… All the children of the world !
Red and Yellow , Black and White ,
They are precious in His sight .
Jesus loves the little children of the world !
This is a song I was taught by my mother when I was a young boy , and I very much enjoyed singing it . At the time , I had precious little understanding of who Jesus actually was , but I could certainly relate to anyone loving all the children , and not singling out one or another group as being special .
(It should be noted , with perhaps not a small sense of irony , that neither of my parents were , at this time , Christian . My father , as far as I’m aware , was an Atheist , and my mother was actually a Wiccan priestess . Both are now deceased , and the circumstances of their deaths are both tragic and instructive , but this is a topic for some other time .)
It was partly as a result of being taught this song that , at the age of six , I took my mother’s unused King James Bible from our library without telling her and began to read it , starting from the first page .
That same year , I made a profession of faith with the assistance of a missionary who served our neighborhood . My faith , however , was not complete , and as a result of this fact , I fell away about five years later .
My actual deliverance to Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit did not occur until after I had walked in darkness (that is to say , sin) for more than 20 years .
Despite all that I had learnt from reading the Bible on my own , and all the blessings of love and understanding that God had bestowed upon me , I was still , for all that time , placing my very existence in jeopardy with my own stupid , hard-headed decisions .
In fact I recall that for a while , I had myself convinced that it was not God’s written Word but my own mind that was the reliable determinant of what is good and what is evil . Ironically , it may be that one of the reasons I fell for this delusion was because I erroneously thought that if God’s love for all the children of the world is unconditional , then that implies that everyone is saved , regardless of their deeds and regardless of their beliefs .
Of course , we Christians know that such a belief is a very strong delusion , and we know from whence such delusions originate . But nonetheless , strong as it may be , it is a widespread one today .
Would anyone like to know exactly how I managed to be delivered of such a strong delusion ?
Well obviously , God Himself played the principal role in that development . But it is worth noting that one of the means of His involvement was that He sent me a fairly steady stream of people over the years who gently , but unequivocally , told me about the parts of the puzzle that I was missing , which I needed to understand why I had the wrong picture .
What were those parts ?
Well , there were many , of course . But first and foremost were the attempts to explain to me that my sinful activities were unacceptable and offensive to God , and exactly what those activities were that were sinful . For you see , I really didn’t know much about that . I had tried to understand in years past , while reading the Bible , but I didn’t understand , because my own hard heart had closed my eyes to this understanding . In fact it had closed them so far , that without a very large number of people to come around and directly contradict me to my face , there was almost no hope of me ever opening my eyes to the reality of the situation .
Truly , though all the glory is to God , I owe my very life to those people . Most of them , I couldn’t even identify today . Some I could never forget ! But all of them have my utmost love and affection . Really , how can it be otherwise ?
So what is the true point of that amazing and somewhat curious little song that so captured my heart , so long ago ?
Is it really that we have no obligation to God other than to believe , because He loves us anyway no matter what we do ?
Is it that we should never talk publicly of such obligations , because to do so is not necessary and in fact throws up a stumblingblock for all or most of those who hear about them ?
Is it , rather , that love , somewhat like Einsteinian relativity , is not something that is meant to be understood , but merely believed in by the faithful ?
No . The point of the song is none of these things .
The point of the song is much simpler than that , and yet it’s not meant to really be appreciated until long after we learn it . It is , quite simply , that :
“Charity never fails : but wherever there be prophecies , they shall fail ; wherever there be tongues , they shall cease ; wherever there be knowledge , it shall vanish away . But when that which is perfect is come , then that which is in part shall be done away . When I was a child , I spoke as a child , I understood as a child , I thought as a child : but when I became a man , I put away childish things . For now we see through a window , darkly , but then face to face : now I know in part ; but then shall I know even as also I am known . And now abides faith , hope , charity , these three . But the greatest of these is charity .”
On this glorious day bestowed upon us by our magnificent God , dear reader , may God bless and keep you , that we may visit again . RTF