Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
The last night of the Republican National Convention ended in celebration that included songs sung on the Truman Balcony of The White House. The singer was Christopher Macchio, a now-famous tenor, but he is not what is on my mind.
I was offended by one of the selections, Hallelujah, a song written and sung by Leonard Cohen over thirty years ago, but has recently gained great following and popularity. It is being sung as a hymn in churches and for other sacred occasions. I remember the first time I heard this song; it caught my attention because of the music and the mention of King David and the repetitions of what is seemingly praise: Hallelujah. The song has mesmerizing characteristics. It has no place in the life of a Christian.
This is a problem. After listening to the words, I researched the lyrics. Ladies, they are creepy – at best – and entirely demonic and blasphemous in truth. Hallelujah, as part of this song, is not for children of the High and Lofty One, the Holy One of Israel.
The song has a spiritual quality to it, but that quality is dark. Music is a powerful force in our lives and we must know what we are listening to. If you have a question about a song or a book or their authors, the internet provides research with little effort. By checking multiple sources, we can get a relatively reliable understanding about a piece of work.
Do consider that anything that has gained worldwide acclaim is suspect and needs to be researched. One popular devotional comes to mind, but that is for another day. The world generally hates Christians and the work of the Cross is not respected. We cannot be part of that. If it is against Christ, it is against us.
This song is a grievous example of God-given talent being misused. We can easily look at this song and think how terrible and sad that so much talent was wasted, but not without examining ourselves. Am I a good steward of the talent God gave to me? One day, I will give an account.
Interesting thing: The estate of Leonard Cohen is attempting to sue our president for using this song at the ceremony. I learned that as I researched for this short article. The hatred and contempt do not surprise me. It may be directed at our president, but it was directed toward God first.
The word “Hallelujah” has a renewed place in my life, but not because of that song. I catch myself quietly mouthing a phrase that Corrie ten Boom frequently used. Hallelujah; what a Saviour. Beautiful and true; that it praise.
Yes; Hallelujah. What a Saviour!
The pursuit of purity is not about the suppression of lust, but about the reorientation of one’s life to a larger goal. Dietrich Bonhoeffer