Sunday, November 10, 2013

This I Know

The sermon I heard this morning was good, but the sermonizer made a point I disagree with. He was pointing out that God loves us all individually, and that this is taught in the Bible. Then he brought up a children's song that my kids sing:

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong. 
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

The sermonator then said that this song is "biblically accurate". I leaned over to my wife and said, "No it isn't." Now, again, what he meant by this is that God cares for each individual ("Jesus loves me"), he doesn't just care for humanity as a collective or in the abstract. And that this concept is taught in the Bible ("the Bible tells me so"). I agree with both of these points. What I disagree with regarding this song is that the reason one can know Jesus loves him is because the Bible says so. That's not correct: we know it because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The second line of the song should not read "For the Bible tells me so," because that's not the reason the vast majority of Christians believe it. If it were, then each person would have to do a complete assessment of the Bible's reliability before they could really know that Jesus loves them. That's absurd. The Christian believes Jesus loves him and that the Bible is trustworthy because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit.

This is kind of ironic since I actually argued myself into Christianity, so if anyone can make a claim to believing Jesus loves them because the Bible says so, having investigated the reliability of the Bible and found it to be satisfactory, it would be me. And I'm certainly not prone to religious experiences, much to my detriment.

Of course, some may object that many Christians, perhaps most, don't believe because of the testimony of the Holy Spirit. They believe because that's just how they were raised. Their second line should read: "For my parents told me so." On this I make no comment.

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