I normally don’t take on writing about any subject or person that is considered to be controversial. I try my best to be the peacekeeper in my world, and like Rex the Dinosaur says in ‘Toy Story,’ “I don’t like confrontations!” However, I get the feeling that with this post, I may ruffle some feathers. Or perhaps not. We’ll see.
The other day, I came across a video posted by my friend, Curt Leininger, on his ‘Created For Blessing’ blog (please scoot over to My Blog List and you’ll find the link to his site). Curt was once my church’s youth pastor and is now the Pastor of Discipleship at a church up in Wyckoff, New Jersey.
To me, Curt has some very different and quite eclectic taste in music, so when I saw his post called ‘Sunday Afternoon Music Video,’ I figured it would be some way cool or deeply thought provoking tune by some indie artist or band I’d never heard of and my interest was piqued.
What I found was a very basic, simplistic, almost childlike musical offering by a band I actually DO know (thanks to my buddy, TJ), called Gungor. The song, which is several years old, is called, ‘White Man,’ and while the lyrics are again -- basic, simplistic and almost childlike -- they are at the same time, to me, profound and true.
And way cool. And deeply thought provoking. I guess two out of three ain’t bad.
The video was put together by a community of artists called ‘The Work of The People.’ It is also very basic with it’s childlike drawings and I must admit, kind of bizarre. I’m sure that for as many different people who view it, there will be that many different reactions/responses. Some may get a kick out of the video, yet totally get the gist of the chorus -- that God is Love and He loves everyone.
Others may not only find the visuals lame, overtly cutsie-pie and silly, ridiculous, somewhat irreverent and offensive, but the lyrics as well -- again, that God is Love and He loves everyone.
Everyone meaning, as the song states:
Even old Pat Robertson
Ok, hold on for a minute there. Really? I’m sure there are people reading this now that may not even stick around to view the video and listen to the lyrics after looking over the list of groups referenced. People who may see themselves in that list (or not) and possibly be:
(e) all of the above
I can’t say that I blame you. Atheists and Lesbians and Terrorists. Oh my.
But -- let’s keep a few things in mind. Mainly, what it says in God’s Word.
First, though, I’m going to back up a bit. Back in September, a young missionary couple from my church sent out their newsletter via email. In it, they mentioned being burdened for people in the Muslim world and then they made this statement:
When Osama Bin Laden was killed, Bill and I truly mourned. We know this was a man who wronged our country immensely, but he was also a man who was spiritually held captive by a religion that led him into darkness. On the day he died, it felt like Satan had won the victory in the fight for his soul.
Apparently, they received some pretty negative feedback from some recipients of their newsletter (whom I’m assuming are mostly Christian) because of that comment and, the very next day, had to send out another email to clarify just exactly what they meant by their stating that they ‘truly mourned’ when Bin Laden was killed. Personally, I kind of thought it was a shame this couple had to do this. Because their saying that Bin Laden was a man who’d been held captive spiritually and led into darkness by his religion, and that they felt that Satan had come out victorious in the fight for his soul seemed to be quite enough of a clarification right there.
And yet, isn’t that what’s going on here anyway? Meaning that Satan, the enemy, has been and continues to be at war for our souls. The souls of everyone. The souls of those who were/are
The souls of folks like
Osama Bin Laden
While not everyone in the world can be called ‘children of God,’ they are still His creations. Don’t you think God’s heart aches for those who choose to turn from Him and want nothing to do with Him, those who, for whatever reason, choose the wide path instead of the narrow one? And if we call ourselves followers of Christ, then our hearts should be heavy for those who have chosen the darkness instead of the Light, continually praying for their change of heart, recompense and a receiving of forgiveness, mercy and grace for them right up until the end, and mourning when they choose to remain held captive by the enemy.
So, back to what to keep in mind if you choose to view and listen to this video. And that is, what it says in the Bible, the very Word of God:
When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~ Matthew 9:11-13 (NIV)
And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:6-8, (J.B. Phillips NT)
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know Him if you don't love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent His only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. ~ 1 John 4:7-12, (The Message)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9, (ESV)
Believe me when I say that I’m not looking to offend anyone or to tick anybody off with this post. I just want to share that, because of this simple song, I’ve been reminded yet again that we are called not to love the sin…but to love the sinner. We are called to point those hard to deal with, hard to understand, hard to accept, hard to forgive, hard to look at, hard to listen to and speak with, hard to LOVE people to the One Who gave His One and Only Son for them.
Because God is love. And He loves everyone.
(NOTE: I had to use another video of this song, which works just as well, because I couldn’t get the one Pastor Curt used on his blog site to download. Naturally, if you go to his blog, you can see it there. My apologies, as I’m often technically challenged.)