My youngest son (17) brought me a CD for my birthday recently (a minor miracle in its own right), and was very interested to know my thoughts on the song ‘Take Me To Church’ by Andrew Hozier (aka Hozier).
I was very impressed with the CD overall, the thoughful lyrics and quality of music (I am a 44 year old with a broad range!). But my ordained antenna (a self-depricating allusion) were alert to my son’s interest in my thoughts (a first since he was 12)!
I will admit to enjoying the ‘funky groove’ of the tune (does that make me sound like a doofus?)! Though I must confess I needed help with the ‘hermeneutics’ of the song. And confession is a big deal. I needed help to interpret the phrase meanings and word meanings and big picture meanings. It was like trying to interpet the Bible – I needed some background info!
I came across a really great post here by Angela Denker on REDLETTERCHRISTIANS.ORG (not sure why they shout that), and then I found an actual interview with the talented man himself here.
First the song that came to me as a gift from my teenage son (suspicious in its own right), then the blog post by Denker, suberbly written, on a very popular Christian website have made me think: If Calvin wouldn’t approve of all Calvinists (and he wouldn’t!), why on earth (or Heaven) would Jesus ‘approve’ (this term needs more work but please indulge me) of all Christians?
In fact, Jesus’ approval of all Christians is not even the point. As a Protestant protestant (Baptist), and a human being in general, it is totally right that Hozier feels this rage – for heaven’s sake, I do. Catholic abuses of children (and anything else for that matter) are a foul satanically fueled outrage of the holiest order! GOD IS OUTRAGED!!!
Hozier’s Irish Catholic background is the fertile soil for his rage, a rage incidentaly, that could have been a hell of a lot worse. In the ‘actual interview’ he impressed with his genuine desire to be sensitive. Here you will find no ‘anti-Christian Dawkins rage’ (which isn’t even that scary anyway), but a thoughful, hurting, talented, God-imaged young man.
We reap what we sow! A Catholic doctrine of celebacy is more unnatural than any ‘sin’ the Mother Church try to denounce!
I am a man, a Christian, (yes! Born-again, if you can get over the ‘Americanist’ hullabaloo that this phrase conjurs up), a British citizen, a heterosexual (OMGosh – it’s not illegal you know), a son, a brother, a husband, a (grand)father, a redeemed follower of Jesus! My salvation is not determined by any of these: my nationality, my sexuality, my progenity, my ‘whatever’! I am saved from my ontological state of sin, my alienation from God, my ‘natural’ bent away from the rightness of righteousness, and the wholeness of holiness. I have been rescued from ‘Adamic-apple-loving’ to being grafted in to the Christ-vine.
I am saved (and I tell you all, I know I am saved) because I believe what Jesus said. Jesus has saved me. The only institution I answer to or respond to or yield to is the Kingdom of God. Why? Not because I’m holier-than-thou (an evening in the pub with me will convince you I’m not), but because a sin-drenched humanity is so in desperate need of Christ and His grace that I will put all my puny sin-eggs into His great magnificent salvation-basket.
So Andrew Hozier, thank you. I don’t know whether you believe in Jesus as He is, not as we think He is, but your song is a greater prayer than many prayers I’ve heard.
And Jesus Christ Himself knows that. And He hears you. He hears us. All. He hears your ‘Amen’. And I am convinced he says ‘Amen’ to your ‘Amen’.
“For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” Romans 11:32
Hozier’s Song on YOUTUBE.
Lyrics to ‘Take Me To Church’ here.