Due to some interesting comments exchange in my previous post ‘Questions about God‘, I feel compelled to explore a few reasons why I thought Lily Allen’s song ‘Him’ posed interesting questions about God. Let me just start by stating clearly, for those who never heard of Lily Allen, that she’s not a Christian. At least I don’t think she is.
This being said, I have to declare from the outset my unashamed passion for listening carefully to what non-Christians have to say about God, and particularly about the Christian vision of God, without feeling the need to take out the sword and ‘defend the faith’. I think what non-Christians say about Christianity is very interesting and very useful for me as a Christian thinker. It is useful only if I manage to take their comments and questions seriously, without ruffling my feathers every time they say something even remotely un-orthodox.
I found that acting on my self-defense instinct closes my mind completely to the truth they may be saying about the way we live our faith, a truth that I may not want to hear. In fact, I’m quite thankful that they think about God and faith at all, so that I can learn from what they say. Thank you, Lily Allen! I really like your voice, by the way. I believe only God could have given it to you 🙂
So let me start with the first part of Lily Allen’s song ‘Him’. Here are some things that caught my attention:
“And if there
is some kind of god
do you think he’s pleased
When he looks down on us
I wonder what he sees
Do you think
he’d think the things we do
are a waste of time
Maybe he’d think
we are getting on just fine
Do you think he’s skint
or financially secure
And come election time
I wonder who he’d vote for”
Clearly Lily caught this idea of a male God who is floating somewhere above the earth, looking down at us, being either pleased or displeased by what he sees. So he would be a detached God, who has ‘opinions’ about our lives, without really being involved in any significant way, thinking that ‘we are getting on just fine’. I wonder where she’s got these ideas. Hm…
Then it’s interesting that she suddenly brings this God down to earth, asking questions about his financial status and political affiliation. Can we imagine a God who worries about money? Can we imagine a God who has political views? Surely Jesus lived in the context of, and talked about both, but where did he stand on these issues? Christians seem to be very confused when it comes to these things. We’re really good at transcendence, but we are really bad at immanence. We’re obsessed with escaping this wretched world…
We like to talk about a God who is great, powerful, and out there, but we’re embarrassed to talk about God’s vulnerability and limitations. We like to talk about a God who crushes the enemies and punishes the infidels, but we’re embarrassed to talk about a God who weeps, who worries, who is hungry and tired.
I love this song – it’s such a reality check on my theology.