Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
Have you ever recast a secular song into spiritual intent and meaning?
Indulge me a minute and set aside any previous associations and thoughts regarding the following song. Think instead about how our great Creator desires to fill our spiritual senses with His love, and how He demonstrates that through His workmanship!
“You fill up my senses, like a night in the forest,
Like the mountains in spring time, like a walk in the rain,
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean,
You fill up my senses, come fill me again!”
John Denver wrote and sang “Annie’s Song” as a love song to his wife, and that is what the Lord wants to write and sing with each of us! The Song of Solomon in the Bible, notably called the Song of Songs, is such a love song. Bible expositors have called it “the Holy of Holies of communion with God”. Under a figure of bridegroom and bride, the love of Christ is expressed for the believer … as well as the love of the believer for Christ. “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (SoS 7:10).
This picture of the bridegroom and bride in love and in communion is the great purpose of God in sending Jesus to call believers into His church – His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32). He invites us to eternal communion and into paradise with Him, beginning with the marriage supper at the consummation of the age (Revelation 19:7-9). The testimony of believers down through the ages includes being overcome with love and spiritual emotion, glimpses of wondrous communion – like we discussed for Blaise Pascal in April’s letter. I have a friend who calls such wonderful moments of spiritually sensing the Lord “God’s bear hugs”. He is there and makes Himself available to us in reciprocal giving and receiving of love and fellowship.
Now consider the love expressed in the next verse of Denver’s music – again taking it as a secular reflection of a spiritual truth. The marriage relationship is created imaging – an experiential analogy of what the Lord wants with us:
“Come let me love you, let me give my life to you.
Let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms.
Let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you.
Come let me love you, come love me again!”
The Lord wants our covenantal love so that He can fully share His love with us. The greatest commandment is still the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Indeed, mankind, especially the redeemed believer, is God’s poetic masterpiece of creation (Gr. poiema, Ephesians 2:10). And when the Lord factors Himself into relationship with “the believing lover”, the relationship becomes a song!
Most people have experienced a sudden rush of emotion on hearing a particular piece of music – a thrill, a chill, a sense of excitement or exhilaration, a feeling of being swept away by poetry and music. We may be moved to tears without being able to tell why! Love songs are particularly popular and moving. Music not only has all the ingredients of beauty, harmony, symmetry and design that we find in creation, but it makes a powerful emotional and spiritual connection with us. Music analysts have tried hard to find out how this happens, but with little success. It is another aspect of God’s design for those He created in His image!
The infinite righteousness and personality of God are beautiful in a way that transcends description and earthly analysis. We can recognize the sheer beauty of goodness, an argument demonstrating that we were created in God’s image. But the more that beauty touches us, it seems the less we are able to explain the how and the why. The comprehension becomes a spiritually apprehended thing – beyond the rational mind. We can enjoy the “beauty of holiness”, but mainly on an emotional and spiritual level.
In the other direction, we also have a certain capacity to perceive that unrighteousness and sin are ugly. This, too, shows that our Creator made us in His image. In these last few months, we have seen the ugliness of injustice related to lies, deception, bullying, and bribery by the Communist Party of China – which has resulted in thousands of deaths and economic hardship the world over.
We have also seen the specter of Marxist revolution, not on the traditional basis of “proletariat” vs. “bourgeoisie” (workers vs. the capitalist class), but on a newer, more effective basis for subverting Western Democracy – “people of color” vs. “white supremacy”. In country after country where this has happened, the cry is for income redistribution, using the politics of envy and bitterness. Rather than encourage good character and hard work, race-based grievances are emphasized, businesses are ruined, and good people are forced to go along with the premise, canceling debate because disagreement is not allowed.
The new term is “cancel culture”. Any real debate of competing ideas, especially on the basis of Christianity, is shut down in public schools and universities. Over the years, the public system has canceled any advocacy for Creation Science. It has canceled advocacy for Intelligent Design. It has canceled debate on “Climate Change”. It has canceled opposition to homosexual behavior. Now the public system is essentially seeking to cancel the idea of equality under the law, imposing “hate crime” status and “victim” status in order to excuse arson and stealing because supposedly the sins of one race are “systemic”, never ending, and unforgivable.
Noting the tremendous progress in civil rights law, well-known African American writer Thomas Sowell has famously said, “Racism is almost dead in America, but it is kept on life-support by parties who keep playing the race card to preserve a power block.” It’s easy to plant seeds of bitterness, shame, and hate on the basis of race, just as you can plant seeds of envy and greed on the basis of income. In both cases, we need to know what the Bible says because the devil and his evil spirits will stoke the lies and grow the seeds of sin. In the case of race, the Bible says God “…has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).
Evolution has long been used to argue the inferiority and superiority of certain races – with some having supposedly evolved longer and better than others. This is not true. There is one human race of diverse people groups, all of us descendants of Noah and of Adam. It’s the advancement and preservation of the church – the bride of Christ, destined for an eternal union with Him – that is God’s purpose and plan. Indeed, God’s plan is NOT equality of outcome in the here and now. Let us understand and discern the truth about evil in the midst of Satan’s deception, but let’s stay focused on loving the Lord our Maker. That is what turns life into a love song!
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