Or should I say songs I hate to love?
What do I mean by that? These are songs I love. I grew up with them. I memorized them. I sang them with passion. The people in my church love them. They are songs that raise the human spirit. They touch our hearts. They make us feel good. They inspire us. The music is pleasant and dynamic.
But I hate them. They are egocentric. They are theologically anemic at best and downright errant, heretical, or blasphemous at worst. Yet, because they are ingrained in our church culture, undiscerning people are filled with false doctrines.
So I hate them; I hate it that I love them. I hate to love them.
Here’s one that rears its ugly head every few years. It was performed at the 9-11 memorial service a few years ago and this week the world thrilled over it once again at the ungodly display of a man in Washington who thinks He is god, hosting another man from South America who thinks He is god (the Pope), to bring about worldwide peace and love among heathens who don’t care about God.
Let There Be Peace On Earth is a bad hymn. It is liberation theology. It anticipates the glorious end of the earth when all people will live in love and drink Coca-Cola while they "teach the world to sing in perfect harmony."
It deifies mankind. The premise of the song doesn’t begin with God; it begins with me. This heavenly peace on earth is achievable because, if every one of us will just dedicate ourselves to the goal, we can make it happen.
It smacks of universalism. I hate to break this to you but, God is NOT the father of all men and we are NOT all brothers. God is the father of His elect and Satan is the father and god of everyone else. So, as a Christian, as much as I might try, I cannot walk together in perfect harmony with unbelievers.
And what about this peace? Is this peace really meant to be? What does that mean? Who meant it to be? Was it God? If so, then why don’t we have it? Maybe God is impotent and we have to do His work for him. If we don’t do it, it won’t be done.
This song is classified as a Christmas song, perhaps because of the phrase “peace on earth.” But when the angel appeared to the Shepherds and declared “peace on earth; goodwill toward men,” he wasn’t just mouthing a sentimental Hallmark wish. He was declaring that, with the advent of the Messiah (God’s goodwill toward men is imminent), we can now be at peace with God. That peace was achieved at Calvary; it is a done deal and that is evidenced by the fact that God doesn't just kill us all but, instead, has provided a way for some to be reconciled to Him. And someday, Jesus Christ will return, take his throne, and rule over all the earth for 1000 years of peace. He will do it; we cannot. And, no matter how hard He tries, neither can King Obama.
This is a lousy Christmas carol and a terrible, unbiblical Christian hymn but, other than that, it is a really great song. Please, can somebody write some better lyrics? Until then, let's keep it out of our churches.