The Bishop of Shrewsbury has described the John Lennon song Imagine as “heart-chilling” in a Christmas homily.
Reflecting on this year’s Christmas adverts which focus on the First World War, Bishop Mark Davies will say in a homily on Christmas Day: “The events of Christmas 1914 give the lie to the lazily repeated assertion that ‘religion is the cause of wars’. John Lennon would give voice to this ill-founded belief in the lyrics of his song Imagine. This becomes a heart-chilling vision in which Lennon imagines a world with no hope of heaven and no fear of hell. And he adds, ‘no religion too’. Only then, he suggests will ‘all the people’ be ‘living life in peace.’”
The bishop will continue: “Yet the fact is, the wars of the century past, bringing with them atrocities and destruction on a scale never seen before, were largely inspired by secularist and, indeed, openly anti-Christian ideologies. In reality, it is human sin which lies at the root cause of war. Conflicts, writes St James, arise within the human heart wherever ‘bitter jealousy and selfish ambition’ are found (James 3: 14). Tonight we declare that Christ came to ‘save us from our sins’, to enable us to give glory to God and to bring peace amongst men. Christ calls all who would follow Him to have, as we have just heard in St Paul’s words: ‘no ambition except to do good’ (Titus 2:14).”