God’s Love

Ok, lets talk about something controversial…music.

One of my favorite parts of The Shack, is when they (God and Mack) are in the kitchen working on dinner listening to music and God says He loves the music.  What is ironic is that the singer is a popular secular artist.  It is confusing to Mack (and to most readers) that God verbally says He loves the music.  My first reaction was….”wait a minute.  This is crazy.  God should only love the music that is sung in a certain key, behind a certain piano, by a certain Holy person, singing certain Christian lyrics”.  Ok, so maybe I didn’t take it that far, but I was concerned with the theological accuracy of the concept.  God loving a secular song.  But, like several other great concepts of The Shack, it started working on me.

In the dialog of the book, God starts talking about how He loves to hear His ‘kids’ sing.  Truly, we do not know what happens in God’s mind when we sing a song about stuff other than God.  However, the writer takes a stab at an interesting concept.  The concept is that God gives us all the raw talent, and when He places it in us, it is good.  When we take that talent, whether it is singing, playing an instrument, dancing, etc, and use it for selfish reasons He is still proud of and excited about the skill we have.  Maybe He is not moved by the motive of the song, but the raw talent is enjoyable to hear because it originally came from God.  Where does it cross the line and become a stinch in the nose of God?  What message or motive offends God to the point of turning His ear.  Because believe it or not, God listens to every song ever written or recorded.  From the Platinum to the childish.  Every song might not go before Simon Cowell, but God hears it.

A bigger point beyond the secular music concept is the idea that God loves everyone, even sinners who sing secular songs.  God is exited about all His kids and wants every single one of them to know about Him.  I think one of the biggest failures of modern day Christians is failing to love the sinner like God loves the sinner.  We are so afraid to hug, welcome, and minister to those who aren’t ‘acceptable’ because of their track record.  I believe God loves the sinner all the way to hell and even after they are in hell.  God still loves us all.  Living in the fullness of the Gospel reconnects us “kids” to the father.  We convert from sinner to saint, but the love of God doesn’t increase at this point.

Now, the “favor” of God? That is a different story, and that is what we talked about on the Weekend at PSM.

So, what are your thoughts?

-robin

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About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at www.psmchurch.com

Posted on February 10, 2009, in Daily Word. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Disclaimer for the Shack… I do believe that there are some parts of the book that are wrong theologically. Maybe that should be a separate post.
    When I began this blog, I said that this was one of my favorite parts. I was talking from a literary stand point not theological. I hope you can see the difference.

  2. God created music therefore in the general sense it is good and He loves it. Just like everything else, we have corrupted it. God hates sin. No matter how one might look at it…He hates it. So music that promotes and endorses sin, God hates.

  3. what a great video. thanks for posting it casey.

  4. MACARENIA…!!! you got to be kidding, :0)

    How dare they. I wanted to teach him that……

  5. Wynnel, wow that was really off topic, however…I would love to see you dance the macarena!
    I guess, come to think of it, it is really not off topic when you consider the song we are talking about… hmmmm?

  6. I believe that God created everything for his pleasure and all creation worships Him involuntarily by its very existence. Then He made mankind in His own image and gave him a choice. Man can exist like the plants and animals, or he can fulfill his special role and seek Gods presence and give Him voluntary worship. Since God created man to be his friend, we cheat Him when we use our talents and abilities for selfish or evil purposes. So does God enjoy the music when it is not for Him? I’ll ask a different question, how would we feel if our dog ignored us until it was hungry and then growled till we fed it, but ran with tail wagging to greet every stranger that came by? It’s kinda hard to love a dog like that.

  7. Oh I love that we are being compared to dogs. 😀 Good point though.

  8. i’ve had MANY spiritually moving moments listening to music. there are certain chords that rumble my soul and i just begin to cry. it literally feels like my chest is going to explode. here are some examples. “raining on sunday”–keith urban. “with or without you”–U2. “yesterday”–the beatles. there are many others. these songs don’t have lyrics that fall into the “praise and worship” category, but the way the melody and chord structures fall into place just tear me apart. all of you should search for this within yourselves. you are RIGHT ON pastor robin!

  9. Jacob, I bow to your vast experience and understanding to things musical, and do agree that certain music awakens emotions, even without lyrics. For myself, I’m just not sure that this indicates God is pleased with me. I believe God’s top priority is the intent of our heart when we seek Him, not the chords or lyrics in a song. But when we get the words right, the melody and chord structure perfect, and most of all do it from our heart to His, then we soar away on spiritual wings incomparable.

  10. I’m a little late to the discussion, but since music is so close to my heart, I had to say a couple things about this…

    1) Pastor Robin, I totally agree with your thoughts on this!!

    2) Jake, I may be wrong, but I think what you’re trying to say is: SOMETHING DOESN’T NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE “CHRISTIAN” IN ORDER TO BE “GOOD”, OR BRING GLORY TO GOD.

    For example: enchiladas (which we are woefully without here in TN)…are most definitely not “christian”, but they are still “good”. I’d even say that maybe God gets some glory out of the fact that that they are good? He creates man…man creates the enchilada…and while he didn’t necessarily create it “for God”…it is still good…there is no evil involved…so, I submit that God gets some measure of glory out of enchiladas; provided that they taste good…and that they weren’t created out of evil intent. 🙂

    3) I submit the same thought as it pertains to music…I have to believe that any music that is skillfully played, and that is not evil in its intent, brings some measure of glory to God…if for no other reason than that in some minute way, IT HAD ITS ORIGINS IN HIM. The only reason that Bill Gaither OR John Mayer can play music is that GOD gave them the ability to do so…how they use that talent is up to them, but it doesn’t change the fact that the music within them is ultimately “good”, because it came from Him in the first place. And when they play with skill, and without evil intent, God is glorified through their music…whether it is “about Him” or not.

    I’d even go so far as to say that God can use something for His purposes, even though it may not be done with Him in mind… I doubt that whoever invented crucifixion had God in mind when they did it; but God used it to accomplish the ultimate good…

    4) Another observation is that JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS “CHRISTIAN”, OR IS DONE “FOR GOD”, DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS GOOD. We have numerous examples of this here in Nashville… A large percentage of “worship” music is produced for no reason other than making $$$, with a blind eye turned to the ungodly lifestyle of the “christian” artist…

  11. Many people with “good” intentions miss God’s mark. We must remember that God does not think like we think. His logic is not our logic. He can work through any medium that does NOT mean He approves of said medium. He once spoke through a donkey. Does that mean He adores and approves of donkeys and donkeys will be in heaven? Too often we apply human knowledge and logic to a Holy and profound God. It doesn’t work…His ways are higher than our ways. Usually we are are using our logic to justify actions that could be less than approved of by God.

  12. good thoughts, jereme. thanks!

  1. Pingback: The Language of Worship « Robin Steele

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