Our Theological Daughter

There are some secular songs that immediately remind me of my high school and college years. I have over the years downloaded some of those songs to my computer and every now and then will listen to them. A few days ago, we were all hanging out in our living room and I was working on my computer. Molly wanted to listen to some music and so I pulled up Media Player and began to play some old songs. “When I See You Smile” is one of those songs that for some reason I’ve always liked. It was playing through and the line was sung, “when I see you smile, I can face the world, I can do anything.” Molly very quickly pointed out to me that only God can do anything. My attempts to explain the true meaning of the musical text seemed to fall on deaf ears because she knows that only God can do anything . . . and she’s right.

Molly analyzed that song in a way that on the whole, most people rarely do.  She payed attention to the content of the song and critiqued it.  How often are our musical choices driven by the music that we like and not the content of the music?  I am afraid that most often our choices in music have little to do with the content.  We may at times overlook clearly unbiblical content because we simply like the music.  This could be true of both Christian and secular music.  People may at times choose conservative Christian music based solely on the style with little thought to the content of the words.  Often people will have no problem singing wrong theology as long as the music is acceptable. 

While Molly’s knowledge of Scripture is clearly minimal, she is already using that knowledge to analyze events in her life.  Maybe what she said was trite, but I think it might do us good to mimic such triteness.

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6 thoughts on “Our Theological Daughter

  1. Molly’s right. I have always had difficulty facing certain songs in the hymn book, since I feel like I’m lying when I sing Jesus Is All The World to Me when I know sometimes He is not, or at least I don’t act like it. It’s tough thing, music is.

    Nice post!

  2. I haven’t heard that song, but from the phrase quoted it sounds like the perfect song to go in the movie Sister Act. If you haven’t seen it, it takes assorted popular songs and turns them from humanistic meanings to spiritual meanings by changing the subject from a lover to Jesus.
    Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Perhaps the singer is looking at Christ’s smile and remembers Christ is in him, hence he can “face the world” and is able to do “anything.”
    I think many well liked songs have a kernal of truth in them, just misdirected as to source of comfort/strength/love, and that is why we are drawn to them. We have longings/needs that we naturally turn to people instead of God to satisfy.
    However, I would also suggest that as members of the body of Christ, our smiles of love towards one another are also reminders of Christ’s love and have the same potential to strengthen one another in the midst of a difficult time. So, is the song wrong? 😉

  3. Sandy, you are so wonderfully like Linda and see the potential good in everything 🙂 In this case, the song is a rock ballad sung by Bad English and I can say with a great deal of certainty that it carried no subtle Christian message. Although, I guess we could argue that being emotionally moved and affected by the smile of the one you love is good and appropriate and therefore God honoring 🙂

    • I figured the lyricist wasn’t intending to direct anyone’s thoughts toward God, but the desire to find strength/ encouragement in someone is a God-given desire, we just need to have it be Christ. Here is an example of what I’m talking about… transferring a worldly song into the arena of truth. I’ve now looked up your song and if instead of baby it said Jesus, it would all be true, yes?

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