Simple and brilliant

There may be many questionsth-1
That you’d like to answer somehow
All things will be shown someday
But you can’t know all things now

But if you drain yourself
Of all your little fears
You might restore yourself
By letting go the tears

Think about what Jesus said
Before you let your mind reject Him
Listen to your heart instead
And you will accept Him
– Love Song

Those of you who looked at the Jesus People video from 1972 I referred to yesterday for the scene at UC Berkeley’s “public square,” might have noticed this song at the beginning of the film, sung by the early Jesus music group, Love Song. In its gentle way, this song reached out to people with the gospel in a tender musical embodiment of 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect …”

There is a simplicity to the gospel that reaches people at a deep level — at the level of the Spirit. With songs like this one and “Welcome Back,” Love Song was able to reach into people’s hearts and pull them to Jesus. It wasn’t judgment, it wasn’t hellfire and brimstone, it wasn’t “turn or burn,” it was a reasonable request — an invitation to use your mind and your heart to consider the offer of salvation Jesus brings.

The opening lines of the chorus present an oxymoron: “Think about what Jesus said
before you let your mind reject Him.” Think about what Jesus said, but not too much. If you think about it too much, you might reject it. Listen with your heart instead of your head, and you will be more likely to hear the truth. It’s about hearing with your heart. Your heart can accept the simplicity of the truth; your head might complicate the issue.

Mind you, these guys were barely Christians themselves when they were writing songs like this. They were downloading this stuff from the Holy Spirit. I’m sorry, but I knew them then, and they were not all that smart about theology and the Bible. They were smart in the Spirit, and that’s why they kept it simple.

At the same time, there were people like Francis Schaeffer and Os Guinness who were traveling the deepest, darkest canyons of their minds in order to hold biblical truth up to the scrutiny of modern thought and philosophy. As Os shared in our interview this week, there was a widespread hunger for knowledge, truth and the meaning in life. “It’s impossible to capture the excitement of the whole scene — people hitchhiking, searching, reading, arguing, discussing, smoking pot, whatever. You could go to a crossroads in Europe and one person would be with a backpack reading Nietzsche, another C.S. Lewis, another Siddhartha — swapping books and recommending where they go next — and you had this incredibly stimulating discussion almost round the clock.” And, as Os went on to point out, many traveled to Switzerland because they had heard there was a man there who was linking modern philosophy, biblical truth, and the same Holy Spirit by which Love Song was warning people about thinking too much.

What do we have here if we don’t have a gospel and a Holy Spirit that can translate it to the simple-minded — past the mind and straight to the heart — but that speaks also to the brilliant minds of any age and the intellectually curious?

But at the same time, Os Guinness, with his brilliant mind and his sweeping understanding of history and the movements of God in the world, would also resonate totally with Love Song, and their admonition to…

Think about what Jesus said
Before you let your mind reject Him
Listen to your heart instead
And you will accept Him.

This is the gospel … simple, and brilliant, all at the same time. This is one of the reasons why I love God so much.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Simple and brilliant

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Absolutely luv this & thx 4 it Pastor John, appreciate it and u: “This is the gospel … simple, and brilliant, all at the same time. This is one of the reasons why I love God so much.” I’ll add – hopefully I will never ever get over the simple fact He first loved me and gave up His life 4 me, which is to me so simple yet brilliant!

  2. bobbobs60 says:

    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah
    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright

    I don’t care what they may say
    I don’t care what they may do
    I don’t care what they may say
    Jesus is just alright, oh yeah
    Jesus is just alright

    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah
    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright

    I don’t care what they may know
    I don’t care where they may go
    I don’t care what they may know
    Jesus is just alright, oh yeah

    Jesus, he’s my friend; Jesus, he’s my friend
    He took me by the hand; led me far from this land
    Jesus, he’s my friend

    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah
    Jesus is just alright with me, Jesus is just alright

    I don’t care what they may say, I don’t care what they may do
    I don’t care what they may say, Jesus is just alright, oh yeah

    ~ The Doobie Brothers
    🙂

  3. As I recall Christian music wasn’t Christian as in it wasn’t written for the entertainment of Christians. It was a message to those outside the church. When Christians started listening to it and they became a market to sell to the music became boring.

  4. The Bible does say that the heart is decietful above all else – however, Jesus and His Holy Spirit from the Father do speak to our hearts. He also speaks to our mind. They go hand in hand. We must ask for wisdom and discernment to know what is truth. God’s work is a glorious thing and we can never fully understand it so ”
    faith comes by hearing” the Word of God. We present the unadulterated Gospel of truth and the Holy Spirit does the work.
    It is such a wonderful thing to be a small part of the process of love!!!

  5. Love Tim’s comment. So true. There was so much edge; so much ‘spiritual potential energy’ in the Christian music of that era.

    But what is that graphic image? I thought I had all their albums.

  6. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s