Monday, April 7, 2008

Just a Few Points to Make - or Not

So today's sign prompted a short discussion with Tom -

The sign:
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. - Jesus


Tom thought maybe it might possibly tie in to "To obey is better than sacrifice". But he couldn't figure out how...??

I, of course, typically ranted a bit. "What about the whole Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me and Greater Love Has No Man idea?" Doesn't that require sacrifice? And why does Jesus want mercy? For us, or for Him?
Why would He need mercy? He showed us mercy...

So I'm thinking...what is the deeper meaning I'm supposed to be getting here, and failing miserably to grasp? Is there something slightly Biblical here?

Or am I not getting it because it's yet another dumbed-down, simple-minded, pot-of-(fool's)-gold screwy view of what Christianity is?

Yesterday morning on the drive to church, a "worship" song was being played on the radio that about sent me over the edge. {According to the kids, I was over the edge.} It included something along these lines: when it floods, will you be there when my face is in the mud ...
First, the group singing this song does have the occasional song I don't mind hearing, although I'm hard-pressed, currently, to name one. But when I went searching for the actual lyrics, which I couldn't find, I was able to find many of their other songs - I wasn't much impressed with the lyrics of any of them!

Nearly anyone can rhyme a few words together, but that doesn't mean the words need to be accompanied by an acoustic guitar and an American Idol wanna-be worship leader wailing his heart out about wondering if God sees his muddy face! I KNOW people feel alone, and that no one cares, no one hears, Yes! I know that! But wouldn't you think that someone who's writing songs used in "praise and worship" (term used loosely, for various reasons I don't have time to discuss tonight!) settings would at least have a smidgen of knowledge that God WILL be there for them, dirty face and all?

Then again, if that person is spending more time reading the latest Joel or Joyce book instead of looking to God's Word for encouragement, maybe they DON'T know that God loves filthy people! They probably know that God wants them to have the best of everything NOW, but they might not realize He's here to enjoy it with them! (Yep, that's facetiousness you detect)

Hint: The Bible says "I am with you always, even to the end..."

Note: The above reference to questionable worship leader practices is not meant in any way to reflect on our very own worship leader, a wonderful guy for whom I have great respect.

Of interest: I have an adversarial, slightly off-kilter friend who's philosophy on life offers an often comical viewpoint on odd names of musical groups - this includes his dislike of groups who's name is a repeat of itself. I'll defer to his opinion of the above-referenced (without actually referencing) band. I'll go a step further by saying I agree with him.

And now I'm done.


The Sacred Spark of Mark said...

I couldn't agree more with the "praise and worship" comments. There are some excellent Christian bands out there but some of the lyrics read as if they're targeted to an audience with the IQ of a german shepherd.
We did a song called Christmas Shoes that is about a little boy whose mother won't live through the night, so he goes to a store to buy her shoes for Christmas.
First of all, Where is this kid's dad and why wasn't he reported to Social Services for letting his kid run amuck in a mall?
Secondly, Hey kid! She's dying! She needs morphine, not footwear!
Thirdly, What kind of mother checks out on Christmas? What a legacy to leave your child! Now every time he sees someone in a Santa suit they'll have to toss him in a rubber room to keep him from mixing cyanide with his egg nog.
I searched the church to find someone to talk to me on the level of a bright six year old and impart the epic truth I was supposed to derive from this psycho babble but was unsuccessful.
P.S. Off-kilter? You're to kind!

Deanna said...

ah, the tear jerker song!
but then again, wasn't that song used whilst you were sporting a pair of angel wings and cavorting with a shopping cart?
As usual, your wisdom and wit have not failed to enlighten and amuse, right down to the chosen user name.

Shamgar said...

Actually, that's from Matthew, but Jesus was Quoting from Hosea. Christ was rebuking them for their lack of understanding on this point.

Specifically, that the sacrifices, rites, and ceremonies were not enacted because they are something God desires or takes delight in, in and of themselves. But rather for the purpose of pointing to Christ, and divorced from their purpose they are meaningless.

In particular, what God truly desires is that we do what is right, loving our neighbor as ourselves, etc., and to have a knowledge of God. (not about God, but knowing him as Lord and King.) These are more important than rights and ceremonies and sacrifices.

Somehow though I doubt that was necessarily what they were trying to communicate on that sign. Most people who quote that passage try to make it mean that nominalism in Christianity is pleasing to God. That we don't have to care about holiness and righteousness, we don't need to sacrifice what we want or even need in this life for the life to come, or whatever particular sin it is in that vein that they wish to justify.

(I don't know the church, so I'm just speaking from personal experience when people quote that out of context. They could very well have meant its real meaning, it would just be unusual.)

NiallMacC said...

Hello there, I found your blog through 'of Nobel character' just now. You left a message on it about not having tv for over a year... Well done. I got saved almost 7 years ago and God showed me to give up my tv. I did and it's one of the best things I ever did.
We watch dvd's and videos but that's more than enough. I suppose people are used to us over the years and so it's no big del to them any more. They are beginning to see that our 9 year old son is just a normal boy even after the fact that we have no tv, don't do Christmas and are "Christians"!
Hope it continues to work out for you and your family.
God bless.

lar said...

Ugh--the song that bugs me most right now is the one that goes, "Jesus bring the rain," asking God to bring hard times into his life so he can learn a lesson. The only person that would ASK for that is someone who's never really experienced hard times! Believe me, that's not something you WANT.

Deanna said...

I was trying to recall that particular song, and realized I was actually singing it to the tune of "Jesus Take the Wheel", which would be a good idea if your current "hard time" is driving in the rain, I suppose. ;-)
Thanks for stopping by!