Teaching the World to Cry
I heard the following from Alistair Begg on the radio today and thought it was particularly relevant to Christian art, which most often manifests itself as “romantic” rather than genuine.
I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long…
…The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
I wonder, do you agree with me, that whoever it was that sang the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” (and then I think Coca-Cola stole that for themselves, if I remember correctly “I’d like to buy the world a coke” or something). Not a bad little song, but not of any lasting value. What about this idea – that the Christian says “I’d like to teach the world to cry. I’d like to teach the world how to cry”?
You say “No, that can’t possibly be, because the Christian is the joyful one. The Christian is the one who’s going to teach the world how to sing, how to laugh, how to rejoice, how to do all the other things.”
Yeah, but only the Christian can teach the world how to cry. What to cry about, and how to cry. And the absence of lament in contemporary Evangelical Christianity is arguably one of the things that presents to the watching world a substantial sense of a Christianity that is not actually authentic.
See also: Tragic Worship