Jesus could have...

I was thinking today about "Jesus could have..." songs. Along the lines of "He could have called ten thousand angels~ To destroy the world~ and set Him free." Mtt. 26:53 I vaguely remember a song about how Jesus 'could have told Pilate He wasn't a king' and other 'what if' speculations, culminating in a chorus of "But He went all the way to Calvary" or something like that.

Do you think songs based on those kinds of hypotheticals are acceptable? At what point would you not allow a song to be sung by the congregation or performed in your church because its doctrinal content is askew?

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Charlie's picture

Just because a statement is counter-factual does not make it erroneous. I think the line about the angels is fine; it makes the true point that Jesus was not helplessly nailed to the cross; he voluntarily gave himself up to it. If there is any sense in which he couldn't have called those angels, it is only that his obedience to the Father was perfect, which, again, is the point the song is making in a literary way.

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Susan R's picture


I agree that the first song I quoted is based on a verse, and thus has some validity as a hypothetical question. What I'm asking is about songs (or sermons for that matter) that are based on non-Biblical speculations, such as "He could have come down from the cross", since IMO that question seems to give Him the ability to violate His character. How productive or doctrinally sound is it to ask alot of 'what if' questions, or if Jesus could do things that are against His nature .

The reason I put this in the music folder is that I think it happens more often in song than in sermons, because songs often appeal to our emotions and we tend to excuse in music what we wouldn't accept in a sermon. The only time I ask 'what if' questions is when I want to create a fictional account- is it appropriate to pursue alternate history versions of Scriptural events? Do you think alternate versions of history are good for illustration/contrast purposes? If so, how far can we go with it before it becomes foolishness?