Imagination or Faith?
Fifty years ago on this date (Oct. 8, 1971) John Lennon released his hit single “Imagine.” In it, Lennon alluringly invites listeners to “imagine” with him a world of bliss and harmony… a world made possible if only everyone would “join us,” the “imaginers”, the “dreamers.” Then, suggests Lennon, “the world will be as one.” In short, this future is made possible simply by sustained and unified human will.
Lennon’s imagined paradise includes a world where there is “No heaven… no hell… and no religion too.” He dodges the realities of mortality, purpose, and eternity: “Imagine all the people / Living for today.”
Mind you, I do love the tune. I love its simplicity and, like most of humanity, I share in the longing desire of the artist for a world devoid of turmoil, hatred, and war. But I disagree profoundly with Lennon’s notion that such a world might be man-made and godless. I am conflicted when I listen to it, like strolling through a beautifully sunlit and fragrant meadow — peppered with landmines!
But Lennon’s longing is not new. Humanity has always sought to set up its own righteousness and shun the nagging notion of a God to Whom one must one day give an account. From Him we seek to run, and in running we hope to find freedom. We are like a kite, wanting to cut its string in order to reach the moon, unaware that doing so brings not its freedom but its doom.
“I want to break free,” shouts Queen in another song, “…I’ve got to break free / God knows, God knows I want to break free.” Yes, God does know, and for that reason He seeks to win us back by His Love. “What love?” you may ask as you look about at this evil and unjust world. John 3:16 Love. Agapé Love. The Love of God that gave His only Son to save your soul.
“We must not confuse God with life,” warns Yancey. Jesus makes no promises of goodness in this life. Indeed He promises the opposite: “In this world you will have trouble.” He warns, then adds: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We do not have to “imagine” a fantasy world, we need only to face we have failed, return to our Redeemer, and die to self daily. To those who do He promises, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3).
Link here to John Lennon, “Imagine”
Imagine 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 // Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do // Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too // Imagine all the people / Living life in peace // You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one // I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will be as one // Imagine no possessions / I wonder if you can // No need for greed or hunger / A brotherhood of man // Imagine all the people / Sharing all the world // You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one // I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will live as one – Source: Musixmatch
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