Saturday, December 1, 2012

Read and sang through a hymnal

Just now I read and sang through a hymnal from a different denomination.  It has a great big fiery picture in the front with the thinnest sliver of a cross off to the side. I'd say the cross is about one half millimeter wide.  You have to look for it to see it.

The songs are upbeat and cheery and from various traditions and styles.  I like them.  I can pick them up in a jiffy, singing and playing at the same time.  There are beautiful words, many of which I can agree with or live with about creation, mystery, solidarity, love and peace.

But I cannot find a thing about forgiveness of sins, or even sins, or Jesus dying on the cross for you.  It has been x-ed out.  Not there.  There are some words hinting at it under the title "Assurance" and "Communion".   There is a psalm of David that has "my mother's womb was blessed with me" instead of "in sin my mother conceived me."  Or as in the original Hebrew, as I read in a Pro-Life Bible the other day:  "in sin my mother went into heat for me."   Oh boy, have we sanitized it.  The Hebrews had no problem with sex and procreation and God's command, but yet, we are all born and conceived sinful.  There isn't one who isn't like that.  Sinful human being from conception.  However... this denomination's people only need some "assurance" of "love".  Yes, I want that, too.  But what is it really saying that we don't know as wishful thinking.  What is the pledge and promise?  And what is it we have done?  It has pretty much all been shoved under the carpet.

The word "Assurance" makes me stop.  Already, though a nice idea, we have weakened everything by not going with the strong word "Absolution". It is a Calvinist problem.  We absolve, not assure.

I have to go and tomorrow I need to return the hymnal.

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