When we begin to look for the place to get our theology there are several places to turn: the Bible, church/church history, tradition, society, or music to name a few.

            The scripture is a great place to look for the theology we want to espouse because as believers in Christ we can look to the source of how to think about God (God himself). The difficulty with this approach is that it requires us to read the Bible, to think about the Bible, and even to meet with the Master to see how we ought to think.

            Therefore, we ease our spirits (and our minds) by turning to the church. Let the church determine what I believe, after all that’s what they’re there for, right? It is much easier to have someone tell me what to believe because they have done the work in looking into the Bible and interpreting the passages for me. Even better, I would love to have a pattern set for me in the history and traditions of the church that will give me insight into what I should believe. And so we have people who claim Christianity who are more involved in churchaholism than they are in the study of God and how He works. I do not say this to discount the importance of church but to cause us to think about which is more important—what the church says about God or what the Bible reveals about Him.

            Occasionally, in order not to be bogged down by the restraints of the church, we will turn to society to develop our views on theology. Sadly, this approach causes us to buy into the idea that “whatever someone believes is all right, as long as they’re not hurting anyone.” We are led into a universalism (belief in the idea that all roads lead to salvation) with a total disregard for what God has revealed in the scripture. We are not bound by limits and narrow-minded views that study of the Bible would lead us to. We also are able to adjust and re-adjust our thoughts to fit with the crowd in which we find ourselves. While this approach will allow me to be politically correct in all that I do, I quickly become weak and compromising in what I believe about God. I also discover that ultimately I believe nothing, stand for nothing and care about nothing.

            And so, believers—who don’t want to go to the trouble of seeking their theology in the right place, or even restraining themselves to being told what to believe, and are concerned about believing nothing—have found the perfect place to find their faith and theology: music. I do not write all music off as shallow and unthinking—realizing that many singers and song writers are genuine in trying to express their beliefs in a creative form. Instead I find that Christians are quick to latch onto the songs that have an easy rhythm, palatable lyrics, and popular thought. From these songs believers build their theology. The result is often a self-centered, whining that instead of making our requests known to God, brings our excuses and complaints to Him. Note the oft-sung favorite whinefest that’s been around for years (and is loved by Christians all over America):

One Day at a Time
 
(Kris Kristofferson, Marijohn Wilkin)
 
I'm only human, I'm just a man
Help me believe and all I can be and all that I am
Show me the stairway I have to climb
Lord, for my sake please teach me to take one day at a time.
 
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking of you
Just give me the strength to do everyday
What I have to do.
 
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.
 
Do you remember
When You walked among men
Well Jesus, you know if you're looking below
It's worse now than then.
 
There's pushing and shoving
And crowding my mind
So, for my sake teach me to take
One day at a time.
 
One day at a time, sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking of you
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
 
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.
 
Lord, help me today show me the way
One day at a time...

            With the advent of country music, the nasally singer can really whine about not really being what God wants them to be—after all, “I’m only human.”

            Or consider the new anthem of the church (as performed by Christ Tomin):

 I can only imagine
What it would be like
When I walk, by Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes would see
When Your face, is before me
Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus?
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence
Or To my knees will I fall
Will I sing Hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine 

            Again, I’m not saying that songs are bad in and of themselves, but are we to spend our time imagining what life will one day be like, or are we going to focus on the task God has at hand for us to do—now, today. In a sense we have become self-centered in our theology which ought to by definition focus on God. Where do we find our basis for studying God? What do we study when we study God—our own self-interest or the will of the Almighty?

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