A Calvinist Perspective on “Jesus Loves the Little Children”

, posted by Ben Henshaw

[Note: the following is satire and not meant to be taken too seriously]

“Jesus loves the little children…

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”

Herman: Well, that song was quite obviously written by an Arminian

Calvin: Why do you say that?

Herman: Well, the song says that Jesus loves “all” the little children of the “world”. That is what Arminians believe, that Christ died for all and loves the world in such a way that He truly desires all to believe in Christ and be saved.

Calvin: Oh, well you have just misunderstood the context of the song.

Herman: What do you mean?

Calvin: Well, the context plainly demonstrates that “all” doesn’t mean “every child without exception.”

Herman: It doesn’t?

Calvin: Of course not. Look at that one line that says, “Red and yellow, black and white”.

Herman: O.K.

Calvin: Well, it seems obvious to me that when he says “all the children of the world” he only means all the different colors of children in the world. You see, he is really concerned about racism and guarding against the false teaching that Jesus might only love red children and not any black children, etc.

Herman: Is that right? I never realized that?

Calvin: Well, most people don’t, but that is just because they pay no attention to context. That is why God gave us Reformed theologians to explain these things to us. I could give you a good book by a Calvinist where he spends about twenty pages explaining why “all the children of the world” really means “only a relatively few children from among all the various races of the world”.

Herman: Wow, it is amazing to me that I never realized that before. I think I would like to read that book. Thank God he didn’t leave us on our own to interpret songs like this one or we might come to some really bizarre conclusions. I don’t know what we would ever do without those Reformed theologians you mentioned. I think from now on I will just read from them so I don’t misunderstand something else as I am obviously easily confused.

Calvin: Absolutely. Just make sure you don’t put their writings above what the songs actually say while understanding that it is impossible to rightly understand what the songs actually say and mean without reading from them.

Herman: Uh, sure. That makes sense. I think. Are you suggesting that they might be wrong about this song after all?

Calvin: Of course not. They are right because that is what the verse plainly means when considered in context and you can be sure that the song plainly means that because the Reformed theologians say so. Got it?

Herman: Yeah, I got it. Well, I’m off to buy some of those books you recommended. Thanks for all your help. Imagine, if I had never talked to you I would have just gone right on foolishly believing that the song was saying that Jesus actually loved “all” the children of the “world”.

Calvin: No problem. That’s what I’m here for.

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