Imagining Lennon’s “Imagine”

I heard the song Imagine by John Lennon on the radio this morning and began to imagine what would occur if the song was lived out in the world.  It didn’t take long before I realized that the twentieth century had plenty of examples of his song’s ideology. None of them have been positive.  The regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler each embodied part of Lennon’s song.  They are the natural working out of this imagined world.

Just consider verse one: Imagine there’s no Heaven/It’s easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky/Imagine all the people/Living for today.

No heaven or hell and people just living for today.  That means that there is no real moral standard and no ultimate accountability for our actions outside of this life.  Morality is relative and if it feels good and benefits you then go ahead and do it.  At first this may sound good, but then the twentieth century has demonstrated the natural out working of sinful men and women living under this mentality.  The men and the regimes listed above lived out this worldview at the expense of millions of human lives.

Verses two: 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.
Verse three: Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can/No need for greed or hunger/A brotherhood of man/Imagine all the people/Sharing all the world.

Again it may sound nice, but the big logical flaw in the song is that human beings do not have an indwelling problem with sin. Maybe Lennon, like Plato and echoed in the period called the Enlightenment, thought that the problem with evil was a problem with knowledge.  If we knew that something was wrong then we wouldn’t do that action.  The more advanced a society became the less evil the society would become.  A short look into the study of human nature and the history of some of the most advanced countries in the world over the past 100 years quickly dismantle those theories.  The problem isn’t a matter of having or not having something to fight over, but a problem of sin that lusts and hates and is self-centered.

Now imagine a completely holy God who sees this problem at its root cause and does something about it.  A God who would be driven by love to enter this fallen world in order to righteously pay the penalty for all the sins of the world and then offer salvation free of charge to all who would accept His payment.  A God who doesn’t just deal with the outward symptoms of our sinful nature but deals with the actual illness of indwelling sin.  This isn’t an imagination but a reality that is found in Jesus Christ.


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