I haven’t listened to a lot of music by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. But I do like their song, Into My Arms. It’s a melancholic love song and expresses the depths of sadness a person can feel after the breakup of a long-term relationship. The chorus goes like this:
I don’t believe in an interventionist god. But I know, darling, that you do. But if I did, I would kneel down and ask him not to intervene when it came to you; Not to touch a hair on your head; To leave you as you are: And is he felt he had to direct you, then direct you into my arms.
So on the one hand Nick Cave doesn’t believe in an interventionist God but on the other hand if he did, he would ask God to intervene not to change the woman he loves but to direct her back into his arms.
Paul Farrell, a journalist for the Guardian newspaper, argued that this song is one of the great songs of all time and is worthy of being an Australian anthem. And maybe it should be an Australian anthem. Many Australians don’t believe in an interventionist God, which is a form of Agnosticism.
Agnosticism has become a popular alternative to belief in God. It is popular because it is less arrogant than the claim of the Atheist who with absolute confidence declares there is no God. Many Australians are willing to accept that maybe God exists. But if he does, then we don’t know him because he doesn’t get involved in our affairs; he doesn’t intervene to change things. He does not intervene. The sufferings of so many people around the world is the main reason for their agnosticism, for their belief that there is no interventionist God, just as Nick Cave describes it. Yet, when facing loss or danger, so many send out a prayer, a call for help, a wish for help, it’s just that they don’t expect him to respond or intervene. And every unanswered prayer reinforces their conclusion that there is no interventionist God.
The hymns and songs Christians sing when they get together are anthems of a very different type to Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Into My Arms. Every time Christians songs and hymns are sung, Christians are publishing their belief that there is an interventionist God. They believe there is an interventionist God because he got among us. They are confident that that Jesus is God intervening and coming to the rescue. Maybe not as we expected but not any the less involved and rescuing us. In fact even more involved and more interventionist than any of us expected.
Christ is so involved that gets among us in our dirty and disordered world by becoming one of us - a human. And Christ gets so involved that he suffers the injustice of corrupt religious and political leaders who connive to publicly humiliate him, crucifying him as a criminal, even though completely innocent. And more than this, Christ is so involved that he is completely abandoned to experience the consequences of humanity’s betrayal against the Creator of the universe. He experiences being excommunicated by God.
That is heavy involvement. That is intervening to save and rescue. And it works because God having abandoned him to suffering intervenes to resurrect him and vindicate him as the One who God sent to the rescue. So we sing about an interventionist God, fully convinced that Jesus is the God who became human to be involved and to intervene to bring us into God’s arms.
11 January 2021
All Together gatherings include and involve everyone - all ages, all cultures.
They are interesting and interactive, and present deep truths, simply.
The video above presents what we explored together, on Sunday 10 January 2021.
We looked at the ancient story of Creation and how it explains who we are and what we are to do.
It's titled, "Creation, Creativity and Work".
This coming Sunday - 17 January - we are exploring together what we can learn about Creation Care - our obligation to look after the creation rather than defile or destroy it.
We look forward to being All Together with you.
from Quiz Worx
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