Lennon’s right: God will make everything all right

To be a fly on the wall when this jam session was happening!

In yesterday’s final Beatles-themed sermon, which featured the song “Revolution,” I discussed John Lennon’s pessimism about changing the world for the better, while nevertheless maintaining that “it’s gonna be all right.” The world is going to be all right, I said—more than Lennon knows. But it won’t be all right because of what we humans do; it will be all right because of what God will do in God’s act of new creation on the other side of resurrection.

Lennon wasn’t a Christian, obviously, but it turns out he had something like this in mind, too. In a footnote in Ian MacDonald’s Revolution in the Head, MacDonald writes:

The phrase ‘it’s gonna be alright’ arose from Lennon’s experience while meditating in Rishikesh [while visiting the Maharishi in India], his idea that God would take care of the human race whatever happened politically. He later confessed that he’d dabbled in politics during the late Sixties out of guilt and against his instincts.[†]

On this point Lennon and I are in complete agreement. To use theological jargon, my outlook on politics is thoroughly eschatological: God will take care of the human race regardless what happens politically. That doesn’t mean Christians should become Amish about political involvement; only that their stance toward politics should be cautious and skeptical and rightly focused on the Big Picture of God’s kingdom. This is why I’m less interested in politics than some of my friends want me to be.

Ian MacDonald, Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2005), 285.

Leave a Reply