This week, I thought I might have entered a new stage of my faith journey that might be looping me back to evangelicalism.
I was driving in my car, scanning through radio station, and I happened upon a Christian station playing a praise song that I like, as much as I like praise music. I prefer hymns, the older and more far removed from my current time, place, and culture the better. I do go to the contemporary service at my (liberal) church, mainly for the benefit of my kids, and we do sing praise music. So I’m not averse to it per se, I just find that it comes with a lot of baggage for me. I certainly don’t listen to it in my leisure time.
But that evening, I had a moment with the song and sang along and felt elevated. Wow, I thought, that was great. Maybe I’ve had a breakthrough here. So I did a whole Apple music search and found some old favorites and some new stuff and made a whole playlist. Of praise music.
I was particularly taken with Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love.” That is just a damn gorgeous song, y’all, and the message of it is powerful, too. I love being reminded of how much God loves me. I listened to my little playlist and that song in particular several times this week. And then, it started to come apart. I started to think. Like I do, way too much.
Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
You know what would be really reckless? If he figured out how to save everyone regardless of what they believe. Wow, that would be super reckless.
Oh it chases me down, fights til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
Unless you’re gay or something like that. Then he stays with the 99, safely far away.
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve, Still you give yourself away
OK, I am big fan of grace-based theology, I do think we don’t earn or deserve anything with our actions. But I also think we are inherently deserving of love. I’m not sure if that distinction is always made in evangelical contexts.
There’s no shadow you won’t light up, no mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me
I wonder how God is coming after the homeless people I drive by on the regular. They don’t seem to be moving very fast, surely he could catch them. Maybe he’ll rescue them in the next life. Oh but only if they believe the right things. If not, they go to hell. Right.
There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.
Well, that’s an ironic lyric, given that 25% of white evangelicals believe in Qanon and 75% believe the 2020 election was stolen. Among other lies. Guess God hasn’t gotten around to those lies yet.
But it’s a beautiful song. I wonder about this Cory Asbury…I’ve never heard of him… (DON’T DO IT, GIRL, DON’T DO IT)…
I’ll just google him..
(THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS)
And, there he is with Trump, with like 2 dozen other CCM artists. And there he is playing at a huge indoor concert in the middle of the pandemic.
Welp. that was fun. Back to U2 and Be Thou My Vision I go.