Tag Archives: rock music

I’ve come to appreciate the weird

CHICK WHEAT

How easy it is to fall into the mundaneness of life. We are creatures of habit and routines that become the accepted way of our day and anything outside that realm upsets the apple cart, or the wheat cart as related to today’s scripture. I’m one who’s more apt to be anything but the norm but I too can get into the mundane of life spiritually speaking very quickly. I have to work at keeping my faith on fire because Satan stands ready to quench it at every opportunity and often times with a good dose of normal.

Matthew 3:11-12

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Fire Starter and Fashion Stopper

John the Baptist fanned the flames of the religious crowd. They thrived on normal, religious practices and ceremonial acts that looked fancy and gave their self-righteous egos a boost. But enter on scene the camel clad, bug and honey eating John, preaching repentance and stirring up the fires of faith and the normal seekers were out of their element and not very happy about it. John had caused quite a stir in the community by preaching of the Messiah that was about to be made known and in the process calling out the Sadducees and Pharisees calling them a “generation of vipers” in verse 7. I would venture a guess that that is the equivalency of our “snake in the grass” sentiment of today. Yes, John had upset the norm.  His taste of style didn’t fit their flair, nor did his taste of locust and honey likely fulfill their dietary delights. To be honest, if John entered my home town I’d think he was a little weird too.

I’ve come to appreciate weird.

I attended for my third year, Winter Jam (a Christian Rock Concert) kicking and screaming all the way. Not really, but it’s not my favorite music; however it is some of my favorite people and friends of the faith, so I go… with a “bless me if you can attitude.” And God said… “Okay I will.” And He did. With the exception of couple of the acts who I considered to be loud and obnoxious, at which time I scoped out the merchandise tables. But my point is this… to the judgmental religious crowd the Winter Jam scene is all locusts. It really bugs them. So much so that they feel compelled to preach and condemn on the banks of the river while the Holy Spirit has arrived in the water.

It’s not their norm. Those weird dressing people with the long hair and strange message in music upsets their wheat cart.

Well, it didn’t upset mine. I felt the fan blowing the chaff (unimportant, useless things) out of my life as the Holy Spirit moved the crowd and moved my heart to do more for the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t my normal, Baptist service. Those bands will likely never don the platform of my home church, and that’s okay, because that’s not how we worship there. Our multigenerational crowd worships in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

And that’s what matters most.

Goal for 2016… Be less normal. Unusual. Some might say I’ve been practicing that for years…

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Winter Jam Tour 2014, pain killers and the Road to Jesus… let’s talk.

Last night I traveled to Charleston, West Virginia to see “Winter Jam.” A Christian rock concert; and before those of you who don’t believe children should listen to Christian rock turn me off, tune in for just a minute. For years I’ve advised youth to be wary of Christian rock music in their worship for a couple of reasons. Number one, because I was taught to… and number two because I would ask the kids what a certain lyric said, and they couldn’t tell me. Therefore how can you say you’re spreading the gospel, when the words are not understood?

So why did I go to Winterjam? Because I love my youth group and because I didn’t believe I could effectively teach against something I had not experienced. And before anyone screams “You don’t have to lie down with the pigs to know they stink,” – yes that’s true, but my kids weren’t in a sinful place, they were in a place that “they had said they experienced God.” I needed to see for myself. So I laid down my southern gospel, bluegrass frame of mind, and went. (With a bottle of Aleve, ear plugs, and a pass for a pre-concert interview with the artists.) If I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right.

So… did I convert to a rocker? What do you think? Of course not. But… I did experience God in that place, because I looked for Him. He wasn’t always obvious to me, and in truth that bothered me. When a heavy metal group was on the stage… oh my stars. I didn’t see God, I seen the flesh at its finest. If you want me to be real, I have to say that because that’s how I felt. If something makes babies cry (and it did) makes your head ache, the lyrics are verbal confusion and the noise causes you to want to flee from the room… God’s not in that, just saying.

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

I would be hard pressed to believe that God was in it. Am I saying the artist was unsaved? No. God is their judge, not me. I’m just saying it appeared to me to be a performance, not a ministry.

So what about the times that I did see God. One, that really surprised me was a rapper named Lacrae. Again… I didn’t care for his music style, but his testimony was spot on, his love for the Lord obvious, his influence on the kids was very positive. He preached as he sang and when he stopped rapping and began singing my initial thought was, “You’re not doing God justice with your talent.” He sang great! But the kids liked the rap. And although I couldn’t always understand it, he would slow back down and talk Jesus, and I had to believe that the gospel was going out. There were other bands that I felt the same way about, God’s moving was evident in their ministry and I’m not arguing that with anyone. Who am I to say that I have the only “right” way of ministering to souls?

So what did I learn on my field trip? I was drawn to the story of Samson this morning.

The story of Samson brings more to my mind the story of rebellion and Delilah, but long before Delilah came into the picture, Samson was chosen by God as a servant to Israel and as a young man Judges 13:25 says “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” The evidence of God’s hand on him was there from a youth. The problem came when he began dabbling in the world. There has got to be a line in the sand that we won’t cross.

My personal belief is some of those musicians crossed the line last night. But not all. During the preaching hundreds of kids stood making a profession that they wanted a deeper relationship with the Lord, it is my prayer that they found the road there last night.

I’m short on time this morning, I overslept because of the late night. I may or may not tackle this subject again. If the response is great, I’ll chit chat more. If it’s not…I’ll let sleepin’ dogs lie