Enya or Jesus: “Spiritual” or “Christian”
I know the genre of post that you think this is falling into. I just got a new CD, and now I am horrified to find that the lyrics are not completely Biblically accurate. So I will write a flaming, angry post denouncing the author and inviting all those who read these words to rush out in a mad frenzy and join me at a mass burning of said author’s works.
I am sorry to disappoint: I am not going to do that.
One of the first things I did when I cracked open this new-to-me CD from Enya (“A Day Without Rain,”) was to check out her Wikipedia article. Apparently, she considers herself Catholic in a broad sort of way, and “spiritual.” Interesting. However, as I listened to her enchanting melodies, I began to pick out some very non-Christian sounding lyrics. They seemed to be emanating from the theology-laden song Pilgrim. Fascinated, I whipped out the lyrics pamphlet and began to read. Without even meaning to, I also flipped open my Bible, and began to compare.
Now, without denunciations or anger, I would just like to share with you the points of similarity and discontinuity between the concepts and ideas of Enya, and those of Christ. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether there can be any final harmony between Enya’s “Spirituality” and Jesus’ religion, called “Christianity.”
Pilgrim how you journey, on the road you chose…
Come, follow me…
to find out why the winds die, and where the stories go.
All days come from one day, that must you must know
I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. (Rev. 1:8, 21:6, 22:13)
One way leads to diamonds, one way leads to gold…
The way is narrow which leads to life, and there are few who find it
The way is broad which leads to death, and many there are who go there (Mat. 7:13-14)
One way leads you only, to everything you’re told
(Note: the line, “the road that leads to nowhere” – below – seems to refer to this way, which is based “only” on information which you are told)
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life (John 6:63): blessed are your eyes which see, and your ears which hear (Mat. 13:16). Go, therefore, and make disciples (students/followers) from all the nations, teaching them to obey everything I commanded you… (Mat. 28:19-20)
In your heart you wonder, which of these is true?
The road that leads to nowhere, the road which leads to you?
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me (John 14:6).
(See also Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way which seems right to a man/woman, but the end of that path is death”)
Pilgrim on your journey, you may travel far,
For pilgrim it’s a long way, to find out who you are.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mat. 11:28-30) He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (3:36).
In my foolish, “Emergent” phase, I was deceived enough to think that so long as a person self-identified as “Spiritual,” I should welcome that individual as a fellow seeker of truth. I did not realize that the primary opposition to Christianity is not atheism, but non-Christianity. Atheist and Buddhist, skeptic and new-age, all the other belief systems worship either self or a false god. In worship of a false God, the attempt is made to gain things for self: so ultimately, all non-Christian worship is worship of self. It is believing the Devil’s lie “you shall be as gods,” (Gen. 3:5).
It really comes down to two options: will you serve the true God, the God who made you? Will you turn from yourself to listen to the God who has come in the flesh, who has revealed Himself? Will you leave your petty ambitions and fetishes and follow Him? Will you trust Him? Will you walk the narrow road of suffering which He has carved out for us? And will you seek to enter by that narrow gate which leads to life?
If you will do so, be assured that your walk will be decidedly counter-cultural. More than that, you will find yourself made disconcertingly vulnerable and dependent. God came in the flesh just once. His words were spoken to just a few people. These words were recorded faithfully and passed on in what we have received as just one book. This Bible is stewarded by just one community of faith. You must come. You must listen. You must read. You must submit, you must obey. You must identify yourself with the faithful, and suffer along with them – even if the only suffering you endure is boredom, and the irksomeness of putting up with other sinful human beings.
For Christ did not reveal many ways, but one – Himself. He did not endorse all human religious strivings, but condemned them all and mandated that all come only to Him. He has left His Spirit, His Church and His Word to guide the seeker along the path to Himself.
The “seeker” or “spiritual person” who does not walk this path, but wanders aimlessly listening to the ghosts whispering on the air, wandering down paths of autumn mists and wading in tides of swirling seductions with the ultimate quest of “finding one’s self” will eventually, unfortunately, find what they are seeking for. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened,” (Mat. 7:8). In finding their heart, they will discover finally that it is “more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick, beyond comprehension,” (Jer. 17:9). Submitting to none but self, they will have none but self to call upon in the day of judgment: they will not stand on that day, but will be swept away like chaff (Psalm 1:5). Before the throne of God, human righteousness is like a filthy garment: those who rely on it for salvation will wither like a leaf in the blazing heat of His Majesty: their iniquities, like the wind, will blow them away from the one, only source of life (Isaiah 64:6).
So, now, my dear friends, consider carefully. Hear God as He makes His appeal through me (2 Cor. 5:20): “See, I have set before you life and death: therefore, choose life!” (Deut. 30:15). Read the Bible, recognize God’s standards. Submit to His authority and judgment over your life: recognize that by God’s standards you are a sinner. You can do nothing to better yourself, nothing to earn your salvation, nothing to repay your debt. Like a peasant before a king, with a billion-dollar debt on your head, your one, your only recourse is to beg for mercy.
“Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom,” (Jas. 4:9). Although you cannot earn your salvation even through tears, this is the one logical thing to do, it is the only sacrifice which a wretched sinner can offer to God (Psalm 51:16). He does not have to save you – but if He does not, know that you are completely lost, and completely deserving of your fate. For He is fully holy and just, and you are sinful and deserving of His wrath (Rom. 9:29).
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But in this very moment of crisis, in this desperation of the hour, when you feel the heat of God’s presence weighting down on your sins, hear the crackle of Hell’s flames in your ears – in this very moment that you cry out for mercy, and for grace, you will find a shock, a surprise, an infinite delight. For this very God who has demanded justice has also worked it on your behalf!
When you were still God’s enemy, Christ died for you! The just for the unjust! making a way of salvation, of peace towards God! (Rom. 5:1-10). In the very moment you repent of your sins and turn to God, you will find Him not only willing, but over-abunding in love and grace, ready even to adopt you as His child (Rom. 8:14-17) and give you a gift of life which can never be taken away (Rom. 8:38-39)!
All that you must do is choose to follow! All you must do is walk in the delight of this new life!
Like the unfaithful bride, who has left her true husband to run after other men, we have all left God and wandered far and wide. What recourse does God have? He allows us to go our own way – even though this means absolute and devastating death to us, for He is the one source of all life (Col. 1:15-18). Lavishly, lovingly, without claim and without merit, God has made a way for us to return to Him. Return to the only one, true, pure, holy Divine Being. To do so, we must first turn from and renounce our former loves (other religions, other priorities, other loves, all other ambitions and dreams – all things and ways in which we sought to serve ourselves by seeking our own good). We must turn away from “the world” and all that is in it, and turn towards Jesus, trusting that He alone was the words of life. He alone is God, who can give life. In so doing, we will find the Salvation which He died and rose again to give us, and which is at the center of the Christian religion.
….but in wandering the endless path which Enya speaks of, we will only wander further and further from God, and cut ourselves off from the grace which He so freely gives!
Choose, my reader. Choose. Think carefully, and choose! On this choice, heaven and hell hang in the balance. Self or God? Which one will it be?
“Choose you this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”