Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Dude, wrong advent! (Or: Like the stores, let's start Christmas in October!)

I have lost my postmillennial zeal. 1 Not because I have adopted a different eschatology, 2 but because I simply no longer care about the endtimes beyond: And he will come again to judge the quick and the dead. Maybe the fact that the passing of time means that I am much more likely to be of the dead rather than quick, regardless of which millennial view is correct, has pushed me to a more "meh" attitude.

I still, however, love to ponder Christmas songs that aren't Christmas songs. It's a guilty pleasure to point them out, on the day they are sung, even when the response is "<<eyeroll>> Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've told me that a thousand times and I still don't care!"

Consider, for example Joy to the World.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come, 4
Let earth receive her king!
Let every heart prepare him room... 
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love. 
This refers to a future golden age on earth. At the first advent, the earth did not receive her king. Christ came to die, and very few hearts prepared Him room. Sins and sorrows abound. Nations are not in the business of proving the glories of his righteousness.

The variation of Joy to the World that starts with Jeremiah was a bullfrog! is as much a Christmas song as this version.

Oh, and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear:
O ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing. 

Another postmillennial hymn. Nothing to with Christmas. Christ's first coming did not bring peace to all the earth. However, we are promised that some day there will be a time of peace on earth. And someday the whole world will give back the song.

Now go ponder  O come, O come, Emmanuel.

Do you know other Christmas carols that are not really about Christmas?

Pointing them out is my version of bah humbug!


1 A very bad reason to reject postmillennialism is this: the world is obviously not getting better. That reasoning is likely false (would you rather live in, say, the 1300's?) and even if you could quantitatively demonstrate that life was more golden in the beloved 1950's, it would still prove nothing. 3 Postmillennialism does not claim that every year will be better than the year before. It claims that the bible teaches that Christ will return to a victorious church, not a church in retreat with its tail between its legs. So accept or reject postmillennialism (or don't give a whit) on the basis of scripture, not on the Drudge Report.

 2 I have not adopted another eschatology, but I wish dispensational premillennialism was true, because a Rapture would soooooo cool. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it lacks the important ingredient of scriptural support.

 3 Sort of in the same sense that a record breaking cold spell (or hot spell) says absolutely nothing about the validity of anthropogenic global warming.

4 Does anyone know why it is: "The Lord is come"? That always bothered me.

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