I really like this song! I’m contemplating showing it to the Grade 5/6 group and discussing it.
What do you think of the song?
You can get Michael Gungor’s CD at Amazon. Hey you can even download the entire album or just the song “White Man.”
So here's what I think…
I can see why you like it. It's a catchy little tune that will probably be stuck in my head for the next week. And it is a cute cartoon. However, I have a "child-like" question… Wasn't Jesus a man? Fully God and Fully Man, with full man parts? That just seems confusing.
And I wouldn't want anyone bringing politics into a discussion about God with my child. I would rather a teacher hold to what the Bible actually says, and I want my child to see it for themselves. I want them to know the importance of the gospel.
Yes, it’s a fun campy song.
I understand where you’re coming from. I am assuming that when the song talks about God, he is talking about our general assumptions of God in general. Yes, the Bible uses male metaphors for God but it does also use female metaphors (e.g., gathering chicks like a hen, etc.). The point being… God transcends our understanding of male and female roles. And from the politics side… same idea… God transcends our political views. I think too many times, especially in an Western American Evangelical context we bring politics into what we believe about God. That’s the point I think the songwriter is trying to make… In fact, if you take a look at the history of the songwriter, he’s more on the conservative evangelical side of things. Anyway, I do still think this song would be a great discussion starter for kids in grades 5 and 6.
It's just that the opening line, "God is not a man" seems to undermine Jesus. If Jesus was a man and God isn't a man, then Jesus is not God, because Jesus was a man. I don't think a 5th and 6th grader is going to just assume that it is talking about general assumptions and metaphors. I think what is more likely is that they will remember the catchy beginning statement, "God is not a man.."
Jesus said if you've seen me you've seen the father. God may not have revealed everything to us about himself, but he did reveal what was relevant to us. So why not focus on the most important things, Jesus and the implications of sin and needing a savior. I don't know (or care really) about the political history of the song writer and I don't think the kids will either. I think what's more important is what the overall song is saying.
-God is not a man… you need to unthink all of your dated thoughts about God because they are probably wrong and narrow-minded.
-People who wear suits and/or are republicans have highjacked God and put him in a box.
-Everyone is trying find God in their own way and God is ok with that because God loves them all and God is love.
-Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness no matter what.
The reason I take that read on it is because that's what a lot of people are saying right now. Now there are some things in the video that I agree with but there aren't any distinctions made of those statements. It's our responsibility to set aside those things that would cause people to stumble (especially kids) for their sake, even if it doesn't harm us spiritually. I think the overall message of the song/video is pretty universalist and I wonder… if we aren't teaching Jesus, then what makes us different than some other religion? And God's love is best explained by Jesus. Without Jesus, we're just religious.
While I don't think this the worst video one could show a kid, I do think it seriously misses the point. Still catchy, still cute, just kinda religious in a non-conservative way.
For the record, I think the song is more than catchy and cute and kinda religious in a non-conservative way.
I know we won't see eye to eye on this, but, like I've said before, that's the great thing about God; he's so much bigger than our incomplete understandings of him. So much bigger that there are a number of things we can disagree on and still be genuinely following Christ.
I do think this song has a lot more truth in it than we are comfortable with. Yes, the animation is kind of silly and some of it distracts from the actual song, but I still think the song would be a great way to spark discussion about our views of God, who he loves, what it means that God is love and what Jesus says about it all.
As for debating the theology of the song, we probably could go back and forth forever so I won't do that here. We can discuss it one-on-one if you'd like.
So you don't think the statement, "God is not a man" undermines Jesus as fully God and fully man?
I do think the song holds truth. But possibly not the whole truth. Perhaps propaganda.
I agree that I don't want to go back and forth forever about theology on here. I wouldn't mind discussing it further one on one. That would probably be better. It still doesn't change my concern about where the discussion would lead. I still think it would be confusing and I wonder who they would say God is after the discussion. What would they describe God to be besides God is love and God loves everyone. Do they understand the implications? Would they be able to articulate anything? Or is God just a mystical force?
I still don't care for the political aspect. I think to be fair, the song should say God doesn't belong to politicians, but not specifically one party. Would it make a difference if they had said democrats instead of republicans? I think politics may be topics for possibly the youth group or college, not children.
Maybe if you do lead the discussion, you wouldn't mind sharing the results and how you directed it? I think that would be interesting since you seem to think it will go well. Anyhow, thanks for letting me share my concern and ask some q's.
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