We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another Attempt at Relevance


During Christmas Eve service at the Church assembly I attend, we had “special music” with a woman singing Faith Hill’s song, “A Baby Changes Everything.”  I never previously heard this song, and I wish I never had now.  It is just another attempt at relevance in today’s culture.  I was disappointed it was used in our service.

Due to the way the singer performed the song, I had difficulty understanding most of the lyrics.  (I don’t know what it is about our culture nowadays wherein no one seems to enunciate the words in song lyrics.)  But that which I did understand disturbed me.  So today I had a chance to seek the lyrics on the Internet, and what I post below is what I found.

Teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what's to come
A baby changes everything

Not a ring on her hand
All her dreams and all her plans
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

The man she loves she's never touched
How will she keep his trust?
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries!
Ooh, she cries
Ooh, oh

She has to leave, go far away
Heaven knows she can't stay
A baby changes everything

She can feel it's coming soon
There's no place, there's no room
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything

And she cries!
And she cries!
Oh, she cries

Shepherds all gather 'round
Up above the star shines down
A baby changes everything

Choir of angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
Everything, everything, everything

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

My whole life has turned around
I was lost but now I'm found
A baby changes everything, yeah
A baby changes everything.

Now, except for the last two verses the song could be about any unwed mother.   But there is a problem with anachronistically placing modern ideas into the culture of the period of Jesus’ birth.

First, the fact that Mary was a “teenage girl” is irrelevant.  She was a young woman, as is every “teenage girl.”  It is only in modern culture where we keep our children as children well into their 20’s.  During Mary’s culture, marrying at 14 was common.  In fact, it was quite common up to a couple hundred years ago, and even after that it wasn’t unusual.  My own mother married at 15.  Mary was already engaged to be married.

Mary was told by an angel that she was going to conceive and have a baby.  Therefore, being a mature young woman, she was not “unprepared for what’s to come.”

“Not a ring on her hand” is anachronistic.  Rings weren’t used.  Of course the listener is meant to understand by this that she wasn’t married and having a baby would change “everything.”  We know nothing of any “dreams” or “plans” of Mary’s other than she was planning on marrying Joseph.  Of course being with child and unmarried was certainly a problem, but Joseph was also contacted by an angel when he thought about divorcing Mary.  We aren’t told in the Bible, but I would assume that both Mary’s and Joseph’s parents would have been filled in with the information about the miraculous conception.  After all, that isn’t something which would have been kept secret from family members who worshipped God.  But what I found especially amusing about this song and its attempt at relevance, is that in today’s culture being an unwed mother is readily accepted without any stigma!

“The man she loves” - do we know she loved him?  She was engaged to him, but in those days many marriages were arranged and romance was not necessarily part of the equation.  And we are never told Mary cried about anything!  She most likely was ecstatic about being chosen to bear the Son of God!

A baby changes every couple’s lives, and that is all this song is saying with its attempt at relevance.  However, it totally leaves out the reason why this particular baby was different from every other baby; if I knew nothing about the gospel, I would think this song was just about a new heir to a throne being born.

In all the efforts to be relevant to today’s society, song writers continue to be touchy-feely in their so-called “Christian” songs.  And everyone is led to feel so emotional about them, without ever once exercising discernment and trying to understand what the lyrics teach.

6 comments:

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said about this song except the part about her love for Joseph. Love is an act of the will; not an emotion. Love acts in a way that is in the best interest of the object of our love. Since Mary was a godly woman, I'm sure she "loved" Joseph even though she may have been unfamiliar and unemotional about him. I give this song 5 thumbs down.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Ralph,
I fully understand what you mean, but in this song the implication is romantic love.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

The biggest problems with this song are that it was written by a biblically ignorant fool and performed in a church by someone who lacks discernment. Just because a song was written doesn't give it a right to be sung.

Steve Bricker said...

I heard this song being played somewhere and was skeptical of the content. I kept saying to myself, "No, that's not quite right." As you said, not until the end does the intended subject become clear, and even then, it lacks what was so clearly proclaimed by angels to Joseph, Mary, and shepherds in as many words.

ali said...

Little by little the church slides farther and farther from Truth.

I praise God for His discernment and pray daily that I will not be deceived.

The pull of the world is so strong, false teachers and preachers abound, without the Holy Spirit......

Anonymous said...

Good point ali... So Glenn, any revision in the number of fellowships that meet the biblical test? Sounds like you are having issues more now in yours as well. That is sad.
I appreciate both yours and your spouses stand for Truth, and co-miserate with you in the great downgrade of worship we are seeing today.
Mickey