Imagine

lennonImagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

The first time I ever heard this song, I thought, “Oh my Gosh!!” This guy obviously makes Jesus cry.  It disturbed me.  The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to appreciate the Beatles’ music.  But their lyrics are less than understandable, oftentimes.

This song, though, is different.  John Lennon apparently is taking a serious look at the world and saying, “If their weren’t all of these religions and nations warring with each other, if all of these people weren’t just worried about what they might get in the next life, maybe life here on earth would be different.”

While John would disagree with the Christian belief that the ultimate cause of human suffering is sin, he had a good point.

Imagine if Christians would stop focusing on this heaven-oriented, i’ll-fly-away easy-believism, and realize that the Gospel of Christ is about the new creation–that Christ was the first-born from the dead, that God will redeem his world, that he’ll resurrect his children, that God’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.  Maybe then we’d be less focused on getting a bunch of converts and more focused on changing the world.  On loving sinners the way jesus loves sinners.  On sharing the Good news of the kingdom of God as opposed to making it illegal for sinners to sin.

Imagine all the Christians living for today.

Some may say I’m a dreamer.  But I’m not the only one.

I’m in the process of reading both Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright.  So should everyone else be.

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5 thoughts on “Imagine

  1. I would only say this differently – “Maybe then we’d be less focused on” JUST “getting a bunch of converts and more focused…” My point being that making a bunch of converts (go, teach, baptize) is a direct command from Jesus, but that’s not the ONLY command.

    I agree with you strongly that we do far too little to change the world and far too much arguing with it. We use the rapture to scare folks to a (probable) false confession and then tell them that they’re just biding time until they get to Heaven. Jesus came to bring LIFE, not JUST a promise of a trouble free existence in Heaven.

    Preach on 🙂

  2. I have to say that I agree with Bernard about the Bible giving us a command to “convert” people. We are to be about His business and share the gospel. But I also get your point. You think that has to be about loving sinners and then you say on down that we do need to be sharing the gospel. I just think that you need to be really carefully how you are saying this because if you really want to get your point across and give people a chance to agree with you, you have to do it lovingly. You can’t shatter ideals and then expect people to cling to yours. That isn’t how it happened with us, it has been a process. Let others, those who read this have the luxury of process.

    Good thoughts as a whole. I love you. You’re super-duper smart. YAY!

  3. I feel you. The Bible isn’t a road atlas of How to Get to Heaven, and Jesus talked a lot more about people being ready for his return than poofing away in a cloud of smoke.

    I still don’t like that song though.

    “Wasn’t it a millionaire who said ‘Imagine no possessions.” -Elvis Costello

  4. I guess the best thing I can say to clarify is that Jesus told us to make disciples. In the strictest sense of the term, “convert” should mean someone who has changed their beliefs about something, so saving faith is a given. However, I use the term a little more loosely. When I think of a convert, I think of someone who may or may not really know Christ.

    John Piper once said, “A decision for Christ isn’t nearly as important as a life for Christ,” or something along those lines.

    Christians a lot of times just want a lot of people to “make decisions,” whereas we should want to see a lot of people have changed lives.

  5. Wait just one holy minute… I don’t have to respond to you… aren’t you methodist?
    Anyways, good thoughts, i think I understood what you were saying… And i agree that a decision should see it’s evidence through a life… ala James 2… Heaven and being with God for eternity HAS to be apart of the message (the whole never throw the baby out with the bath water… not even sure what that saying is trying to say, but i’m sure u get it), but it shouldn’t end and just stay there… there is much work to be done while living in the Kingdom of Heaven Right Now! Good thoughts Brandon!

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