It’s okay kids, God can pulverize.

The world of children’s Christian songs is a very strange place.  Try explaining Silly Songs with Larry (or just the concept of Veggietales) to someone who didn’t grow up with it and you’ll get looks of genuine concern and bewilderment. And even when you think you’ve heard every kidz praize type song in the book, someone else will trump you with an even crazier one from their church.

So in case you didn’t spend your school holidays at Holiday Bible Clubs, let me introduce you to one that we learnt when I was just getting too old for kids songs. Its called Sometimes I Feel Afraid:

In case you missed the lyrics there:

Sometimes I feel afraid of getting things all wrong,
Of people who will tease me when they see the things I’ve done.
And then I remember, there’s no need to be afraid….

Because my God, He is big, He’s gigantic, He’s enormous,
He is powerful and strong, He is amazing and He’s awesome,
And there’s nothing in this world that He couldn’t pulverize,
So I know I’ve got nothing to fear, No! No!
So I know I’ve got nothing to fear.

Sometimes I feel afraid of being on my own,
With no-one here to play with me, I’ll always be alone.
And then I remember there’s no need to be afraid…

Because my God…

Sometimes I feel afraid of things I cannot see
Of monsters in the dark who might be chasing after me.
And then I remember there’s no need to be afraid…

Because my God…

Okay. So there’s a bit of a theme with Christian children’s songs, in that they focus on the ‘bigness’ and strength of God on the one hand, and the friendship of God on the other. I can see why – it’s an echo of the more grown-up theological ideas of God as both transcendent and immanent, and as this song makes explicit, it speaks to the very real concerns of children, the fears that they face as they get to know the world.

But really… pulverize?!

Is that the best answer we have for children getting their heads around what it means to have faith in a slightly daunting world? Is that our response to the difficulties of loneliness, the discovery of human fallibility, and even the fear of harm from potential ‘monsters’, whatever they might turn out to be? Is that our best shot at explaining the difference that God makes in our lives?

Don’t worry… because God can pulverize anything? You’re safe because God can destroy, maim, and obliterate?

For a start, it’s a rubbish solution, even to the situations that song suggests. A child on their own in the playground probably doesn’t need the comfort of a God who can pulverize the other kids they wish would play with them. And if that is the only comfort we offer, what bitter, hardened adults they might grow up to be. A violent, destructive God is no help in this situation.

And secondly, it’s not very (dare I say it) Biblical. As far as I remember, there is a handy little line in the Bible that explains how exactly God can answer our fears, how God responds to the pain and difficulties we’ll face in this life. And it doesn’t say, ‘God pulverizes everything we don’t like to cast out our fear.’

Perfect love casts out fear.

It’s not because God is violent and destructive that I’m safe from monsters or loneliness or failure. It’s not because God will destroy anything that causes me pain.

It’s because I’m loved with a perfect love. It’s because I can trust a God who is with me in my suffering, who never leaves my side or fails to come close and comfort. It’s because his love is bigger, his love is stronger than anything that comes against me. It’s because of love, not brute power.

Perfect love casts out fear.

So I know I have nothing to fear, no, no.

 

 

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About Claire

@claireylegs Keen on Jesus. Keen on justice. Ministry assistant in the Great North East. Blogger. Find me in: coffee shop / church / pub / bed.
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One Response to It’s okay kids, God can pulverize.

  1. Ben says:

    Really insightful point about God’s bigness/friendship being a child-friendly version of God’s transcendence/immanence. But can’t we apply the same insight to ‘pulverize’ – isn’t it just a child-friendly word for ‘cast out’? God is so awesome that his love pulverizes all our fear and doubt and worry. Though the whole thing does make God seem overly macho…

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