I’m a little angry today. At me, and, well, everybody else! You may have heard that recently the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Songs (PCCS), (thank goodness that has an abbreviation, because THAT is a mouthful!) discussed including a current song titled “In Christ Alone”, written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, in an updated hymnal. Their major debate was whether or not the original line “’Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied”, should be changed to “Till on that cross as Jesus died/ the love of God was magnified.”
Now, the first thing that has me frustrated is how anyone can be so bold to suggest CHANGING a person’s work of art!! I’m pretty sure no one ever went up to Pablo Picasso and said, “Hey, that’s cool and everything, but go and add another eye to that weird creature you just painted.” That takes some very insensitive guts!
The other problem I have is, while the second version they suggested is true, the FIRST one is as well! But it doesn’t carry a fluffy, warm, gentle version of God, which is the version most of us desire to focus on. Instead, it creates an image of an angry God who seeks justice for all the wickedness he sees in the very people He created. It may not make you feel all warm and gooey inside, but who ever said walking with God is a path filled with roasted marshmallows??
Look at the following verse with me, if you don’t mind:
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Now, once again, I am NOT saying we don’t have a gracious, merciful God, because I know full well we do! But the only reason He CAN be gracious and merciful and loving is because the price of our sin and shame, or the “wrath of God” was paid! Or “satisfied.”
I am guilty of often skipping the passages in the bible that rubbed me the wrong way, or made me feel like the sinner I was. I would prefer to focus on the goodness of God, and completely negate the fact that He was once full of wrath toward me, and is a jealous God! I preferred to “tickle” or delight my senses with words that melted like butter instead of something a little harder to digest.
I now see there is grave danger in the picture I was creating of God. Because it was MY picture…not God’s! The word “wrath” is not one we should stay away from, because His wrath was SATISFIED with the death of His only Son, for our sake!
To that, I don’t brush under any rug, but I simply say HALLELUJAH!!!!!!