Saturday, May 12, 2007


I just was listening to the classic song "Imagine" by John Lennon, and I was struck by the lyrics. Here's what he says:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

Now, obviously there are some pretty stark statements in that song. No heaven, no hell, no wars, no possessions, no religion, and everybody living for today. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

Honestly, no. That world, that "utopia according to John Lennon," strikes me as a terrible place. And really, it's not completely because I'm a Christian and know the value of religion (although that's part of my reason). No, the primary reason why this utopia sounds miserable is because it's a world with no purpose, no direction, nothing to live for, nothing to die for. I mean, what does "living for today" really mean? Not much besides instant gratification, which can turn into something terrible. If we're truly just focused on getting what we want when we want it, it's a very short step to widespread theft, rape, and murder.

"Imagine...nothing to live and die for"...who wants that? If you don't have anything worth living or dying for, what's the point? Existence becomes useless. We might as well be dead, because we have nothing that makes our lives important while we're alive. People can't function that way. We're hard-wired to find something that we care about. And that's not on accident; we were created that way. God created us to be passionate about things. Sin comes when we misdirect our passion to the wrong things, but that doesn't mean that we need to abolish passion. We just need to redirect it back to the only being worthy of all our passion: Jesus Christ.

So what am I imagining? I'm imagining a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. What a day that will be. That's when the world will be as one. And I'll die for that.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post Sam - those are some really valid thoughts. If you haven't read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, I'd definitely recommend it. Not only is it brilliantly written but it is basically a novelization of the consequences of relativity on society


Karyn said...

i hate songs like that. you have such a good point about needing purpose. It's so true, otherwise the world will fall to pieces. And if there is nothing after, then, of course, widespread chaos and sin would cover the nation.

does anybody else think Lennon was on something when he wrote that song?? It sounds kinda floating-in-the-sky-ish to me know...go with the flow, man.