Theological secret police

If Grammar Nazi refers to someone who likes to correct any grammatical mistake that they find, then let us call this attempt to correct theological mistake as theological secret police. As I listened to Hati sebagai Hamba (A Servant’s Heart) in today’s service, I realized that its opening lyric might convey something close to the immortality of the soul.

‘Ku tak membawa apapun juga
saat ‘ku datang ke dunia
‘Ku tinggal semua pada akhirnya
saat ‘ku kembali ke surga

I brought not a single thing
when I came to the world
and I shall leave everything
when I return to heaven

I came to the world, I return to heaven. Thus, our origin is heaven and not this world. Of course, if we think about it, this lyric is a logical implication of a commonly used vocabulary among (at least) Evangelicals, that we will be returning to heaven when we die later (and that if fits with at least two other inter-related beliefs: (1) priority of the soul over the body and (2) heaven as the endpoint of human existence). The very word of “returning” could imply that we came from heaven as well, which will lead us to the question on whether we have existed prior to our biological conception. And it will bring us inevitably to the concept of immortality of the soul, which is not supported by the testimony in the Scriptures. In the beginning I say ‘might’, because I do think the lyric could be interpreted differently if the word ‘came’ and ‘return’ were uncoupled and meant symbolically and not in the strictly literal sense. Although in the end what matters is the more ‘natural’ reading of the lyric, which I think still tip to the former one which I have described earlier.

(I realize that perhaps I over-reacted too much against this. Another sign of obsessive compulsive disorder? I really like the chorus, though. I also wonder whether this kind of poetical language should be read poetically as well and hence I should not push too much against it.)

[/end of rant]


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