I’m about to commit a pop-culture heresy of major proportions.
And I completely understand that most people will never understand it, will never agree with it, and will never be able to read my weblog again.
But I have to.
You see, I can’t stand the song “Imagine”.
I can imagine that, and I don’t like it.
Those facts of heaven and hell don’t constrict our lives, and are not bad things. Rather, sentimental musings set to mindless pop tunes, and contributing to zoned out states of wonderment in otherwise ludic people, if you can imagine that, constrict our lives. It creates a tension in people of Faith and draws souls into a popular culture which has at its core an age old lie of personal hedonism.
“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”
No countries. No religion. Just a big free for all where everyone lives in peace.
That’s a good idea.
It’s almost as if he’s trying to describe heaven, but saying that heaven doesn’t exist. …. You know, it’s perilously kinda sorta close to Christianity, but without Christianity. It’s kind of like, sugar coated hatred for religion.
“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.”
No, I’ll never be joining you. It’s not that I think your a dreamer John, it’s that I don’t like your music and, even more, your lyrics.
I admit it, I just don’t like this song. From the first time I heard it, I’ve thought it was one of the most inane and boring things I’d ever heard in my life. I was 10 years old, the Mass had just changed into the new Mass, and this song was floating over the airwaves.
To this day when it comes on, I’ve seen intelligent people of good faith get dreamy eyed and start bobbing their heads back and forth singing “Imagine there’s no heaven…”
I just don’t get it. I tried to like it, I even pretended to like it when I was younger and trying to look like I knew what was going on in life.
Imagine there is a heaven, and it’s a great and beautiful place where there are no more tears and every sadness is wiped away.
Imagine there is a heaven, and everyone has perfect physical health, radiant and whole; and the music is more enjoyable than anything ever heard, and that a love more profound than anything you may ever recall fills your entire being with a peace so full and profound that you wish to share it with all the men and women there. And, it’s great fun.
Imagine there is a hell, and that if you want to go there you are entirely welcome to go, of your own free will.
Imagine that for God time does not exist, and that He, and his angels, can come into any and every moment of our life and look at it in its fullness, and inspect whether or not we are the living work of art he created us to be. And that in His mercy, he understands our weak moments and loves us all the more for trying so hard.
Imagine that every moment is an opportunity for wholeness and completeness, for healing and growing into the fullness of who we are destined to become.
Imagine that religion is not a man made thing that constricts you, but that it is a God made things that sets you free, and that gives you tools to overcome the complications of life.
Well, would you imagine that?
I remember when John Lennon died, I was studying for an American History exam in college (I loved that course.) The girl I was studying with went to answer the phone in the hallway (can you imagine that?) and came back in tears. “J-John Lennon’s been shot!” “What?” I was completely in the moment.
“He.. he’s been shot!” She dabbed a tear from her eye.
“That’s terrible, I said.
“So… What did you think of this discussion about the “The Muckraker”?”
She stopped studying and was on the phone for the next two hours. (I aced the exam.)
Understandably, people will always love the song, and the man. And I do understand that, and respect his musicianship and talent.
I just never want to imagine the world as John Lennon saw it. Sometimes life just boils down to profoundly simple choices. I can choose the view of John Lennon, or I can choose the view of Jesus Christ. The views here are not compatible, and I choose Christ.