Recently I received an email from a friend which contained a video attachment of a recording of John Lennon's "Imagine" featuring Deaf and hearing students signing and singing together. (I'm assuming that it must be from the television show "Glee," which I've never seen.) I think she sent it to me because she knows that my daughters and I are all learning ASL (American Sign Language), and she (rightly) assumed that we would enjoy seeing the interpretation and song-signing of the Deaf students in that group. It is a moving and enjoyable video.
That, I would venture to say, is part of the problem. It is moving. It is inspiring. Seeing all the kids joining together to sign the song was a beautiful reflection of the message of unity and brotherhood attempted in that song. However, we can't ignore the fact that the ultimate "peace" that is sought in the song "Imagine" is at the expense of Truth and reality.
True peace (with God and with our fellow man) does not come when we abandon the realities of heaven and hell and just "live for today." And while it is true that the "religion" of man, if void of relationship with the living God, is fruitless, it is not true that the idea of abandoning the Truth of our religion, Christianity, leads to a better way of life. It leads to a less full life here, and to a life of eternal damnation after death.
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by Me," Jesus said. Seemingly "exclusive"? Yes. Incredibly divisive? YES! But that is the Truth upon which we stand. And every day hundreds of believers around the world are murdered or tortured for their faith in God through Jesus.
So, while one day there will be "no countries" (once Jesus has returned to take His children home to heaven), the reality we live in now is that there are many things "to kill or die for," because of the injustices foisted on our fellow human beings--particularly believers--by the unjust governments of those countries. Many of our brave men and women in the armed forces, and those living on the mission field, are willingly facing this injustice in order to bring the Truth of the Gospel--or at least the beautiful freedom that makes the sharing of the message of the Gospel possible--to those lands where it is currently forbidden.
And so to "join them (those who dream of his 'better' life)"--as John Lennon indicates he hopes people will--would lead ultimately to a life here on Earth without relationship to God, which results in an eternal separation from Him in the life to come. "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels," Jesus said.
So, while it may have been a "great video," unfortunately, it is not a great song. And things like this, when they move us--and it is a moving video--make a great impression on us. I do long for the day when there will be true peace--and we will truly live as one in heaven--but in the meantime I also hope to be faithful to debunk these false messages about false hope in "the brotherhood of man" at the expense of belief in the ONLY true Way to get there, Jesus.
May I always share these truths with love, gentleness, and grace as well as boldness!
On a lighter note, here is a humorous rendition of this song, Tim Hawkins style.