Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Regeneration-Style [repost]

TV shows can be easy blog fodder. But why?

The simple reason resides in the fact that many shows manifest the cultural icons and beliefs of the populace at large--the religion of society.

This truth especially struck me with the 1970 stop motion TV special, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. I passed by it surfing. Stopped. And I watched the regeneration sequence--the one when the Winter Warlock's heart melted. After being born-again from the reception of a toy, the Warlock asked Kris Kringle how he could continue being born-again. Or more precisely, he lamented to Kris that his heart was so bad that he did not know how to be good.

"It's easy," Kris replied. Then he (as with all musicals) broke out in spontaneous song:

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walkin' 'cross the flo-o-or
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you'll be walkin' out the door.
...If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
Oh, you do?!
You mean that it's just my election
Just that!
To vote for a chance to be reborn.

I don't think I need to exegete this. This song is about self-regeneration. The American religion. And what is worse, it is--with many--the Evangelical American Religion.

Try telling your Christian co-worker, neighbor or friend that he did not "vote for a chance to be reborn" but that God chose him first (Rom. 9:18). That Biblical rebirth comes from above, from the Spirit who moves as He wishes. Or if you want to be subtler, ask him his opinion about the song.

This song is just one part of the larger piece of Americana. If the churches cannot differentiate themselves from the religion of this song, there is no hope for America. If the church members cannot differentiate themselves from this song, there is little hope for American churches.

But God has promised to work His will through us (Phil. 2:13). And that begins with teaching and living the truth of God's sovereign grace.

Then one day, Lord willing, there will be new songs and new TV specials that reflect Holy Spirit regeneration instead of self-regeneration.

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