I grew up in the small Texas town of Floydada. My parents were Baptists, my maternal grandparents were Baptists, my great grandfather was a Baptist minister. So of course, I was Baptist. Honestly I knew of only two other choices: Methodist and Pentecostal. Like I said, it was a small town.
The Baptist church shaped much of my life, and while it isn’t perfect, being comprised of human beings with all their prejudices, frailties, and hang ups, it taught me many good things: Love one another, do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and God is love, among other things. Too bad it’s become so political these days. I no longer think of myself as Baptist.
But the hymns! Oh my goodness did I love the hymns. Modern day worship music doesn’t come close to matching the hymns of my youth. Among my favorites was the hymn, Love Lifted Me. It’s so uplifting, so happy. It transcends denomination and religion.
While there were several versions offered in my google search, none of them quite lived up to my memories of the song, but at least Alan Jackson did a reasonably good job of singing it.
Peace, and love, people.
Sweet hymn fills my soul
clear voices lifted in praise
on this rock I stand.
Heed the song’s message
Jesus loves all the children
not just those like us.
And on Judgement Day
when the trumpets sound their call
He will know your truth.
I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking lately about faith, religion, and politics. You see, one day this week a “Christian” woman informed me in a tone seething with hatred that I was bound for hell if I voted for Hillary. I smiled and promised that I’d be sure to save her a seat.
Christians come in basically two types of wrappings: those who are of the hellfire and damnation persuasion and those who follow Christ’s teachings. I’m pretty happy being in the second camp.
I have many non-Christian friends, among them Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, and atheists, and I learned a long time ago that goodness and decency aren’t the sole property of Christians. And those same virtues are sorely lacking in some who claim Christianity as their religion.
Heaven and Hell? Well, they might exist, but I know that how I treat others in this life is more important than any promise or threat of an afterlife. One other thing I know is that my teacher, Jesus, wouldn’t turn His back on refugees.