 2012

Jesus Loves You...Regardless of Whether the Bible Says So

Growing up, I was taught in Sunday the school the very popular song "Jesus loves me."  And, to be completely honest, I've never cared for the song.  In fact, I can say that I hate the song. It's a bad tune and it's bad theology.  Let me explain.

Yes, Jesus does love you.  There can be no denying that or even questioning that.  The Christian who denies this or questions it cannot be considered to be Christian at all.  However, my loathing of the song is not the what but the how.  How do I know Jesus love me according to the song? Because the Bible says so. 

So, if the Bible did not say so, would the truth of Jesus' love be in doubt?  Of course not.  Then why say it that way?  I suppose that a great many the early Christians were wondering if Jesus loved them as they were going to their deaths as martyrs, many years before the Scriptures existed.   But they went, confident in the faith in Christ and the love He poured out upon them.  Like anything else I learned as a kid growing up in the Lutheran church, I suppose this was a covert way of promoting the false hermeneutic and doctrine of sola scriptura.

Christ's love for His creation cannot be questioned for a second. And it doesn't require the witness of Scriptures.  The very act of creation is in itself an act of love for mankind.  Creation is love.  I don't need a Bible to confirm that.  Rather than teach kids the truth that Jesus loves them, whoever wrote that song decided that it was just as important to put in a little epistemology rooted in Reformed "theology" which serves no other purpose than being polemical.

As a new parent, I'm fully committed to ensuring that my son learns the faith in the best way possible: learning the prayers of the church (in Greek, of course), constant and faithful prayer, faithful attendance at divine liturgy and the offices. Jesus' love for mankind is profoundly articulated in these ways.  I absolutely refuse to teach my son these ridiculous songs.  He will learn the haunting and beautiful Byzantine melodies and the hymns they accompany.  They are so much richer in theological truth and have greater musical value.

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