Warning: this is not a blog post for those who are unable to read in straight lines and think rigorously…and also, if you are not familiar with ‘satire’ then this may be an injudicious use of your time…
The $64,000,000 question remains: what exactly, pray tell, is the gospel?
Is it what about people who sing/play ‘gospel music’ say it’s about? In words and music?
Is the gospel all about love? Because if so, then surely the idea of God is not necessary for love…is it? I can love my partner or spouse, or my cat, or my car, or ice-cream…
Oh….riiight, with you now. You’re saying that basically, God sent Jesus to die on the cross so that we can basically keep going as we are. We don’t have to change – other than go to church, pick up a Bible off Amazon and dust it occasionally, and be seen carrying Christian books from obvious authors every so often – be they Joyce Meyer or E.G. White…okay, scratch Joyce Meyer if you’re Adventist, because only Adventists speak the truth, right? Best get rid of those C.S. Lewis books and make sure that your KJV is prominent when you come to church!
Pentecostals, as you were. Evangelicals, you got problems. John Stott and John Piper are (were) literally as far away as east and west from each other on certain things, so you guys have decisions to make as well… Anglicans…okay, every type of belief is possible, so we have nothing new for you. And RCs – some of you cannot in all good conscience take communion with the rest of us, but your work with the neediest in our world remains mind-boggling.
[If you’re not in that list (e.g. Dutch Reformed), then you just definitely keep as you were…]
So, what’s the gospel again??
Kiki Sheard has the answer for you…and the redoutable Trey McLaughlin is here to sing a version of it for you ‘with a little help from his friends:’
Try this for size again:
You think I’m everything when I think I’m nothing
When I hate myself you still love me
Love me and…
Wouldn’t you love to be loved by someone who thought that you were everything?! That could be true for those who think they’re nothing and those who don’t think they’re nothing – they think that they’re something but they’d love to be loved by someone who thinks that they would be everything.
With respect to my sisters, these lyrics have all the hallmarks of a woman’s voice. Men want to pursue without limitations. Women want to be desired at all costs. [And yes, those are deliberate over-generalisations to make the point.] So in this song, Kiki Sheard has not told us that God loves us DESPITE our flaws. She’s telling the gospel: God loves our flaws! He loves the bits of us which actually don’t work!
Now, there are ‘flaws’ and ‘flaws.’ If an individual possesses a characteristic that is particularly idiosyncratic, this could be deeply irritating to some people. But it could also be endearing to another. [Where’s Jeremy Clarkson when you need him??] However, sometimes what one person sees as a flaw is not actually a flaw in the first place. Don’t miss that. But ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and a really serious problem could become a deadly problem – like the father who thought that it was good parenting and good bonding to do class A drugs with his daughter, who later died from a bad reaction to something she took at his hand, compounded by the fact that he delayed taking her to the hospital…
All right, enough fooling around the mulberry bushes. Kierra Sheard is WRONG and this song is a recipe for spiritual ruin.
If God loved our flaws, the Cross would not have been necessary. Jesus died for more than our sins as we commit them through abuse of volition (free will). Jesus died for all the wrong and broken things in this world. He died for the adults who cannot seem to give up crack cocaine because they were born addicted thanks to the choices of their parents and who are more biologically wired to that than many of us could ever begin to comprehend.
He died for people who struggle with sexual temptation LONG after making a full surrender to Christ – because the issues of abuse and trauma in their lives have left wounds that are deeper than language.
He died for those who self-harm because they cannot forgive certain people for certain things. And I don’t even mean being abused.
Gospel musicians: we have a duty to preach in song. This song is not a sermon. It is a fantasy. The gifts of music and language have been utilised to create a new God – re-fabricated in human form according to one love-starved human being. Why do I say that? Because those who are fortunate enough to be truly loved KNOW that they are loved DESPITE their flaws. Only those who still don’t know what that kind of love is like can sustain a secular fantasy such as this one – made worse by the fact that it is dressed up as a manifestation of Christian faith affirmation!!!
Secular people might be absolutely disgusted at this idea of God, and they would be quite right.
Here’s a better reference point for the gospel. It comes from Micah 6:
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? [KJV]
If God loved our flaws the way this song says He does, He could not and would not be the God as revealed in the pages of Scripture.