Saturday, November 8, 2008

Singing Analytically: Love VS Justice (Part 1)

In this post-modernization world, theological doctrine can be easily skewed towards one direction and tailored towards one's specific need. It is very tempting to pull out a statement from The Bible and torture it with free-interpretation. This symptom can be prevalently found in music and it's lyric. Why? I'll spare you that question since I'm more interested in encouraging all of us to put on, not just our barely two-octave voice, but also a critical mind while singing. Thus, there you have the title: Singing Analytically. 

Before I start, let me remind you that this blog is an open space for opinions, both mine and yours. Opposing views, criticisms, and laudations are encouraged. So, let's lift our voice and share our opinion!

So, my first pick for the Singing Analytically series is "What If" by Jadon Lavik (click here for the lyric). The essence of this song is God's unconditional love - no matter how good or how bad we are, his love remains unchanged. There is no correlation between God's love and humans deeds. True? Absolutely! However, I would argue that this is an incomplete picture of God's nature - the loving God who died on the cross is the same God who will come & judge the earth. To eliminate either side of His nature is to give a misleading truth; both natures - love and justice - are inseparable. And with the song's lopsided emphasis on God's love, serious misunderstanding and careless interpretation of a loving God who is incapable of disciplining his children can be easily drawn. 

First, God's Love.
One inarguable truth: His love goes beyond our comprehension. This is unconditional love, meaning God loves us regardless of our iniquities, he loves us just the way we are and there is nothing, good or bad, that we can do to earn His love. The unconditional love precede our existence and thus, our current deeds have absolutely zero effect or impact on the love that was and is showered upon us. Good news? Definitely. But, that is only part of the story. 

Second, God's Justice
Simple way to illustrate this point is to imagine God as your parent; Yes, imagine your mom and dad. There's no doubt that they love you genuinely, but, it does not mean that they let you off the hook when you disobey and misbehave (remember all those stupid pranks we've committed in elementary school.). In brief, good and loving parents discipline their children, with their weapon of choice: timeouts, spanking, slapping, etc. 

Discipline can take many forms in God's vocabulary and I believe that reward-punishment is God's favorite method. This means whenever you obey and uphold his commands, you'll get a pat on your back. Enjoy the carrot. Fail to do that, you'll receive all sorts of negative consequences, ranging from a friendly slap on your wrist to a vigorous belt's strike. Fair enough?

(to continue reading, click part 2)


Joe said...

Cong, menurut gue reward-punishment bukan lah metode favorit Tuhan. Tapi grace lah metode favorit dia. Dari post elu seperti nya elu suggest kalau performance matters to attain God's blessing. Is this true? Kalau iya, gue harus menyatakan ketidaksetujuan gue terhadap pernyataan itu.

The fact kalau kita diselamatkan oleh karena kasih karunia (grace) implies kalau semua extra blessing yang didapatkan oleh manusia adalah juga oleh karena grace. Tuhan tidak bekerja dalam 2 metode (i.e. penyelamatan dengan grace dan growth/blessing dalam works).

Kalau begitu, dimana konsep keadilan Tuhan bisa dijelaskan? Itu semua bisa dijelaskan dikematian Kristus. Sewaktu Kristus mati, Dia memikul dosa kita, termasuk dosa elu dan gue yang akan terjadi di masa mendatang. Jadi point nya adalah bahwa memang benar kalau harus ada punishment/hukuman, tapi hukuman itu sudah selesai ditanggung oleh Kristus waktu Dia mati di kayu salib. Read Romans 6.

Sebaliknya juga - kalau sampe kita ini terberkati (dapet carrot kalau pake analogi elu), itu bukan karena kita ini hebat sehingga Tuhan felt compeled to bless us. Tapi berkat itu pun adalah grace. Kalau ada yang kita deserve adalah untuk bertemu dengan maut - selain daripada itu, semuanya adalah hanya karena kasih karunia Tuhan pada kita. - dan selalu bertujuan supaya kita bisa melayani orang lain lagi - check out Eph 1.

Segitu dulu - silahkan ditanggapi.

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